It’s a rare and beautiful thing – a victory for common sense.
* Sunday Morning Quarterback: Rules committee comes running back fans, sanity
* The Wizard of Odds: Link
In place of the nonsense, drama-killing clock rules of 2006, we get a more tailored set of measures that seem eminently reasonable and don’t fundamentally alter the game for the worse:
Beyond killing the running clock after changes in possession, the rule changes include:
1) Kickoffs will be from the 30-yard line instead of the 35. The clock won’t start until the receiver touches the ball; last season it started as soon as the ball was kicked. Tuberville estimates 90 percent of kickoffs will now be returned.
“You’ll find that kicking it out of the end zone will be rare, and it will add excitement to the game,” Oregon coach Mike Bellotti said. “There will be more pressure on the kick-coverage team and more pressure on the defense because the offense is going to get better field position.”
2) Coming out of a television timeout, the play clock for the first play of a possession will be 15 seconds instead of the normal 25.
“The teams have been standing out there for almost three minutes during a TV timeout,” Tuberville said. “They don’t need 25 more seconds to get to the line and run a play.”
3) Charged team timeouts — not TV timeouts — will be cut by 30 seconds. This will be football’s version of basketball’s 30-second timeout. It will allow a coach to stop the clock but without a long delay. The timeout will last 30 seconds plus the 25 seconds on the play clock.
4) On kickoffs, the play clock will start once the kicker is handed the ball by the official. In the past, the kicker could take as much time as he wanted before kicking the ball. Now, he is on the clock and a violation will result in a 5-yard penalty.
“That idea actually came from the coaches,” said Rogers Redding, the SEC’s supervisor of officials. “They thought a lot of time was being wasted getting the guys in position to kick the ball. This will speed up that process.”
5) The time allowed for instant replay reviews will be capped at two minutes. This will save some time but not a lot. The average replay review last season was 1:49, according to the NCAA.
6) …[S]tarting in 2008, college football will go to a 40-second play clock like that now used in the NFL. The 40-second clock will start at the end of every play. College football currently uses a 25-second clock that doesn’t start until the ball is put in position and declared ready for play.
I especially like using the NFL-style 40 second clock, which will ensure more predictability and consistency in end-game situations. There is so much common sense that I wonder if the NCAA outsourced this rules review…