He discovered in prep school coaching that in order to achieve victory in any single game it is necessary that his players end up with punched cards showing a minimum of 60 percent correct technique and execution.
In practice and during games K.U. players, giving their all as the Mechanical Age came to the banks of the Kaw, are graded up to five points on technique and five on execution for every football fundamental. Under blocking technique, for example, Mather has 1) Stance; 2) Moving on the count; 3) Lunge to block; 4) Position to contact; and 5) Contact. Under blocking execution 1) Throw a block; 2) Good attempt; 3) Get some contact; 4) Run over opponent; 5) Take Two. Each type of block has a code number, as have the various types of running, faking, passing, receiving and tackling maneuvers.
Under line and backfield defensive actions there are 31 code numbers and an equal number of subdivisions. Bonus points, up to five, can be awarded for the degree and intensity with which a given play is carried out by the player.
Since the average game has about 150 plays, Mather uses about 150 cards for each player. This comes to about 1,650 index cards per game or, over a 10-game season, some 16,500 cards. He also uses 150 cards per game for scouting statistics. The end result of this bizarre system is a huge tabulation sheet in triplicate which provides the formula for Saturday's strategy, according to the gospel of mathematics.
And what has all this meant to good old K.U. this year? Read the scores: Texas Christian 27-K.U. 6; U.C.L.A. 32-K.U. 7; Colorado 27-K.U. 0; Iowa State 33-K.U.6; and Oklahoma 65-K.U. 0.
Pondering the world of cybernetics last week, Coach Mather said: "You gotta have football players to win."