A summary, review and comment on the changes in the football code
ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN AUGUST 28, 2006 The big whigs that run college football made some interesting modifications to the rule book this year. Here’s a quick rundown of some of these rules changes and my take.
1. Coaches Challenge. Basically this provides that a coach may call a time-out then indicate to the referee that he is challenging a call on the field. A few points here:
– The coach gets one per game, but it requires that the coach have timeouts left to use. Although the coach gets the timeout back if he is correct, the coach doesn’t get another review.
– The replay referee is still reviewing every play. Basically it works like last year but this gives a coach a chance to get their timeout back when they intentionally stop the clock for a review.
– The rules committee also clarified the rule for when instant replay is in effect. It is solely the discretion of the home team.
– I wonder if we’ll see a scenario when a coach calls his last timeout at the end of a game (to kill the clock), and at some point during the time-out requests a replay of the last play. The hope is that a) the coach gets his time-out back on a reversal, but b) at least gives his team a little more time to think things through. There’s no risk. Plus, how many times do you see a play near the sideline at the end of a game, where it appears that the player should have been called either in or out of bounds?
2. Shortening the game. There were three new provisions to shorten the game. Clocks starts on a kick-off (instead of reception), clocks starts on change of possession when the ball is set, and the length of half-time is supposed to be 20 minutes (once the field is clear). Why all the rules to shorten the game? Who is complaining?
3. Walk-off Wins. This year they added an unwritten rule – you don’t need to kick the extra point unless the “point(s) would affect the outcome of the game”. I think they should clarify this one step further: It should read that the extra point should only be attempted if either team leads by two or less points. Technically the defense can stop a point after and score 2 points on any point after attempt. Last year, Michigan should have had to at least snap the ball after the last second win against Penn State last year. The Manningham touchdown put them up 27-25, and the game was called.