A week ago, Alabama coach Nick Saban caused a stir when he suggested that no-huddle, tempo-pushing offenses create an increased injury risk for tired defensive players, and went on to pose the question "is this what we want football to be?"
On Wednesday during the ACC coaches' teleconference, Clemson's Dabo Swinney weighed in sharply in opposition to Saban's contention.
"I don't agree with that at all," Swinney said. "I think that's not reality."
Saban said that the no-huddle offense has "obviously created a tremendous advantage for the offense" and added, "at some point in time, we should look at how fast we allow the game to go in terms of player safety...
"The (offensive) team gets in the same formation group, you (the defense) can't substitute defensive players - you go on a 14-, 16-, 18-play drive and they're snapping the ball as fast as you can go and you look out there and all your players are walking around and can't even get lined up," Saban said. "That's when guys have a much greater chance of getting hurt when they're not ready to play."
"I don't agree with that," said Swinney. "I think that we have a play clock, and if you look at us, we substitute all the time. We play fast, but we're constantly changing personnel, constantly multiple formations and shifts and personnel groupings.
"When you do that, the defense has to be allowed to change personnel, and that's the refs' job, to manage that part. But we don't just put the same 11 guys out there and play them for 80 plays. You know, I don't know if there's a lot of teams that do that."
Swinney offered the counterpoint that offensive variety is one of the things that makes college football unique and attractive to fans.
"To me, if you look around, what makes college football fun is you have a lot of variety," Swinney said. "You see different things from week to week, whether it's the spread or the "I" or the triple option or whatever, and I think that's one of the things that makes it an incredibly popular game is that you just really never know from week to week.
"If you really want the same old thing and everybody to be conformed, then you've got that in the NFL. That's what Sundays are for, in my opinion....
"I just think that we've got a great game, and the variety makes it even better," he added. "Everybody has to have their own philosophy and be committed to it. But I don't agree with (Saban's) assessment or comments."