Cal Poly football head coach Tim Walsh said the proposed 10-second rule wouldn’t impact the Mustangs’ no-huddle offense — or many others around the country — but that doesn’t mean Walsh is in favor of the change.
If you haven’t heard by now, an oversight panel will vote March 6 whether to adopt a proposal that would force offenses to wait 10 seconds between plays before snapping the ball.
The rule would be suspended for the final two minutes of each half and has already been approved by the NCAA’s Football Rules Committee.
The plan has been losing steam since being revealed with several high-profile coaches going public in opposition. Many consider it unlikely to pass.
The new rule would essentially work to slow down up-tempo offenses that make it hard for the defense to evaluate personnel groupings and substitute accordingly.
Walsh said the 10-second waiting period would have little affect on Cal Poly, which runs a no-huddle triple option but typically takes anywhere between 13 and 17 seconds on average to snap the ball.
Walsh said he doesn’t believe many teams around the nation are getting off snaps in fewer than 10 seconds.
“I really don’t see it having that much of a difference one way or the other,” Walsh said, “but I don’t think you should change rules just to change rules.”
Proponents of the change, such as Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema, have argued that the trend toward a hurried pace in college football has become a safety issue.
As the logic follows, if fewer substitutions are made because of the quick snaps, there’s a higher likelihood of fatigue contributing to injuries or exacerbating health conditions on the field.
Drawing from his 35-plus years of coaching experience, Walsh dismissed the idea, citing inspiration from the days of ironman football, when players routinely played both ways.
To Walsh, coaches have more than enough time to substitute exhausted players as is. What they might not have is the time to make measured and nuanced substitutions on a mass scale.
And Walsh has little sympathy for that.
“If guys aren’t lining up right because of fatigue, they should be out and the second-string guy playing,” Walsh said. “Teams want more time to sub because they want more types of schemes. They don’t
want to play base defense on second-and-8. They don’t want to play their nickel and dime defense on third-and-2.”