Is Nick Saban behind this insane rant about fast-paced offenses in college football?

Nick Saban
(Getty Images)

College football coaches are apparently willing to say a lot if given the cloak of anonymity.

ESPN's Alex Scarborough wrote a great story on the art of faking injuries in college football, and inside of that article is a head-scratching quote from an unnamed coach in the sport. The coach, identified as "a defensive-minded head coach at a Power 5 program," ranted about fast-paced offenses that have helped shape college football in recent years.

This coach believes there are too many rules on offense that are "friendly to deception." And deception in this coach's mind is apparently lining multiple receivers on one side of the field.

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"Is putting so many receivers on one side of the ball, going as fast as you can, that kind of trick and deception, is that a good look? So there's your argument: 'OK, don't lie on the ground and fake an injury. OK, well, don't do this bulls—.' It's not football. That's trick 'em. Are we trying to trick people or fundamentally trying to teach them how to play the game?

"OK, all the trick 'em, d— 'em, bulls—, is that what we want it to look like? We want to win because we trick you? Or are we going to beat you because we're physical, we're tough, we outrun you, got great talent, make a great catch, whatever it is? The game is great. But let's face it: A lot of this college football stuff in certain leagues is a joke. It's a joke. We're going to score because we trick you better than others. I personally don't want to spend my time tricking people.

"Again, deception is deception. Setting things up and trick plays, that's a fun part of the game, too. I'm talking about straight tempo, trick 'em, four guys on the side, end over, tackle eligible, all this stuff. All right, then let's get rid of all that."

While this coach wasn't willing to provide a name, there were a few details provided by the writer.

  • He coaches a Power 5 school
  • He is defensive-minded
  • This coach has had "some of the best defenses in the sport the past five years"

We also know the author is from Alabama who covers the Tide's football program extensively.

While we don't know for sure if it's Saban, there's definitely plenty of context clues to suggest it is him. We also know Saban has voiced his complaints about fast-paced offenses in the past. In 2012, Saban had a memorable rant where he ended it by asking, "Is this what we want football to be?"

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Saban is also against trick-type plays, as displayed last season in Alabama's loss to Auburn. Gus Malzahn pulled off a clever play involving their punter that ended up costing the Tide. After the loss, Saban called it “a pretty unfair play.”

Several other Twitter users also guessed this quote came from Saban. But some were looking at different coaches. Other guesses included someone from the Big Ten, specifically Jim Harbaugh. Others thought Pitt's Pat Narduzzi was behind it, among others.

We'll probably never truly know the identity of this coach, but it's fun to guess.

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