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September 13, 1970 - Image 16

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-09-13
Note:
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Page Eight

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Sunday, September 13, 1970.

Sunday, September 13, 1970

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Film looms large as scouting technique

INTERVIEWING ANSON MOUNT

By JERRY CLARKE
"Know your enemy" has long been a byword in
military circles, w h e r e tacticians study an enemy's
nmoves, trying to discern the pattern of action. The ex-
pression also hag taken on an increased meaning in-
college football, where it is necessary for a coaching.
staff to have access to vast amounts of information on
upcoming opponents.
As the game of football has evolved, scouting tech-
niques have also improved. Today, the primary tool is
the film, which Michigan assistant coach Larry Smith
credits with "really changing football in the last ten
years."
Films, according to Smith, make it -possible for a
staff to discover tendencies in an opponent's offense or
defense. Aside from the obvious tendencies for a team
to run a certain play on a certain down with a certain
distance to go, the coaches can also learn formation
patterns.
The coaches are also able to determine whether an
opponent tends to run its plays toward the sidelines or
to the middle of the field, and what type of defense

they employ. With the repetitious viewing of the film,
they can pick-out many details they overlooked prev-
iously. The players themselves watch films at least once
a day, trying to learn all they can about the player-they
must play opposite of.
Teams will trade films with an pponent in large
numbers. For last year's Rose Bowl game, Michigan and
Southern California traded all ten films of the season.
Emphasis is placed on more recent films, and Sat-
urday films are expected at the next opponent's school
by Sunday. If a film of the next opponent does not
reach Michigan by early Monday, Smith says things
get "pretty tense."
But film is not the only scouting method available.
In the Big Ten, teams are allowed to send either one
person to each of two games of an upcoming opponent,
or two people to one game. Wolverine head coach Bo
Schembechler likes having people at the games because
they can pick up things that cannot be seen in the
films.
An example is how a team reacts as the tempo of
the game changes. Does the crowd have an effect? Do
ix

they fold under pressure? These things cannot be de-
termined without having someone at the game.
Another advantage of sending a scout is the loose
information he can pick up. Listening to reporters in
the press box and at press parties can give the- scout
information on injuries that are healing slowly, trouble
spots on a team, and attitudes which can play an im-
portant role in a game.
One of the most difficult jobs in scouting is find-
ing out about a new opponent at the start of the sea-
son. Michigan finds itself in that position this fall, as
it faces Arizona in the opening game. To obtain the
needed data, the coaching staff contacted all of the
Wildcats' opponents of last year,. and Schembechler
and another member of the staff attended their spring
game.
Texas A&M, the Wolverines' third opponent, is also
a new face, but by the time the Aggies come to Ann Ar-
bor, they will have played three times, including games
against Louisiana State and Ohio State, both on the
road. An idea of their capabilities should be obtained
by then.

Tender

is

the-

teleph a

AN ENJOYABLE

':199

FOOTBALL WEEKEND

TAKES MORE

THAN

By BILL ALTERMAN
Gently I caressed the sleek
black handle. Temptingly I in-
serted my finger .into the evenly
spaced holes. Smoothly I spun
the dial till I had reached my
objective. "Hello," 'a firm voice
answered.
Ab. I had found the pleasure
that exceeds all other physical
ecstasies in life. I was in voice
communication with A n s o n
Mount, Playboy's ,own impas-
sioned football forecaster.
Actually, those weren't exact-
ly the thoughts I had when I
called him in his Chicago head-
quarters. It is however some-
thing one of Hugh Hefner's
fiction writers might come up
with. Mount himself begins this
year's prognostication with the
admission that "College foot-
ball, like nany other verities of
our times, is changing."
Mount has changed too. Four-
teen yearshago when Hefner was
just starting the magazine
which would lead him to fame
(and money), his staff number-
ed a mere fourteen. Mount's
only credentials for the job
of prognosticator was a love of
the game, but that was enough
and despite the magazine's
growth in employment, Mount
still sits down each May to
prepare his predictions for the
upcoming college season.
EACH APRIL, however, he
sends out a questionaire to the
Sports Information directors of
the various top grid colleges.
As spring practices come to an
end, the questionaires find their
way back to Mount's office
where he carefully scrutinizes
up to 250,000 words in h i s
search for the grid truths be-
fore his June 1 deadline.
When he's not interviewing a
coach and worrying about foot-
ball, he might very well be put-
ting together a piece on a theol-
ogian. He edited the last story

Martin Luther King wrote for
the magazine and once inter-
viewed the late Bishop James.
Pike.
Still, it is his predictions that
have made him famous. And no
wonder, for according to one
survey, four -times in the last
eight years he was the No .1
pre-season forecaster.
This year Mount picked'
Southern California to be first
with Michigan close behind in
fourth. He admits, however,
that in May he can only ac-
cumulate 60 per cent of the
factors that will eventually
lead to a team's success.
"I RATE A TEAM on ex-
perience, depth, quality of depth,
expertise, strength, arrangement
of schedule, and the balance be-
tween the offense and defense.
The other 40 per cent, however,
is not predictable. This includes
weather,game breaks, injuries,
and, more- than anything else,
attitudinal factors.
"Football isn't logical."
This year's predictions allot
one loss to each of the five top
teams. "It's been years since
I predicted a team to go unde-
feated. Last time was Oklahoma
when the Big Eight was full of
'Old Ladies.' Today, the teams
are much better balanced. The
Big Eight is now the best con-
ference around. Then comes the
Southeast Conference and the
Pacific Eight."
Oddly enough, he invented
the name "Pacific Eight."
"When the league reformed
several years back I thought the
name they used (Athletic Asso-
ciation of Western Universities),
was absurd so I just called it the
Pacific Eight."
MOUNT PUTS the Big Ten
the fourth best conference and
lays this to the conference's own
strict rules, specifically their
ban on the practice of red-shirt-

ing. (Red-shirting is the prac-
tice whereby a player, usually a
sophomore, is considered ineli-
gible to play. Thus a player who
stays in school for five years
can play his last three years,
the limit to which he is allow-
ed. The name comes from the
red shirts they used to wear
during practice.)
"Sone schools," Mount claims,
"with 40-50 players, may have
only one genuine sophomore.
This enables a team to have
one-third more players on
scholarships.

cator does not pity the Michigan
football team for their lack of
cheerleaders from the opposite
sex. "I would prefer female
cheerleaders but it doesn't
make that much difference. It's
purely an esthetic attraction but-
I'm all for it - now watch me
get in trouble with the Women's
Lib organization."
He also doesn't see ally cor-
relation between the presence
of coeds on campus and t h e
number of touchdowns rung up
but did admit it might be a re-
cruiting factor. "Is a guy going

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"Is a guy going to prefer Notre Dame and
the bland Indiana countryside or USC, which
probably has more girls per square yard than
any other place in the country?"

A SEA T ON THE 50!.

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"At some schools you can't
even be sure how many schol-
arships they allow. And at some
places you'll find rich oil mil-
lionaires who develop friend-
ships with the fathers of top
athletic prospects. These dads
end up somewhere in the cor-
porations of wealthy alumni
while their sons don't have to
be on scholarships."
Big Ten academic standards
also bar some top notch pros-
pects. "A prominent player,"
Mount asserts, "who will go very
high in the draft has thirty
credit hours for 'Shoe Repair'."
The team Mount picked for
first, USC, has only 20-23 foot-
ball scholarships. "But they get
who they want," he says. "After
all, how many people want to
trudge in the snow in East Lan-
sing when they can be in Los
Angeles."
DESPITE PLAYBOY'S' u n -
usual interest in the area of
females, their pigskin prognosti-

Face it, guys want to be where
they can socialize with- the op-
posite sex."
In addition to making sure
their charges are sexually con-
tent, universities are now faced
with the prospect of players
with a social conscience, Mount
says. Last year several teams
had some dissension involving

to prefer Notre Dame and the
bland Indiana countryside or
USC, which probably has more
girls per square yard than any
other place in the country?

i

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