Michigan Football: Tesla Electricity -- Everyone Loves Opening Games

Posted at 5:30am — 8/26/2013

Michigan Football: Tesla Electricity — Everyone Loves Opening Games

The king of mass electricity was not Thomas Edison, but instead Nikola Tesla. He was brilliant and far more eccentric than Edison. His AC system of delivering electricity from power plants to houses far exceeded Edison’s DC model.

There is so much electricity the opening week of the college football season that everyone, from coaches to fans, have their neurotransmitters in a state of overuse.

We know how fans and players react, so what about coaches?

Coaches, of course, use this long circled date as a motivator. In a sense, the coaches go through a period of fundamentals and teaching and then prepare for the first game. There are no guarantees as to the outcome. An underdog is not against playing a big favorite the first week of the season. This is when the strange can become the normal.

Coaches can go into an opener with the idea of playing the best on the roster to obtain one and only one objective: win. Coaches can also go into an opener with more global aims, like evaluating as much talent in the game as possible and in a minute way experimenting with combinations of talent and packages.

Some staffs may choose to not worry so much about what the other team can do, but focus entirely on the performance of their team.

One thing that coaches hate about openers is the possibility of sloppy play. Sloppy play can be a result of lack of focus, which is never a good product. Mistakes almost always happen and coaching an opener may take a little more patience than normal.

The opening game is a test for staff continuity and effectiveness. All of the little jobs that coaches must perform on a typical football Saturday are on display. Kick return and coverage teams must be in order and effective. Offensive signals must be created, sent down to the sideline, and given to the quarterback in a minimum of time, especially at the goal line. Football coaching is very detail oriented, and on that first Saturday there is usually something that slips through the cracks.

Apr 13, 2013; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Brady Hoke talks to offensive linesman Erik Magnuson (78) during the Spring Game at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Mistakes will be made in season openers, usually more than normal, by both omission and commission. Calmness must be modeled, confidence must be exuded, and corrections must be quickly made.

Winning an opener provides momentum. Losing an opener may provide a nice paycheck or place a team on the outside of the national title chase.

Losing an opener can take some amperage out of a charge, but life must go on to week two, a week where much improvement must be demonstrated.

Like the circus, the opener comes and goes. But also like the circus, a football opener certainly is fun.

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff

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