NCAA Revokes Moronic Clock Rules

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) …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…

About BJD95

1995 NC State graduate, sufferer of Les and MOC during my entire student tenure. An equal-opportunity objective critic and analyst of Wolfpack sports.

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46 Responses to NCAA Revokes Moronic Clock Rules

  1. golf76 02/15/2007 at 7:51 PM #

    All these seem to be improvements over the current system. Guess they didn’t revert back to the clock starting when the ball is snapped rather than when the ref blows the whistle? IMHO starting the clock when the ball was snapped was far better than the current system, regardless of how much time it took to finish the game. They yield to TV too much.

  2. packpigskinfan23 02/15/2007 at 7:53 PM #

    good to see rules change for the better. I dont see anything to argue with these new rules. I am sure someone can come up with something… but they seem to all be for the betterment of the game while still pleasing the money happy networks.

  3. burnbarn 02/15/2007 at 8:13 PM #

    Very nice. I think this will give us more football plays and still achieve the shorter time. I never understood how less could be better.

  4. nsj 02/15/2007 at 8:33 PM #

    Death to 3-2-5e.

    Now if we can just get them to toss out alternating possession in basketball…

  5. vtpackfan 02/15/2007 at 8:52 PM #

    More kick-off returns means more chances for Blackmon (no more end-zone dives, if you please).

  6. Dogbreath 02/15/2007 at 9:54 PM #

    I’m calling bullshit on the 1:49 avg for reviewing plays, at least in the ACC. Our shitty officials take a good 5 minutes to review plays.

  7. highstick 02/15/2007 at 9:57 PM #

    Dogbreath, that’s because our ACC officials have a hard time interpreting “those moving pictures”!

  8. WolfPup35 02/15/2007 at 10:13 PM #

    Yeah, I hear you, highstick!! The ACC officials were like deer in headlights whenever they saw one of those new fangled tee vee sets, hell, they get excited about indoor outhouses!!

    Anyway, the new style old clock rules will be a much better fit than last year. I have always maintained that if the NCAA wants to reduce the length of time that college football games are taking to play, then reduce the damned commercial breaks!!!
    I mean, Jesus, how many times do I have to hear about how good the Coney’s are at Sonic?!?!?!? Less advertising, more sports!

  9. RabidWolf 02/15/2007 at 10:19 PM #

    Are you gonna eat those tots?

  10. the_phisherman 02/16/2007 at 12:09 AM #

    The most important change is not starting the clock on a change of posession. I never thought it was fair that a team could do everything right, saving all 3 timeouts for late in the game, and not be able to stop the clock for all downs of the opponents posession.

  11. beowolf 02/16/2007 at 12:56 AM #

    I like all of these except the kickoff from the 30-yard-line.

  12. Red_Terrors 02/16/2007 at 7:09 AM #

    This is slightly off topic, but does anyone know the circumstances of Geron James leaving the team?

  13. wolfonthehill 02/16/2007 at 7:48 AM #

    I don’t know how to react. They not only fixed the problem – they actually improved beyond where we were two seasons ago.

    I’m guessing they hired Neinas…

  14. Jeff 02/16/2007 at 7:50 AM #

    The 2008 move to the 40 second clock is HUGE. I love it. It cleans everything up and takes away a lot of the risk of inconsistencies about officials hurrying to the line and starting the play clock’s too slowly. Almost anything that takes power out of the officials hands and standardizes things is good.

    Conversely, I do NOT like capping the instant replay time.

  15. RickJ 02/16/2007 at 7:54 AM #

    ^Totally agree on the instant replay time. If you are going to take the time to do an instant replay, the most important issue is to get the call correct. There are some plays that are so nuanced that 2 minutes may not be enough.

  16. BoKnowsNCS71 02/16/2007 at 8:18 AM #

    Actually, the reason it takes the officials so long to make a decision is due to the time it takes to check their bank accounts to be sure the payoff for the call has been deposited.

    The ACC officials are reknown by most TV announcers for being several beers short of a 6-pack. They must have attended the same school as former Jim Black (former NC House speaker who recently admitted to bribes for votes). HMMM — I wonder if he is why NCS and UNX have to play ECU?

  17. BoKnowsNCS71 02/16/2007 at 8:24 AM #

    Red Terror — There is some info on for insiders regarding Geron. I also noticed that he only played in 2 games last year.

  18. Red_Terrors 02/16/2007 at 8:48 AM #

    BoKnows – Thanks. One of those two games was against FSU where he had 91 yds receiving and a TD. I was really impressed with him and couldn’t figure out why he didn’t get more playing time.

  19. GAWolf 02/16/2007 at 9:24 AM #

    #’s 3 and 6 above don’t make any sense. Read them again and see what you think. I like the idea of the short timeout, but shouldn’t #3 read that it would be 30 seconds plus 45 seconds? Or am I confused?

  20. GAWolf 02/16/2007 at 9:25 AM #

    ^^What in the hell is that?

  21. Rick 02/16/2007 at 9:31 AM #

    I think you changed the font. It is vey big and white.

  22. TNCSU 02/16/2007 at 9:35 AM #

    The whole review process should go the way of the NFL. I’ve seen where the officials reviewed 3 or 4 plays in a quarter! You should only get 1 (or 2) per half, so (as a coach) you better make it count if you want to CHALLENGE.

  23. TNCSU 02/16/2007 at 9:39 AM #

    After dominating FSU, I figured that James must have definitely gotten into Amato’s Doghouse, because he hardly played at all after that. Must be pretty bad if you’re in Amato’s Doghouse….And I would say, if you’re in Amato’s Doghouse, you’re probably not going to even be in the “YARD” for TOB. James may have seen the writing on the wall. (i.e. Coach TOB ain’t gonna take my crap, so I better leave)

  24. Red_Terrors 02/16/2007 at 9:42 AM #

    I agree ^TNCSU wrt to James and TOB. I hate to see such a talented wideout leave, but we also don’t need the BS/baggage.

  25. BoKnowsNCS71 02/16/2007 at 9:52 AM #

    Beowolf — The change to the 30 yard line is interesting. This seems to imply that there are more strong kickers who can put it in the end zone these days. So they see as a solution — move them back 5 yards. Looking at it one way would make us think that this will put more return action into all games by having more return plays.

    However, since the 5-star kickers often go to the bigger and more well known schools, this gives more of an edge to them — yeah like Ohio State needs more perks. There are kickers who will still put it in the end zone from the 30 while teams with weaker kicking (who rearely get it to the end zone from the 35) will be automatically giving their opponents another 5 yards.

    Seems the rich get richer and the rest just have to accept it.

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