HUNHNS proponents spend a lot of time discussing the evolution of the game. Evolution is, of course, the natural order of things, and placing the 2008 no-substitution wrinkle under the heading of "evolution" gives the whole thing an air of inevitability. Evolution casts formerly viable, even dominant, iterations on the scrapheap, and to the extent this extended metaphor offers the hope of an obsolete Saban, a lot of ABB-ers (Anyone But Bama) are "all-in" on such imagery.
So, if this is the evolution of the game, what sort of results can we expect? Where does this evolutionary branch take us? Does CFB morph into a higher plane of existence, or does it end up with 3 eyes, 5 thumbs, and a tail? Honestly, I am not sure anyone can say for sure. What we can do is project the HUNHNS ideal from currently available evidence, the direction that HUNHNS proponents would like to go. And so, my real question is this: what does the ideal HUNHNS game look like?
First of all, it needs to be fast, and it needs to be safe, and a recent spreadsheet indicates that no one plays faster or safer than the B12-4+2. I watched Texas play Ole Miss, and I can see why: Texas only pretended to block or tackle in that game. Avoiding all physical contact represents a subtle and brilliant HUNHNS strategy. HUNHNS teams need to conserve their energy, and avoiding physical contact makes the game a lot less tiring. It also makes the game considerably safer. Texas clearly hoped that pretending to tackle might convince Ole Miss ball-carriers to run out of bounds, also to avoid physical contact, but apparently Ole Miss didn't get the memo and stayed in bounds. Ole Miss was awfully impressed with itself until it ran into a team that enjoys both blocking and tackling. I could have sworn the score in that game was 25-0, but then I saw media columnists claiming that Saban had never won a game against a HUNHNS team, so now I am not so sure. But, this we know: the perfect HUNHNS game, should it occur in 2014, would probably come out of the B12.
Second, it needs more speed. We have reliable, unbiased experts on the state of the game, such as Malzahn, Leach, and Rodriguez, that insist more speed equals more football, and more football equals better football. This makes perfect sense and parallels other brilliant modern insights, such as more taxes equals more government and more government equals better government. More is always better. So, the perfect HUNHNS game will feature as many possessions as possible. Both teams will rush to the line and hike the ball at the earliest opportunity. Leach, Malzahn, and Rodriguez will stop sending in play calls, watch their teams line up, and then send in more play calls, since this only slows down the game. They will replace their play-cards with placards demanding a 12 second play clock. And higher taxes. But, this we know: the perfect HUNHNS game will feature 16 possessions per team.
Third, it needs more scoring. 65-50 and 59-42 final scores feature a lot of eye-candy, but those games also feature a lot of plays that result in no gain or even a couple of punts. We all know that such results are not what viewers really want. True fans want touchdowns, the more the better (there's that theme again). Only anal-retentive Puritans want to see the defense win a few plays, too, thus heightening the sense of accomplishment accompanying a scoring drive. No, HUNHNS fans understand that two touchdowns are always better than one, even if the two touchdowns come from an offense running the same three plays over and over again against an exhausted front seven. HUNHNS fans always prefer result to process. HUNHNS fans like to lower the rim in the backyard to seven feet, dunk on their 10 year old, and thump themselves in the chest. They just scored, after all. Doesn't matter how or why. But, this we know: every possession in a perfect HUNHNS game will end in a touchdown.
So, at the end of regulation, the final score in a perfect HUNHNS game stands at 112-112.
Here's where things get complicated. How does a perfect HUNHNS game end? Clearly, someone has to fail to score, but how? And when? After a lot of thought, I eliminated any scenario where the defense actually made a play. While such a result would be probable in a real game, we're exploring the ideal here, Plato's essential HUNHNS specimen. If the defense isn't allowed to slow down the game or deny fans the thrill of the score in regulation, it doesn't seem fair to suddenly allow for the possibility in overtime. We also can't end the perfect HUNHNS game on an offensive mistake, since mistakes are the opposite of perfection. It's definitely a quandary.
So, at the end of twelve overtimes, the score stands at 206-206. Remember: more is always better, and the perfect HUNHNS game must feature more football than any game every played. If the thought of fifty-six touchdowns, thirty-six extra points, and twenty two-point conversions seems a little mind-numbing to you, then you just don't appreciate the vision of HUNHNS fans or coaches.
But... how does it end? After a lot of thought, I think the clear answer is this: a running back trips over an out-of-position official and falls short of the goal line on a two-point conversion. Perfect HUNHNS execution often leaves officials out of position by design, and so we finally find a logical way to conclude the perfect HUNHNS game. The offense executes, the defense is out of gas, and the officials are in the wrong place. All HUNHNS perfection criteria accounted for
So, what say you? What do you think HUNHNS perfection look like? (GIFs accepted in lieu of verbal argument).