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David Cutcliffe 'blindsided' by proposed slow-down rule

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10:50 AM ET 02.15 | On Wednesday, the 12-man NCAA rules committee produced significant college football rule changes. By Friday, many head coaches, including Duke's David Cutcliffe, had spoken out against them. Cutcliffe was most concerned with the fact that he and every other coach he has spoken with (he estimated it was between 12-15 just today, from both coasts and most conferences) had no idea this proposal was coming. "We felt blindsided by this," Cutcliffe said. "I had heard it before, obviously, but I had no idea it was on the table. We did not discuss this in the (FBS) head coaches' meeting at the AFCA (American Football Coaches Association) convention in Indianapolis. It was not even on the agenda.

Raleigh News & Observer

David Cutcliffe, Grant Halverson/Getty Images David Cutcliffe, Grant Halverson/Getty Images
February 15, 2014  11:02 AM ET

I found it most interesting that Nick Saban has asked to speak to the committe about this proposed rule change.

February 15, 2014  11:10 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

I found it most interesting that Nick Saban has asked to speak to the committe about this proposed rule change.

He is a major player in this. Not good for his team and he knows it. Not enough time to get all those extra 5 star recruits on the field in defense. It levels the playing field too much for his liking. And there you have it. It never was about safety, that is a smoke screen. Alabama had more injuries than Oregon last year.

February 15, 2014  11:12 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

He is a major player in this. Not good for his team and he knows it. Not enough time to get all those extra 5 star recruits on the field in defense. It levels the playing field too much for his liking. And there you have it. It never was about safety, that is a smoke screen. Alabama had more injuries than Oregon last year.

Spot on! You're on a roll.

February 15, 2014  11:30 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

Spot on! You're on a roll.

Saban knows he does not have the QB to go fast, or any experience on his part teaching that style. His program is way behind the curve on this tactic. He is smart enough to know that. Simple really: If the old rules are not good for you then change the rules.

Hey, defenses have had free reign forever. Line up anyway you want, no such thing as an illegal formation for the defense. run around before the snap and all of that. Instead of trying to change the rules, the Sabans of the world should just do a better job of teaching defensive players how to think and react to what they see. Jeesh. A thinking athlete? Imagine that?

Teams have thrown up some big points on Bama lately. Ya could look it up....

February 15, 2014  11:36 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

It never was about safety, that is a smoke screen...

Mike Leach said exactly that yesterday on an interview I listened to. He's livid and rightly so.

February 15, 2014  11:36 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

He is a major player in this. Not good for his team and he knows it. Not enough time to get all those extra 5 star recruits on the field in defense. It levels the playing field too much for his liking. And there you have it. It never was about safety, that is a smoke screen. Alabama had more injuries than Oregon last year.

Exactly.

His defense is based on shutdown corners, big LBs and DTs. They attempt to force the play to the inside where the big guys smother the ball carrier. He would have to change from his "outside in" strategy and that would require smaller more mobile LBs, smaller/quicker pass rushing specialists and more zone coverages. His defense is not built to counter the space issues of a spread attack or the pace of a HUNH.

February 15, 2014  11:39 AM ET

Very interesting!!! Are the officials going to hang onto the ball, until the defense make their subs ??? Crap, how long will that extend a college football game, 4 hours??? All the Officials have to do is spot the ball and let the game flow. If a defense can't get they subs on the field before the offense snaps the ball, then tough ****!!!

February 15, 2014  11:41 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

Very interesting!!! Are the officials going to hang onto the ball, until the defense make their subs ??? Crap, how long will that extend a college football game, 4 hours??? All the Officials have to do is spot the ball and let the game flow. If a defense can't get *they subs on the field before the offense snaps the ball, then tough ****!!!

*their

February 15, 2014  11:42 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

Mike Leach said exactly that yesterday on an interview I listened to. He's livid and rightly so.

Good for him. Unless some big name coaches push back hard, then the NCAA will cave to the power brokers. Bring in the TV big boys too. they did not pay up all those big bucks to watch paint dry.

February 15, 2014  11:44 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

Exactly.His defense is based on shutdown corners, big LBs and DTs. They attempt to force the play to the inside where the big guys smother the ball carrier. He would have to change from his "outside in" strategy and that would require smaller more mobile LBs, smaller/quicker pass rushing specialists and more zone coverages. His defense is not built to counter the space issues of a spread attack or the pace of a HUNH.

Your smarter than I am about this. Good post.

February 15, 2014  11:46 AM ET
QUOTE(#9):

Unless some big name coaches push back hard, then the NCAA will cave to the power brokers. Bring in the TV big boys too. they did not pay up all those big bucks to watch paint dry.

I totally agree. It sure sounds like Saban is causing most of this problem.

February 15, 2014  11:47 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

Exactly.His defense is based on shutdown corners, big LBs and DTs. They attempt to force the play to the inside where the big guys smother the ball carrier. He would have to change from his "outside in" strategy and that would require smaller more mobile LBs, smaller/quicker pass rushing specialists and more zone coverages. His defense is not built to counter the space issues of a spread attack or the pace of a HUNH.

Dr., damn good comment!!!!!!!

February 15, 2014  11:49 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

*their

I liked your original better. It reminded me of the people I'm used to hearing on sports radio call in shows. "The players they need to get they money" ... stuff like that.

February 15, 2014  12:02 PM ET
QUOTE(#10):

Your smarter than I am about this. Good post.

Thanks, I'm not really smarter but I've learned a lot by listening to scouts on the local sports radio afiliates. Brian Broaddus is especially knowledgable - he scouted the Cowboys, was player personnel director at TCU and also at LSU. I spend a lot of time in the car and there is a lot of analysis being presented on sports radio. I get a lot of info listening to the college coaches' radio shows each week as well.

February 15, 2014  12:06 PM ET

What is so interesting about this proposed rules change is that there is NO documented evidence of increased injuries due to hurry-up offenses.
Saban and a few other traditionalists say it, so it is accepted as fact by the Rules Committee.
Did Nick have some cash left over from his recruiting stash to spread around the Rules Committee?

February 15, 2014  12:18 PM ET

This is not the first weird idea the NCAA has teed up this year. Remember the proposals to relax recruiting rules? Unlimited texting of recruits, unlimited number of staffers that can recruit ... many coaches and ADs came out against some of these proposals because even they could see the recruits would be overwhelmed.

February 15, 2014  12:20 PM ET

and ... the chairman of the committee that proposed this slow down rule is the head coach of a team that runs the wishbone offense. And he admitted the proposal wasn't based on data. Sounds like a real forward thinker to me.

February 15, 2014  12:43 PM ET

The rules committee should focus on changing the rules to speed up the game. The game is too long with most games lasting 4 hours.

February 15, 2014  12:51 PM ET
QUOTE(#4):

Saban knows he does not have the QB to go fast, or any experience on his part teaching that style. His program is way behind the curve on this tactic. He is smart enough to know that. Simple really: If the old rules are not good for you then change the rules. Hey, defenses have had free reign forever. Line up anyway you want, no such thing as an illegal formation for the defense. run around before the snap and all of that. Instead of trying to change the rules, the Sabans of the world should just do a better job of teaching defensive players how to think and react to what they see. Jeesh. A thinking athlete? Imagine that?Teams have thrown up some big points on Bama lately. Ya could look it up....

I believe you. Saban might also think of a Qb that goes fast, as well as throws.

 
February 15, 2014  12:52 PM ET
QUOTE(#6):

His defense is not built to counter the space issues of a spread attack or the pace of a HUNH.

Yet, the Stanfords of the world *have* in fact devised successful anti-HUNH defenses. What's the matter with Saban? Hidebound?

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