Sep 21, 2013; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban cheers on his players following a touchdown against the Colorado State Rams at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Alabama defeated Colorado State 31-6. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Saban to finally embrace up-tempo offense?


Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban has always been on the record as opposed to the proliferation of up-tempo offenses in college football. In an interview with ESPN.com on Thursday, however, Saban revealed that he may move the team (albeit begrudgingly) toward a more fast-paced style of play.

Said Saban:

It’s something we’re going to look at. I think we’ll have to. I think we need to play faster and will have to do more of that going forward. The only reason we haven’t done more of it to this point is that our guys seem to play better when we don’t [go fast] just because it’s been our style and we’ve had reasonably good success moving the ball and running the ball.

Saban went on to say that he believes over 80% of colleges will be running up-tempo offenses within the next five years “unless they do something to slow them down, which they should” (“they” being, perhaps, an NCAA rules committee or some other governing entity). While that is not exactly a ringing endorsement of the no-huddle style of play, it does sound like Saban’s seen the writing on the wall and knows he has to adapt. And, really, the idea of a team as loaded with NFL talent as Alabama running an offense similar to Oregon is damn terrifying.

[Source: ESPN]

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Tags: Alabama Crimson Tide Nick Saban

  • DaleC

    A rule change? Yeah, that’s what we need to do, slow the game down. Maybe, one day, it will be as boring as baseball.

    • djbillyd

      Nah, it won’t slow down. Alabama will just keep stopping it and wearing the oppositions defense out, and it will stop on it’s own. It’s the new fad, and it will fade into obscurity like the wishbone did.

      • DaleC

        Is that why Bama’s coach is suggesting a rule change?

        From the article – “unless they do something to slow them down, which they should” (“they” being, perhaps, an NCAA rules committee or some other governing entity)

        • djbillyd

          Well, Nick is a perfectionist. He is always prepared for what goes on, on the field. I watch as much football as the next person. Until I see the HUNH win championships, I won’t buy that either. “They” won’t have to stop it. Trueblood defensive minds, like Nick Saban, Will Muschamp, Kirby Smart, Bill Belicheck, the Harbaugh’s wil make OC’s start trying something new. DEFENSE doesn’t morph into anything but more DEFENSE. Offenses come and go, but DEFENSE will always be DEFENSE!

          • DaleC

            Auburn won with the HUNH. Others will soon enough.

            Defenses change just as rapidly, if not more so. The HUNH is an example of offense morphing into “more offense”. In fact, Bama is a great example of a constantly morphing “d” that gives you multiple looks in one play set. Bama’s awesome “d” is the HUNH on the other side of the ball.

            Again, if Saban can stop it with no problem, why is HE suggesting a rule change to eliminate the HUNH?

          • djbillyd

            Defenses that change are just as useless as offenses that keep changing. Bama’s “D” is not ever changing. It’s players just execute it better. It’s the same schemes, it just gets done the RIGHT way, and remains effective. If you mean positioning changes, then yeah. But morphing, absolutely not. The 3-4 is the 3-4. The 4-4 is the 4-4. The 5-3 is the 5-3. They are not going to “change” to be effective. They are just executed to be effective. Did I make that clear? It seemed kinda redundant, is why I asked.

          • DaleC

            Defenses don’t change? That must be why the best teams are still running the 46 and never blitz. Oh wait, they’re not?

            Defenses change, even within alignment sets, due to changes on the other side of the ball, whether in coverage assignments, stunts, 1-gap/2-gap, etc etc

            You can execute an 8 man front flawlessly and get your hat handed to you by any team on your schedule.

            Defenses morphed as the players did. Bruce Smith and Lawrence Taylor changed defensive and offensive alignments and strategies because no one had seen players like them before. Bama could not have run their alignments without awesome players like Cornelius Bennet, Derrick Thomas, on and on with the great LB’s, DE’s and DT’s that they have enjoyed.

          • djbillyd

            Dale, you just keep proving my point. The defenses don’t change. The players running the defenses change. And the 46 was never run as a 4-6-1. It was an alignment, not a scheme. No team ran single safety defenses Dale. The alignment mimicked a punt return set. Like I said, it isn’t the defenses, it’s the players.
            We’ll hit the merge point sooner or later. Keep trying, you’re getting closer.

          • DaleC

            We will merge when you sober up. :-)

          • djbillyd

            OK, you proved your point. The wishbone was around in the 80′s. What did that prove? I told you that there were some teams still running it. I even named 3. But when was the last time a team won the NC running the “bone”? Oklahoma in the 70′s dude. There were “Veer” variants that Nebraska ran in the 80′s, but the bone was really dead, and Alabama, which was the controversy, stopped using it after 1980. YOU proved that. So what are you trying to prove now.? Please tell me.
            I am still a believer that defenses that are still winning are the same defenses that have been winning for decades. You are arguing a moot point. But I do appreciate the videos. I am freaking out over those!

          • DaleC

            From my previous post – “Oklahoma won a NC’s in ’80, ’85 and ’86.”

            They were running the bone.

      • DaleC

        BTW, the wishbone dominated college football for almost 25 years. Fad?

        • djbillyd

          No it didn’t! 25 years? Please! The Wishbone came into the CFB ranks in 1968. It was a variation of the “T” formation with the triple option added. The “Wishbone” was useless in 1977-78 when teams started using the formation to “fool” defenses on the field and then they would “break the bone” and shift into traditional PASSING FORMATIONS. By 1983 the thing was all but gone completely out of existence. Yeah, Air Force, Navy, and Army used it because they couldn’t get traditional QB’s. Where did you get that foolishness from?

          • DaleC

            I tripped on the math and forgot to carry the one haha I should have said 15 years. Hardly a fad.

            I also could have said what I meant better by saying “teams using the bone dominated”. Bama ran it until ’83, at least, and Oklahoma into the ’90′s.

            Useless by ’77-’78? Bama won NC’s in ’78 and ’79 with combined records of 23-1, with a pure bone. They didn’t really get into variations until about ’82. Oklahoma won a NC’s in ’80, ’85 and ’86.

            Foolishness indeed :-)

          • djbillyd

            “Bear” was the last to use it, and he died in January ’83. He stopped running it totally in ’80 when Walter Lewis (QB) was a sophomore.

          • DaleC

            Bama stopped running the bone totally in ’80?

            Auburn v Bama in ’82 and BOTH schools are running the bone.

            I will save you some time…. Auburn at 16:54 and Bama at 21:34.

            I can’t find the video of Bama in ’83.

          • djbillyd

            If you watch the video, and you know the offense, then you saw Alabama running the formation as a “T” with a passing option. The “Wishbone” passed only as a diversion. Watch the video and tell me what that was. Ozzie Newsome, Alabama’s most legendary receiver, was a diversion that could run and catch. A tight end!

          • djbillyd

            The reason you won’t find any video of ALABAMA in 83 with the wishbone is because Ray Perkins was the coach, and he didn’t know (admittedly) anything about the wishbone.
            Give it up dude. And the barn, with Pat Dye in 83, ran out of the formation in 83. It was not a primary offense, and the next year, it was gone. Terry Bowden couldn’t scheme it.
            Give it up!

          • DaleC

            You said it was useless after 77-78. I post mulitple NC’s won by the bone well into the ’80′s.

            You said Bama completely eliminated the bone in 80. I proved they didn’t. Then you thell me it isn’t a bone, it’s a “T”, which it clearly isnt.

            YEs, Auburn ran from the bone because it is a RUNNING offense!!!

            This picture is from the 84 Iron Bowl, so, clearly, it was not gone in ’84.

            I am giving up because you are delusional.

          • djbillyd

            OK.

          • DaleC

            This is not a “T”. I have relaized the problem, you don’t know what wishbone is.

          • DaleC

            Auburn was still running the bone in ’83 when they were ranked #3. Like I said teams running the bone dominated for a long time.