Expect scoring to increase this fall because kickoffs are being moved back to the 30-yard line from the 35. Although this is good news for fans, Big 12 coaches are screaming about the rule change.
The only Big 12 coach happy with the change is Kansas State's Ron Prince, and for good reason. His Wildcats led the nation in kickoff returns last season, averaging 27.1 yards in 36 returns. "We thought that was one [rule change] that might be made, so we've been practicing with the ball on the 30 all this spring," Prince said.
But Texas' Mack Brown said the rule has the potential "to change college football as much as any rule in a long time."
"You kick a ball into the wind, the guy might catch it at the 20, and you’re starting on offense at the 40 or 50," Brown said. "It's even more important now to find that kicker with a dynamic leg."
Oklahoma's Bob Stoops is worried about injuries. "They’re the highest-impact plays, and that's the only part that worries me. You always worry about the injuries."
Said Iowa State's Gene Chizik, a former defensive coordinator at Texas: "From a defensive guy standpoint, I really don’t like it. But I’m sure it’s all in an effort to make the game more exciting. There’ll be less touchbacks and more returns, which I’m sure was part of the reasoning."
Photo from Kansas State Collegian.