Would it slow the pace of the game? No. No team, not even Baylor, routinely snaps the ball before 10 seconds have elapsed from the 40-second play clock. It takes that long just to clear the tackle pile, return to the line of scrimmage, line up, maybe call an audible and then snap the ball. Even the fastest of the fast generally take at least 10 to 15 seconds to do that.
Will it give the defense more time to line up? No. Ten seconds from the end of one play to the beginning of the next is nothing. It's barely enough time to clear the pile, run back to the line of scrimmage, get a defensive call from the sideline and get into position. Again, most offenses take far more than 10 seconds before they're ready to snap the ball, and so defenses always have that extra time, too.
And will it reduce the number of plays? Not at all. Most no-huddle offenses - the ones being targeted here - aren't even hurry-up offenses. With the exception of Baylor and Oregon and maybe a few others, the idea is not to run as many plays as possible. The idea is to line up and create the threat of running a play quickly so that the defense can't substitute. Most no-huddle offenses - West Virginia's is a perfect example - then call audibles, move players around, adjust to what they see from the defense and then snap the ball.
Sometimes the only hurry-up part is hurrying to beat the end of the play clock after making all those adjustments.
So what does the 10-second rule accomplish? Only one thing. The defense has 10 seconds to substitute and the offense can't snap the ball early and disrupt that. It can be argued that by allowing those substitutions that it reduces the risk of defenders tiring and thus reduces the risk of injury, but that's bogus.
Coaches aren't worried about getting their 300-pound linemen and their 250-pound linebackers OUT of the game to rest. They don't like not being able to get more 300-pound linemen and 250-pound linebackers INTO the game on third-and-short.
In other words, they're trying to legislate against the very things that modern, no-huddle offenses are designed to do, which is to run any type of play they wish against a defense that doesn't have the specific personnel it would prefer to have on the field to stop it.
And again, if that's the goal - and obviously it is - then just say so and don't invent issues that aren't there to justify it. Like voter fraud legislation, it probably wouldn't pass if the underlying reason was stated for all to see, but at least you'd be honest about it.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.