I’ve written this article before, and it looks like I’ll not have to write it again until the summer of 2011. But NCAA, please hear me when I plead with you to stop tinkering with the rules.
Once again I point to Major League baseball. They revere their game, and in return, the rules are sacred. You don’t see new bat sizes surfacing every year, or extending or retracting innings, or increasing or decreasing the number of outs, or the distance from the pitcher’s mound to home…or…or…Â Â Â You get the idea.
But every year in college football the NCAA feels like it has to give our gameÂ new twists, and like the late, great Michael Jackson’s plastic surgeon, someone needs to step in and say enough. However, this year’s crop isn’t so bad, and even includes a few that I like. But for the sake of the game, I’d still like to see the knife left in the draw when they feel like it’s time to whittle again.
Nevertheless, here are this year’s tweaks:
1. Teams can now wear opposite dark colored jerseys in games, so long as the home team and its conference agrees to it.This is just weird. I know, I know…the novelty of it sounds neat. But when was the last time you saw this done? Exactly. Getting used to this novelty will be as annoying as tuning in to watch an NFL game, only to find it’s an “NFL throwback uniform game!” Is that Jess Lanier andÂ Miles CollegeÂ playing?Â I thought this was the Bears andÂ Redskins.Â Just give me what I’m used to, please.
2. Post-game, the NCAA will review plays where helmet-to-helmet contact was deemed dangerous.After review, the NCAA can impose further penalty against the player if it was deemed dangerous.Â Somewhere Georgia’s Reggie Brown is jumping up and down, if he still has voluntary bodilyÂ function after Junior Rosegreen’s dirty hit atÂ Cheapshot U.
3. Punters will lose special protection if they go outside the tackle box. Now this is a good rule, especially for those rugby style punters who leave doubt whether they are kicking the ball or pulling it down to run. That means outside the tackles, even if the ball is kicked cleanly, you can cleanly clean their clock.
4. If I read this one right, an illegal offensive formation now means having more than four players in the backfield, not seven men on the line of scrimmage. So if you accidentally have ten men on the field, you can run the play without penalty, as long as four guys are back (QB, 2 RBS and a receiver playing off the line…or 3 RBS…you get the idea). This makes sense if you want to play 10 on 11. Having one player too many is an advantage. Having one player too few just means you’re stupid and you’re about to pay with an unblocked defender going Derrick Thomas on your butt.
5. An end of quarter penalty that results in a loss of down (intentional grounding, etc.) won’t result in an extra play with :00 on the clock. Fair enough. No more Hail Marry’s at halftime because the penalized team has nothing to lose.
And the best rule change…
6. The NCAA will now only change rules every two years.That’s change we can believe in, to quote the Prez.
SomeÂ they missedÂ were allowing video review of EVERY play and penalty, including facemasks and pass interference, and getting rid of the ridiculous horse collar penalty. Oh, andÂ bringing backÂ the 5-yd. incidental facemask call too. Tell me how a world class athlete can keep his hand from grazing a facemask of another world class athlete at the speed the game takes place on the SEC level 100% of the time, and I’ll tell you how we can end this recession by noon tomorrow. Both are ludicrous.
Oh well, there are your rule changes for ’09. What do you think?