In an interesting turn of events, after being vocal about safety concerns accompanying the no huddle attacks of college football, Nick Saban is considering an up tempo approach for his guys in Tuscaloosa.
"It's something we're going to look at. I think we'll have to. I think we need to play faster and will have to do more of that going forward. The only reason we haven't done more of it to this point is that our guys seem to play better when we don't just because it's been our style and we've had reasonably good success moving the ball and running the ball." Saban told ESPN.
One of the hitches in the plan for Saban is that it would completely change the way that the Tide conduct practice, and how coaches are able to coach.
"The thing I wonder about is that if you play offense like that, then that's how you practice. You have to practice like that, so how do you really ever coach defensive players? If a guy doesn't play the right technique, you're going up and telling him and showing him how to play that block or whatever. But, hell, they're running another play."
"Unless they do something to slow them down, which they should, we'll probably be doing the same thing." he added.
The ESPN article also points out that Saban believes that the college football landscape will continue to shift in favor of the no huddle over the next five years. So much in fact that he believes somewhere between 80% - 90% of teams in college football will be running some version of the no huddle.
With the success that no huddle teams have had over the past few seasons, Saban's prediction makes a whole lot of sense. While cranking up the tempo certainly isn't a cure all for every team, it does serve as a nice item to have in your pocket when recruiting players (especially offensively), and it also provides a decisive on the field advantage for your offensive guys when it's operated correctly.
Considering that Saban has the luxury of peering into four crystal (foot)balls to help predict the future, we should probably take his word for it on this one.