What Alabama football's Nick Saban thinks of proposed clock rule changes

Nick Kelly
The Tuscaloosa News

The NCAA football rules committee announced three proposed changes to timing in games in early March that must now be approved by the NCAA playing rules oversight panel in April.

The three proposed rule-changes:

  1. The game clock will not stop after a first down
  2. Teams can't call consecutive timeouts
  3. Penalties at the end of the first and third quarters would transfer to the opening of the next quarter.

These rules changes are "intended to continue the effort to control the flow of the game and encourage more consistent game management," the NCAA wrote in a news release on March 3.

In a recent sit down interview with Sports Illustrated, Alabama football coach Nick Saban gave his thoughts on these proposed changes as well as one that was not advanced, per SI, that would have led to the clock not stopping after an incompletion.

"I’m kind of for the first down thing, but I’m an old NFL guy," Saban said. "I’m not quite as in favor of the incomplete pass. You throw a pass 50 yards down the field, it takes people time to get back, and now the clock is running?"

Saban said if you ask fans, they think the game stoppages for replay take too long.

"What the NFL has done, where the guy doesn’t go over and always has to look in the thing and that decision gets made by video review quickly, I think that would help it," Saban said. "I lived in the NFL where you had to throw the flag out there [to challenge]. You don’t have time. Unless it’s an obvious mistake, you really don’t have time between plays and if the other team knows there’s a controversy, they are going to go fast so you have less time."

Saban noted he likes the college system better but would like to see it put into practice differently.

Then SI asked Saban if he was against coaches challenges. He said he didn't like it in the NFL.

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