Welcome to college football, where if you are playing Alabama, any confidence you show in yourself or your team is considered “talkin’ trash.”
It began when WR Dez Fitzpatrick proclaimed that Louisville’s wide receivers are better than Alabama’s defensive backs. So he is confident in himself and his group of guys. Good. If he said otherwise, that would be weird.
Then we move to Bobby Petrino, who made a splash at the kickoff luncheon this past week by saying the following: “They’re a very good football team,” Petrino said. “They’ve got a great tradition. We’re excited to play them. It’s a great challenge, and we know that.
“But I’m going to tell you this: If we can get where we have every single guy on our team, every single coach on our team, to believe like I believe — because I believe we’re gonna go beat ’em — so I need everybody else to believe that. And we will go beat ’em.”
BREAKING NEWS: Head Coach has confidence in his team.
Seriously, THAT is trash talk? And then there are those that say that Alabama now has bulletin board material. Really? A program like Alabama, with 53 National Championships (or however many they claim these days), really needs something to get them fired up to play the first game of the season? These are some of the best college football players in the country and they have been battling each other all off-season. Now they get the chance to play against someone else. You’re telling me that they weren’t going to come out excited and ready to play? They will now play harder because the opposing head coach said that his team will win? If your team needs motivation from the opponent to be ready for any game, let alone the season opener, you probably aren’t one of the best programs in all of college football.
Now, back to Petrino. I am 100% on board with his comments. Give me a head coach who says we will beat the best team in the land over someone that says, “Well we will play hard and compete and hope we are in the game heading into the 4th quarter.” No. Show me that confidence. Show me that swagger of Bobby Petrino 1.0.
On a personal note, I coach basketball at Holy Cross High School. A few years ago, I was the head coach for the Freshman team. We ran into a really good PRP team that beat us by probably 30 points or so, maybe more. My friend helped coached the Freshman team at Trinity. I asked how they were doing, who they had played so far during the season. Turns out, they had beaten PRP. What did I say? “Let’s play.” So we did. We lost, but it was by single digits. It wasn’t a moral victory, but I tried to show my team that I scheduled that game AFTER I knew that they beat a team that destroyed us. It was confidence. It was not backing down. It was wanting to play against the best.
What I love about Petrino saying things like this, is that you know he means it and really believes it. He is not a coach who will play to the media. He won’t waste words and go on and on. He doesn’t want to say more than he is required to. We have seen the type of coach who just wants to hear himself talk. The one who can get a question about a match-up zone defense and turn it into a 10-minute response about how we live in a microwave society and go completely off topic. But not Bobby. He wants to answer the question and get out. So when he says something, he isn’t just saying it to hear his own voice and boost his ego.
We are almost there. I love college football season and being at and watching games. But I also love these last couple of weeks before the season starts. So much excitement and possibility and hype. We get to open up with the premier program in the sport. I am going to enjoy the build-up. And if you get bored and want to rile people up, it appears that ‘Bama fans are overly sensitive for some reason. You would think that they have watched their team win enough that stuff would not bother them. It does. A lot. So if you feel so inclined, have at it.
Give me the confident, arrogant, point scoring, don’t care what you think Bobby Petrino back on the sidelines. Rather than post a few of his old quotes, I found this. Just check this out. Let’s get that swagger back.