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Five BIG Things: 8/27/13 by Chris Doelle

chris doelle's Five Big Things in Texas High School FootballFive BIG Things in Texas High School Football


Its that time again... time for my Five BIG Things! We are inching closer to the opening kickoffs around the state and the excitement couldn't be any higher.

1. Week Zero ROCKS!! - Wow...  I can remember when Week Zero wasn't anything special.  Sure, it has always signaled the start of the season for "the greatest sport in the greatest state," (TM) but the matchups that have been coming in recently years are blockbusters.   When Dave Campbell's Texas Football first put on the Kickoff Classic, it was a big deal, but the quality of the matchups continued to wax and wane over the years.  When they sold to Host Communications and then eventually to IMG (New York & worldwide) the writing was on the wall and they eventually dropped the showcase altogether.

That is history!  Now, we have so many kickoff games around the state and the matchups are getting more and more monumental.  Just look at these Week Zero matchups:

And these are just a few of the great games that kickoff the season.  We only choose seven games each week as our "Games of the Week," but easily could have listed another dozen superb matchups!

2. Team Preview are in full swing – As usual, July and August are plumb full of team previews as we roll out the team previews for all the top programs in the state.  We get a lot of questions asking how we decide which teams to preview.  That answer is very simple.  We do the ones YOU want!

We first go down the list of our top teams for each class as well as teams that have shown a lot of activity throughout the season on our site, voicemails, twitter, facebook - you name it.  If you are out there (here) promoting and rooting for your favorite team, we'll hear it and make sure to include them in our team previews.

Secondly, we do a team preview for ANY team that requests it - whether this is the coach sending us information about the team or a fan asking for them to be previewed - we will do it.

Check out the 2013 Lone Star Gridiron Texas High School Football Team Previews page

3. Has "political correctness" overtaken Texas high school football? – I was having a conversation with a veteran coach the other day (I won't mention his name because I haven't cleared it with him to do so) and we started talking about the changes to practice since we played "back in the day."

Our coaches told us, "don't drink so much water!  You'll get water logged!"  And, they would feed us salt pills on our breaks.  Thankfully, nobody at any of my practices died - but they certainly could have as it was every bit as hot.

The big difference that my coaching friend pointed out wasn't that our coaches were masochists who enjoyed watching us suffer.  WE were in better shape than a lot of the kids today.  We hauled hay in the weekend, we worked in factories, we spent our summers working our butts off - now, they spend the off months playing video games sitting on the couch in the air conditioning.

Between the change in full-contact, full-speed practice, the screening for concussions, the mandatory water breaks and the other soon-to-come changes, the game has changed a lot.  Some folks call it political correctness run amok, some folks call it a long overdue change.  Regardless of where you come down on the subject, I think you'd agree that the health of the student-athletes is what really matters.  S0me folks just disagree on that line between taking care of the kids and babying them.

4. It's not about the winning percentages - Okay, this one is a stretch.  It should really be filed under "interesting stats" rather than "big things," but what the heck.

We broke down the all-time winning percentages for each of the coaches who appeared in a championship game in 2012 - both winners and losers.  At first blush, you would think that the coaches who took home the title trophy would have at least slightly better win percentages than those who took home the runners-up trophy.  As it turns out - the runners-up (77.03%) edged the champs (76.27%) in 2012.

The difference is certainly within the statistical margin or error - meaning, that there is virtually no difference between a coach that wins the title and a coach that comes up short in the championship game.

The range of winning percentages among all coaches is rather drastic with the lowest being 64.89% (John Walsh - Denton Guyer)  and the highest being 91.79% (Gary Joseph - Katy.)

Now if you were to look at the coaches that make it to that title game versus the coaches who don't - you will see a dramatic different in winning percentages.  In the end, getting to the state title game is a spot generally reserved for pretty darn good coaches.

5. Interns, Interns, Interns - We have a special treat for you this offseason as our intern pool is larger than it has ever been.  Our goal is to help more high school and college students learn about the sports media/sports marketing business.   Our partnerships with schools around the state have landed some of our great interns some amazing jobs.  Here are just a few:

  • Major market radio station programmer
  • Austin area television producer
  • Austin area sports cameraman
  • Houston area community newspaper editor
  • Houston area newspaper columnist
  • Baton Rouge freelance sports reporter
  • Minor league sports commissioner
  • Rio Grande Valley sports reporter
  • Austin area sports marketer
  • Austin area professional sports agent
  • Dallas area high school athletic trainer
  • Houston area radio personality

What a great start to another great season!  I can't wait for opening kickoff and want to thank you for being along for another great year of Texas high school football.  Look for us here and more importantly, on the football fields across the state!

Chris Doelle
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