Does Saban run the world, or just college football?

If you were king of the world, you’d smile, too. (Gerald Herbert/AP)

If you were king of the world, you'd smile, too. (Gerald Herbert/AP)

If you were king of the world, you’d smile, too. (Gerald Herbert/AP)

We’re about to see if Nick Saban really does run college football. (You know, the way Mike Krzyzewski, who like Saban has four national championships, runs college basketball.) Ralph D. Russo of the Associated Press reports that King Crimson — along with Arkansas coach Bret Bielema — “voiced their concerns about the effects of up-tempo, no-huddle offenses on player safety to the NCAA committee that passed a proposal to slow down those attacks.”

The AP also quoted NCAA coordinator of officials Rogers Redding — who used to be the SEC’s coordinator of officials; the SEC office is based in, er, Alabama — as saying: “Coach Saban asked for the opportunity to meet with the committee and talk about this. It’s not routine, but it’s not unique, either.”

The NCAA rules committee passed a proposal Wednesday that a rule be implemented that would allow defenses to substitute over the first 10 seconds of the 40-second play clock and would penalize any offense that snaps the ball before the play clock reaches 29 seconds for delay of game. (Quicker snaps would be allowed in the final two minutes of the first half and the final five of the second.)

As has been voluminously noted, Saban’s Alabama suffered its first loss in more than a calendar year when it was beaten by Auburn, one of those hurry-up crews, on Nov. 30, 2013. (Then again, if Bama hadn’t itself been in a hurry to try a 57-yard field goal on the game’s final play, it might have won in overtime.) But this rage against the hurriers has been boiling up in Saban, a defensive man by trade, for a while.

According to Andrew Solomon of Al.com, Saban spoke out against the hurryin’ in October 2012, after Alabama played go-faster Ole Miss, which would lead the SEC in plays per game in 2013. He mentioned his concern for player safety. He also said: “I just think there has to be some sense of fairness in terms of asking, ‘Is this what we want the game to be?’ ”

And now he has made his pitch to the rules committee, which has passed its goofy proposal — again we note the incongruity of a team trying its hardest not to dally being called for delay — along to the playing rules oversight panel, which convenes March 6, for final approval. (Noted the AP: “Redding said it’s not a rubber-stamp panel, but more often than not it approves proposals.”)

Reaction from the hurry-up coaches, of which there are many, has been incredulous. This from Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy, to whom incredulity comes easy:

Yes, there’s raging self-interest all around. The hurriers want nothing to halt their hurryin’. The older-school guys want their players to have the chance to compose themselves and align themselves properly. But that part about safety is a fairly thin limb. Here’s AP again: “Redding said the proposal was not made based on a study of data. ‘I can’t say there is hard physical evidence,’ he said. ‘It’s more common sense.’ ”

Actually, it’s a case of the game’s most powerful coach seeking to exercise his imperial power to regain a competitive advantage. Given a chance to read and react, Alabama’s defense is apt to win on most plays. Pare the read/react time and it’s a closer call. Put simply, the coach who almost always gets his way wants to get it again.

This is not, it must be noted, anything new. Duke’s Krzyzewski has essentially ruled the ACC for years, and before him North Carolina’s Dean Smith did. (When Krzyzewski was still relatively new at Duke, he famously raged against the “double standard” — meaning ragingly pro-Carolina officiating–  that existed in that league. How times change, huh?)

In his autobiography, the late Jim Valvano reported that lesser ACC coaches would seek to tweak El Deano wherever they could. When assessing officiating at their summer meeting, Valvano wrote, the other coaches would take note if Smith praised a given referee — and then they’d vote to blackball him. Heh, heh.

Reader Comments 3

345 comments
osu84
osu84

Alabama is the premier program in the country and Saban is one of the best coaches ever.  But this rules change is absurd.  It's about one guy trying to regain a competitive advantage that he lost.  Nick, you are a smart guy.  Smart people innovate - they don't run to the Rules Committee to regain an advantage.  This beneath you. 

LEE3333
LEE3333

New Rule:  The offense must line up and yell "YA'LL READY NOW?" before snapping the football.  ROFL. 

LEE3333
LEE3333

There is a comparison to this type of rule's application in another sport.  In basketball, this would be just like telling the team in possession of the ball that they cannot shoot the ball during the first ten seconds of the shot clock, thereby allowing the opposing team to get in their defensive set and prevent them from having to run and thereby increasing the chances of player injury.  Its bull in either application.

MaybeMaybeNot
MaybeMaybeNot

@LEE3333 Yup, the comparison is actually fast breaking in basketball off of a rebound should be outlawed.   Ya know, it can cause more injuries if the defense has to turn fast and run down the court.

DavidGood
DavidGood

TideDawg! Really! It's blatantly obvious which side of the fence you fall on given your opinion and tag! Those who have all want to keep all and get more! Do note the fact that they ARE changing the rule for one KING Saban! Although some of the points you make have some credence they are nothing more than a smoke screen to (try to) cover your true Alabama colors. I'm more of a proponent to not allowing teams to "kill" the last few minutes of a game with a clock, speed the clock to the 20 seconds you recommend in that stage of he game. Nick would never agree to that!

TideDawg
TideDawg

@DavidGood My! My! You're guessing!!!! I'm not in favor of any one man, one team, or one conference making the decisions that affect the rest of college football. I like it the way it is. Who would care what Nick agrees to or doesn't agree to. If you think Ala. can't or won't adjust to the "hurry up", you're delusional. I expect to see many teams next year running the "hurry up" if the rules are not modified. It's not unique to Auburn, they just adopted someone else's idea and made it work. Good for them! I'm sure if you are a sports fan you remember the four corners offense in  basketball used to stall and kill the clock. What did they do to prevent that? The rule was passed to implement a shot clock. One man didn't have it changed it was changed to protect the game. Rules will change with football if it is deemed necessary.


My guess is you're an Auburn fan because of your obvious hate for Ala. or anything associated with Ala. Whether you are or not, I couldn't care less. Don't let it consume you my fellow blogger....it's only a game played by boys and you are acting like one. 

TideDawg
TideDawg

Saban: Losers hate him, winners respect him, and others just want to take the opposite side of a debate. So goes the big debate over the "hurry up offenses". Saban is only one coach speaking his mind about a subject. Will the NCAA change or adjust the rules about not giving a defense time to substitute?? Maybe! But not because of Saban. They will change the rules because someone came up with the "hurry up" offense. Giving an unfair advantage to either defense or offense is not in the best interest of the game. In a game where two offenses put up 90 - 100 points, combined, how many times is the clock stopped for first downs? Does that speed up the game? And, it could be years before the injury question is answered. The rules say the offense has 40 seconds to put the ball in play and you want the defense to only have 10-15 seconds to get ready for the next play. OK, in fairness to the defense, change the rule so that the offense only has 20 seconds to put the ball in play. Let's make everybody hurry. Why give the advantage to the offense. Now you scream "That's not fair" to the offense. Uh Huh!! That's not fair, sounds familiar. In the last 2 minutes of a game, the team with the lead and the ball, under present rules, can run 120 seconds off the clock and never gain a yard. The offense already has the advantage with present rules.


I'm not for or against the "hurry up". Defenses will eventually adjust and all will be quiet on the battle front until somebody comes up with something new, and controversial.

LEE3333
LEE3333

@TideDawg And all of that doesn't matter due to the fact that this "rule" will never be passed.

ZBIRD
ZBIRD

Desperate times call for desperate measures...

AlternativeDawg
AlternativeDawg

Here is my take on this whole thing...

SABAN HAS A MANGINA! SABAN HAS A MANGINA!

ColumbusDawg
ColumbusDawg

Gallman, I guess you must be an Auburn idiot that has always supported the War Eagles in anything it has ever taken for your cheating P.O.S. program to get an edge. from Scam Newton to Pat Dye's willingness to pay players, oh, and Terry Bowden's non willingness. Your program is a joke, and rule change or not the tiggers are in for a butt whipping in Athens this year. I know for a fact that you do NOT think that is going to happen, and that is what will make it so sweet. Your THIEF QB will have his azz handed to him this time around.

MaybeMaybeNot
MaybeMaybeNot

@ColumbusDawg A joke?  Which team has 2 starting safeties that don't know that on 4th and long with 28 seconds left in a game, that you don't go for an interception but you should bat the ball down?

JohnGallman
JohnGallman

Bullpuppies and bammers are scared! 

JohnGallman
JohnGallman

@ColumbusDawg-Hahaha-you are a moron.

ColumbusDawg
ColumbusDawg

gtcaryd, I did not say "teams using the HUNH are cheating", I said AUBURN is using it to cheat. Having linemen and receivers looking for blocks downfield in the manner they have used in 2013 is ILLEGAL. They are snapping the ball before the chains are even set. The officials called into question said "Nothing was done illegally" on play versus Bama because they were not called on it at the time. Review of game tape clearly show illegal downfield blocking, and Marshall is beyond LOS when ball was released. This is because they clearly MISSED the call, and are not going to admit their usual stupidity and incompetence. Auburn wants to snap ball before opposing D can get set in order to give the thief Marshall a step ahead, and the OL can pull at moment before defenders can get in position. My point is either the officials do NOT let ball snap before the officials are ready to examine play. Right now Malzahn is not breaking rules only rubbing HARD up against them. It is the fact that he must do said rubbing to have an edge is what is chickensh#%, just like everything Auburn does and always has done.

LEE3333
LEE3333

@ColumbusDawg WRONG!  A defense uses shifts and movement and its called exotic.  An offense uses the same after the snap and you call it cheating.  Just because you have not seen the formation or the formation shifts and pulls, does not render the play illegal.  How many officials have watched exactly what you are complaining about and have found them to be legal?  Every official in the SEC and more.  Your envy of Auburn is noted.  Would you prefer the offense lined up and then yelled "YA'LL READY?" before snapping the football?

JackColl
JackColl

@ColumbusDawg LMAO!  Butt hurt?  Marshall was not over the line on the throw...get a grip.

ColumbusDawg
ColumbusDawg

To say that "This is the way college football is being played these days" is not accurate. There are a handful of teams playing this way. Auburn runs an illegal downfield blocking scheme that David Pollack called out. If they can snap the ball before the chains are set and the officials are in position to see and call penalty on said illegal blocking schemes then Auburn is in good shape. Malzahn is a frigging joke, and so is his illegal offense. This is the REAL reason that Auburn wants to snap so quickly. Either the NCAA and SEC need to get some younger, smarter, less blind officials that can be athletic enough to be on top of the game at hand, or at minimum change rule so that the current, old, blind idiot officials can keep up. Take your pick.

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@ColumbusDawg So these teams using HUNH are cheating and your answer is younger faster refs? Good Grief!

JackColl
JackColl

@ColumbusDawg Anyone who beats UGA cheats.  Wow...we can go through an entire season as one of the least penalized teams in the SEC but we cheat in every game and the SEC officials allow us to cheat?  When you look up delusional in the dictionary, it has your picture next to it.

50Concept
50Concept

they need to change the rules---alabama can't run their regular defense with this hurry up stuff and it's not fair.

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@ScatMan I think its brilliant, it took Bama's depth chart out of the mix.

BobChappelear
BobChappelear

@ScatMan It's fair.  Trying to change the rules is a reaction to being unable to stop the HUNH.  Get your team in shape and play the game.

SECFactFinder
SECFactFinder

Yes! Saban does run college football and some just hate it!

LOL!

JeffMoney
JeffMoney

As Clint Eastwood said it "You adapt, you overcome". That is what these cry babies need to do about the fast paced offense. It's the way college football is being played these days. There is no evidence that I have seen to suggest that the hurry up offense leads to injuries. The offense is out there with the same players during their time with the ball and you don't see them getting injured. Stop crying Saban.

MaybeMaybeNot
MaybeMaybeNot

Malcolm Mitchell got hurt dancing in the end zone with his teammate.


Not because of any hurry up offense. 

AlternativeDawg
AlternativeDawg

Don't let facts about cheating get in the way of being proud of championships bAma. I guess it helps curb spouse abuse in the state.

JacketMan
JacketMan

People tend to forget Alabama also lost to Texas A&M's fast-pass offense as well as Oklahoma's besides Auburn's, so I don't think it's a coincidence he's finding faullt with this style of play as it seems to be the only offense his defense has had problems with.

His "suggestions" that a fast pace offense leads to more injuries was made without any statistics, to the best of my knowledge, so it basically sounds like Saben is just looking for a way to get new players on the field to better match up against the offense (probably based on the down and distance), or to give the players on the field a breather because they are just physically tired from playing so quickly and not being used to it.

Saben is looking to get HIS edge back, and no one should blame him for trying.

AlternativeDawg
AlternativeDawg

Can other coaches ask to get their edge back by having the NCAA start cracking down on bama illegal recuiting?

MM2
MM2

Where's your proof Anal Dawg?

AlternativeDawg
AlternativeDawg

We got another bama brainiac here! Probably never graduated...or attended....or been on campus but his truck and wedding album scream Rawl Tahd!

kicksix
kicksix

saban wins nc's because he gets by with breaking ncaa rules.  His friend is head of the ncaa.  No other college could get by with what he does. If any other college had a suit store and all the other things that he gets by with they could win nc's.  He is opposite from how is comes across in the news and sports.  He has lots of people fooled including the sports media.

KeepOnSmilingWetWillie
KeepOnSmilingWetWillie

coming a fan of the most corrupt football program going your comments mean zero. He has 4 NC rings sport and you have two in 75 years. Continue with your penis envy for you have many friends on this site. Your own DC says the HUNH is ruining football but you're such a fecking hypocrite you ignore what Ellis has to say but wish to bast Nick Saban for the truth. Well the rule will get changed in some form so prepare your behind.

HarveyPooka
HarveyPooka

Neither.   He "runs" nothing, but his own program - which is mostly creditable to the assistants he has assembled, so give him credit for hiring and managerial skills.  It is the assistants and the recruiters that do the real work, then UA reputation, then head coach to smooze the parents and close the deal.

KeepOnSmilingWetWillie
KeepOnSmilingWetWillie

Ellis Johnson DC and FAU when he was at USCe...speaking about the belove HUNH you good folks are bashing Nick Saban over.

What it's about now is who can snap the football before the other team lines up.  You can’t hardly get your players on and off the field.  You can’t get your signals in and out.  It’s become who has the best signal system or verbiage system. “

“Frankly, I don’t know what that proves except someone has a better verbiage package.  It’s not about blocking, tackling, running, route running, throwing, and so forth. It’s something the college football world needs to look at.”

“It sounds like sour grapes right now, but there is not a balanced playing field.  The chalk is always in one person’s hand.  That’s what has made it the most difficult in the last several years in the world of college football coaching.”

AlternativeDawg
AlternativeDawg

Did Johnson run crying to his buddy saying that rules need to change as paying players is just not enough anymore to win titles and thus make up for his and his fan bases small willies?

I didn't think so sport.

Btw.... Saban has a mangina! Saban has a mangina!

zuzu331
zuzu331

@KeepOnSmilingWetWillie Willie my man,your NCAA post was neither PC nor TLC,now run on down to the TOC and then take the MREs to the FOB-PDQ!

Intruder
Intruder

In three games, without any semblance of a defense, Richt is 1-2 vs Saban/Smart, and Georgia has scored 26,30, and 28 against the great Kirby Smart (Georgia was outscored 96-84 in the three games). Now what if Pruitt is the real deal and they meet for the SEC title next year? Interesting.

KeepOnSmilingWetWillie
KeepOnSmilingWetWillie

so we assume Alabama will not get better on defense and Georgia will?

1980...now that is interesting

TampGator1
TampGator1

Wet.....


OSU has won a lot of fames under their current coach, as well as conference championships and bowl games....and that winning coach and program clearly disagrees with the might King Saban. 

KeepOnSmilingWetWillie
KeepOnSmilingWetWillie

everytime it was time for Gundy to standup he took a seat at OSU and that is documented such as 2013! Spare the Mike Gundy B/S.

Go ask Will if he will vote on the change to give the defense 10 seconds to sub!  If you Saban hates think the HUNH is so dayum great (other than just hating Nick Saban) then you all should be ok with the move to 25 seconds instead of 40. I think you just hate Nick that much but that is fine. If my team hadn't won anything in 30 years I would feel the same if a school nextdoor to me was cleaning up with trophies. But again that is just me.

TampGator1
TampGator1

Wet....


Florida is hardly a "suckazz" program, but they did have a horrible year last year.  But I have noticed that you tend to call people "sport" when you begin to lose your argument or someone disagrees with you.....as well as trying to demean another program.  But this isn't about Florida's program is it?  But Florida will run a hurry up offense next year under Roper.....if SABAN WILL LET THEM. 

AlternativeDawg
AlternativeDawg

This post is so awesome. Only doosher and 1950s sitcom dad's use sport.

TideDawg
TideDawg

@TampGator1 I'm disappointed in you. All of your creditability is lost when you make a comment like "IF SABAN WILL LET THEM". A loser's comments! The only thing you should be worried about is whether the injuries to your team caused them to have a horrible season or if it was the coaching. Can you live through another season like that? I don't think the "hurry up" is going to solve the problems if it was coaching. Florida is an elite program in the SEC but elite programs are brought down by poor coaching. Like I mentioned....was it the injuries or the coaching.

Trackbacks

  1. […] A followup: Does Nick Saban run the world, or just college football? […]

  2. […] The NCAA rules committee passed a proposal Wednesday that a rule be implemented that would allow defenses to substitute over the first 10 seconds of the 40-second play clock and would penalize any offense that snaps the ball before the play clock reaches 29 seconds for delay of game. (Quicker snaps would be allowed in the final two minutes of the first half and the final five of the second.) According to Andrew Solomon of Al.com, Saban spoke out against the hurryin’ in October 2012, after Alabama played go-faster Ole Miss, which would lead the SEC in plays per game in 2013. He mentioned his concern for player safety. He also said: “I just think there has to be some sense of fairness in terms of asking, ‘Is this what we want the game to be?’ “ [More] […]

  3. […] answer the question posed not so long ago in this space: It would appear Alabama coach Nick Saban does not — repeat, does not — run college […]