EJECTIONS: Rule changes for college football The Enlightened Spartan: EJECTIONS: Rule changes for college football

Sunday, August 18, 2013

EJECTIONS: Rule changes for college football

For those who have yet to see it, there are several rule changes in football this year, but the significant changes really are pointed at safety, particularly at a player charging or leading into a brutal tackle.  Other rule changes deal with offensive blocking, timing issues of spiking the ball and uniform visibility.

1.  The main changes are for immediate ejection-plus 15 yards for two halves.  If a player "targets" an opponent, an immediate 15 yard penalty will be enforced as well as an ejection for two halves.  Replay can overturn the ejection but not the walk-off -- which could be the most significant part of the penalty in late game situations.

So for instance, many of you Spartan fans remember the crushing last-play-of-the-game defeat to Iowa at home in 2009.  A significant play in the game was from Spartan Jeremy Ware, who CRUSHED Hawkeye RB Colin Sanderman on a hit in the right flat in the fourth quarter, when the game was tied, 6-6.  There was no initial penalty, but the replay booth called down to the field one-minute after the play, and demanded a personal foul AFTER Sanderman was knocked out.

Here is the clip: http://youtu.be/O9ZdFlZ_wcA

This year, Ware would be ejected, and only a replay could overturn his ejection.  And, Ware would also be ejected for the first half of the NEXT GAME because his hit on Sanderman was in the fourth quarter (second half) -- and the new rule states TWO halves.

I like the intent of the rule, and like the focus on safety.  However, I do NOT like the fact that referees are going to be eloquent with the flag and can change the outcome of the game based on what they think is a  target from what may be just a good hit. But, the ES still doesn't like the replay booth calling for penalties on the field - that's not what it should be about.. it should be about "replays" and not about calling penalties.

2. Only-from-the-front rule:  basically, a new zone is created for blocking, 7 yards side-to-side from the line of scrimmage and 5 yards down the field.  In this zone, the offense can block below the waist UNTIL the ball leaves this area.  Everyone else on offensive may block below the waist ONLY if the block is front of the opponent. And, it is a no-no to block below the waist facing your own goal line.

3. Clock management.  If a player is injured in the last minute, 10 seconds are run off the clock unless the team with the injured player takes a time out.  And, if a player loses his helmet, he can stay in the game the next play if the team takes a time out.  Going back to the Smoker-to-Duckett win over scUM, the NCAA now requires a minimum of 3 seconds remaining to allow for a spike and another play (if this was the rule, Smoker-to-Duckett never would have been allowed).  

4. Other changes, not so interesting, is that you can't have two players at the same position wearing the same number.  If someone wants to change positions and change a jersey, he has gotta let the ref know.  Finally, you can't have the same color number against the same color jersey with an outline - there needs to be a contrast.


  1. Anonymous10:24 PM

    I don't like the "targeting" rule or penalty. Referees will call it too often on any close hits since they know replay can overturn the ejection. With it being a point of emphasis, expect some long games and brutal calls.

  2. I agree with the sentiment: you can't take hitting and split-second judgment out of football, no matter how you try to legislate it.