The controversial ‘Saban Rule’ which would ensure that would delay offenses and effectively blindside the quick snap tactics is to be re-considered, USA Today has reported.

The rule, which would ensure that offenses had to give defenses 10 seconds between snaps (apparently because of ‘safety reasons’, according to Alabama Coach Nick Saban), is apparently going to be reconsidered by the NCAA Rule Committee next week….even before it comes before a vote.

The reason for the rule in the first place is worries that more players would be injured as offenses speed up and they are unable to take breaks. Saban and Bielema had lobbied for this since June, according to a piece by Saturday Down South at the time.

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,Saban said at the head coach’s teleconference. “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.

Bielema added: Not to get on the coattails of some of the other coaches, there is a lot of truth that the way offensive philosophies are driven now, there’s times where you can’t get a defensive substitution in for 8, 10, 12 play drives….That has an effect on safety of that student-athlete, especially the bigger defensive linemen, that is really real.

Since the possibility of this rule came into place, the likes of Washington State head coach Mike Leach and Arizona’s Rich Rodriguez have been absolutely furious.

According to an survey of head coaches, 73% of coaches (25 of 128) were NOT in favor of the rule, with only 11 of these coaches at the ‘big’ conferences (SEC, ACC, Big Ten, Big XII, Pac-12 and Notre Dame). We suspect that two of the coaches would be Saban and Arkansas coach Bret Bielema.

Some of the SEC’s biggest hitters have been publically AGAINST the rule, which would stop offenses snapping the ball until at least 10 seconds had been run off, ensuring that defenses could substitute. South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier, Auburn’s Gus Malzahn, Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin, Georgia’s Mark Richt, Florida’s Will Muschamp, and Ole Miss’ Hugh Freeze have all spoken out against the rule.

“He took it upon himself to go before the rules committee and get it done,” Spurrier told USA Today. “They tried to change the rules. But I don’t think they’re gonna get away with it.”

BOTTOM LINE: There’s a feeling that all the controversy will mean that the much-maligned rule won’t get to March 6th’s voting. But with Saban behind something, ANYTHING can happen.


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