Thomasville Times Enterprise

Local News

February 19, 2014

Limiting college football's offense creates clear winners and losers

The NCAA rules committee will take a hard look at a simple college football question when it meets on March 6: More plays or fewer ones?

A proposed rule would prohibit offenses from snapping the ball into action until 29 seconds or fewer remain on the 40-second play clock. The current rule permits a center to hike the ball immediately after it has been set for play.

Proponents of the change – namely Alabama’s Nick Saban and Arkansas’ Bret Bielema – say it’s a question of player safety. The current rule makes it difficult for defenses to make substitutions. There’s simply not enough time to get players off and on the field against a no-huddle or hurry-up offense.

Limiting how quickly plays begin will benefit the defense, especially one stacked with talent that can be inserted into the game against various down and yardage situations. And that explains the furious reaction from coaches who have employed quick-striking, elaborate offensive schemes designed to score points in bundles.

Auburn’s Gus Malzahn, Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin and Washington State’s Mike Leach dismiss the idea to slow the pace of the game as a joke.

How can you blame them? They want a chance to score before the defense gets set.

The difference between teams that employ fast-paced offenses and those dedicated to defense are significant. Texas Tech led the nation’s offenses, averaging 90.3 plays per game, followed by Brigham Young, which averaged 89.9 plays.

Contrast that with Saban and Bielema’s teams. Alabama’s offense ran on average 65.9 plays, while Arkansas made 67.7 attempts.

The difference offers a clear insight into the coaches' strategic thinking and approaches to managing football games.

The offense’s advantage is twofold: It knows the play and when it’s coming. The defense’s strength is that players can continuously move to different spots on the field to enhance their chances of stopping a run or pass.

Text Only
Local News
Business Marquee
House Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Poll

Do you think Lois Lerner should be jailed for not cooperating with the House probe into IRS targeting of conservative political organizations?

Yes
No
     View Results
Video
Sports Pulse
Must Read
Must Read