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Sunday, January 11, 2015


I've always been a big believe in "Plan B" (and even Plan C & D).  You always go into a game with an organized plan of attack but the best coaches are flexible in their preparation and in their game execution.  We might want to come out and trap ball screens -- and we will work on it in practice.  But if the offense throws us a new wrinkle or if are execution does not give us the pre-conceived results than we are going to hedge, ice or slide thru.  And we are going to make sure we work on at least two in practice just in case.

I loved Bo Schembechler's thoughts on this concept as he wrote in "Bo's Lasting Lessons" with John U. Bacon:

They say the first casualty of war is the war plan, and I'd have to agree with that.

I knew more about Woody Hayes than any coach I ever went against, hands down.  I played for him, coached for him, I studied him.  I knew that guy cold!  And every time we played each other, he still did something I didn't expect -- ten straight years!  Hot damn!  I didn't know he was going to do that!

So that goes to show you, as much time as we spent scouting and preparing and planning -- and I don't think any team in America prepared better for anyone than we did for Ohio State -- the game never went exactly as we thought it would.  It just never does.

That's all right.  If things aren't going your way, you adjust.  Forget your game plan, forget your ego.  Get the best information you can, and give your team the best chance to succeed from that point forward.  To do anything less is to let your people down when they need you most.  And that just inexcusable.

The best time to do this, if you're a football coach, is halftime.  When you leave your locker room for the second half, you're not going to be the same team.  You're either going to be better informed, or you're going to fall behind because the guys in the other locker room are making better adjustments than you are.

We almost never spent that time on inspirational talks, but on technical adjustments.  To make the most out of our time, we followed a strict routine.