Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban leading team out before Ole Miss game

The no-huddle offense has become a staple in the college football world of today; you only have to look at Oregon and West Virginia for examples. Both schools are effectively scoring lots of points by lining up and running play after play after play without breaking for a huddle. Lots of teams have begun faking injuries just to give their defenses time to rest, which is obviously against the rules, but where does the no-huddle lie in terms of player safety?

The NFL is on a rampage with player safety and the college game has so far been slow to catch up. Yes, the newly instituted rule of having to come out of the game if your helmet comes off may happen to catch a concussion, but it’s not a very effective means of preventing injuries. The no-huddle offense is only making some of these injuries even that much more difficult to catch. Players don’t have time to even line up properly on defense and be prepared to receive a blow from another player.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban weighed in on the no-huddle offense during the Wednesday SEC conference call, and it’s safe to say that you won’t see the Crimson Tide running any of that stuff any time soon.

I think that the way people are going no-huddle right now, that at some point in time, we should look at how fast we allow the game to go in terms of player safety. The team gets in the same formation group. You can’t substitute defensive players. You go on a 14-, 16- or 18-play drive and they’re snapping the ball as fast as you can go, and you look out there and all your players are walking around and can’t even get lined up. That’s when guys have a much greater chance of getting hurt … when they’re not ready to play. I think that’s something that can be looked at. 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. 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?

Now there are several ways to look at Nick’s statements. One could be that he is generally concerned for the athletes that are on the field that aren’t ready to play at that speed, or you could see that maybe he is pitching that this type of offense doesn’t really benefit him in any way and if the game were to be slowed down a little he’d appreciate it.

Either way, the Tide defense doesn’t seem to have any problems stopping anyone and Michigan tried their best to run, whatever it was that they tried to run, and weren’t very successful. Really though, no one has been successful running anything against the Tide, so why would Saban complain about fairness?

Never thought I’d see the day when Saban cried about something not being fair, especially when his team is undefeated and reigning BCS champs. It’s quite puzzling.

Is the no-huddle offense not fair?




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  • Rich

    The game clock should not be satrted until 15 seconds have run off he play clock. The ball should not be snapped until the captain of defense signals within that 15 seconds they are ready to play. There too many rules that favor the offense already.

  • TJ

    Lets take this a bit further ….. we also need to take away the Fast Break in Basketball because the team is not ready to play defense …….. WTF

    • dutchscott

      right on

  • Patrick Bonilla

    Unfair? Well, Saban is officially a womans reproductive organ in my book. Get serious man. This is football for Christs sake! Go take your players and sign them up for the Chess club if you are concerned about injuries. I’d be embarrassed if i was an Bama fan.

  • andrew

    Fairness? Hey Nick…….waaaaaa. Maybe everyone should get a trophy and a pizza party too. Sounds scared to me. Roll Ducks.

  • Mike

    I personally don’t care for Arena or Canadian football.

  • dutchscott

    it is ok for a two minute drill …but not to do it the whole game? This is the sport going to a new level with conditioned, quick minded athletes. You still have timeouts for god’s sake. Nick is a dinosaur. Ask hockey to slow down lol and take breaks!

  • dutchscott

    how many points should you be allowed to score Nick? come on

  • Darryl

    They asked for his opinion on the subject for a reason. How about, in baseball, the pitcher can start throwing called strikes before the batter is out of the dugout? Saban is just asking if we want to change the nature of the game. He’ll win with whatever rules you want.

  • Darryl

    PS: Bonilla, we would be embarrassed if you were a Bama fan, too.

  • Melanie

    Whats the matter Nick, afraid you might play Oregon in the natty and have no time to prepare?

  • Mollie
  • Jessica

    Oh please! Saban is not scared, nor complaining. They asked him, he didn’t initiate the conversation. And his point is valid. There are numerous rules in football to prevent hitting an unsuspecting player because it can cause injury. How you can hit them, when, and where. Saban is just pointing out that 16 or 18 plays where you hit players that aren’t braced for a hit greatly increases the chance of a severe injury. There currently exist 14 penalties that are there to reduce chance of injury. Bama is happy to play a rougher game, anytime. But you either accept that there is validity in his argument, or vote to get rid of all the rules that promote safety. I’d just get out of Bama’s path if you vote to lose the safety rules.

    • Sean

      Riiight, That’s why you see all of Oregons opponents getting hurt all the time? Give me a break, you “Bama” fans just want rules to be put into place to stop the speed offense so teams like Oregon will have to let your fat defenses have time to get lined up.