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Rich Rodriguez not a fan of defensive substitute proposal

Rich Rodriguez AP

The NCAA’s Football Rules Committee made two proposals on Wednesday. The first seems to be universally applauded with a proposed amendment to the targeting rule that would eliminate a 15-yard penalty when an ejected player is ruled eligible to return to a game. The other proposal, focusing on defensive substitutions against up-tempo offenses, is not being received quite as well.

The proposal would allow for defenses to have 10 seconds to sub in players after each snap. The rule proposal is designed to have player safety in mind, not necessarily to slow down offenses. But that is just what it would help to do. Under the proposed rule, offenses would not be allowed to snap the football until the play clock hits 29 seconds. Any early snap would result in a five-yard delay of game penalty.

Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez does not seem too pleased with the proposal…

Arizona was seventh in the nation in plays per game last season, averaging 83.2 plays per game in 2013. The Wildcats had the same plays-per-game average in 2012 as well, Rodrigiez’s first season in Tucson. In 2011 there were seven teams averaging over 80 plays per game on offense. There were three in 2010. Last season there were 20 teams averaging 80 offensive snaps per game or more, and Texas Tech led the nation with 90.3 offensive plays per game. While player safety is a concern for defensive players that are tending to lag behind the tempo of the game, the NCAA has yet to reveal any medical or case studies suggesting players are more at risk because of the play style. Knowing this, offensive minded coaches like Rodruguez will certainly have some questions about the need for the proposed rule change. Rodriguez is not alone. Baylor head coach Art Briles is opposed to the proposal.

Add Washington State head coach Mike Leach to the mix.

Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze is also not in favor of the proposal.

Freeze has a point. An extra timing rule is bound to lead to confusion by the officials keeping track of the timing. Not only are they now to pay attention to the game clock and the play clock, enough of a hassle as it is at times, the refs must now look to enforce an extra 10-second rule to allow for substitutions.

This is just a small smaple size of course, and those opinions and reactions that have been reported all come from coaches who benefit and operate on a quick-tempo offensive style. The world awaits the opinion of a guy like Alabama head coach Nick Saban.

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16 Responses to “Rich Rodriguez not a fan of defensive substitute proposal”
  1. Brian Basher says: Feb 12, 2014 7:13 PM

    Excuse me Kevin, but what exactly is a five-minute delay of game penalty? I’ve never heard of that before? Does that mean they are going to add five minutes to the game or subtract five minutes from the game for every early snap?

  2. morrellfsu says: Feb 12, 2014 7:30 PM

    What if a team is trailing late in a game and is trying to run a hurry up offense to score or get into FG range?

    I assume they’ll have to make it ok in the final 2:00-3:00

    This is something that really shouldn’t be touched.

  3. Deb says: Feb 12, 2014 8:46 PM

    The fewer rules the better, as far as I’m concerned. And I tend to agree with the majority on this one. But given how many rules these days benefit the offense at the expense of the defense, it’s amusing to see a guy like Rodriquez throw a tweeting hissy fit the first time it appears the offense may be inconvenienced. Leach is right–doubt it will pass.

  4. tmb333 says: Feb 12, 2014 8:59 PM

    Assuming the offense has no time outs remaining, if the clock is running and the play ends with 10 seconds to go in the game, the game is over? Silly.

    The rule they should be considering is a rule regarding injuries. If the game is stopped due to injury, the player must leave the field and may not return until there is a change of possession. This gives medical staff plenty of time to evaluate injuries and penalizes teams that fake injuries to slow down the game. They should also rule a player out for the game if the game is stopped twice for his injury. Example, #35 gets hurt in the first quarter, he is out until possession changes. #35 gets hurt in the second quarter, he is out for the remainder of the game.

  5. dmvtransplant says: Feb 12, 2014 9:30 PM

    Baylor, Arizona and WSU none of them play defense so why are they so up in arms about it?

  6. Kevin McGuire says: Feb 12, 2014 10:27 PM

    Ha, five-minute penalty. You’d think I was watching a hockey game while writin this or something. I was probably talking about hockey at the moment.

  7. normtide says: Feb 13, 2014 12:29 AM

    I prefer a balanced football system. That’s why I don’t watch much NFL or arena league. I don’t know if this is the answer, but I really hope college doesn’t follow the NFL’s offense only model. It’s a fad concept, just like the arena league, who, by the way, fell apart.

    It may be a player safety issue. If so, it should be addressed. The downside now is when a player is hurt and fans boo. That really needs to stop. The worst part, it’s been the hurry up teams that have been caught faking injuries.

  8. steeler1nation says: Feb 13, 2014 1:31 AM

    This proposed rule is a SISSY rule. Who thought of this — Obama and Holder?


  9. tg1896 says: Feb 13, 2014 6:37 AM

    Player safety….what a crock of crap.

    Poor old Nick. Trying to ram through a rule for his 400 lb. defensive linemen. Don’t look now Mr. Saban, but your skirt is showing.

  10. dchambers144 says: Feb 13, 2014 6:56 AM

    A 5 yard delay of game penalty for moving too fast. That makes sense… I wouldn’t be surprised to see Goddell and the NFL try something similar to stretch out the games even more. You’ve got to cater to the all mighty advertising dollars.

  11. th56 says: Feb 13, 2014 2:25 PM

    I agree, playing fast to should be a penalty. Maybe they also need to weigh down the football, because WRs are getting to hard to cover and QBs are throwing too far, or maybe a penalty if the QB releases the ball too fast, and what’s this running around players, why is that allowed? You can’t expect a 350 lb lineman to keep up with these guys, it’s just not fair. They need to simplify the game and get it back to the basics. Everyone should be able to line up, catch there breath and go at it straight on like a Civil War battle.

  12. 8to80texansblog says: Feb 13, 2014 3:31 PM

    This may be one of the worst ideas I’ve seen in a while….

    There is absolutely no way this passes. And what player safety precedent are they basing this on…. defensive players being tired?

  13. mjmend4 says: Feb 13, 2014 7:50 PM

    Normtide, NFL is an offense only league? Pretty sure the number 1 offense just got stomped by the number 1 defense in the super bowl.

  14. normtide says: Feb 13, 2014 9:30 PM

    Yes, and they were given time to prepare. All the offensive records are being rewritten. Yearly. It’s a different narrative, but reminds me of the offensive records in baseball during the steroid era. The Seahawks have a huge advantage, they have an elite qb making less than a million a year. Once that price jumps to 15 mill plus, cuts will have to be made to the defense. The balance in the NFL is gone, anyone can see that. On Feb 13, 2014 6:50 PM, “CollegeFootballTalk” wrote:

    > mjmend4 commented: “Normtide, NFL is an offense only league? Pretty > sure the number 1 offense just got stomped by the number 1 defense in the > super bowl.”

  15. mjmend4 says: Feb 14, 2014 6:06 PM

    If the balance was gone teams like steelers, giants, ravens, and Seahawks wouldn’t be winning super bowls. Your statement is completely untrue..

  16. normtide says: Feb 15, 2014 10:13 AM

    Those teams play defense, true. But they all have great qb’s too. The days of qb’s like Trent Dilfer riding a strong defense is over. It doesn’t matter how great your defense is, if you don’t have a top level qb, you can’t win in the playoffs. Look at K.C.. All pros on both sides of the ball, but just a decent qb. Look at the Colts, not much talent but a great qb. Look at the patriots, all they really have is an elite qb. That’s all it really takes in the NFL. We could go through every team, qb play pretty much determines how good they are. The giants roster hasn’t changed that much, but Eli played like crap. Do the research, it’s a qb league.

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