The timeless philosophy and musings of college football coaches and players


It takes me a few weeks to get back into enjoying football. There have been some great games early this season to bring back the excitement. College coaches’ and players’ comments on college football still tickle your funny bone today.

1. ‘Football is only a game. Spiritual things are eternal. Nevertheless, Beat Texas’ Seen on a church sign in Arkansas prior to the 1969 game.

2. ‘After you retire, there’s only one big event left… and I ain’t ready for that.’ – Bobby Bowden/ Florida State

3. ‘The man who complains about the way the ball bounces is likely to be the one who dropped it.’ – Lou Holtz/ Arkansas

4.‘When you win, nothing hurts.’ – Joe Namath/ Alabama

5. ‘Motivation is simple…  You eliminate those who are not motivated.’ – Lou Holtz/ Arkansas

6. ‘If you want to walk the heavenly streets of gold, you gotta know the password, ‘Roll, tide, roll!’ – Bear Bryant/ Alabama

7. ‘A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall.’ – Frank Leahy/ Notre Dame

8. ‘There’s nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you.’ – Woody Hayes/ Ohio State

9. ‘I don’t expect to win enough games to be put on NCAA probation. I just want to win enough to warrant an investigation.’ – Bob Devaney/ Nebraska

10. ‘In Alabama, an atheist is someone who doesn’t believe in Bear Bryant.’ – Wally Butts/ Georgia

11. ‘You can learn more character on the two-yard line than anywhere else in life.’ – Paul Dietzel/ LSU

12. ‘It’s kind of hard to rally around a math class.’ –Bear Bryant/ Alabama

13. When asked if Fayetteville was the end of the world. ‘No, but you can see it from here.’ – Lou Holtz/ Arkansas 

14. ‘I make my practices real hard because if a player is a quitter, I want him to quit in practice, not in a game.’ – Bear Bryant/ Alabama

15. ‘There’s one sure way to stop us from scoring-give us the ball near the goal line.’ – Matty Bell/ SMU

16. ‘Lads, you’re not to miss practice unless your parents died or you died.’ – Frank Leahy/ Notre Dame

17. ‘I never graduated from Iowa, but I was only there for two terms – Truman’s and Eisenhower’s.’ – Alex Karras/ Iowa

18. ‘My advice to defensive players:  Take the shortest route to the ball and arrive in a bad humor.’ – Bowden Wyatt/ Tennessee

19. ‘I could have been a Rhodes Scholar, except for my grades.’ – Duffy Daugherty/ Michigan State

20. ‘Always remember… Goliath was a 40 point favorite over David.’ – Shug Jordan/ Auburn

21. ‘They cut us up like boarding house pie.  And that’s real small pieces.’ -Darrell Roya / Texas

22. ‘Show me a good and gracious loser, and I’ll show you a failure.’ – Knute Rockne/ Notre Dame

23. ‘They whipped us like a tied up goat.’ – Spike Dykes/ Texas Tech

24. ‘I asked Darrell Royal, the coach of the Texas Longhorns, why he didn’t recruit me and he said:  ‘Well, Walt, we took a look at you and you weren’t any good.’ – Walt Garrison/ Oklahoma State/ Dallas Cowboys

25. ‘Son, you’ve got a good engine, but your hands aren’t on the steering wheel.’ – Bobby Bowden/ Florida State

26. ‘Football is not a contact sport – it is a collision sport.  Dancing is a contact sport.’ – Duffy Daugherty/ Michigan 

27. After USC lost 51-0 to Notre Dame, his postgame message to his team:  ‘All those who need showers, take them.’ – John McKay / USC

28. ‘If lessons are learned in defeat, our team is getting a great education.’ – Murray Warmat / Minnesota

29. ‘The only qualifications for a lineman are to be big and dumb.  To be a back, you only have to be dumb.’ – Knute Rockne/ Notre Dame

30. ‘Oh, we played about like three tons of buzzard puke this afternoon.’ -Spike Dyke / Texas Tech

31. ‘It isn’t necessary to see a good tackle.  You can hear it.’ – Knute Rockne / Notre Dame

32. ‘We live one day at a time and scratch where it itches.’ – Darrell Royal/Texas

33. ‘We didn’t tackle well today but we made up for it by not blocking.’ -Wilson Matthews/ Little Rock Central High School

34. ‘Three things can happen when you throw the ball, and two of them are bad.’ – Darrell Royal/ University of Texas

35. ‘I’ve found that prayers work best when you have big players.’ – Knute Rockne/ Notre Dame

36. ‘Gentlemen, it is better to have died a small boy than to fumble this football.’ – John Heisman / Alabama


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