Coaches often like how a marquee matchup in Week 1 will keep their players focused and motivated throughout the offseason. It’s natural to practice a little harder for a Power 5 foe than a directional school coming to town to pickup a big paycheck.
But what about the coaches themselves – how do they handle the offseason when game one is against a highly ranked opponent? In the case of USC coach Clay Helton, whose Trojans face Alabama in Dallas to open the season, it starts to dominate your thinking.
Helton says he thinks about Alabama every night until he falls asleep. “It’s all encompassing.”
— Reign of Troy (@ReignofTroy) August 5, 2016
It’s not surprising that facing Alabama is keeping Helton up at night. The Crimson Tide is the defending national champion, No. 1 in the preseason Coaches Poll and No. 1 in Saturday Down South’s SEC power rankings.
There’s also the fact that in the Nick Saban era, when Alabama has taken part in neutral site kickoff games against Power 5 foes, the Tide is 6-0.
Good luck catching any z’s, Coach Helton.
Source: Saturday Down South