Nick Saban Thinks No-Huddle Offense Isn't Football

By Jason Priestas on October 4, 2012 at 3:47a

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Jimmy's picture

I can't believe Nick "I'm sorry we don't have a place for you anymore, yeah I know you've already moved in and can't go anywhere else now!" Saban can talk about "fairness.". He's pretty much the worst.

painterlad's picture

This is exactly why college football is a million times better than pro football. In the pros you have essentially two or three types of offenses. In college, you may face a power running game one week, a triple option the next, followed by a spread offense, followed by any combination of who knows what.
Not every team can get the elite players like Ohio State, USC or even Alabama. Some teams, like WV or Northwestern, have to improvise with lesser talent and a hurry-up offense is a great equalizer.

To err is human. Really sucking requires having yellow stripes on your helmet.

William's picture

Translation: "I don't like defending against it."-Nick Saban

Kurt's picture

Stole my comment.

BucksfanXC's picture

"I didn't pay these players to come here and have to defend that offense."

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

O-H Kee Pa's picture

Exactly. As a defensive mind, can you blame him for not liking it?

buckz4evr's picture

I'm sure many felt the same way when the first collegiate legal pass was thrown in 1906.  Footbal is constantly evolving and you either adjust or get left behind.  I'm not taking anything away from Saban.  His record speaks for itself, but things have been trending more toward the no huddle for years, and the NFL is starting to make adjustments to their game as a result.   Actually, the no huddle was very successful for the Cincinnati Bengals in the late 80's.  So it has been around for quite some time.  I'm not a huge fan of the no huddle, but it is very successful and evens the playing field so we don't see the huge blow outs we used to see.  Makes every game more interesting to watch.

yrro's picture

I will say, I gain a special level of enjoyment watching one of these modern, up-tempo, no huddle offenses get stopped in their tracks by a good defense.

awwwwwwop's picture

See e.g., Ohio State v. Oregon, Rose Bowl (Jan. 1, 2010).

"Who cares? Go Bucks." - Aaron Untch

btalbert25's picture

I love no huddle because you actually get to see football not a bunch of guys standing in a circle for more than half the game. 

rdubs's picture

A no huddle orchestrated like Peyton Manning or (ugh) Tom Brady, is one of the most beautiful things to watch.  There is no need to snap it every 15 seconds like Oregon's offense.  But they know the whole playbook and can go to the line and have 25+ seconds to pick the best possible play.  By the time Braxton is a senior, I hope our offense has similar characterisitics.  This is one reason why I was excited to hear that he was able to make audibles only a month into the first season in this offense.

yrro's picture

I do like football more when there are more audibles from the quarterback and middle linebacker. I'd rather see the players competing mentallty and physically than watch two middle aged men play an RTS.

SilverBulletNYC's picture

Yeah...I don't think people should be able to run a 3-4 isn't football.

The South will NOT rise again!

NoVA Buckeye's picture

Beat me to it haha

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

Optimistic Buckeye Pessimist's picture

Punting is essentially giving up.  Is this what we want to teach our kids?  Try three times and then give up?  Punting is un-American - it's closer to European futbol and Rugby than American football.  Is this what we want football to be?  Pretty soon we won't be able to use our hands. 

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hodge's picture

My God, it's tactics.  This would be the same as Urban saying, "pattern matching isn't football, because it combines the benefits of both zone and man coverage".  This entire sport is built upon the advancement of those tactics, in all three phases of the game.  
Besides, it's not like they're powerless to dictate the tempo: they can merely fake the "injuries" most defenders do to get a substitution in.  Now, in my opinion, that isn't football.  I think if you go off the field on an injury timeout, you need to sit out an entire series, not just a single play.  It's way too easy to exploit the system against a no-huddle that way.
The only real offense to violate the "spirit and fairness" of the game is the A-11 offense, which has been banned (I believe) in all competitive levels of the sport.  The only reason I cite it as unfair is because it relies on a loophole in the rulebook that everyone except the center is eligible downfield in a punt formation.  Therefore, you line the entire team up in a bastard "punt" formation with a quarterback and halfback, side by side, and the rest of the team spread sideline to sideline in "pods", and you have the makings of a damn-near-impossible-to-completely-defend defense.  

William's picture

You could still run the A-11 offense in college, but it's only allowed on 4th down or when "it is obvious that a kick may be attempted." It isn't allowed in the NFL, and was banned from high school football in 2009. It's still allowed in any league below high school though. 

hodge's picture

Right, that's what I thought.  They corrected the loophole, because it was originally ran since there's no official rule dictating that a punt must be attempted solely on fourth down.
I'm a huge fan of its inginuity, but the fact that it exploits a loophole in the rules to make it succeed cheapens the hell out of it, for me at least.

BLeezy17's picture

No-huddle is just oversigning of plays. Figure Saban would love that.

Grayskullsession's picture

Hey Nick just think of the no-huddle as an oversigning of plays. That you could get behind!

"if irony were made of strawberries, we' d all be drinking a lot of smoothies right now."

Doc's picture

Anything new is always looked down upon.  As humans we don't like change, typically.  I wasn't a big fan of the spread offense at first either.  It seemed like cheating too.  But, it is a legal part of the game and an advancement of a tactic, as Hodge pointed out.  Deal with it Saban, just like the rest of us have.
I like the idea of the "oversigning of plays".  He should understand it totally.

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OSUBias's picture

If there is anything not to like about the spread, it shouldn't be the no huddle. Much like the A-11 offense tidbit above, some of the airraid offensive plays are now starting to exploit the rule...well more the rule enforcement. The combination run pass plays, for example, when the QB reads the LB and then either hands off or throws a pass. In some versions of that play, you've got the oline run blocking downfield. It is only legal because the QB throws the ball while the linemen are still within (i forgot what the college allowance is, 1-2 yards of the LOS?) the approximate range of the LOS. Same thing with the bubble screen passes that allow the olinemen to block downfield. If you watch a lot of the airraid offenses, a lot of those passes (especially the inside bubble) end up crossing the LOS before they are caught. This hardly ever gets called in college, because the plays happen so fast it's really hard to tell in real time if the linemen were too far downfield or not.

7 yards and a cloud of dust is a beautiful thing

hodge's picture

Yeah, I guess that I just don't see that anywhere near as blatant as the A-11 is.  It's like in baseball, you could argue that Johnny Cueto's pickoff move is technically a balk because his back leg moves as he pivots his left foot up to execute his turn, he just does it so fast that umps won't/can't call it.  I suppose I see these things as merely stretching the rules and ideas of misdirection to the breaking point, but not going past it.

OSUBias's picture

Definitely agree. It's just taking advantage of a rule that is pretty hard to enforce; definitely not the same as the A-11 offense. I was just pointing out that I can see some people having a real issue with some items of the spread offenses, but the no huddle is not near the top of the list. Nor is it on the list at all.
Saying you don't like the no huddle is like saying basketball teams shouldn't be allowed to fast break.

7 yards and a cloud of dust is a beautiful thing

cplunk's picture

The game evolves. It's what happens. In the long run, that evolution is what makes the game so interesting. We get to see new things tried and discover if they are evolutionary dead ends or brand new aspects of the game. 
Arguing about whether something is "real" football is silly. If it works, then it is part of what real football will become. If it doesn't, coaches will stop using it. Opinion doesnt really matter in the end because its existence will be determined by its effectiveness.
Personally, I've always found it sort of gimmicky, but I really, really like the complexity it puts into a college season. Coaches cant prepare themselves to play only traditional offenses. One game might be against a power, running, eat-the-clock team and the next against a power spread or an air-raid type offense. This is good for the game because you have to be a complete defense to win a national title (or at least a defense that compensates for its weaknesses very well). 

One Bad Buckeye's picture

Quick, somebody feed Saban a wah-burger with french cries.......let him wash it down with a whine-eken.   
Everyone knows that Saban is the only one allowed to have a competitive advantage here, COME ON!!!!!

"I'm One Bad Buckeye, and I approve this message."

buckz4evr's picture

Speaking of Saban, has anyone else noticed how Urban gets that smirky look on his face every time Saban's name is mentioned.  God only knows what went on between those two when they were bitter rivals playing in the same conference.

onetwentyeight's picture

Translation: I don't like equalizers that take away my massive advantage in resources, facilities, recruiting, scouting, etc. 

buckeyechad's picture

Love it. Think it shows that Saban (who's teams often look nearly unbeatable), does have some weaknesses, and apparently one of them is exactly how our offense is being set up.

NoVA Buckeye's picture

I don't like oversigning, Mr. Saban. It isn't football. It's immoral, corrupt, and hurting the game of football.

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

onetwentyeight's picture

Kicking a kid out of school mid-way through his freshman year: "Is this what we want football to be?" 
-Nick SaTan

luckynewman13's picture

It amazes me that a guy with that much success can whine as much as he does.

Poe McKnoe's picture

They don't call it a Napoleonic complex for nuthin'.

johnblairgobucks's picture

I don't believe Alabama's Fax-Cam girl in a short dress on NLOI Day is what I wan football to be like, however, in the same vein as the "no huddle" offense, it's what many high school recruits want football to be like.

Kurt's picture

I can't wait for an Ohio State vs Alabama national title game next year.  

bigbadbuck's picture

Frankly who gives a rats patootie what Nick Saban thinks?

Gentlemen, you can't fight in here, its a war room