Bye weeks are great and very necessary through a tough grueling football season. As a football player you always love checking out the schedule as soon as its released. There are two things you always check for, who you're playing and when, so you know the tough part of the schedule, and second, when is that damn bye week.
Not every bye week is the same and you can really categorize them in two ways. There is a bye week after a win or a bye week after a loss. The bye week following a loss is not much fun because not only do you have two weeks to have that sour taste of losing in your mouth, but also your coaching staff is a lot harder on you during that week. The practices may be tougher and longer, you might not get as much rest as you thought you would, and you’re definitely going to hear stuff like “we’re going back to the drawing board” and “ we’re going back to the basics and fundamentals.” You know all that cliché stuff.
But with a bye week after a win you get a chance to relax and think about that win and the good stuff you did in the game. You also get the advantage of actually getting to focus on the things you want to improve on in your game for the rest of the season. During practice, your coaching staff takes it a little easier on you making sure you get the proper amount of rest and recovery.
There is also a chance for the coaching staff and players to get a leg up on the upcoming opponents for next week. The players also are given some time to get home earlier and do those extra homework assignments that you might've missed throughout the earlier part of the season. Not to mention, you get to catch up on some of the social activities that you’ve missed out on, because let's not forget we're talking about college students here.
Lucky enough for Oklahoma State, they are coming off a win although it took a fourth-quarter comeback for the Cowboys to squeak by against Iowa State. You know what they say, a win is a win, so they are going to get that extra rest and recuperation that is well deserved.
Also, it allows them and the coaching staff to get a head start on the next opponent, and that would be Kansas. The opportunity to watch some extra film, and see some extra reps in practice is never taken for granted. The players are also lucky that this bye week fell on the weekend of fall break and mid-terms so they get that extra time to study. They might even get a chance to go home if they live close enough to see family and friends.
For me, if I did get a chance to go home it was also a time to get re-energized and find that motivation that you sometimes receive when you see your loved ones and the inspiration you also get that reminds you why you’re going to school and playing ball. Although, most of the time I took that opportunity to relax on the weekends because a four-hour car ride was not relaxing in my opinion.
But in all seriousness, let’s get this straight, a bye week isn't really a bye week, it's more like a bye day. The reason I say that is you get the most recovery because you don't have to recover from playing a game that Saturday. Your body is fresh when you have to head to practice on Sunday and that next Tuesday and ready to take on the challenge of second half of the season.
It all adds up to a bye week is what most of you football fans think it is, a time to relax, recover, learn from your mistakes, catch up on some school work, and get ahead on the next week's opponents. Another thing that you might not think about though is it’s also is time for you to recover and take a break mentally. Get away, see family and friends, maybe even go partake in some normal college student activities and have some fun outside of the football facilities.