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Saban says logic defends stance on up-tempo offenses

Nick Saban AP

Alabama head coach Nick Saban has been criticized for his stance against up-tempo offensive trends but he is not backing down. Saban stood firm with his stance on Tuesday, according to a report by

“I don’t care about getting blamed for this. That’s part of it,” Saban told “But I do think that somebody needs to look at this very closely.”

Saban is referring to his reported influence on the NCAA’s Football Rules Committee and their decision to put a new rule up for a vote. The defensive rule substitution rule proposal would prevent offenses from snapping the football for the first ten seconds on the play clock. Doing so would penalize the offense five yards for a delay of game penalty. Under the proposed rule, defenses would be given an opportunity to substitute players without fear of the opposing offense snapping the football early. That vote will be held on Thursday and it is not expected to have enough support from those casting the votes. Regardless of how the vote plays out, Saban still believes data needs to be compiled analyzing the impact of up-tempo offenses on the game and the potential threat it poses to players.

“The fastball guys (up-tempo coaches) say there’s no data out there, and I guess you have to use some logic,” Saban said. “What’s the logic? If you smoke one cigarette, do you have the same chances of getting cancer if you smoke 20? I guess there’s no study that specifically says that. But logically, we would say, ‘Yeah, there probably is.'”

Saban may have a point, one that has been made before. The more plays a game has, the increased opportunity there is for a player to be injured. This threat is equal to offensive and defensive players of course. The need to study the effects up-tempo offenses have on the game is there with the game transforming over time. Having all of the information available is always a good idea if this is the way the game is going to be played.

But who conducts the study? How will data be compiled and analyzed? Nobody seems to have an answer to those questions at this time.

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32 Responses to “Saban says logic defends stance on up-tempo offenses”
  1. rolltide510 says: Mar 4, 2014 10:14 PM

    Nick Saban is a whiner who couldn’t cut it in the NFL, etc etc.

  2. huskywolverine says: Mar 4, 2014 10:20 PM

    Under that reasoning, we should ban football, because hey, logic tells us that if you play football you are at increased risk to get hurt.

  3. suprmous says: Mar 4, 2014 10:29 PM

    My Aunt Fanny, what logic?? Give me a break. That hole’s gettin deeper and deeper, ugh oh sooner of later it’ll take a crane to get the innocent out.

  4. connertiland says: Mar 4, 2014 10:50 PM

    Shut up, nick.

  5. amosalanzostagg says: Mar 4, 2014 10:51 PM


    You say you weren’t behind the Saban rule, but logic
    says that the rule makes sense? As Dr McCoy would tell Spock, “Are you out of your Vulcan mind?”

    Quit digging the hole, man up and condition the defense to handle the HUNH offense. Sacks and interceptions will do that. Impose your defensive will
    on the opposition. In other words, scheme with personnel and attack the offense.


  6. thefiesty1 says: Mar 4, 2014 10:57 PM

    Sour grapes just because his new OC doesn’t know how to run an up tempo offense.

  7. thekatman says: Mar 4, 2014 11:24 PM

    Remember Kiffin’s 2011 offense kept Oregon’ offense off the field, and the SC defense beat Oregon’s offense with tough play, and of course USC beat the Ducks that year. .

  8. crazycajun22 says: Mar 4, 2014 11:42 PM

    What’s the logic? If you smoke one cigarette, do you have the same chances of getting cancer if you smoke 20? I guess there’s no study that specifically says that. But logically, we would say, ‘Yeah, there probably is.’”

    Not sure if I’m reading this correctly but he is basically saying that one cigarette provides you with the same opportunity to get cancer as 20 cigarettes. Therefore he is detracting his own argument. The analogy is “20 cigarettes is to 90 plays as 1 cigarette is to 55 plays”

  9. phuzzball says: Mar 5, 2014 12:23 AM

    I’m with huskywolverine — I mean, if you don’t want to risk injury then don’t play the game! Realistically, you can get injured on one play, so using Saban’s argument then there should be ZERO plays. When you read between the lines you realize that Saban is all about ego. Strategy doesn’t matter, players don’t matter — heck, the game of football & competition doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, as long as he can say he won, then that’s good enough. Just go ahead and forfeit & life would be keen!

  10. 13datsyuk13 says: Mar 5, 2014 12:55 AM

    Delay of game for snapping the ball too quickly?!!!

  11. auburntigers34 says: Mar 5, 2014 12:55 AM

    Logic says that Nick Saban is terrified of the HUNH.

  12. miamisaint3255 says: Mar 5, 2014 2:42 AM

    Translation –

    “I have 2nd and 3rd teams who were 4 star recruits and if I have 10 seconds between each play to situational substitute on defense, then my guys will just overwhelm these gimmicky fast paced offenses from teams without as much top end talent depth as my roster, such as Auburn.”

  13. longborer69 says: Mar 5, 2014 2:47 AM

    Too many plays? I have some ideas for you, Nick.

    1. Drop one of your games every year against Podunk State.
    2. Tell the playoff selection committee your team can’t play because the extra games mean extra plays, and that is dangerous.
    3. Tell bowl selection committees the same.

    Or, alternatively, since you recruit more 4 & 5 star players than anyone else, USE YOUR DEPTH and sub out half your defense on each series. Then, even against a HUNH offense your players will be playing on fewer downs than they are currently.

    These suggestions need no study. They are just >logic<.

    I've never hated on Alabama, but I'm starting to hate on this guy. What a sore loser.

  14. quack12football says: Mar 5, 2014 2:49 AM

    Saban’s whining is first and foremost due to what he thinks is an unfair advantage. Safety is just his catalyst to try to justify it. I could MAYBE understand if it was all due to safety, but its not. Here are HIS words:
    “It’s obviously created a tremendous advantage for the offense when teams are scoring 70 points and we’re averaging 49.5 points a game. With people that do those kinds of things. More and more people are going to do it. I just think there’s got to be some sense of fairness in terms of asking is this what we want football to be?”

    PLUS, (correct me if I am wrong) the proposed rule change says that the teams can use the hurry up offense in the last 3 minutes of each half? Are we saying that players cannot be hurt in those three minutes? Dumb! Don’t play football if you can’t keep up or you don’t want to get hurt. Seems best to adapt and KEEP UP. “SOONER” or later you’ll catch up Nicky. Quit whining. Please stop this nonsense, your a good coach. Start conditioning your players to keep up, don’t look for a way out of having to compete against it.

  15. richa52 says: Mar 5, 2014 8:08 AM

    Actually, the logic would suggest that the hurry up offenses will actually reduce the number of injuries, since teams will likely begin using more players who are more athletic, faster (therefore, slightly smaller) and in better physical condition.

  16. gorilladunk says: Mar 5, 2014 9:08 AM

    350 pound offensive linemen will “statistically speaking” injure 285 pound defensive linemen more often than 285 pound offensive lineman will. If this is really about “player safety” then make weight limits on the interior lineman mandatory. Nick has no problem rolling his overweight monsters out there to demolish teams who don’t have players of the same physical stature. Player safety, my ass!

  17. goodfieldnohit says: Mar 5, 2014 10:09 AM

    He’s less believable than Putin.

  18. mogogo1 says: Mar 5, 2014 10:22 AM

    When you coach a dangerous sport and start taking up for extreme rules changes in the name of safety, don’t be surprised when someday people start suggesting the whole sport should just be banned.

  19. lbijake says: Mar 5, 2014 10:31 AM

    Nick, it is getting old. Grow a pair. Signed -the rest of college football except Arkansas.

  20. imaduffer says: Mar 5, 2014 10:32 AM

    If you watch a replay of the Auburn field goal return for a TD you will understand what Coach Saban is talking about. Big fat football players can’t run 50 yards.

  21. hor2012 says: Mar 5, 2014 12:24 PM

    imaduffer says:Mar 5, 2014 10:32 AM

    If you watch a replay of the Auburn field goal return for a TD you will understand what Coach Saban is talking about. Big fat football players can’t run 50 yards.

    That’s funny

  22. oldforester says: Mar 5, 2014 12:47 PM

    Seems like using Saban’s logic if you smoke one cigarette, using his analogy you are going fast. If you smoke 20 you are going really fast leading to more sickness/injury.

    The solution is logical, as Saban seems to understand, you stop smoking. Using his analogy you get faster, leaner players that can stand up to the pace. You get healthy, by preventing the cause of your increased poor health. Your type players can’t keep up with the pace, so change your behavior….change your type of player.

    Instead of stopping the smoking, Sabon would like to tell us to blow some of it up our xxx. Sabon has the answer, just doesn’t want to admit to it yet.

    Quoting the Stones Keith Richards: “I’ve never had a problem with drugs. I’ve had problems with the police.”

  23. normtide says: Mar 5, 2014 12:51 PM

    Stanford v Oregon.

  24. Professor Fate says: Mar 5, 2014 12:56 PM

    Once again, the last time I looked it takes a few seconds for the officials to spot the ball (and perhaps move the chains) after a play. If that isn’t enough time for you to substitute maybe you should alter your substitution philosophy.

    Saban wants time to see what personnel the offense has on the field in order to counter with defensive substitutions. Many offenses that run the no-huddle either aren’t substituting or have those substitutions ready to go into the game the moment the previous play is blown dead.

    It would seem to me that to counter that strategy you either need to anticipate when the offense substitutes or, when they don’t and go with the same players from the last play, insure your defenders are better conditioned. Perhaps both.

    longborer69 has the obvious solution: No need to wait to see what the offense is doing if you have the supposed depth of talent that Alabama seems to recruit and brag about every year. Just alternate two defensive squads of 11 players and the whole issue goes away. Right, Nick?

  25. kitnamania13 says: Mar 5, 2014 1:28 PM

    If you smoke only a little crack, you might be at a lesser risk of having a crack baby than if you don’t get a crack mama pregnant.

    What the hell is Saban even talking about?

  26. dreamer5873 says: Mar 5, 2014 2:14 PM

    Hey Nick, relax you are ok. Keep doing what you are doing. Recruit the big, fast and physical and make it smash mouth football. Beef up that o- line and pound those little F…kers in the ground. Last year was just a down year. Let the fastball guys go as fast as they want. Nothing beats hitting a guy in the mouth with as much force as possible. Preferably the QB because that position is the key to the fastball guys, make them pay for exposing him to hits when he passes 50 times a game. Lol

  27. kdbroom says: Mar 5, 2014 3:24 PM

    Implementing a 15-minute play clock will also reduce injuries. I guess Saban would support that too. That would REALLY slow down the game for him.

  28. 8to80texansblog says: Mar 5, 2014 4:24 PM

    I have an idea Nick… let make all the rules so they fit your specific brand of football and you and Alabama can go back to winning titles every year…. how’s that sound?

    10 seconds to hike… check.

    No returning missed FGs… check.

    In fact lets just eliminate FGs altogether since you’ve historically had trouble there… check.

    Students aren’t permitted to leave stadium until the final whistle… Check.

    Anything else, Sir Nick?

    You’re the reason this type of game exists! Did you really expect the rest of CFB to just lay down and let you spank them every year? Teams are figuring out ways to beat big, dominating defenses and this is how they are doing it. Adapt or die…. Stanford has seemed to find a way to stop HUNHs…

  29. amosalanzostagg says: Mar 5, 2014 10:02 PM

    goodfieldnohit wrote on: Mar 5, 2014 10:09 AM

    He’s less believable than Putin.

    Careful goodfield,

    Putin may go Achmed the Dead Terrorist and “Keel you!”

  30. ndrick731 says: Mar 6, 2014 4:32 PM

    Stop crying bitch

  31. huskerzfan says: Mar 9, 2014 7:09 PM

    Well actually, if we didn’t have a rule change in 2008 designed to shorten games, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation and HUNH offenses wouldn’t exist in the form they exist today.

    Maybe we should go back and revisit the 2008 rule, and change back to the old 25 second clock in which referees spotted the ball at a much slower clip. With that rule, the intention was to shorten games, it has actually backfired and has lengthened games. Some of these games going well over 4 hours long.

  32. iwishwvuwouldbeatbama says: Mar 11, 2014 12:01 PM

    Glad to see the popular sentiment is against this rule. Can’t blame Saban for trying to flex his football muscles and spread his influence, but this is a no brainer. The game is changing, so adapt or fall behind!

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