Will Muschamp says the first honest thing about the 10-second proposal

NCAA Football: Arkansas at Florida

Nearly every SEC head coach has offered his opinion on the NCAA’s 10-second proposal that would allow defenses 10 seconds to substitute before the offense could snap the ball, theoretically slowing down hurry-up offenses.

Related: Kliff Kingsbury takes a veiled shot at Nick Saban

Nick Saban has largely been the fall guy for the proposal, while Bret Bielema’s recent reasoning of support for the rule has come under fire.

I would consider Will Muschamp and Saban to have two of the most elite defensive minds in college football. We know how Saban feels; but we don’t know how Muschamp feels, until now.

Related: Steve Spurrier calls it the ‘Saban Rule’

The Orlando Sentinel did a Q&A with Muschamp about his standing as the head coach and his team, and the Sentinel asked him about the 10-second proposal.

Q: A proposed rule change that would force offenses to wait for 10 seconds to run off the play clock before snapping the ball has generated a lot of controversy. How would you vote on the potential rule change?

A: “My honest opinion is I think it’s comical for everyone to come out either for it or against it and say this is what’s best for college football. Because it’s really not what’s best for the game, but it’s what’s best for your interest. I did a study two years ago on when is the ball being snapped. On average each game, four to six plays on average were snapped before 30 seconds. So we’re talking about four to six plays in a game. We’re not talking about half the game. My point being, is what does it really change? I could care less about the rule. The only thing I will say is the administration of the game for the officials is very difficult.”

There’s so much truth in what Muschamp is saying. He reiterates coaches aren’t arguing for what’s best for the game; they’re arguing what’s best for coaches’ interests in the game.

It’s very telling that both Saban and Muschamp hired new coordinators and are transforming their offense into an up-tempo attack.

If the proposal were to pass on March 6, just how much would it affect the game? Muschamp says only four to six plays. Auburn ran four plays in the BCS National Championship Game against FSU where they snapped it under the 10-second time frame.

Photo Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

COMMENTS

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  • About time one coach told the truth. All these coaches talking for and against the rule, when Muschamp speaks the truth.

  • Most will blame coaches for looking out for their own interest, but what we really have here is an NCAA structural issue. The idea being that your voting structure should safe guard from individual bias ruling the sport. I don’t have the answer on how to fix it. When not handled correctly, any legislature can be split into a childish mob.

  • I’d say Spurrier was pretty honest and had no ulterior motive for pointing out that the proposed rule is ridiculous. It’s not as if Spurrier’s offenses are flying down the field, so his speaking out against it didn’t really serve a purpose aside from giving his opinion.

  • I’d ammend the 4 to 6 plays statement a little. It only affects 4 to 6 plays in terms of when the offense can snap the ball. In terms of keeping the current defense on the field, the time at which the ball is snapped is immaterial. And keeping the current defense on the field is a big part of the no-huddle offense’s strategy.
    As far as which option is truer to the spirit of the game, I’d say its pretty clear that the option which returns the sport the style used until the past decade is more in line historically.

  • Who didn’t already know this. Guys like Sumlin and Pinkel gain an advantage from the HUNH. Saban is having to change Bama’s offense and that’s why he brought in Kiffen who had already installed a combo of the pro set and HUNH at USC. So, of course, everyone’s looking out for what’s best for them. I have no doubt that Saban will once again be on the cutting edge of college football and with his recruiting ability, I don’t see anything stopping them from contending again. I personally hate to see the scoring fests that HUNH provides. It’s ain’t football the way I know it. I’m a defensive guy and I’d much rather see a Derek Thomas make 51 tackles in a game than Tom Brady throw 75 touchdowns.

    • The only way one player is making 51 tackles in a game is that the HUNH is featured exclusively throughout the game.

      • Possibly but Lee Roy Jordan in the 1963 Orange Bowl, his last college game., playing in front of a crowd that included Pres. John F. Kennedy, he earned MVP honors by making 30 tackles and leading the Tide to a 17-0 victory over the University of Oklahoma. Nobody was running the HUNH that day. Run away offense is for pussies..

  • Maybe Auburn should have slowed it down. That way they might not have lost miserably and broken the SEC string of National Championships.

    • Lost miserably? What part of greatest comeback in BCS title history ending on a TD with 13 seconds left is considered miserable? Notre Dame lost miserably, Auburn fought like champions.

  • What is lost in Muschamp’s statement is the fact that offense CAN snap it faster than 30 seconds at this point still provides an advantage for the offense through that unpredictability.

  • BOOM! I actually don’t mind Muschamp. And he is speaking the truth here about Saban and other coaches lobbying for what benefits them. Arkansas was the SLOWEST team in the country; Alabama wasn’t far behind.

    • IT WORKS BOTH WAYS. THE TEAMS THAT DON’T WANT IT CAUSE NOT HAVING IT BENIFITS THEM. A TEAM SHOULD HAVE TIME TO SUB PLAYERS. THEY HAVE TAKEN AWAY FROM THE DEFENCE FOR THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS IT’S TIME TO DO SOMETHING FOR THE DEFENCE. THEY CANT HARDLY TACKLE ANYBODY ANYMORE WITOUT A FLAG BEING THROWN.

  • Knowing that it would only affect on average 4 to 6 plays a game makes me think this rule has a better chance of passing and could POTENTIALLY be good for some of the reasons people are stating.
    The fact of the matter is defenses could’ve used the 10 seconds to change players on every down except for 4 to 6 of them per game, but couldn’t take the chance of doing that not knowing when one of those 4 to 6 plays might occur.
    I don’t see the rule changing that much, I have a hard time believing that changing players in and out is the only things defenses have a hard time overcoming against a HUNH offense. There are a lot of other factors do be considered when trying to defend it.
    Honestly, before they vote on it one way or another I think they really need to try and decide if there is any evidence that can point to it honestly helping player safety.
    I definitely don’t believe anyone can say for sure right now that this rule would or would not help player safety. At one point we didn’t believe smoking was bad for you, and we also thought that washing your hands was. I really think people need to hold off on picking sides until further evidence is provided.
    I agree with Muschamp, at this point it is ridiculous for much of anyone to be picking sides when we don’t have enough information for form well informed decisions.

  • I’d much rather see the refs call the whole blocking down field on pass plays called.

  • I think it’s dishonest to say that the 10 second rule will make the game safer. I think it’s honest to say that you want your team’s offense to set it’s own pace. After all, it’s your team’s turn to have the ball and try to score. The other team just had their turn to do it their way. As for Muschamp’s point, I would say that what he doesn’t say is bigger than what he does say. He’s talking about a study that found an average between slow and no so slow offenses. Almost all coaches that spread or hurry or air-it, will say, “It not effective to go fast or do anything all the time. It effective to change the pace when it suits the page you are on in your play-book game plan.” I respectfully disagree that Muschamp is any more honest with his remark. Trying to minimize the importance of a team having the freedom to attack at the pace their play book requires given the situation is just another way to say every time a new exciting attacking tactic is added or returned to the game. We should pass a rule against it instead of making defensive coaches earn their salary. Turn it around. Should the NCAA have passed a rule against stunts, slants, zones, blitzes, amoebas, prevents, or all the over innovations in defense over the years. The way to be honest is not to propose a rule when there is no justification for it in the first place.

  • I don’t know that I would listen to anything Muschamp had to say about his study of offenses. I think it’s pretty evident he’s never studied anything about an offense.

  • IF THEY ARE GONNA HAVE UP TEMPO THEN GIVE THE DEFENCE BACK ON THE WAY THEY CAN TACKLE. NO HORSE COLLAR WHICH IS A STUPID RULE ANYWAY. LET THEM PLAY DEFENCE AND HIT THE WAY IT WAS A FEW YEARS AGO. IF YOU DON’T LIKE GETTING HIT THEM DONT PLAY. THEY HAVE BEEN MAKING THIS GAME SO A SISSY CAN PLAY.

  • This is the first Will and I have agreed, well said coach.

  • Who cares what Muschamp thinks. It’s a miracle he still has a job.