Sunday, February 11, 2007

Land of Enchantment (and Rule Changes?)

On Thursday, we told you that some broadcasters were taking advantage of the new clock rules to cram more commercials into telecasts. On Friday, we told you how the number of plays during most telecasts were in decline. We prefer not to lecture, but it should be clear to everybody that the game is not the problem, it's the commercialization of the game that is creating longer telecasts. So what is going to happen when the Football Rules Committee begins its four-day huddle Sunday in Albuquerque to evaluate the clock rules that were put in place before the 2006 season? A survey by the American Football Coaches Association revealed that 58% of the coaches want to return to the 2005 clock rules, but it's never that easy, is it? The pressure is on to shorten games and it's likely the clock rules will simply be altered. Currently, the clock starts when the ball is spotted after a change of possession, but a push is being made to stop the clock on possession changes in the last two minutes of each half. Said Purdue coach Joe Tiller: "I'd like to see them return to our old rules. That's not going to happen. The compromise position is the last couple of minutes of the game is going to be pushed by our commissioners." There is one rule that is expected to be rescinded. It involves the clock starting when the ball is kicked off. A loophole in that rule was exposed last season by Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema, who had his team purposely run offside twice on kickoffs to run out the last 23 seconds of the first half.

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