Nick Saban to up-tempo coaches needing injury data: You have to use some logic

NCAA Football: Alabama at Mississippi State

It took several weeks for Nick Saban to speak publicly about the NCAA’s 10-second proposal, which would allow defenses 10 seconds to substitute before offenses can snap the ball, but in just a matter of days, Saban has let his voice be heard twice.

MORE: Saban, Richt, Muschamp express concerns over officiating crews and tempo

He spoke last Friday night at the Georgia Minority Coaches Association for the first time, and you can read what he said here.

This time, Saban was interviewed by ESPN in a story published Tuesday night, and he advised all the up-tempo coaches needing injury evidence to use some logic.

“I don’t care about getting blamed for this. That’s part of it,” Saban told “But I do think that somebody needs to look at this very closely.

“The fastball guys (up-tempo coaches) say there’s no data out there, and I guess you have to use some logic,” Saban told ESPN. “What’s the logic? If you smoke one cigarette, do you have the same chances of getting cancer if you smoke 20? I guess there’s no study that specifically says that. But logically, we would say, ‘Yeah, there probably is.'”

Saban said last Friday night that he’s all for what’s best for the game, and he doesn’t think coaches should determine it.

“Look, I’m all for what’s best for the game. The game is what it is, I don’t think any coach should determine, just like when they went to Philadelphia in the NFL and they were going so fast, the officials said, ‘We control the pace of the game.’ The league said, ‘The officials control the pace of the game, not a coach.’ So, I’m just saying what’s best for the game. That’s what Nick Saban is for.”

Not even 20 percent of FBS coaches (25 of 128) are in favor of the proposed change, and only 11 coaches in the power five conferences like it. Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez even made an incredible movie trailer about it, named ‘Arizona Speed’.

Photo Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports



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  • People get cancer all the time without smoking. Nice analogy and logic, Coach.

  • Yes, Lord Saban, we should use logic and logic says you are only against the up-tempo offenses because it gives teams the best chance of beating your defenses.
    I don’t know what’s funnier, the horrible analogy to smoking or his referring to himself in the third person.

    • I think Bama actually beat more HUNH offenses than they lost to…

      • You can’t really count Ole Miss as a HUNH team yet. Let their coach get players in there that fit his system and they are going to be dangerous.

        • Lol, that’s so typical of an auburn fan. Exclude the arguments that go against your agenda. “Don’t count this, just that”. If you take away all the wins they’ve had again HUNH teams, Bama has yet to win against one.

      • That’s why I said it gives teams the best chance to win, NOT that Bama always, or usually, loses to HUNH. As stated before, I give credit to Saban for wanting his team to be unstoppable and trying to achieve that goal through any and all means necessary.

    • Dawg and Vols, the butthurt in your post is embarrassing. The bitterness that lingers from your team’s last loss to Alabama lingers on and on.
      “Lord Saban’s” defense has ground UT’s offense into powder. UGA plays great ball but has not yet beaten “Lord Saban”.
      I seriously doubt “Lord Saban” is worried about the HUNH any more than he is about any other great offense. They all have to be defended. The ones that rely on a gimmick like HUNH, rather than talent, will eventually be hogtied, but right now the HUNH has a strong position. It’s an equalizer. (Did Obama create the HUNH?)

      • Skull, your level of stupidity is embarrassing. Richt beat Saban twice, once while your Lord was at LSU and once while your Lord was at Bama.
        If Saban is not “any more” worried about the HUNH than other offenses, then why has he singled out for criticism the HUNH and no other style?
        Sometimes you dumb masses make it way too easy.

  • I’m just going to post this again:

    This is only a study on 2012, but that’s a pretty solid collection of data. And the data suggests that the slower the pace of play, the greater the risk of injury. So, maybe just smoke your cigarettes quickly…..

  • Man, I’ve tried to stay away from CFB this spring. I just can’t. Thanks in part to the 10 sec rule. Anyway, anyone who compares hurry up offenses to cigarettes isn’t using logic. I mean, cigarettes, really. I don’t smoke, and I wouldn’t get it even if i did. The real reason he wants to slow down offenses is because he thinks it’s a competitive advantage and his teams have been very vulnerable to this style of play.

    • You wouldn’t get cancer even if you did smoke? How do you know that? Competitive advantage? I get that argument if Bama really sucked..but do they really? I mean I know they lost but didn’t they beat a couple of HUNH teams this season? Just saying..

    • Amazed at these responses. Whatever is said here must be spun into something that makes Nick Saban look or sound foolish for anything he does or says. How ’bout yall get around to making it look/sound foolish to hoist a National Championship trophy over your head?

  • Just the other day I thought he said he didn’t really have an opinion on it?? Literally sounds like a two year old crying in the candy store because they ran out of gummy bears

  • If you look at the data that’s out there, up-tempo teams have LESS injuries than the big, fat, slow teams. You want logic? Get your guys in shape (besides round) and they won’t get hurt as easily

  • LoL. Even with a moderate learning curve Saban will make short work of developing fastball plays and fastball defense. Fastball has mainly been used as a gimmick up until recently so just give him time to give it serious attention. If you pay attention to the work he’s currently doing with the team you will notice that he is already preparing to counter fastball plays. I should also mention that Saban hasn’t done anything that wasn’t in the best interest of the players and team as a whole–try not to consume so much Haterade. Either way this decision goes Saban will continue to be a dominating force in college football…as for the whiners out there–keep on whining, it’s what you do best.

  • Use some more logic Saban! Ok, so Saban truly is using LOGIC, then doesn’t it make since to limit the size of players to say, 6′ 2″ and their weight to say, 250 lbs??? “LOGICALLY” anyone bigger might hurt someone significantly smaller to a greater degree right? Hmmm!!!

  • CNS at least brings up the safety and abuse factor as possibilities. Those who believe CNS is just and only trying to create a level playing field for his team should be the same ones that agree HUNH advocates are trying to do the same for theirs. For coaches and programs to advocate HUNH and quickly dismiss the possibility of injuries and player abuse and could be considered cold and impersonable.

  • Let me just say right off this 10 second proposal was a joke and was never going to pass and I hope it never does. The HUNH offenses are nothing more than a fad anyway. It’s hard to defend them for a year and then the defenses, especially the well coached one’s always catch up. It’s to the point now where a DB can’t even touch a WR without getting flagged not to mention that if he hits anywhere close to the neck or head area he’s flagged for leading with the helmet. With all the rules now hindering defenses these type of offenses are only taking us another step closer to basically playing flag football. I think also that is what Saban was trying to say! Is this where you want the game to go! Don’t get your panties in a wad, and it’s just my opinion but I don’t think you will ever win championships on a consistent basis because it changes the way you have to practice and it does take away some of the physicality of the game.

    Think about how stupid you sound when you say that there is no logic being used in the injury argument! Of course there will be more injuries! Just think about it and use a little common sense. There again, I don’t care and I like to see more football and injuries are always going to be aprt of the game. Gator Jon is only going to report the part of the story that he wants you to hear but here is the rest of the story from the ESPN piece with Saban that will shed some light on the injury argument.

    While an outpouring of coaches have said there’s no evidence that player safety is compromised by speeding up the tempo and generating more plays in the game, at least one noted neurosurgeon is genuinely concerned about the length of the college game now and the number of snaps some teams are playing.
    Dr. Julian Bailes has been around the game for more than 30 years. He’s the chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery and co-director of the NorthShore Neurological Institute in Evanston, Ill.
    “I think it’s not accurate when people say we have to study this because we don’t have any evidence or know anything about it,” Bailes said. “I don’t think that’s true. I think we have some facts and do know something about it. Now, we probably should study it more. But to say we don’t know anything about this is disingenuous and inaccurate.”
    In particular, Bailes points out that studies have shown that players are seven times more at risk to be injured in games than in practice.
    “If you play more snaps, you’re going to have more exposure. I think that’s a fact,” said Bailes, who’s been a consultant for the NFL Players Association and an advisor to the NCAA. “It bears very serious consideration on whether the game should be slowed down or have fewer plays if you believe exposure equals injury risk or player safety.

    We know if you play another 20 to 25 snaps a game, you’re going to have more exposure to all injuries, and you’re going to have more potential for concussions, and you’re going to have more blows to the head, whether they call them concussions or not.”

    • Why don’t you go look at some statistical evidence first? Go look at teams that play Oregon and Stanford every single year and take a look at which team they have more injuries against.

  • I played at bama and never ran a no huddle offense but I still got cancer from second hand hurry up . Come on saban cigs do kill people don’t make little of a real life disease it’s football a game. You know letting a kid that assaulted a person back on the team is just as bad as smoking . Whatever happened to student safety