The Dye-Gest: On Seasons And Football

College Football Hall of Fame coach Pat Dye writes about why he enjoys living in the Southeast.

One of the great things about living in the Southeast, besides having the best college football in the nation, is the fact that we have four distinct seasons. And in this part of the country, football is a primary topic of discussion in at least three of them.

We have got fall when the games start, we have got recruiting season leading up to signing day in the middle of winter and then we have got spring practice.

While we do have some harsh, cold weather at times, for the most part kids in our region can get outside and compete in sports throughout the year. I think that is one of the reasons that the Southeast produces so many great football players and athletes in a variety of sports.

With the cold snap we had recently, with the temperature getting down in the low 20s, it reminded me of why I am thankful to live in this part of the country.

Certainly some cold weather is a good thing. If you are growing things like I love to do, whether you are living in the country like me growing trees or live in the city and growing trees and other things in your yard, the cold weather was a good thing because it has been so mild this winter that some of the trees and plants were trying to bud out and bloom too early. Spring will be here soon enough.

The fall of the year, with the great weather and football games, and the spring of the year with warming days and spring football practice are always exciting times for me. As a coach I loved getting out with the team in spring drills and watching it grow just like I do on my farm where I am growing azaleas, dogwoods, Japanese maples, hydrangeas and all those things we look forward to see blooming every year.

You know spring practice will be exciting in Auburn this year for the coaches and players because the Tigers have got two new coordinators. There will be some tweaks and changes, both offensively and defensively.

Some of the players we saw on the field last fall who were young will be a year older and more mature. As they grow as football players this spring we will see them step up and become better players and leaders when they take the field for games this year.

I never take living where I do for granted, especially after having coached at the University of Wyoming and living there for a year. I loved Wyoming but there is about six weeks of fall and about six weeks of spring. The summers are relatively nice, but the winters are absolutely brutal. They are long and dangerous because of the severe cold and blizzards.

I like what we have got here with the climate in Alabama and enjoy the changing of the seasons. Having four distinct seasons keeps you from getting bored.

By the time you are getting tired of cold weather, spring is here. Then you go into summertime and not long after everybody is talking about how hot it is September rolls around with the cool mornings and evenings as football games start. That is a great time of year and thinking about fall football reminds me how wonderful it is and how fortunate I have been to have lived in the states of Georgia and Alabama for most of my 72 years.

(If you have a question or a subject you would like me to write about in future columns, you can email it to

Editor's Note: This is part of a series of columns that College Football Hall of Fame member Pat Dye is writing for about the game he played and coached. An All-American player at Georgia and one of the top head coaches in SEC history at Auburn, he also served as a head coach at East Carolina and Wyoming. Dye participates in the Legends Poll, a Top 25 rating of the best teams in college football as determined by a panel of all-star former head coaches. Dye writes three columns for Dye-Log, the Dye-Gest and Pat's Picks.

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