College Football They Said It: Chizik and God, Kelly Has Class, USC and More

Gary BrownCorrespondent IISeptember 21, 2010

Welcome to the first “they said it” for the 2010 season. Here are the words spoken by coaches and players regarding the game of football. Most of what is said each week is nothing more than coach speak, but sometimes it is worthwhile to sit and actually ponder about what was said. Some of it is funny, some stupid and some shows great class. Here is a sampling from the last couple of weeks of college football.

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We start with Gene Chizik’s comments after Auburn’s overtime win against Clemson Saturday evening. On Auburn’s first possession in overtime they kicked a field goal to take a 27-24 lead. After being unable to reach the end zone when they had the ball Clemson attempted a field goal that was good. Unfortunately for Clemson, there was a penalty on the play, forcing them to make the kick again. The ball sailed wide and Auburn fans celebrated their victory. Here is part of what Chizik said:

“I told our players that was a God thing. They kept the faith the whole game. It was just one of those games where they just kept playing.”

Chizik attempted to clarify his comments in his weekly teleconference. Here are those comments:

"Don't read too far into it. It's real simple. We've talked about those guys having faith, no matter what the circumstances are. And our faith got tested last night."


Hey Gene, God is not big on rolling Toomer’s Corner. Winning game so you can keep earning a big pay check is probably really important to you, but God is probably more concerned with hunger, oppression, the sick and the poor. He might not have even been watching the Auburn game Saturday night.

By the way, Clemson probably has a few pretty good men of faith on their team too.

Two things that should always be left out of the equation when a coach is talking about football: God being on their side. Hard to imagine he is. War. Football is not.

Now, if God was watching a game it was probably Notre Dame’s with Michigan State. In overtime the Spartans found themselves in the same situation Clemson was in. They needed three points to keep the game alive after the Irish scored on their first possession in OT. Michigan State wanted more than a tie though. They faked a field goal that resulted in a touchdown that was a great call by Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio.

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A review of the tape showed the ball might have been snapped after the play clock expired. The Big East has indicated the call on the field was correct by the official and Notre Dame head coach, Brian Kelly, gets the class comment award this week for what he said:


"We're splitting hairs on what happened at the end of the game. Could there have been zero before it was snapped? Yeah, there's that possibility. But I haven't spent much time thinking or complaining about that as much as, we gotta defend the play."

Nice job coach. The play call by the Spartans was incredible and your response was equal to the moment. Kelly took responsibility for coaching better and did not lay the blame anywhere else but the feet of his team.

Lane Kiffin had a few words about assistant coach Ed Orgeron’s refusal to use crutches during the Trojans game with Virginia despite his broken foot.

“It was classic Orgeron, and I know he was thinking of  Marv (Goux) when he was doing it. His foot was broken, and he still ran up the tunnel because he refused to walk. Even once nobody could see him, he refused to walk. I watched him do it, and I know he was thinking Marv would be proud of him for running up there with a broken foot. Now his foot’s worse, and he’ll be out even longer now. But he showed how tough he was. There’s a difference between tough and smart sometimes.”

 This one raises several questions. First why did Orgeron feel such a need to prove his toughness? Exactly how important was it for him to run up the tunnel with the team? Was he dressed out and ready to play or something? Why would former assistant coach Goux be so proud of Orgeron for intentionally inflicting more pain than was necessary on himself?


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 Now for a few more serious questions. If coaches believe they have to show they can tough out a broken foot is it possible they would ever make things difficult for a player with an injury? Would some kid with a concussion feel pressure to keep his problem to himself in order to measure up to the toughness of his coach?

 It seems rather stupid for a person in any position, even a tough guy like Orgeron, to refuse crutches in a situation like this. Was his manhood in such question that he had to make his foot even worse (according to Kiffin)?

 As a fictional character once said, “Stupid is, as stupid does.”

 "You see some things and you get kind of hurt because, sometimes, it's your fans that say the things. It's the ones that just before the game wrote you some encouraging message then after the game, they tell you they don't want a black quarterback here."

 Miami Quarterback Jacory Harris responding to questions about the messages he received on twitter from some Miami “fans” after a Hurricane loss.

 Harris has to realize something really important. Those people were never fans. They were something really different. The people who made these comments regarding Harris, well, they made the dumbest comments of all.


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 Beyond the race issue it will also be a great day when “fans’ realize the kids on the field are still just that…kids. They need to be given a break when they make a mistake on the field or don’t meet some crazy expectations of some jerk in the stands.

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 One more that says it all about college football.  Brutus the Buckeye was tackled by Ohio’s Bobcat mascot as the Buckeyes ran onto the field Saturday.  Turns out the primary motivation behind Brandon Hanning’s motivation to try out for the privilege of wearing the Bobcat outfit was the opportunity that cam this past Saturday.  

“It was actually my whole plan to tackle Brutus when I tried out to be mascot. I tried out about a year ago, and the whole reason I tried out was so I could come up here to Ohio State and tackle Brutus.”

Some may call it classless, some may say it was stupid. We say it is college football. Too bad Hanning was not able to get on the field. His Bobcats had trouble tackling all day as Ohio State won the game 43-7.

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