Professional bodybuilding has 3 major categories that it is imperative that the competitor excel in all to be a champion and major college football is no different. Confused yet? It’s actually very simple. The first part of bodybuilding and college football that plays a huge part in the end product is genetics. Genetics may be the first part part but what you do with those is the second part. Do you have a plan for success? The third part is the one that no one wants to address in either sport but can go into the big success or significant failures. You guessed it. How much are you willing to cheat and how far are you willing to go?
In bodybuilding some guys just have the natural tools already equipped to allow them to attain big success if they want it. On the flip side, bad genetics don’t necessarily ruin your chances forever but you are working behind the 8 ball. Let’s apply this to football. When I say program genetics, I don’t mean how much you used to win. Past records and successes are irrelevant. Army was a juggernaut 50 years ago. Would you argue they have good program genetics? Florida State didn’t even have football 50 years ago but has great program genetics now. I would define program genetics as the means to compete. That includes money (budgets), revenue generating capacity, state population, recruiting base, and donor support. On the top end of this spectrum would be the Florida Gators. In 2011 they’re athletic department spent $ 107,157,831. They also have a huge home state, fertile recruiting base, and major donor support. The opposite end of the genetic spectrum would be Mississippi State which spent $51,588,743 in 2011. MSU is from a small state, less prospects, and smaller amount of donors.
Plan for Success
Bodybuilders require a stringent plan that includes coaching and hard work. There is no substitute for hard work and working smart. Applying this aspect to football is easy. Any program must have not only a good coach but a good coach that is the correct fit for their program. They also must have the right plan in place for the program considering the other factors. I would argue that Nick Saban at Alabama is the example of the perfect mix of the correct plan being worked at with maximum exertion. The opposite would be Gene Chizik in his last year. His guys may have been working hard in practice but they weren’t working smart. He was trying to run the pro set with a spread quarterback. He had a bad plan for success which ultimately lead to his firing.
Every single competing bodybuilder cheats; all of them. It’s really a matter of how far are you willing to take it? The guy that barely qualifies for the Mr. Olympia does steroids. The guy that wins the Mr. Olympia does steroids, hgh, cutters, hardeners, diuretics, etc… Applying this to football is bit more subjective but similar enough. Everyone in the SEC cheats period. I don’t even blame the institutions as much as the rules but “it is what it is”. There is no way to monitor the $100 dollar and handshakes and other similar activities. These things are more of a required baseline. The high end which can take you to the big time faster is your pay-for-play, pay-for-visits, pay-for-signings, new cars, etc… There is a double edged sword here because the high end of cheating can help you win big but also has bad consequences.
Now let’s look at the different combinations of these factors and what you can most likely expect:
Good Genetics + Good Plan for Success + Good Cheating = If you’re a fan of these schools, congratulations. You’re probably playing for division and conference titles, playing in big time bowl games, and good chances you have won a national title in the last 15 years. This is rare air and only for the big boys. Must be nice. Roll Tide, Tigah Bait, Go Buckeyes, Gator Chomp, Boomer Sooner.
Good Gentics + Good Plan for Success = You guys are consistent winners. Nothing to be ashamed of here. You probably win with integrity and all that. Who needs national title when you do it the right way (cough cough)? Probably win in the 9-10 range yearly, play in good bowls, and occasionally challenge for a division or conference title. Enjoy your success. Go Gawga, Go Irish, Go Hogs (pre motorcycle wreck)
Good Plan for Success= Let’s face it. Your probably not good at cheating and your program genetics are dismal. But guess what? You have a good coach and you work hard and buy in. You keep our heads above water and fight the evil powers every Saturday and come up just a bit short most the time. Probably win in the 6-8 range yearly, play in bowls, and occasionally beat someone you’re not supposed to and get 9 wins. Hail State, Go Dores, Fighting Mike Leaches
Now let’s look at some fun ones:
Bad Genetics + Bad Plan for Success + Bad Cheating = I’m really sorry you have to be a fan of these kinds of schools. It’s probably miserable. You probably lose by large margins regularly, don’t go to bowls, and maybe win 3 games a year. Face it, you suck. Go Jayhawks, Go Fighting Illini, Go Golden Wave
Good Genetics + Bad Plan for Success + Good Cheating = Good lord this is frustrating! I mean, we’re winners and our roster is full of 5 stars!! I don’t know if I can take this! Fire _______ now!! Odds are you were an Auburn or Tennessee fan in 2012.