Campus Corner

SEC report | Saban: Is this what we want football to be?

Updated: 2012-10-03T23:35:34Z

By BLAIR KERKHOFF

The Kansas City Star

When Alabama coach Nick Saban rhetorically asked the question, he wasn’t thinking in terms of entertainment value.

But that’s how it comes off.

“Is this how we want football to be?” Saban asked.

Crazy scoring, offensive wizardry like the West Virginia-Baylor game last week, or more defensive-minded, like Saban’s Crimson Tide, what’s your pleasure?

Saban was responding to a question on the SEC coaches’ teleconference on Wednesday, and he said his primary concern about no-huddle, fast-tempo offenses is the safety of defensive players.

“You can’t substitute defensive players; you go on a 14-, 16-, 18-play drive and they’re snapping the ball as fast as they can (and) all of your players are walking around and can’t even get lined up. That’s when guys have a much greater chance of getting hurt, when they’re not ready to play. I think that’s something that can be looked at.”

From a rules standpoint, was the inference.

College football is coming off the second-highest scoring weekend since 1937, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, with 60.9 combined total points scored in the 52 games involving FBS teams. The most offensive game occurred in Morgantown, W.Va., where West Virginia outpointed Baylor 70-63.

The points tsunami even struck the defensive-minded SEC last weekend, when Georgia defeated Tennessee 51-44.

Saban, whose Crimson Tide shut out LSU 21-0 in last season’s BCS National Championship Game, wondered if the game was headed in the right direction.

“It’s obviously created a tremendous advantage for the offense when teams are scoring 70 points,” Saban said. “I think there has to be some sense of fairness in terms of asking, ‘Is this what we want football to be?’ ”

At least one player supplied a response. From his twitter account, Missouri wide receiver T.J. Moe answered, “Sure is.”

The Tigers, who play host to Vanderbilt on Saturday, welcome Saban’s Tide on Oct. 13.

To reach Blair Kerkhoff, call 816-234-4730 or send email to bkerkhoff@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/BlairKerkhoff.

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