The hottest offseason topic in college football is the proposed rule that would force teams to wait 10 seconds before snapping the ball in order to give the defense a chance to substitute.

Most coaches are against the 10-second delay, according to an ESPN survey, with proponents of the no-huddle, hurry-up approach expressing their displeasure publicly.

Old-school coaches like Alabama's Nick Saban and Arkansas' Bret Bielema are in favor of the change.

And then there's Stanford coach David Shaw. If he has an opinion, he's doing a first-class job keeping it to himself.

"I don't care,'' Shaw said Saturday after the Cardinal wrapped up its first week of spring practice. He added that the rule would have "no bearing" on Stanford's approach offensively or defensively.

The 10-second runoff is designed to give defenses time to substitute for tired players, theoretically reducing the risk of injury.

But advocates of the no-huddle approach — and there are many in the Pac-12 -- see the rule proposal as an attempt to undermine their tactical advantage.

Arizona's Rich Rodriguez tweeted: "When you snap the ball has always been a fundamental edge for the offense -- what's next-- 3 downs like Canada?"

Shaw has declined to engage.

"We've trained our (defensive players) to get their butts back,'' he said. "We've done well against Oregon; we've done well against Arizona State; we've done well against UCLA.

"Whatever the rule is, we'll play by the rule.''


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Asked about the possibility of substitutions reducing the number of injuries, he said: "Guys get hurt in football."

The proposal will be discussed this week by the football rules committee.

* Sophomore Graham Shuler is expected to start in the middle of the Cardinal's revamped offensive line. He worked with the first team Saturday during the first scrimmage of the spring.

The other starters were: left tackle Andrus Peat, left guard Joshua Garnett, right guard Johnny Caspers and right tackle Kyle Murphy.

"He has the potential to be one of the best around,'' Shaw said of Shuler. "It's going to take some work."

* Wayne Lyons, who started at cornerback last season, "probably has the edge" at the nickel position, according to Shaw. Junior Ronnie Harris has played well on the outside.

* Cornerback Alex Carter will miss spring practice because of a lower body injury that first surfaced during the 2013 season. He is expected to be full speed for training camp.

For more on college sports, see Jon Wilner's College Hotline at blogs.mercurynews.com/collegesports. Contact him at jwilner@mercurynews.com or 408-920-5716.