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.