College Football Nation: “Saban Rule” Trashed and Clemson Changes How We View College Football

Jeff Hostetler FishWrap, FishWrap Archive

It’s a good thing we have March Madness to look forward to very soon, because this is the dull time for college football between signing day and spring ball that we dread. There is still a lot of news with the “Saban Rule” being entertained or trashed on a daily basis; we have new helmet cams to change the way we view the game; and even some thoughts on changing the signing day process.  If you follow what is going on “off the field” of college football, then you will see there are still plenty of things to occupy your free time.  Let’s get into the news and thoughts from this past week of college football.

1)  Nick Saban’s name is officially the name of good and evil in college football. (Editor’s note: Well, sort of like ‘Satan’ is officially the name of good and evil in the overall world, anyway.)  He has become supreme when it comes to how college football will be governed and ruled.  Well, that is just a thought thanks to Steve Spurrier making this No “No huddle” rule being named after Saban.

The NCAA committee has finally come to its senses and has put this rule on the back burner.  Thank goodness.  Speed is the name of the game, and I am glad the NCAA will just let it be for now.  This does not mean Saban does not want the rule to be looked at and voted on at another time.  I really think it was Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema and his remarks about a Cal player dying is what made the NCAA just look away for now.  As long as coaches such as Bielema and Saban say the rule is for “safety,” then it will always be up for discussion until some one makes some changes.

2)  I remember Maryland back in the day used a “helmet cam” to let coaches see what the player sees as he is going through his reads during practice.  It was a good idea, but I never heard much more about the “helmet cam” . . . until now.

Clemson is taking the helmet cam to a whole new level.  Check out the video posted right here about how the new helmet cam will look and function for anyone who uses it.  After watching that video, all I can say is . . . WOW.  Imagine if this gets passed and before you know it, all of the top players on the field have this hooked up to their helmet.  Just think how cool it would if they are able to have this going during a game and then show what was going on in Marcus Mariota’s helmet cam as he does a fake hand off and races down the field 60 yards for a touchdown.  I hope they keep pursuing this so we one day can have this actually going on during the games and get an even bigger on-field experience.

I think it would be amazing to be able to see what it looked like through the helmet cam of Mariota and Thomas as this play unfolded.  I am on board for getting all the helmets hooked up with this so we, the fans, can start really seeing the on-field action unfold.

3)  There has been talk about having an “early” signing day before the actual National Signing Day, the first Wednesday in February.  I am interested to see how this goes over with everyone.  This could take the drama out of the coaches fighting over that 5-star recruit to commit.

How many times on signing day do we expect player “A” to sign with school “B” but then changes his mind last minute and goes with school “C”?  It happens all the time and most coaches are able to go into a kid’s home and change his mind from committing to the school he has already chosen.  So in effect, the rule could help coaches keep committed players on a short leash.

On the down side you will have players committed to a program and then the coach is fired or leaves for another job.  The NCAA could do an earlier signing day but make a few rules with it that will help the kids out when unexpected thing happen at the current school they are committed to.  Whatever happens, let’s hope we don’t miss out on fun signing day drama like this:

If you are looking for some fast-paced action, then tune in this week when most of the basketball conference tournaments happen.  It is always fun watching schools out of nowhere try to lock up a bid to the Big Dance.  This year in college basketball, no one team has been dominant . . . should make for a fun time filling out a bracket.

Those are my random thoughts for the week outside the field of play in college football.  As for football, we’ve got spring ball to look forward to.  Starting next week we will also spend some time looking at the beginning of next season and the match ups that will be kick off the season.  Is it August yet?


1. MULLEN staying put

2. Nebraska keeping coach . . . for now

3. College football hall of fame

4. Penn State drama

5. The new $3 million dollar man



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