Saban Tries to Distance Himself from Rule Change

Published on 3-Mar-2014 by Stacey Mickles

Football - NCAA    NCAA Football Daily Update

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Saban Tries to Distance Himself from Rule Change

While Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema has been making a fool of himself talking about the proposed 10-second rule, Alabama head coach Nick Saban has been strangely quiet.

Until now.

Amidst the ongoing firestorm that ensued regarding the rule, Saban made a subtle point about the it over the weekend that made a helluva a lot more sense than Bielema's argument.

Unlike the Hogs' head honcho, who was foolish enough to drag the death of a former Cal player into this, Saban made three decent points.

One was about player safety, another about officating the game, and lastly, a comment about competitive balance, which frankly, is the real motivation here.

"I think those are all issues that people need to look at. In the NFL, what they did is the officials stand over the ball until the officials are ready to call the game. All right, that's how they control the pace of play. The coach at Philadelphia ran 83 plays a game at Oregon, and ran 65 a game in Philadelphia. So why do they control the pace of play in the NFL? I mean, I'm just asking."

Saban was smart to keep his mouth shut and choose his words wisely, unlike Bret Bielema.

And for the moment, we'll just skip over the fact that Pac-12 officials, for one, already stand over the ball until defenses can substitute when offenses do. Let's just defer to what Boon said to Otter in Animal House:

Saban knows he isn't the most popular guy in the game, and his actually coming straight out in support of this rule would make him look bad, but actually saying that he just wants the NCAA to look into this is coy on his part. 

And although most may not buy this argument -- the proposal is still called the Saban Rule by most -- at least it sounded more reasonable than anything I've heard or has been said to date.

So the Dark Lord of college football may not be so evil, after all.