The Pace of Play and the Ten Second Rule is all the talk right now in college football. Maybe that’s because there really isn’t that much else to talk about since the combine is over, Spring football hasn’t started, etc. But, Flip the Field likes to keep everyone informed of what is going on so you can be in the know, look smart, intrigue the guys with your knowledge, etc. So, let me give you the abridged version of what’s going on.
In a nutshell, the NCAA rules committee is voting tomorrow (March 6th) on whether or not to create a new rule that prevents teams from snapping the ball in the first 10 seconds of the 40 second play clock.
Backing up to keep everyone together, when a team is on offense (meaning they have the ball), they get 40 seconds to figure out what play they are going to do, line up, ‘get set’ (aka be still), and hike the ball. If they take longer than 40 seconds, they get a penalty for ‘Delay of Game’ and have to go backwards 5 yards. Most teams take probably around 30 seconds to get start a play.
However, some teams like to go super quick. They finish a play and start the next play in less than 10 seconds. This takes amazing discipline, great coaching and smart players to make this happen. It gives the team who can execute it a strategic advantage over their opponents because the defense doesn’t have time to substitute players in and out and they get more tired more quickly. A lot of coaches who don’t run this kind of offense, hate playing against it.
So, why the proposal for the pace of play rule change? In my opinion? Mob rule and money! To me it is because the vast majority of teams don’t play this way and can’t keep up with teams that do. It’s also probably because of advertisers. It is hard to get enough commercial breaks in a televised game with a team that plays at that pace.
Why are they ‘saying’ they are proposing the change? They are saying that there are more plays in the game (duh!) and since there are more plays there are more chances for players to get injured. What!?!?!? Although that is more than likely statistically correct (even though no one has the statistics), it seems like a ‘convenient’ argument to squash the type of play the majority of teams don’t like.
What I hate about it is that the these fast-paced offensive games (like Oregon) are fun to watch! One of the biggest complaints about watching football is that it is boring, too much time between plays, players stand around longer than they actually play, etc. There is truth to that but not when you watch a team like Oregon. It’s bang, bang, bang.
Of course, Nick Saban is right in the middle of this little controversy. He is definitely not a fan of playing against these kinds of teams and made some analogy comparing smoking more cigarettes is more likely to give you cancer. OK, Nick. Good one. It’s a good thing you are a football coach (and a damn good one) and not a scientist.
So, now you know!