Without having coached a game for Arkansas, new Razorbacks head football coach Bret Bielema is fast making up ground on Alabama’s Nick Saban as the most curmudgeonly coach in the SEC.
A member of the NCAA’s Playing Rules Oversight Panel, Bielema recently proposed a rules change that would create a “15-second substitution period” after each first down to allow defenses to substitute. It echoes a similar “fast offenses are no fun” sentiment that Saban first expressed back in October.
“There’s times where you can’t get a defensive substitution in for 8, 10, 12 play drives,” Bielema explained to al.com. “That has an effect on safety of that student-athlete, especially the bigger defensive linemen, that is really real.”
Flying in the face of Bielema’s assertion is a tabulation of 2011 “injury stats” by college football guru Phil Steele. The four most injury-stricken teams all ran pro-style offenses, while prominent no-huddle teams such as Houston and Northern Illinois were among the least-injured teams in the country.
Perhaps Bielema simply felt he hadn’t whined about anything in a while and didn’t want to get rusty.