by Travis Normand
Joel Klatt always has a unique perspective on the game of college football. In a recent interview of Klatt on the Solid Verbal (on 8/28/2015), he pointed out something that I had never quite thought of before.
In response to a question about why don’t coaches try to do a better job at matching their offensive/defensive system with the talent they have on campus (especially when they may be at a recruiting disadvantage), Klatt had this to say:
[Of the 128 +/- FBS programs] . . . all but 30, maybe even less, all but 20 of those schools have coaches that are just trying to not rock the boat. They just don’t want to get fired. Because they know they probably aren’t going to win the national championship that year, they probably aren’t going to win their conference championship, so they are trying not to get beat 60 to 3, they are trying not to embarrass themselves, they are just trying to be respectable and go to a bowl game . . . and when that happens, your safe. And if you go outside of the box, I think what you are doing is putting a bulls-eye on it, because you are proclaiming that this is going to fix ‘it,’ and that you are going to be great because of this switch . . . and if you are not great, you are going to be fired. And I think coaches are afraid of that . . . and that is the dirty secret in college football, its that not everybody is trying to win championships . . . there is a lot of people just coaching for their paycheck.
I thought his response was fascinating. You can listen to the entire interview here, or just the part mentioned above by skipping ahead to about the 1:04:30 mark.
*Note: Neither the question written above, nor Klatt’s response (as typed here) are perfect/exact quotes. I was trying to paraphrase the question asked, and loosely transcribed Klatt’s response above.