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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Will the rule changes in college football affect the game?

    Pro: New rules will prove detrimental

    It seems like every year the administrators of college football toy with the rules in order to cut down the length of each game. The latest idea – and most significant change to the game’s rules – was designed to change the play clock from 25 seconds to 40 seconds, along with starting the clock as soon as the play is dead.

    Funny as it may seem, though the rule changes have been tossed around a collection of times, but the idea of cutting down the commercials to expedite the game hasn’t been tossed around. Go figure.

    Nevertheless, there was some debate as to how this rule will actually affect the game, and before actually seeing it, I anticipate it will make the game’s pace quicker.

    While it can be argued that it rarely takes the referee 15 seconds – or the difference between the length of the two play clocks – to spot the ball, the rule will still keep the clock running constantly, assuming the play doesn’t go for a first down and stays in bounds.

    That being said, this new rule will favor teams that have a quicker scheme and may hurt those with a traditional game plan involving a play that relies on a huddle. With the clock continually running, these more traditional offenses will certainly have to get the play in quicker and huddle up faster in order to get the play off in time.

    Whenever tampering with the way the play clock will work, it’s going to cause a change. Coaches plan schemes and prepare specifically for the way the rules work, and with this switch to a more NFL-styled system, there will surely be an adjustment process.

    As for the other rule changes, including the horse-collar tackle and the chop block rules, those will have somewhat of an effect, but will certainly be much less of an adjustment than the change in the clocks.

    Either way, having fewer commercials per break could easily solve the way the clock changes will adjust game plans, but that is another problem entirely.

    Heck, it’s a business. I guess tampering with the rules every year is more important than cutting down some money flow from advertisements.

    -Ari Wasserman

    Con: This is college football, not the NFL

    The NCAA football rules committee approved three major changes in the rules for this season: the elimination of the horse-collar tackle, clarification on the rules on chop blocks, and a new 40-second play clock.

    While the changes made to the horse-collar tackle and chop block rules are “”in the best interest for the safety of the players,”” these changes aren’t exactly necessary. It seems the NCAA is just trying to make its version of football closer to the professional variety.

    The banning of the horse-collar tackle even seems a bit hypocritical, seeing as how it’s still “”legal”” to bring a player down by his hair if it sticks out from underneath his helmet. Tackling a player by his equipment is banned but saying it’s OK to tackle a player by an extension of his body is ridiculous – either ban it entirely or not at all.

    The change made to chop blocks, or tackling below the knees, really doesn’t clarify it all that much. The old rule stated that there cannot be a high-low combination block by two players on one of their opponents – other than the ball carrier – and the new rule merely adds in that a penalty can be called even if there is a delay in the high-low blocks.

    All this means is that referees are going to spend more time looking for an illegal chop block or a combination block, and less time looking for holding, illegal hands to the face, etc.

    As for the new play clock, what will that accomplish? It seems like an attempt to shorten the game, but will it really? In the past, the 25-second play clock was started once the head official spotted the ball and signaled it ready to play. Now, after the ball is called dead from the previous play, the play clock will start counting down from 40-seconds immediately. Honestly, how often does it take the officials 15 seconds to get the ball ready for play? Rarely, if ever.

    All these rule changes are simply an attempt to have the college game be more similar to the NFL, but the reason why college ball is so successful is that it isn’t like the NFL.

    Let’s keep it that way.

    -Brian Kimball

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