The NCAA has a proposal that would penalize teams for playing fast. This is not a joke. In the recent years, football teams have been trying to use speed as an offensive tool. This upsets a lot of “traditional” programs that try to use power as a defensive tool. Lately, it has not favored these ‘Power Programs’ and they are complaining to the NCAA because they cannot stop the progress of an evolving football game.
The proposal in question, would allow defenses to substitute in the offense’s first 10 seconds of the play clock, in which the offense cannot snap the ball or they will receive a “Delay Of Game” penalty.
This is awkward and slightly infuriating, especially since UCLA would be one of the teams this rule affects.
Doing something that has so much tradition embedded in it, often makes it hard for people to see how it is evolving. Football will always be football, there is no doubt about that, but as time goes on, individuals will evolve the game and make it better.
Then there are those that are so wrapped up in their tradition, they will do anything to disrupt the evolution of the game. This could be said about a great many things in life, but for this piece, let us focus in on a few coaches with differing views on the matter.
In a piece from MrSEC.com, Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban shows his distaste for the evolved no-huddle offenses and uses the guise of “defensive player injuries” to make his case.
This is football. There will always be injuries, Coach Saban. The reason he is vocal against no-huddle/fast offenses is because he cannot stop it. If he cannot stop it, he cannot win. If he cannot win, then he will no longer be relevant. Now that is scary for a coach who bathes in relevance.
In ESPN’s Pac-12 Blog, Arizona Head Coach Rich Rodriguez summed it up best:
It’s a joke. It’s ridiculous, and what’s most ridiculous is did you see what the penalty is going to be called? Delay of game! That’s the ultimate rules committee decision. Make the game slower and call it delay of game. -Rich Rodriguez
Ridiculous indeed, Coach Rodriguez, because this affects his team as well as several other programs which have recently included this fast-paced style of football to their regimen. UCLA is one of them.
The Bruins play a “tempo offense”, simply put, they play a fast game. If this new rule were to take effect in the coming seasons, UCLA’s style of football will slow down.
That is not how the #BruinRevolution rolls.
Via LATimes.com, UCLA Offesnvie Coordinator Noel Mazzone also had something to say about the proposal.
Why don’t we just do away with the play clock and wait for the defense to say they’re ready? We could have the quarterback go over to the other team’s sideline and ask if it’s OK to snap the ball. –Noel Mazzone
UCLA is not as quick off the line as some of the super speedsters like Oregon, but a rule like this will force them to play a style of football that is not their own. That is where another problem could occur. Would this this be the NCAA telling teams how to play football?
That idea is not as crazy as it sounds. Nick Saban definitely has influence in college football, but does he have enough pull to actually make this happen?
That fact is, Saban The Great cannot figure out this style of football and it is driving him nuts. Sorry, sir, it is not personal, it is evolution. Hopefully the NCAA will figure that out as well and keep these propositions out of the rule books in the future.