The spread offense has been around for a very, very long time, but most recently in the past decade it has caught on fire. Being a Utah grad, my fist introduction to this was when Urban Meyer's spread did amazing things for the Utes back in 2004. That offense also was fast paced and other teams have caught on and are now taking it to the next level. Also, these offenses are much more fun to watch than run oriented offenses not based on the triple-option.
It seems like every team does some sort of spread offense, and then there are teams that go full force with a fast-pace and spread attack like Oregon, Texas A&M and wherever RichRod is coaching.
Now there is a giant wet blanket that also goes by the name of Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema who wants to put a stop to this exciting brand of football.
Bielema comes from the historically
slow run-first and Big Ten Universe, so when he comes out and wants to make a rule change to kill fast past offenses no one should be surprised:
"Not to get on the coattails of some of the other coaches, there is a lot of truth that the way offensive philosophies are driven now, there's times where you can't get a defensive substitution in for 8-, 10-, 12-play drives," Bielema said. "That has an effect on safety of that student-athlete, especially the bigger defensive linemen, that is really real."
Whenever student-athlete comes out of the coaches mouth, it immediately causes me to laugh a bit. However, maybe coach should hit the physics book and study up on some Isaac Newton. Specifically his third Law of motion which states for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Meaning the offensive players are exerting themselves the same as the defensive players. This is not an injury concern, but rather a testament to his out of shape defensive players.
Also, fellow SEC coach Hugh Freeze -- who happens to run a spread at Ole Miss -- brings up this great counterpoint:
"If the offense doesn't sub, the defense shouldn't sub, and that's the way the rules are," Freeze told AL.com. "Offensive players are playing, too, the same number of snaps. Are they in danger also? ... They're having to play the same number of plays."
In theory, injuries should be piling up for schools or leagues that run their offenses at a break-neck speed, but this past year there were not a ton of injuries on the offensive side of the ball to teams like Oregon, Tulsa, Marshall, Louisiana Tech or Nevada, all who were in the top-five of offensive pace.
So nice try coach, but this rule has very little chance of passing, even with Nick Saban agreeing with you on this. Luckily for Coach Bielema the SEC doesn't have too many fast-paced offense sans Texas A&M.
Make sure your strength and condition coaches just work the guys a bit more tough this summer to improve stamina, it just takes a few extra sessions on the treadmill.