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Urban: "We make rivalries a huge deal because we want players to take ownership in it"


When Chip Kelly was at Oregon his approach of treating every week the same, regardless of opponent, was well documented. To a lot of coaches it makes sense - try to keep everything consistent so you never play to the level of the opponent you're facing.

It's a popular approach that a lot of coaches have adopted.

However, when it comes to rivalries, and especially Michigan week, coaches that believe in Kelly's approach have a polar opposite in Urban Meyer.

"I've heard at other places that rivalry games are just another game, we don't take that approach here at all." Meyer explained yesterday.

"When you ask a player to come play for your school, or even a coach - I've got Chris Ash [a background at Wisconsin] and Larry Johnson [who spent 18 years at Penn State] - we explain that this is not just another game. You go back and have a little chat with Earl Bruce for six or seven minutes and this game is going to come up."

"That's the way that it is here, and that's the way that it should be."

"We make a huge deal over rivalry games because we want players to take ownership in it. This is not just another game, this is thee game. So it's different around here, and I want to have some fun with it, but I also want to have fun by singing the fight song in the locker room after a win."

Meyer's approach makes a lot of sense. If the rivalry game isn't treated any different, it's seems like it would be a lot harder to instill ownership among players in the outcome. It's an interesting approach.