“It was never about, ooh, man, I want it to be the first game,” Smart said. “A lot of people say your opening game affects your offseason workouts. I don’t disagree with that, but I also don’t think we’re going to work out any less or any less intense regardless of who we’re playing…”
Murray, now an analyst for CBS, does disagree with Smart about big openers as motivation.
“It was so much easier for me those two seasons to get guys to show up for workouts,” Murray said. “Some of the time being able to tell those guys, ‘Hey you don’t want to get embarrassed Week 1 by Clemson, you don’t want to get embarrassed Week 1 by Boise State.’”
Human nature being what it is, I tend to side with Murray’s take. Few things focus a young mind like avoiding potential embarrassment. What say y’all?