For years, college coaches sought to emulate what they saw from the professional ranks. Innovation and sophistication came from the NFL, but a new wave of college coaches has changed all that.
Coaches like Chip Kelly, now with the Philadelphia Eagles, TexasA&M’s Kevin Sumlin, and Auburn’s Gus Malzahn have revolutionized the game of football and the running quarterback, the “Wildcat” formation, the “Pistol,” and other innovations seen in the NFL have been stolen from these and other game-changing coaches. They have changed the speedof the college game and put opponents on their heels
And, Bret Bielema is just the latest coach that wants to stop them.
While Nick Saban has long been an enemy of the hurry-up-no-huddle offense, Bielema joined the chorus declaring that the nature of the offense “has an effect on safety of that student-athlete, especially the bigger defensive linemen, that is really real.”
The new coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks has not made many friends since joining the SEC. He has boasted about his Big-10 record, particularly in comparison to Nick Saban, and now he is going after two of his other rival coaches with his comments.
Re-writing the rule book now would drastically affect the game, and, if Bielema has his way, the offenses of rival schools like Texas A&M, Auburn, and Ole Miss would have their wings clipped. For now, however, these teams figure to play a major role in the college football landscape, and it may not be too long before the NFL picks up a new idea or even plucks the college ranks for another innovative coach.