Lincoln Riley is considered one of the most innovative play-callers in college football. And yet, his play sheet is no bigger than his hand, give or take.
Or is it?!
In today’s game, college offenses are more complicated than ever. They include a multitude of formations, multiple variations of each and every play, and significant strategy in terms of when to call what play when. That doesn’t even include the analytics element or the defense.
When you put all of those things together on a play sheet, it often looks more like a Waffle House menu. Take Lane Kiffin for example, although the size of his play sheet is not even as egregious as some of his FBS counterparts.
On the flip side, there are guys like Riley and Leach. Neither coach uses a laminated play sheet and neither coach’s play sheet is anywhere near the size of most other coaches.
But both coaches run two intricate, explosive offenses. So how does that work?!
The short answer is that it doesn’t. The long answer, which Riley recently explained, is that the small little play sheet that he and Leach carry on the sideline are actually much bigger than they appear at home. They’re folded up for convenience.
Here he is explaining the tiny play sheet in his own words:
At this point, Riley has it down to a science. He knows exactly where to go on his play sheet in every situation and never skips a beat trying to unfold and refold. And the same likely goes for Leach as well.
There you have it! One of college football’s biggest mysteries is not actually a mystery at all.