As I am of this age, I cut my teeth on the football teachings of Woody and Bo. This is Big Ten country after all. Mind you, I didn't always agree with their offensive tactics but who am I to question legends of the game? They ruled the roost for many years and were respected around the country by those who matter in the football world. That being said, three yards and a cloud of dust still leaves fourth and one.
The Big Ten has had it's struggles in recent years and some of it is due to this outmoded thinking. There has been a gradual change to some extent over the years but there is still a good many coaches stuck in that philosophy. Even the Buckeye's current coach Jim Tressel (for whom I have tremendous respect) has stated you need to protect the ball and run it in cold weather here up north. Uh, no you don't coach.
I looked at the average weather patterns in Madison Wisconsin for the third week of November. Madison is the northern-most city in the conference. Actually, Minneapolis is slightly north of where the Badgers play but the Gophers play in a dome where weather doesn't matter, and many aren't sure you could call what they do football. Why the third week of November? Well, that is usually the last week the Big Ten plays a game. The average temperature for that Saturday is in the low forties. Hardly bone-chilling. You can't really count rain and wind because that happens even in the SEC.
I would guess in any given year there may, and I repeat, MAY be two games a year in the entire conference where cold plays into a game itself. It is more uncomfortable for fans sitting in a stadium than it is for players who are working up a good sweat. Woody used to say when you throw three things can happen and two of them are bad. Unfortunately our beloved Woody didn't realize the same thing is true for a running play.
I was happy to see the Buckeyes open up the attack and finally discover they have a tight end the first two weeks of this season. The most talented players today don't want to play three yards and a cloud of dust any more. To be successful you have to recruit successfully. You have to be the best to get the best. Besides, there is no dust in turf only little rubber pebbles that get in your eye.
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