Five College Football Coaches Opponents Cannot Figure Out

BabyTateSenior Writer ISeptember 19, 2008

                   W X Y Z L M N O P Q R S T U V K J I H G F E D C B A S

                   M A R Y L A N D B E A T C A L D U K E B E A T N A V Y

                    R E E S I N G L E D K U B U T U S F W O N B Y A F G

                    Q P R A B C D E S T U V W X Y Z F G H I J K L M N O

Trickery has been part of College Football for years. Often, offensive alignments cause defensive misreads which lead to breakaways and wide open scores.

Sometimes what the offense is looking at is not what it seems, and turnovers or loss of yardage from the scrimmage line can result. Such is the case with the three messages above.

What current head coaches are the best at showing one set to disguise another? After reviewing comments and articles of the past 21 days in the Bleacher Report, we propose the following suggestions.


5) Houston Nutt, Ole Miss (Previously Arkansas)

Although bitterly criticized for not bringing an SEC title to the Razorbacks, Nutt was somewhat a victim of his own success from the 1998 season. Crafty and demanding, he ran afoul of fandom in Fayetteville following two blowout losses to Southern Cal and several personal issues in his final two seasons.

Before he left, the Hogs handed eventual national Champion LSU a defeat in his final  game by using an unorthodox offensive set featuring All-American running back Darren McFadden as a quarterback.

Prior to that, Nutt had imposed a decades-old "Mirror Defense" to shut down Texas in the '99 season Cotton Bowl. That was followed four years later with a win over the Longhorns in Austin by inverting his running backs to become blockers, and going to the air to chew up a soft Longhorn secondary.

Not lost upon those who admire strategy is Houston Nutt's two seven-overtime wins, over Ole Miss in 2001 and Kentucky in 2003. 


4) Mike Bellotti, Oregon

The excellent headman in Eugene does not have a losing record against any team in his own conference. He achieved this through a variety of means, not the least of which involves a reputation as the best automatic check-off teacher in football.


3) Chris Peterson, Boise State

Keen and smart, this young man burst upon the scene in 2006 by winning every game and defeating Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.

Using a curious combination of smash-mouth and unusual plays from the distant past such as the Statue of Liberty and the Hook and Ladder, Peterson caught the attention of the nation and kept it by winning 23 of his first 24 games.     


2) Tommy Tuberville, Auburn

Harboring a richly deserved reputation as "a gambler," Tuberville actually has intimidated opponents into poor decisions by forcing them to outguess him. A teacher of confidence building techniques, his teams get stronger with each game of the season.

While at Ole Miss in the 1990s, he developed his highly regarded "sixth sense" of knowing what play to call to catch the opponent off balance. This resulted in a winning record there, claiming victories over Georgia and LSU. The end result is one of the best big game coaches in America.


1) Mike Leach, Texas Tech

Truly an unorthodox individual. Leach's IQ has been measured in the "true genius" category. Originally from Wyoming, he earned a Law Degree from Pepperdine University.

A man of eclectic tastes, and unusual game plans consisting of no more than some notes scribbled upon a piece of paper he carries in his pocket. There is no way to prepare for Leach's Raiders as he doesn't know what he's going to call until the moment he decides during the game.

Some of the most remarkable records of upsets in the decade belong to this man. Texas in 2002, Nebraska in 2004, Oklahoma in 2005, and 2007 have all felt the sting of Mike Leach's play-calling. System? What system? He teaches his passers to throw the ball on time, that's his system.