Barry Switzer: How to compete for a national title

Spencer Hall sat down with an interview with Barry Switzer, and what he got was a whole lot of good content from the legendary head coach.

When Switzer was asked about the current playoff talk and if he would consider sitting on a committee to determine the teams that would be selected, Switzer had one question...would it pay?

"First thing I'm asking is 'Do they pay?' I made $24,000 a year when I was a coach. Bob Stoops makes five million a year nowThink about that. I didn't make anything, we win two national titles back to back, have two undefeated seasons back to back, and I'm making $24,000 a year. Because I went to a bowl game, I got an extra month's salary."

Switzer also weighed in on the evolution of the game over the years and his take on how it's being controlled.

"I worry about the rules taking away the aggression of defensive football players. We want to protect players, but by golly don't take away 11 players on defense getting after one guy who's got the ball. You've got to chase it with a bad attitude. You're going to have that, and you're going to have injuries. Don't legislate away the aggressiveness and the toughness of playing defensive football. I worry about that a little bit."

He also sees a pattern on who wins the national title...teams that can run the football, like Alabama did last year.

"They do it with the running game. You can go deep with the ball if you want to, but you've got to be able to run the ball and play great defense. You take a team with a playbook like the one Tom Osborne had in the '90s, and you can compete for national championships every year."

"Line up and run the ball north and south out of the I-formation with a split end attack or a tight end attack, and run the option at the corner of the defense attacking the perimeters, and you've got the best offense there is with the play-action passing game. When you can run the ball like Tom Osborne did, you've got people running wide open. They don't do that anymore, and people who do that win football games."

Switzer added that the most successful team that operates that way in today's game is Oregon, and their success speaks for itself.

"I don't think you can line it up pure wishbone and run it every down like I did. We'd never ever throw and put up 500 yards on people. I don't think you can do that anymore, but I promise you the best play in football is the option, and being able to run the football and play defense gives you the best chance to win a football game. Control the clock, keep it way from those high-powered offenses. You do that by having great players and by sticking with it instead of just getting trendy and doing something else like everyone wanting to throw the football."


Memphis: New meeting room and locker room

A couple pictures of Memphis' new football facilities are making their way around Twitter and the web.

The meeting room looks impressive, and as if Coach Fuente's enthusiasm isn't contagious enough, those piercing Tiger eyes will make it impossible to doze off during team meetings.




"Coaches don't have a rewind button"

We are all well aware of the highs and lows of the coaching profession. Work hard and land a great job, stay for a few years and continue to work your tail off only to be with another program in a few seasons, sometimes by choice, and other times due to circumstances beyond your control. That's life in the coaching world.

Back in 2002 Craig Bohl was let go as the defensive coordinator at Nebraska under Frank Solich. Shortly thereafter in 2003, he was named head coach at North Dakota State and has since led the program from a D-II school to an FCS powerhouse, including a 14-1 record and National title in 2011. The Bison have also racked up wins over both Minnesota and Kansas in the past two seasons.

In the FCS National title game this past year, Bohl took a page out of his mentor Tom Osborne's book and called a fake punt that went for 27 yards and a critical first down. That's just part of his competitive makeup as a coach.

“Coaches are competitive. Our environment is not static. There are certain times you have to take risks.”

On the very next play, they built off of that momentum and took a screen pass 39 yards for a touchdown and ended up national champs, winning 17-6.

As Sam McKewon of the World-Herald notes in his article on Bohl, "coaches don't have a rewind button", and Bohl rarely looks back on the turbulent times. “This game is humbling, not every day is going to be a Chamber of Commerce day.” he says.

When Bohl needs to reflect he simply swivels his chair around to take a look at a sign in his office.

“I have a sign in my office that says ‘Just coach the team'. Whenever I get in that mind-set, I turn around, look at that sign and say to myself, ‘Just coach the team.' That's what I'm doing.”

Virginia Tech's camo uniforms

Add Virginia Tech to the list of schools that will be participating in the Wounded Warrior project.

The helmet will be full camo, and a sneak peak of the white jersey's feature camo numbers. The Hokies will wear the uniform when they travel to Bowling Green on September 22 to honor Military Appreciation Day.

As we have seen the past couple years, Under Armour selects a few schools every season to feature the Wounded Warrior uniforms in order to help raise awareness and provide services and programs for injured service members and their families. Other schools that have worn the Wounded Warrior gear include Utah, Maryland and Texas Tech. 


Jimbo Fisher: Invest in recruiting

USA Today came out with an interesting article over the weekend detailing Florida State's recruiting expenses, which have eclipsed the $500,000 mark since Jimbo Fisher has taken the reigns.

According to the article, during Bobby Bowden's final season the Seminoles spent an estimated $280,000 on recruiting. In Fisher's first year as head coach that number rose to $500,000 and increased again to $525,000 for 2011-2012. To help put that in perspective, the entire athletic department at Florida State spent $1.6 million on recruiting for 2011-2012.

Noting that most recruits won't even consider schools that don't offer them by their Junior year, Fisher admits that the evaluation process had to be accelerated when he was hired.

"We're on sophomores and freshmen now. If you haven't offered them yet...you're done. You aren't even getting in the hunt."

"If you wait like in the old days and only travel at the end, you won't have anybody to sign. There are no players left. Now, it's the early bird gets the worm. It's all about a relationship. Recruiting is all about relationships. And relationships don't just come, 'Hey, c'mon, I've got a great school.' No, they take time."

With the changes in recruiting over the past few years, Fisher and his staff focused on closing the gap on the programs that had made headway on the recruiting trail.

"The landscape of recruiting in general has changed. Recruiting used to be a segmented time of year. Now? It's 365 days a year. Recruiting never, ever, ever stops now. That's the nature of our business."

"With our classes, for the money, we're probably the best bang for your buck in the country. I don't understand people who think you're gonna make money on a company and you don't invest in it. The investment is recruiting. If we get the right players and we win games, the school makes more money, we make more money, the community makes more money, and we're all happy. Recruiting is the lifeline".

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