Nick Saban explains why the Tide's version of the no huddle is different

Back when the ten-second rule was a hot button issue, Nick Saban stood behind the proposal with reasons of his own (mostly because it put the defense at a disadvantage substitution wise), however, Saban and new offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin took college football junkies by surprise by using some no huddle principles in their win over West Virginia this past weekend.

Lane Kiffin had the offense ready for some no huddle, and finally had to use it about midway through the second quarter when Blake Sims (starting his first game under center for the Tide) had some issues relaying the formations and play calls in the huddle. While they certainly didn't seem to have the same sense of urgency at the line of scrimmage as most no-huddle teams, they still managed to get in nearly 20 more plays than they averaged in 2013.

As Saban explains it, their no-huddle isn't like what you see at Texas A&M or Ole Miss. While most teams use the up tempo pace for an advantage, Saban sees the no huddle as a way to communicate more effectively. 

"We weren't really trying to go fast. We can go fast, but to me, for us, it was a communication issue." Saban explained in an AL.com piece.

"It's easier to communicate when you're going no-huddle because you just have code words and short words for plays and passes and that kind of stuff. It eliminates the communication in the huddle, it makes it easier for the quarterback, so that's the reason that we went to it to settle Blake (Sims) down in the game."

Instead of the popular hurry-up no huddle, AL.com writer Michael Casagrande has tabbed the Tide's version as the "no-huddle, no-hurry" and with Kiffin pulling the trigger on offense, it's here to stay...even if it remains to be in small doses, it has its clear advantages.

Commercials we'd like to see coaches make

There are two things Washington State wants you to be aware of: it has the first organic egg program in the United States, and it employs Mike Leach as its head football coach. What better way to combine those completely divergent facts than this commercial? 

This made us wonder, what other commercials would we like to see coaches make? Here are our suggestions:

Mike Gundy's dance DVDs: "Am I a Man, Or Am I a Dancer?"

Bob Stoops endorsing Paul Finebaum's new book, My Conference Can Beat Your Conference.

P.J. Fleck stumping chocolate milk as a workout supplement. Oh wait, that already happened.

Bill Snyder selling Red Bull. Dana Holgorsen selling Taco Bell. 

Steve Spurrier and Dabo Swinney on conflict resolution counseling.

Tommy Tuberville hawking potato chips again.

Auburn Tuberville chips

And, of course, Les Miles selling corndogs.

What would you like to see?

Coaches Challenge: How fast can you do 100 push-ups?

Last night we noticed this tweet from the good folks at FAU.

While some people around the office may be referring to him today as the "push-up-machine", Roger Harriott is actually the assistant head coach and running backs coach for the Owls.

100 push-ups in 54 seconds is very impressive, but we couldn't help but wonder if there is a coach out there that can top it.

Of course, competitors that saw that tweet felt a burning desire to top it, and coach Ro of Crosby HS (TX) was the first to publicly accept the challenge. More have since followed suit with action.

Now the challenge being officially administered to everyone reading this article. Can you beat coach Harriott's 100 push ups in less than a minute? Let us know if you get it beat @FootballScoop.

Are you up for the challenge?

The best under-the-radar coaching hire of 2014

On Nov. 30, 2013, UAB lost to Southern Miss, 62-27, closing a 2-10 season with a 35-point loss to a team riding a 23-game losing streak. Rock, meet bottom. On Saturday, UAB opened its season with a 48-10 whipping of Troy. The 73-point turnaround was the largest loss-to-win jump of any in college football from the end of 2013 to the beginning of 2014. 

What changed between then and now? Garrick McGee decided he'd rather be Louisville's offensive coordinator than UAB's head coach. And, because of that, everything else about the program. 

With a coaching search he didn't foresee on his hands in the middle of January, athletics director Brian Mackin quickly settled on Jacksonville State head coach Bill Clark as his top target, and he remained that way throughout the interview process. "We interviewed several people for the job but Bill kept coming back as the lead candidate," Mackin told FootballScoop. "He comes across as a sincere man, a family man, and couldn't be a better fit for us."

What made Clark such a good fit was his familiarity with the area after leading Jacksonville State to an 11-4 record in his one season as head coach, his half-decade as South Alabama's defensive coordinator, and his 107-11 mark as a head coach in the Alabama high school ranks. Most importantly, Clark was prepared to lead the UAB program as it stood in January 2014, not some idealized version of what it could potentially become in the future.

"I wanted that to have somebody that had been in the game as a head coach," Mackin said. "Bill had been a very successful head coach in high school, won state championships, and then was the head coach at Jacksonville State when I hired him. He'd always been a winner, so I wanted that. I also wanted somebody that did more with less. We struggle sometimes with our facilities. Bill came in, saw our facilities and said, 'We can win with these facilities.'"

Clark hasn't changed the facilities, yet, but he has changed everything else about the program - up to and including the uniforms.

"He also brought a whole other attitude in conditioning, how they eat, how they go to school, how they treat their professors. Total culture change, and they all bought in," Mackin said.

Mackin says transforming the strength program was the key for Clark to transforming the entire program.

"We hired Zac Woodfin from the Green Bay Packers. He's made a tremendous difference with the size of the kids. You can really tell how much bigger that we had gotten. And really comparing ourselves to Troy, you could see the difference. We were bigger than them, and that's not always been the case in the past. Nutrition, how they take care of their bodies, the training part has made a huge difference," Mackin said. "Their attitudes have changed for the better. They've got more confidence, they like our coaching staff. Our coaching staff is really interested in helping them become better student-athletes but champions on the field."

Suddenly a team that could not run the ball against Southern Miss, 36 carries for 145 yards in the November loss, poured through Troy's defense for 338 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 55 carries. A team that could not stop anybody on the ground (120th in yards per carry allowed) or through the air (120th in yards per attempt allowed) limited Troy to just two yards per carry and 6.48 yards per attempt. 

It's just one win, and who knows how good or bad Troy ends up being this season, let alone UAB, but the win reinforced the players' belief in the transformation they have undergone. "After the Troy game I saw it in their eyes, the confidence they now have with Bill and his coaching staff," Mackin said.

Mackin says he always believed UAB would win, and quickly, under Clark, to his head coach's chagrin. The opportunity is there, especially in what should be a down year in Conference USA's East Division. The UAB win, and the 10-and-a-half touchdown turnaround it brought from the close of 2013, didn't change that. "It reinforced my expectations that he is who he is and they're doing things the right way," Mackin said.

Go inside a position meeting at Ole Miss

It may be only two minutes long, but here Ole Miss provides a quality sneak peek inside of their tight end meeting with position coach Maurice Harris.

After coaching his guys up on the film footage, coach Harris keeps one sophomore tight end (Taz Zettergren) in the room to talk about how he's one snap away from seeing the field.

"You've got to step your game up man. You're making too many mental mistakes. What can I do to help you?"

It's always good to see guys like coach Harris who demand attention to detail in the film room, and still take some time to pull guys aside and let them know he cares. Harris is one of the many guys on Hugh Freeze's staff like that.

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