Too Late Not to Draw Battle Lines Over Slowing Down the HUNH

By Posted on: March 12th, 2014 in Featured Article, Football 22 Comments »
battle lines

Last week the debate over slowing down the Hurry-Up-No-Huddle offenses was put to bed when the NCAA’s Rules Committee withdrew their 10 second proposal to slow the college football game down. However, that doesn’t mean the debate is going away. Not while Nick Saban and Bret Bielema still have a pulpit to speak from.

Feeling the heat from ninety three college coaches and numerous media types, the committee wisely decided to follow Gus Malzahn’s recommendation and table the proposal.  But make no mistake, the issue is not dead. There will be numerous studies over the next year by those who wish to stop the HUNH; in an effort to find evidence – any evidence that could show it pose’s a safety threat to athletes.

You can cloak yourself in the garb of “player safety” all you want but even the most delusional bammer knows in his heart this is about wins and losses. As Texas Tech Coach Kliff Kingsbury said, “The last three losses (Saban’s) had, have been against, you know, some up-tempo teams.” Coincidence? Not hardly.

Saban has never made a secret of his distaste for the innovative offense. He fired his first salvo against the HUNH after the 2012 Ole Miss game when he said, “Should we allow football to be a continuous game? Is that the way the game was designed to play?”

But the battle lines were clearly drawn when the odd couple took it upon themselves to fly to Indianapolis in an effort to influence the Rules Committee to change the way the game is played. It will remain a hot topic at media days and conference meetings for the next 12 months.

The outcry over the Indy trip was a new experience for Saban. Usually accustomed to being portrayed as the king of college football, it had to be both surprising and frustrating for the little emperor to have his actions questioned by a normally adoring media.

After keeping silent for two weeks, and feeling the backlash from the coaching community, Saban finally came out and said he had nothing to do with the 10 second proposal. – Yeah, right.

Then sensing the possible failure of the “safety” excuse, Saban came up with the notion this week that he really wants to protect the refs by making sure they’re in place at the start of the play. It’s just another line in a continuous web spun by the tortoise to slow down the Hare.

First it was :
* Should we allow the game to be continuous?
* Next he jumped on the Bret Bielema “safety” wagon.
* Now he says he is concerned about the refs being in place.

That last one is no more legitimate than the safety ruse. Besides any officiating problems that might occur can be addressed by adopting the Big 12′s practice of having eight officials in conference games.

It is painfully obvious that what he is most concerned about is a competitive advantage or more accurately being at a disadvantage. Someone has built a better mousetrap and either Nick can’t or he won’t go back to the drawing board to figure a way to stop it short of asking for the rules to be changed.

Steve Spurier who runs a traditional offense at South Carolina says he’s had no problem defending against the HUNH. His Gamecocks have beaten Clemson’s high octane offense the last three years. Spurier said there is no big secret to it,” To me, the No Huddle is part of football.” He continued, “Our goal is to stay on the field and run that clock and all (the opposing offense) can do is sit on the sideline and look at each other.” That’s simple enough.

But what is disturbing is the people that still allow themselves to be influenced by Saban. Steve Shaw, the SEC’s Coordinator of officials told Al.com Monday, “My hope is that people won’t draw the battle lines. We’ll have a year cycle to debate this, not just for safety, but the competitive balance of the game.”

Did you get that? He’s referring to Saban’s position of a ‘competitive balance.’ While saying he doesn’t want to see people take sides on the issue, he may have tipped his hand with this statement. He seems to be leaning toward Tuscaloosa himself.

Anyway, it’s too late for the college football world to not be divided into battle lines over this issue. That ship sailed when Saban and Bielema chose to fly to Indianapolis to try and pull a fast one on the other coaches.

Should the NCAA continue to allow football to be played at a fast pace?

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  1. sullivan013 sullivan013 says:

    3 no votes? So we do have a few Bama fans who read TET.

    Hiya fellas! You can sit over there. If you give me a second, I’ll return,…

    No, no! I didn’t mean it that way.

  2. MyAuburn MyAuburn says:

    A lot of reporters took Saban and Bert to task but none did it with more gusto than Colin Cowherd. He really stuck it to Nicky. There is a video of his take on the subject that is easy to find.

  3. audude audude says:

    Hate to say it but Darth Visor has a point, with the strap on your helmet and lets play attitude. “I’ll put mine guys against yours and let the better team win” has been his thought since his UF days.

  4. Pine Mt Tiger Pine Mt Tiger says:

    Sic’em ATM – good read

    During those days when Nicky was silent, he was probably in bed curled up in a fetal position crying, “It wasn’t suppose to go this way.”

  5. tigrrr tigrrr says:

    Shaw is an Alabama graduate and as such should recuse himself from the debate.

  6. spanky says:

    Hopefully we’ll see some injury studies done on non-hunh teams done as well, although, there is probably already alot of data on that subject.

    • Tigerstripe Tigerstripe says:

      In my mind it’d be real easy to study. Watch a game until someone gets hurt, then rewind to see how long that hurt player was on the field before they got hurt. And when I say “how long”, I mean plays in that series of offense or defense because I’m going to assume they were fresh when they walked on the field to start the defensive or offensive series. Most serious injuries are self inflicted by a defensive player leading with his head and either hurt himself, his target or an innocent team mate neither which has anything to do with an injury due to fatigue. Fatigue injuries are cramps. Ok, no more HUNH because of cramps…smh

  7. Tigerstripe Tigerstripe says:

    So I’m going to assume that since darling nikki is for limiting exposures/hits/plays/games, then it stands to reason that he’s against a playoff or extending the season or heck, bowl games for that matter. Then they need to schedule only conference games and the rest are bye games so they can recover from conference play. Right? No, the program will lose $$$ if they do that… So at what point, what dollar figure, what number of plays, what number of games is player safety REALLY significant to you, Nick?

  8. Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

    I’ve been shocked by the coverage of this by RTR over at the MotherShip (haha cough haha) SBN. Their main editors seem to be falling all over themselves with veiled attempts to make this look good, nay, revolutionary for the sport and for Saban. It’s distressing how gumped out they are over there about this. Honestly, they say that the HUNH evolved from a loophole in the 2008 play clock ruling. Get a grip people.

    In other news, equally disturbing, Jesse Palmer and Brent Mussburger have been named lead broadcasters for the new spangly SEC network. And this where I miss being able to post gifs. There are few from this site that would be able to articulate my reaction to this news with startling clarity: http://www.reactiongifs.com/galleries/no/
    I think that it’s safe to conclude that ESPN does hate the SEC. Or at least SEC fans.

    • AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

      People get that argument from Steve Shaw, SEC Coordinator of Officials (& Bama grad) who has been intimating that. See the link to his al.com interview in the article above.where he brings that notion up. I just hope the guy doesn’t have any influence in any future decisions on the matter.

      BTW, we have been working to update the site here. Hopefully we will have the gifs option and several other perks in the near future.

      • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

        …..The next time you see Penn Wagers blow another call, just remember that Steve Shaw is his boss. Still waiting on any accountability, in SEC officiating…

  9. uglyjoe says:

    I just wish somebody would explain to Brent that it’s AU-burn, not OB-burn.

  10. Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

    It’s cool. I’m just glad TET survived the SBN rebranding event.

    • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

      This was supposed to go under ATM’s comment…..,,,

    • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

      …..It shouldn’t be that hard. It’s basically just a linking process to have pictures and gifs appear in comments. The site isn’t actually hosting them. However, this is the opinion of a guy who first learned computers with such things as punch cards and paper tape readers. And I’m spitting in Microsoft’s face and not getting rid of XP just yet, either.

  11. Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

    Thread jack alert: How long til Barbee’s fired? His post game presser was unimpressive and borderline delusional (at least the parts Scarbinsky tweeted).

  12. sparkey sparkey says:

    I have a major issue with the head of SEC officiating being a graduate from any SEC school. Furthermore, the fact this guy’s daughters attend Alabama makes it that much worse. Maybe there’s really no corruption there in terms of calls going Alabama’s way. Okay, so maybe not though I think there are. Regardless, why not have somebody that graduated from the Big Ten or ACC or PAC 12 instead of the SEC. The referee should always be neutral. It’s hard to believe there is true neutrality when the guy in charge of the whole thing graduated from one school and his daughters presently attend that school. Sure, I’m paranoid but that doesn’t look good for the SEC if nothing else.