Have you heard the latest? Coming soon to an NCAA college football game near you in 2008... If an NCAA oversight panel has their way, next football season could see shorter games in 2008 and I am starting to like some of them already! The average NCAA Division 1A game takes about 3 and a half hours to play but things may move faster than a glacier. According to USAToday and some players that I have talked to in class, the NCAA may be adopting the NFL's NFL's 40-second play clock, which starts immediately after the previous play is blown dead. The colleges' traditional 25-second clock started when the ball was placed down and ready for play; it still will be used after such stoppages as injury timeouts and penalties.
Other changes involve kickoffs, allowing receiving teams to take the ball at their 40-yard line rather than the 35 when a kickoff goes out of bounds, decreasing the likelihood they'll ask for a time-adding re-kick. Kickoffs were moved back 5 yards to the 30 last season. They are also talking about giving coaches a second challenge in the event the first challenge is successful. This would give a team that is either trailing or tied a better chance at field position.
The game may be a little more safer in 2008. No more horse collar tackles, like the NFL. The outright prohibition on horse-collaring ball carriers mirrors the NFL's rule, calling for an automatic 15-yard penalty for grabbing a player by the back or side of his shoulder pads or jersey rather than leaving officials discretion in making an unnecessary-roughness call. The committee also called for a crackdown on above-the-shoulder hits on defenseless opponents. It eliminated the 5-yard penalty for incidental face mask violations, determining that they pose no safety risk.The intentional 15-yard penalty, in which the head is twisted or jerked around, will still be the law of the land.
College football is speeding up. PASS IT ON!