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Chris Petersen comes out against the ‘Saban Rule’

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Washington’s Chris Petersen is the latest head coach to come out against the so-called ‘Saban Rule’, a proposal currently being mulled by the NCAA Rules Committee that intends to limit the effectiveness of up-tempo offenses.

“I don’t agree with it at all,” Petersen said in an interview with Portland’s 1080 The Fan Travis & Wilcox show. “I don’t think they ought to implement it. I think people are talking about the injury situation, but nobody’s seen any documentation.

“We’ve been both. Last year, we were no-huddle at Boise and the year before we were back and forth. We’ve always dabbled in a little bit of both. And even if we were a huddle-up team the whole time I still wouldn’t agree with it. I think that hurts the game. I think that handcuffs it. I think one of the beautiful things about college football is all the diversity of the different styles, the different tempos, the different everything. I will say this: It is hard being a defensive coordinator in college football because you’re going to see it all, and I think this is one of the rules that is trying to limit some of that diversity.”

Based on the number of prominent coaches chiming in on the matter, it looks like the proposal is going to have a hard time surviving before it is scheduled to go before the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel on March 6.

As Petersen said, this is a good thing. College football — and to some extent high school football — is where most of the sport’s innovation takes place. The last thing we need is for college football to turn into a vanilla-like, less-interesting version of itself.

That’s what the NFL is for.

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15 Responses to “Chris Petersen comes out against the ‘Saban Rule’”
  1. kdbroom says: Feb 24, 2014 8:07 PM

    Way to go, Coach Petersen.

  2. suprmous says: Feb 24, 2014 8:09 PM

    Is this goin to ever end and give anybody peace of mind or is it goin to be like the World turnin on and on and on? Geesh, I’d think if this much confusion was goin to be caused I would’ve kept my opinions and my mouth shut, hint hint Saban. But you bein who you are you just can’t do it sooooooo you’ll have to take the heat and never escape the kitchen. Lots of luck on explainin your life away or what may end up bein what’s left of it.

  3. wgward says: Feb 24, 2014 8:42 PM

    Thank you, Chris Petersen.

    Good article.

  4. lbijake says: Feb 24, 2014 9:50 PM

    Gotta love the name “Saban Rule”. That has to hurt Nick’s feelings that he got found out.

  5. timh1955 says: Feb 24, 2014 11:25 PM

    Petersen has played a high school/technical college schedule for 99% of his coaching career which doesn’t make him an authority on anything other than how to play a joke of a schedule 99% of the time.

  6. amosalanzostagg says: Feb 25, 2014 12:00 AM


    Is OU a high school or a technical college?

    Either way you play who you schedule and recruit to what you have in your current situation.

    Saban and Curly are wrong in pressing for this rule.

    You learn to recruit AND Coach to defeat the up tempo.


  7. timh1955 says: Feb 25, 2014 12:56 AM


    I said 99% of the time they played a joke of a schedule. Also, the OU game was seven years ago. Lets talk about the other teams BSU played and the conference they play in.

  8. balfe13 says: Feb 25, 2014 3:55 AM

    Or let’s not. Since, you know, he coaches at UW now.

  9. amosalanzostagg says: Feb 25, 2014 8:59 AM


    So? Saban started at Toledo, Petersen coached at Boise. Both had success. Both parlayed successful
    coaching stints into promotions to programs that had greater resources and better opportunity. Petersen merely bided his time to get his promotion to the PAC-12. Hate all you want on mid majors since they are the programs that germinate new coaches and new philosophies.

    The hurry up, like the veer, and the wishbone, and the spread option, will be overcome by a coach who has an innovative way to defend against it.

    It’s about coaching your talent you have.


  10. chunkala says: Feb 25, 2014 10:31 AM

    Yeah, but no one was ever confused enough to think of Toledo as the nation’s top team.
    I think people overrate their win against Oklahoma too. Outside of his two years, Stoops has been a terrible coach in big games. He finally redeemed himself with this year’s win over a complacent Alabama team. Therefore, the boal win wasn’t that big of a surprise if you think about it.

  11. 4512dawg4512 says: Feb 25, 2014 10:32 AM

    Saban reminds me of the fat kid that forgot his lunch money. Instead of blaming himself he sits there and gets angry at all the other kids that are sitting around him eating.

    And Tim, seven years ago? Could have sworn OU smoked Bama just under two months ago.

  12. chunkala says: Feb 25, 2014 10:37 AM

    It may seem counterintuitive but I just feel the likelihood of this rule passing increases as each coach states his criticism of it. Let’s see if I’m right.

  13. crindal3000 says: Feb 25, 2014 11:22 AM

    “if you can’t beat them change the rules”
    – nick saban

  14. bfree2k says: Feb 25, 2014 4:13 PM

    To lbijake and other others clowning on Saban:

    I’m not a Saban nor Alabama Fan and I think he’s a little “panzy”ish trying to get this ruled implemented but for some reason but I can’t imagine this hurting his feelings as you say. I believe that his coaching mind and his number #1 recruiting class that has 18 four-star and 6 (yes that’s right) 6 five-star recruits will figure a way to more that contend with schools running these hurry-up and spread attacks.

  15. 4512dawg4512 says: Feb 25, 2014 7:03 PM

    bfree, in all respect. Bama barely lost to Auburn, but then Saban got totally out-coached by Stoops

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