College Football Spotlight: Saban’s concern

The announcement came at a convenient time. TV reports came out saying that Alabama head coach Nick Saban was lobbying the NCAA to ban the no-huddle offense — apparently for humanitarian reasons. The report said Saban was charging that the speed-up on the football field was dangerous to the athletes’ well-being.
Oregon uses the no-huddle offense, clicks off plays at a faster rate than any team in the country and was ranked No. 2 in the nation, behind, of course, Alabama.
Remember, the statement attributed to Saban that his call for the end of the no-huddle offense was strictly for football players’ health reasons and had nothing to do with the possibility that Oregon, of the Pacific 12 Conference, might wind up playing, ummmm, No. 1 Alabama, one of the BCS’s bosses in the Southeastern Conference, in January for the national championship. Obviously a real playoff (suggesting a 24-teamer) is needed. When the Southeastern Conference yells “Holy Smoke!” the BCS lights a candle at the tomb of Bear Bryant.
The BCS, uh, fixed, the problem. The first BCS rankings of the year came out this week. These rankings determine national championship game finalists and bowl matchups. Suddenly, Oregon, still undefeated, playing in a conference with several ranked teams, was rated No. 3. BCS determinators agreed with the pollsters and put unbeaten Alabama No. 1, but then roped Florida up to No. 2, ahead of Oregon, which was instantly, of the heels of the Saban report, placed at the No. 3 slot. So, if the rankings were to hold, two SEC teams, Alabama and Florida, will play for the national championship.
Even more upset than Oregon about maybe being politicked out of the title picture are SEC contenders South Carolina and Mississippi State, which figured they should be Nos. 3 and 4 because, gol-dern it, they’re in the SEC!. A few more victories over Savannah State and Florida Atlantic and the whole dang conference can fill the top 12 spots in the BCS standings and be handed all the slots in all the top bowl games.
Sounds like a plan.
Such a plan would rescue the SEC and the BCS from the embarrassment that nearly occurred two years ago when seven or eight questionable ref calls helped pull out a victory for top-ranked Auburn, of the SEC, over Oregon. Consequently, the following year the BCS advanced two SEC teams to the championship game and saw Alabama avenge a regular-season loss to LSU.
The only school in the Northwest that an SEC teams wants to schedule a football game with these days is Gonzaga.
Both Pac-12 and the SEC are playing full conference slates this weekend so no non-conference comparisons can be shown.
Don’t be surprised if the ‘Bama and Saban share the Nobel Peace Prize for their humanitarian efforts.



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