Is coaching college football a kind of madness? It can be, though it does pay well in any case. NC State's coaches have had months to think about Georgia Southern, which has been built to run the triple option but brought in a coach this offseason who moved the team to a spread-option base.
Willie Fritz will have the Eagles run the ball a lot this year, but it'll look different, and they always have the old tried-and-true formations to lean on if need be. Enter the madness, courtesy Dave Doeren's brain:
You can turn on Georgia Southern's film and see a lot of their players and see what they do even though their schemes are a little different on offense. I think that in all opening games there's a lot of ghost chasing saying, "What if they do this? Well maybe they'll do that," but at the end of the day your systems have to have rules built in place to handle whatever they do. So that's what we really run, and the week before the week we run ours just make sure you show the guys enough things so that they're ready.
At Sam Houston they never run their center or run him at the wishbone offense, but because they do at Georgia Southern maybe they will. They ran more off front at Sam Houston than they did at Georgia Southern but they retained their defensive coordinator. Things like that you just don't know how much the head coach is going to come in and say well this is how we did it at their school so I want you do it.
You have to cover all of your bases in week one regardless of who you're playing. Even when you have a team that returns a lot of the same people. Like I said in the offseason they all went to clinics, they all did their self-scout, they all studied film, they recruited new players that are different that can do certain things than maybe the year before players could, so you're going to have to adjust.
So at Sam Houston, they did this, so they'll probably do this; at the same time, these Georgia Southern kids have been trained to do that other thing which they're probably still good at doing, and they may do that thing sometimes and oh no I have a headache.
The possibilities! The damned possibilities! Why must they be myriad!