Good lord. He does not have a point here.
Should the pace of college football be regulated?
When you lift, you don't lift to exhaustion; you lift until you can't lift in proper form anymore. That's because your muscles start getting too tired and can't properly stabilize your joints and whatnot. That's the point where injuries occur. It's the same with football. If a DL gets stuck on the field for 10 plays, going full speed the whole time, and someone cut blocks him, he is at a higher risk of a serious knee injury because the muscles won't be able to help protect the knee from bending ways that it shouldn't.
where yes it needs to be thought about.
Clearly, it's high time for a play limit/mercy rule formula in college football. Something like X number of plays * Y point margin * Z defenders too exhausted to stand on one leg and touch their nose with their eyes closed would work.
I upvoted because rarely to we get a geniunely GREAT non-Michigan related discussion on this board.
Very good stuff. I see it both ways - some very good arguments being made, please continue!
THEY WERE SO CONVINCING IN THEIR ARGUMENT! THEY SWUNG ME!
a genuine problem, but this isn't the best way to fix it. I think they'd be better off letting DB's make more contact before and during the catch.
I agree completely and have been saying it for years. You have to be allowed to defend and small contact should be allowed, especially if the DB is looking at the play. If out of position with his back turned, that's pass interference. If in position and arriving a second early, to me, that should be allowed.
I kind of agree, but I do think there is a time to call pass interference and this would make those calls more subjective. I think the rules in place now are to make PI easier to spot and call as much if not more than they are to keep the play fair.
Both players have a right to the ball. Usually the WR is in better position to make the catch and the DB will naturally be a step late. That doesn't make contact while the ball is in the air legal, nor should it be, IMO.
Go back to the pre-1977 blocking rules. No hands, whether they're kept inside or not.
I suspect I'm in a very tiny minority that would like that, though.
I'm not as big of a Saban hater as a lot of people. Granted, I think he cheats--I think his oversigning schemes work because his players are "well taken care of," if you know what I mean. But he is not particularly more evil than a number of other coaches, and his players clearly like him, and he is a brilliant coach. And I don't really object to his jumping to greater and greater jobs.
But in making this statement he is an absolute coward.
Now, I enjoy the new hyper-fast offenses aesthetically; they are usually on my television at least as a flip. But apart from that, as a fan of football, I love the innovation that it involves; these offenses are taking advantage of an opening in the game they have found and exploiting it. That is part of the evolution of football.
And sooner or later one of these offenses is going to make some plays, sustain some drives, wear down his players, and begin exploiting his otherwise impenetrable defenses. And because he wants to play a certain way, he doesn't like that.
And he is a coward for saying this. I don't think he cares about the health and safety of players at all; if he did, he wouldn't be kicking injured players off of his team to free up scholarships.
How small. How craven. I've never respected him less.
Here's an idea: If Saban is really concerned about the safety of players, perhaps he should pioneer better, thorough PED testing for players on his and other teams. Test his players vigorously for all substances including HGH year-round and challenge other major programs to do the same.
I don't think he wants to do that.
Saban doesn't care about anything but his own self-interest. Following the "money," one can reasonably infer that Saban sees speeding up the tempo as a way that a team with inferior personnel to his NFL Developmental League team can bridge the gap a bit.
My perception is that you are referring to concussions and collision-based injuries.
The studies I linked to all refer to muscle and tendon injuries due to fatigue. But they all pretty clearly conclude that fatigue most definitely results in increased injuries.
*Note: I absolutely and unequivically disagree with Saban on this issue
These days "player safety" is like politicians talking about "jobs." "I propose a plan to drop nuclear bombs on every city in the world....my projections forecast this will generate jobs both in the making of the bombs and millions of green jobs as we clean up the planet afterwards." You can't set aside Saban's motivation here - player safety is not on his mind.
no. Next question!
Does fatigue increase chance of injury? Yes, I think so. But that's why you have depth and need to know the limit of each of your players. And the last person that should have any depth issues is Saban.
Saban is 10 times the senator that Tressel was.
Isn't that exactly the point, that your depth and knowledge of your players' limits is irrelevant if you can't make substitutions?
In other words.........NO
Yeah all those 18-play drives from fast paced spread teams are killing people.
FIRE RICH ROD
"Give me your tired, your poor, and any JUCO transfer with a questionable character who can run a 4.2. When they go down, I'll cast them aside and get another one." I saw this crap yesterday and there was nothing but sincerity as far as the eye could see. What a magnanimous prick.
I hope to God this never happens. I can't think of something more stupid said by anyone. Ever.
Exactly. Reading this thread makes me feel as though I have fallen into some sort of alternate Idiocracy-type universe. "Make another rule" isn't the solution for everything, people.
I like to think we can be more thoughtful than that. But it's true that Saban's claim seems to hang by a slender thread: do injuries climb when the hurry-up becomes a game-long deal?
Probably very hard to prove. It's even possible they could go down--playing faster COULD even out, with Os and Ds not ON the field any more or less. You score in two minutes and the D goes off field.
Likely different KINDS of plays are being made, which also alters your sample.
No doubt the spread IS changing the game. It will be interesting to see over time whether manball starts to lose out, only works for elite teams, etcetera. The advantages of the spread for small and possibly less gifted squads do seem to have been established.
See my post above. I linked to 4 seperate peer-reviewed studies that prove that fatigue raises the liklihood of mucle and tendon injuries. So, it is easy to prove, and has been proven.
That said, if you want to preserve your health...don't play football.
I don't think the OP was challenging that. I think he/she was saying we have to question whether this pace actually leads to more fatigue. It seems it does intuitively, but maybe because teams get off the field quicker and defend/execute different types of plays, maybe they are less fatigued or less prone to injury even if they are more fatigued. Not sure I agree or think this is the case, but that's the way I took it.
I had not considered that. Thank you
first you have to prove Ds, and individual players, ARE on the field more. Then you have to show length of time on the field generalized across whole teams, because if some are on more some may be off more, substitutions may be taking place in other ways (next time O has the ball, etc.; this goes to adjustments Saban has to make.) Then--beyond knowing playing more means more injuries, you have to demonstrate that it's happening in these contexts.
Intuitively, at least, fatigue isn't solely determined by total time on the field or number of plays over a game--concentrating a lot of plays into a short period of time could cause fatigue on its own, regardless of the cumulative effect over the course of a game.
Saban's concern is with the increase in probability of players being injured due to the fast pace of the game. Further, his concern must be in regards to the players on the defensive side of the ball because the offense has most of the control over the game pace. If he feels like his offensive players are so tired that the risk of injury is unacceptable, he has the power to slow the offense down and use the full play clock. Or if he is supremely concerned, he can expend a precious timeout to ensure the safety of his offensive players.
So then, on to the defensive side of the ball. The meat of this argument lies in the game situation of long / extended drives: double digit play drives. I hate to sound overly simplistic, but the defense's silver bullet here is to prevent an extended drive. They need to display sound tackling on the players' parts. The defensive coordinator needs to give advantageous RPS calls. The defense needs to stop the offense's progress and therefore curtail these extended drives.
Offenses will always have an advantage because they act first and the defense reacts. But overall, I don't think the pace of the game needs to be artificially regulated; defenses need to step up to protect their own safety.
This point is dumb. I like the fast paced offense because you get to see more plays and more action during the course of a 60 minute game. These guys are college athletes, they should be conditioned to play the full 60 minutes.
Saban is always giving his opinion about something, isn't he?
Saban: "can we please slow down the pace of football? I need to use my medical scholarships on my terrible players, and all these legit injuries are getting in the way!"
I'm not sure about the health issue here, but I am starting to feel like the offense/defense balance in CFB is becoming skewed toward the offenses (whereas in the NFL it's balanced or even in the favor of the defenses). There definitely seem to be more and more of these 49-42 type games. If rule changes can bring things more into balance, I wouldn't mind. I don't know how much of this really comes down to the hurry-up concept itself, though. Would Oregon really be that much easier to defend if it took an extra 10 seconds to snap the ball? I don't know.
Make up your mind Nick, is that you're concerned about player health/injury prevention, or is it that you think it's bad for your team (fairness). I think we all know the anwser to that one. It's ironic that Saban of all people is complaining about things not being fair. If he doesn't have all the cards in his hands, if all things don't play into his power, if he doesn't own a competitive advantage over everything he is a little baby. He is such a good coach I would just love to see him compete on a a level playing field. He just always seems to get so caught up in taking advantage of policies.
If a coach wanted to slow down a tempo offense and be able to substitute defenders all he would have to do is tell the defender leaving the game to drop and cramp up on the way off the field. There is no rule against this currently, except that the player for whom the officials call the timeout must leave the game for at least one play.
All you have to do is have a player's helmet come off.
I honestly have no idea whether slowing the game down would have any effect on injuries. However, I think this is worth talking about because I think it does mess with the game to a degree. I have no logical argument to why it can't be done, it just feels wrong sometimes. I watch an Oregon game and I don't always marvel at it. It turns the game of chess into speed. Going before the other team can even think. Sometimes I think it is tantamount to the batter's box being removed, and pitchers just hurling a ball over the plate as fast as the catcher can get it back to them. It'd be entertaining as hell for a time (seriously, wouldn't it? especially after how we've dealt with long delays between pitches) but it wouldn't be the same game anymore.
Here is a better comparison:
Teams like Oregon and Clemson and Tulane developed and started using the spread as a way to compete against teams with far bigger and stronger athletes and far superior recruiting prowess.
Let's say an MLB team with smaller, not-so-strong athletes and less "recruting prowess" (ie. money) wanted to compete with the big boys (like the Yankees, Tigers, or Angels). This team would probably create a system utilizing untapped resources (like small, fast athletes) and unconventional tactics (like hit-and-runs and emphasizing OBP rather than home runs). This team would play the game differently than we are used to, and many would say that it is a cheap way to win. They would, however, play very well, and make the postseason often. But in the bigger games, they'd probably shit the bed against the Yankees even when they led a best-of-5 series 2 games to 0.
Oh shit, I just hypothetically created money ball.
My point: "The Spread" has happened in every sport, just with different iterations. It is a way for a team with inferior talent to win games using unique advantages. To say it is "not the same game" just sounds like complaining. Oregon has to abide by all the same rules as Alabama, they are simply using their talents to their advantages while minimizing Alabama's advantages. It is guerilla warfare.
between an OL that's conditioned to snap the ball in .0001 seconds like Oregon, and one that averages a metric ton of muscle, like Wisconsin. If anything, I'd bet Saban's model causes more injuries then Chip Kelly's.
I don't think Saban was all that worried about Western Kentucky and their defense getting injured when he started three All-American's on his OL and sent out huge TE's to block guys with no shot at doing anything against them and sent a 225lb missile up the gut of their defense.
I'm guessing there are more injuries suffered playing against smaller, cut-blocking lines like the service academies'.
that if we're going to allow an OL to be as big and strong as they want to be, why shouldn't we let them play as fast as they want to play?
If we're really that concerned about injuries, how about a weight limit? I think it's pretty clear that everyone would be healthier if nobody over 250 (random number) was allowed to play.
Prohibiting people from playing is a little more drastic than controlling the pace of the game, don't you think? But if addressing your concern meant an absolute crackdown on PEDs, both for the safety of the user and of his opponents, I'm all for it.
I'm not sure why people are so cavalier about injury concerns. I thought this was one of the resaons they put in the rule allowing the defense to substitute whenever the offense did, and I thought that was a good idea.
I'm not agreeing with Saban--I just don't understand why we have to dismiss the concern because Saban's the one who brought it up and I have a sense that's a lot of what's going on on the thread.
Maybe Saban should keep his players in shape so that they aren't more likely to get injured. I have a friend who grew up in South Africa and he was comparing the size of rugby players to that of american football players and how freakish yet out of shape american football players were. I explained how spread teams are changing that trend by having fitter lineman who are not as huge. I think up tempo offensive teams built around speed are actually healthier, though I don't have statistical backup. Saban just needs to keep his team in shape and STFU.
The game itself is not safe. I think we've all known that for a long time. Saban probably just sees the pace as being mechanism for less talented teams to level the playing field a little bit. And with the talent he gets, he doesn't want that.
Sounds too much like The Shift to me... BAN IT ALL.