The NCAA Football Rules Committee, saying the time of games in 2007 averaged 3 hours 22 minutes, is pushing through several rules designed to shorten games in 2008.
The most controversial has to do with the game clock after a player runs out of bounds. Under the old rule, the game clock would not start until the ball was snapped on the next play. Under the new rule, once the ball is ruled ready for play, the official will start the game clock. This will will not apply in the last two minutes of each half.
Other rules changes:
- The 40/25-second play clock, which was approved last year, will go into effect. After every play is whistled dead, the 40-second clock will start. When there is a stoppage of play, a 25-second play clock will be used. Previously, only a 25-second play clock was used and it did not start until the ball was marked ready for play.
- A coach gets an extra replay challenge if his first one is upheld. But he will be granted only the one extra challenge.
- The incidental five-yard facemask penalty has been eliminated. It's now strickly a 15-yard penalty. This eliminates a judgment call on the part of the officials and it appears that only when there is a pulling, twisting or turning of the head will a penalty be called.
- Horse collar tackles are now illegal and classified as a personal foul and 15-yard penalty.
- The receiving team will have the option of taking the ball on its 40-yard line on kickoffs that go out of bounds. Previously it was the 35.
- Sideline or bench warnings to coaches and players who crowd the field have been eliminated. It's now strictly a penalty.
The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel will rubber stamp the rules in April. Do you like the rule changes, dislike? We'd love to hear what you think so fire away in the comments section.
Thanks to Image of Sport, CDugan and We Are Penn State.