Big 12 football preview: How tempo became a hot-button issue in the Big 12

From the new eighth official to concern over injuries to the general demise of defense in the conference, tempo is all the rage in Big 12 football 2013.
Oklahoman Published: July 27, 2013

It's official. Tempo, once the bastion of basketball coaches, has been claimed by football. Pace of play now is more of a hot-button issue on the gridiron than on the hardwood. At least in the Big 12.

From the new eighth official to concern over injuries to the general demise of defense in the conference, tempo is all the rage in Big 12 football 2013.

“The biggest thing you have to be ready for in the Big 12 is the speed of which the ball is snapped,” said Kansas coach Charlie Weis. “It's not just no-huddle, it's how fast the ball is snapped.

“Go watch Baylor play. That ball is snapped in about 12 seconds. I said to Art (Briles, Baylor's coach), I consider myself a pretty smart offensive coach. How the hell do you get them lined up and snap the ball so quick? Organized chaos.”

Baylor is far from the only practitioner. OSU has played fast in recent years and plans to play even faster under new coordinator Mike Yurcich. OU, West Virginia and Texas Tech run hurryup offenses. Texas has adopted the concept this season.

“We feel like we can stretch a defense,” said Mike Gundy. “Rob Glass, our strength and conditioning coach, in my opinion, is the best in the country, getting our players in great cardiovascular shape, and we just feel like it's an advantage.

“We also feel like that young men who are in high school that have an opportunity to touch the football, have an opportunity to be part of an offense, want to play in that style. Years ago, when we made a change, that there was a benefit in recruiting in this part of the country.”

While the likes of Bill Snyder — whose Kansas State offenses have not embraced up-tempo — says the pace is generally getting faster and faster, TCU coach Gary Patterson said that's not possible.


by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The...
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