Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

December 6, 2012

For coaches, no sleep 'til BCS championship game

NEW YORK — Brian Kelly and Nick Saban expect many restless nights between now and the BCS championship game on Jan. 7.

Kelly and top-ranked Notre Dame play Saban and No. 2 Alabama in Miami. The coaches appeared together at a news conference on Wednesday at the Nasdaq stock exchange in Times Square.

"And in keeping with the venue where we are, you have two blue chip stocks that are going to go against each other,'' Kelly said.

Asked what about their opponent will keep them up at night, Kelly and Saban both said there is plenty to worry about.

"Are you kidding me? Really?'' Kelly said. "Everything about them.''

Saban's response: "For me, I never sleep well, so Notre Dame is just the excuse now.''

The Fighting Irish will have 42 days between their last game against Southern California and the BCS title game against the Crimson Tide.

Alabama played in the Southeastern Conference title game on Dec. 1, so its break is a week shorter.

This is the third BCS championship appearance in four years for the Tide - Alabama won its previous two - so Saban obviously hasn't had a problem finding a routine that works.

"Many people have asked me how you carry the momentum of winning the SEC championship game into the next game,'' Saban said. "And I think the answer to that is, you can't. You almost have to look at any bowl game, or any layoff like you have for this length of time, as the next game is sort of a one-game season.''

Both teams will go into training-camp mode this week. The players will lift weights and do conditioning and fundamentals drills.

"Right now we're doing two weeks of offseason conditioning programs, which is always fun. Always popular with the guys,'' Alabama center Barrett Jones said Tuesday, with more than a hint of sarcasm in his delivery.

Kelly said the worst thing a coach can do about the unusually long time between games is worry about it.

"First, I think it's a self-fulfilling prophecy if you keep talking about the long layoff,'' he said. "We don't talk about that. We talk about what's the next step here and the next stage, or it's the national championship.''

"We think we've got a plan and we don't concern ourselves with the length of that time.''

The plan is to keep the next few weeks as productive as possible.

"We try to work our way up to a routine,'' Kelly said. "There's that space there, weight training, conditioning, some fundamental work and then try to get back to that routine that they are all familiar with as we lead into the game.''

Aside from keeping the players occupied and in shape, Kelly and Saban are also facing the possibility that members of their staffs could land head coaching jobs over the next week or so.

Kelly's defensive coordinator, Bob Diaco, was a candidate for the Boston College job that was filled Tuesday when the Eagles hired Steve Addazio away from Temple. Diaco recently won the Broyles Award as the nation's top assistant coach.

There was speculation about Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart being a candidate for the Auburn job, but the Tigers hired Gus Malzahn.

As jobs are filled others open and there are still plenty of vacancies. There is still a possibility Notre Dame or Alabama - or both - could be dealing with this issue.

"I think those folks have every right to receive positive self-gratification professionally by taking advantage of some opportunity they have created for themselves by doing a good job,'' Saban said, without talking about any specific assistant. "And I think it's just a matter of professionalism where you can separate yourself for a day or two, not affect the performance of what you're trying to do at your job, evaluate the circumstance.''

Last year, Alabama prepared for the national championship game with its offensive coordinator, Jim McElwain, interviewing and accepting the Colorado State head coaching job.

Alabama won that BCS title game 21-0 and Saban said McElwain, "put a great plan together'' for the Tide.

And if there is staff turnover during the layoff, and a coach needs to be replaced, Kelly said there are plans in place to deal with it.

"We can't predict it, but we know that we are prepared regardless of the circumstances, and if we were to lose somebody, we've got great coaches on board that are ready to step up,'' he said.



 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • DSC_0237web.jpg Hrdlicka, Teter pour ‘heart’ into Zebra soccer program

    For the past four years, Claremore High School seniors Katelin Teter and Nick Hrdlicka have represented the ‘heart and soul’ of the Lady Zebra and Zebra soccer programs.
    The soccer duo will join seven other seniors on Friday night for Homecoming against Collinsville at Lantow Field.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • DSC_0014web.jpg 9 straight for Lady Zebras

    Claremore sophomore forward Bailey Steckline got the ‘hat-trick’ plus one Tuesday night in the Lady Zebras’ 10-0 win over Tulsa Memorial at  LaFortune Stadium.
    Steckline tallied two goals in the first half, and added two more in the second to complete her impressive night.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0156web.jpg Tulsa Memorial holds off Zebras, 2-1

    Tulsa Memorial scored a pair of first-half goals  to steal the momentum away from the Claremore Zebras, as well as the 2-1 win Tuesday night in Metro Lakes Conference action at LaFortune Stadium.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0015web.jpg BASEBALL: Whatley, Howe power Zebras past Tahlequah

    Claremore’s Matt Whatley has proven over the past four years that he’s one of the toughest outs in the Metro Lakes Conference.
    On Tuesday, Whatley went 3-for-4 with two singles and a triple while sparking the Zebras to a 12-2 win over Tahlequah in five innings at American Legion Park.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • BASEBALL: Dewey takes pair from Sequoyah

    It’s very difficult to win when you can’t score.
    Class 4A third-ranked Dewey blanked homestanding Sequoyah 7-0 and 2-0 in a district doubleheader on Tuesday, improving to 21-3 with a dominating two-hit pitching performance in the opener and a four-hitter in the nightcap.

    April 18, 2014

  • SOCCER: Sequoyah topples No. 15 Catoosa, 1-0

    Sequoyah boys soccer coach Bob Campbell had one phrase to sum up his feelings following the Eagles’ game with 15th ranked Catoosa at home Tuesday night.
    “We’re in the driver’s seat.’’
    Alex Bourgeois scored late in the first half and Sequoyah made it stand up for a 1-0 victory over the Indians in a showdown for the district lead.

    April 18, 2014

  • Jackson sprints Zebras to 1st place at OBU Relays

    Claremore senior sprinter Tyler Jackson felt the need for speed Wednesday afternoon at the Oklahoma Baptist University High School Invitational.
    Jackson notched a pair of first-place victories in the 200-meter dash and the 400-meter dash to help Claremore earn 130 points for top honors.

    April 18, 2014

  • BASEBALL: Arkansas Tech roughs up ‘Cats

    The Rogers State University baseball team had a disappointing finish in its home finale as No. 12-ranked Arkansas Tech blanked the Hillcats 11-0 Tuesday evening in non-conference action from the Diamond Sports Complex.

    April 18, 2014

  • BASEBALL: Southwest Baptist slips past NSU, 5-3

     The Northeastern State baseball team lost 5-3 to Southwest Baptist Thursday afternoon at Dobson Field.
     
    The RiverHawks (19-22, 15-18 MIAA) held a 3-0 lead early in the contest, but a late rally from the Bearcats (23-18, 19-13 MIAA) and costly errors from the visitors allowed the home team to secure the series-opening triumph.

    April 18, 2014

  • WOMEN'S TENNIS: Conference champion NSU lands top seed in MIAA tourney

    The No. 31-ranked Northeastern State women's tennis team has drawn the top seed in the 2014 MIAA Women's Tennis Championship, the league announced Thursday morning.

    April 18, 2014