Share “The Q&A: Lou Holtz”

by Jenni Carlson Modified: October 22, 2009 at 9:35 am •  Published: October 17, 2009

The ESPN commentator and former college football coach gives his take on the state of the game.

Jenni Carlson: Every week brings more upsets and upheaval this season. Has this been one of the more unpredictable years that you can remember?

Lou Holtz: It is crazy. One of the things that bothers me is so many teams play such weak non-conference schedules and get by with it. When I look at Penn State, they had a toughie last week, and that was Eastern Illinois. That was their most difficult non-conference game, where you have Southern Cal playing Notre Dame and Ohio State both on the road, you have Oklahoma playing BYU, playing Miami. I’d say, "If everybody’s going to play a weak, easy (non-conference) schedule, forget that when you start voting on who’s the best team. Forget the non-conference because other teams wouldn’t take the risk.”

JC: Is there anything that could be done to fix the problem of discrepancies in non-conference scheduling?

LH: If you made me the national commissioner of football, I’d tell you one thing that I would mandate. The second Saturday in September, we’re going to have conference day. Everybody from the SEC plays a Big 12 team. Everybody from the Big Ten is going to play the ACC. Everybody from the Big East is going to play the Pac-10. Now, we get an idea even if you have a team that maybe isn’t as strong. Now, at least you have a chance to compare. I don’t care who you schedule the other games, but you’re going to play that conference for two years, and then we’re going to chance conferences. That’s what I would do.

JC: I’ve got to ask you about Sam Bradford. What do you think about the Oklahoma quarterback’s return?

LH: I thought he played well this past week, threw the ball well, which surprised me. It’s hard to simulate game-like conditions in practice, and for him to step in and be that sharp ... But the thing about Oklahoma is they’ve got to run the ball better. When you have two running backs like that, they should get more yards than what they’re getting. One thing about (his decision to come back to college), when you make a decision, never look back.

by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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