Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Football in Texas is Big - like everything else

Interesting read on football in the state of Texas and how some believe recruits there are even better prepared for the college level than in Florida:

One said he visited one of the biggest programs in Dallas this fall and found the coach teaching a physical-education class. Everyone in the class was on his football team. That day's lesson: offensive schemes of that week's opponent.

High school is the big deal in this state, much bigger than college football, much bigger than the (NFL's) Cowboys and Texans. Not in Dallas or Houston. But everywhere else, every other city and town, if you had a choice between going to a high school game and going to see the Cowboys, there's not any question what you're doing. You're going to see the local high school team play."

Such attitudes seep to local politics and school boards. That is why many high school football coaches in Texas have something their Florida peers do not - planning periods and little or no teaching load.

Planning periods are one-hour sessions in which the coach is permitted to take his team and do what he wishes with it - study film, lift weights, go to the practice field, whatever. High school players in Texas effectively practice four hours more a week than those in other states.

In Class 4A and 5A schools in Texas, head football coaches are not required to teach any classes, Rodgers said. In some communities, that goes for offensive and defensive coordinators, as well. That means time that other states' coaches spend in class is time that Texas coaches spend game-planning.