logo Proposed NCAA Rule Changes For 2014 Football Season

Image via ncaa.org

Late Wednesday afternoon the NCAA released a statement regarding two proposed — key word — rule changes for the upcoming 2014 football season. The first of which makes perfect sense while the second……well, not so much.

The first of the two proposed rule changes involves the somewhat controversial targeting penalty that was adopted this past season. And I say controversial because of plays like this particular one I’m sure many of you remember.

Virtually no one disputes the good intentions of the rule itself, but where everyone with a brain in their head took issue was on a play similar to the one above Gabe Lynn where the ejection is overturned by some incredibly flawed logic the penalty was allowed to stand.

The proposed rule change would correct this ridiculous error, meaning if the ejection is overturned via replay then so may the 15-yard penalty as well. However, there is a bit of a catch as far be it for the NCAA to just keep things relatively simple. I’ll allow them to explain the proposed new rule.

The committee recommended that if the instant replay official rules that a disqualification should not have occurred, and if the targeting foul is not accompanied by another personal foul, the 15-yard penalty for targeting should not be enforced.

However, if the targeting foul is committed in conjunction with another personal foul, the 15-yard penalty for that personal foul remains.  For example, if a player is called for roughing the passer and targeting the head and neck area, but the instant replay official rules that targeting did not occur,  the player flagged would remain in the game, but the roughing the passer penalty would still be enforced. – NCAA.org

A rare instance in which the NCAA actually does something (or at least proposed the idea of doing something) that makes sense.

Then they propose this.

The committee also recommended a rules change that will allow defensive units to substitute within the first 10 seconds of the 40-second play clock, with the exception of the final two minutes of each half, starting with the 2014 season.

Under this rule proposal, the offense will not be allowed to snap the ball until the play clock reaches 29 seconds or less. If the offense snaps the ball before the play clock reaches 29 seconds, a 5-yard, delay-of-game penalty will be assessed. Under current rules, defensive players are not guaranteed an opportunity to substitute unless the offense substitutes first.

Research indicated that teams with fast-paced, no-huddle offenses rarely snap the ball with 30 seconds or more on the play clock. – NCAA.org

It’s laughable, really.

So under the guise of doing “what’s best for the student-athlete” they’ve proposed a rule that will deliberately effect (regardless of what they’re “research” says) teams that employ a hurry-up offense.

Think a number of the coaches in the Big 12 will be in favor of this rule?  Yeah….um, no.

The obvious theory behind this second proposal being that slowing down the game will supposedly make it safer for the players, or at a minimum at least for Nick Saban who is a noted opponent of hurry-up offenses.

Well, people much smarter than myself have addressed said theory, right around the time Saban complained, and it would appear to be one without much merit.

All that said, it bares repeating that these are currently just proposed rule changes. All rules changes must be approved by an oversight panel which in the statement released was said to be discussing these proposals (and I’m assuming others) when they meet on March 6th.


  • JD

    Welp that sucks

  • j l

    umm, looks like some saban lobbying to me on the 2nd rule. If they institute that, the SEC will have a pretty hard to overcome advantage, with seemingly all the best defensive recruits heading there.

    • Sooner Ray

      saban want’s it because he has defensive grouping for down and distances.

      • j l

        Oh I know. it benefits all of the SEC though, except maybe A&M and auburn.

  • ToatsMcGoats

    If the $EC wants it, who wants to bet that it will happen? I’ve never seen so much fit throwing…well, not since my son got past “the terrible twos”.

    • Sooner Ray

      Your son’s fit throwing was likely mild compared to these bozo’s.

      • ToatsMcGoats

        I’m just glad that I don’t have to change Saban’s diaper. Now that would be a load of crap…

        • Sooner Ray

          True that!

  • Leroy Jenkins

    Really ironic that the NCAA officially proposes this now, since Manziel just graduated & Bama lost two in a row to up-tempo offenses. This is BS.

    • Super Keith

      I propose the “3 Mississippi” rule go into effect for the 2014 season. Anyone second?

      • Sooner Ray

        Or give the coaches a pink flag that can be thrown twice per half for a defensive sub.

      • Boomer4life

        I second that, but you might have to rename it the “3 Alabama” before the Ncaa will approve it.

  • Borba22

    Wow, unreal!

  • Sooner Ray

    Could I borrow a tissue?

  • pitbull17

    Just when I thought the ncaa couldn’t pander to the sec cash cow anymore they go and propose this. I bet it passes, if for no other reason than these idiots think that if a defender is out of breath he might get hurt. Whats funny is it will drastically reduce the number of “cramps” on the defensive side of the ball at college station.

    • Sooner Ray

      Those diva’s in the sec need more time to have their butt powdered between plays!

    • blaster1371

      Yep. To not allow the offense to snap the ball quickly when it does not substitute players is taking away a huge element of offensive game planning. Totally kills the “quick snap” play that takes advantage of a defense’s confusion or the demoralizing effect of just completing a big play.

      The rule seems even more unnecessary as defenses have been adapting to this new hurry up reality.

      • Sooner Ray

        Don’t you think the officials are having a hard enough time already keeping up with the constantly changing rules and dealing with the replay booth? Just leave the damn game alone already.

        • blaster1371

          Yep. I thought the big 12 was rather proactive adding the extra official for the purpose of giving the defense time to,sub when the offense did. I didn’t even notice the slightest slow down and thought the offense was able to keep,whatever advantage they had when not huddling or swapping players.

      • OUTIGER

        That’s why OU recruits the athletes we have now and our fitness program is set up for that. The D scheme that Mike has now allows OU to match up with just about any offense. Can’t Bama’s #1 recruiting class adapt to speed??

  • Super Keith

    The change in the Targeting rule is a no-brainer (not sure why that wasn’t figured out prior to the rule going into effect in the first place, but at least it’ll be corrected).

    The second proposed change is a joke. I know it’s real, but it’s ridiculous. The rule is fair as it stands. If the offense doesn’t substitute, then the defense shouldn’t be able to substitute. The only thing was was questionable was when the offense ran a streak, and the WR hopped off the field right after the play, and the defense didn’t have time to sub. That was addressed, and corrected with the officials standing over the ball until the defense was able to sub. This new proposal is clearly giving an advantage to the defense, and therefor unfair.

  • Sooner Ray

    Why don’t they also adopt a golf rule. The cheerleaders could hold up “QUIET PLEASE” signs before the snap.

    • Sonny Schovanec

      hold up their s……. uh never mind.

  • Perry Dickey

    Gotta wait 10 seconds. 5-4-3-2-1- HUT HUT!!!!!!!!!!! But don’t snap it. All defenses will have a clock watcher. This is crazy.

  • Jared Tyra

    So here’s a hypothetical then: an offense making a comeback drive completes a pass to the ten yard line with 10 seconds to play, hustles up to the line for one last effort to win the game, but if they have no timeouts, tough luck?? I think one of the pieces to their puzzle fell on the floor cuz something is missing here…

    • Perry Dickey

      …with the exception of the final two minutes.

      • Jared Tyra

        Im so glad I missed that, still a dumb rule though

        • Shifty

          Another way to look at it is if a team is down by two scores or more and is trying to conserve the clock to try and get the ball back and score again. It could be outside of 2mins yet they would be forced to let 10 secs jump off the clock before they snap it

    • Scott Cloud

      The proposl says a team can run the no huddle the last two minutes of each half.

      • Jared Tyra

        Yeah I some how managed to miss that so we all got to share in one of my daily fails hahaha for the record, the rule is pretty terrible. Next time I’ll have to check myself before I wreck myself haha

  • Sooner Ray

    Do coaches from all conferences get to provide input/opinions about new proposals before decisions are made and put in place?

  • Indy_sooner

    The “slow down” rule is simply idiotic. Plain and simple. They are deliberately tampering with the structure of the game for the benefit of others under the guise of injury protection.
    While we are at it perhaps we should have a cut-off for how fast or how tall players should be. Maybe even limit how much they should bench since these also predispose injury in one way or the other?
    The NFL has been sued for concussions based on data on head injuries. It is well understood and that why we have concussion rules. In the same manner, I would be interested to see conclusive evidence of the junk they are peddling.
    Even if you bought the bogus idea for a second, does the injury factor magically disappear during the last two minutes of the game? The Saban is strong in this one.

    • Sooner Ray

      We are dealing with total idiots here. One only has to look at the targeting rule they implemented last year and the attempt to fix it now to see that these guys have no clue. Leave the damn game alone, let the players play and the coaches coach and let the officials continue to struggle with the rules they already have trouble with.

      • Indy_sooner

        Seriously! You would think they were talking about ballroom dancing

        • Sonny Schovanec

          Heck ballroom dancing will be more physical if the rules keep changing.

      • Sonny Schovanec

        Preach on Ray. for a sport that millions of people will pay their hard earned jack to watch and follow at all levels from Pee Wee (INF), HS through the NFL people are sure quick to change it every year.

    • Leroy Jenkins

      It’s also really convenient that this anti-hurry up rule isn’t in the final two minutes…when the coaches who complained (Saban) need to use the hurry-up. Coaches, sports writers, and fans need to voice their displeasure so clearer heads can prevail here. I wish I could call my “congressman” (AKA Mark Emmert).

      • Sooner Ray

        There are so many things wrong with this……so many things, we should turn this over to the feds because they are so good at solving problems logically.

        • Indy_sooner

          LMAO

        • EasTex

          If you like your hurry up/no huddle offenses, you can keep them.

          • Sooner Ray

            The lie of ’14 trumps the lie of ’13. LOL!

      • Indy_sooner

        Not overly far fetched. Maybe start one of those white house petition things

    • Sooner Sam

      I’m sure the mighty NFL is going to be really pleased to know that their newly drafted prospects are not conditioned to going against up-tempo offenses.

  • EasTex

    And yet again life imitates South Park.

    Sarcastaball.

    • Sooner Ray

      Respect their authoritie!

  • Shifty

    Looks like the SEC doesn’t like the spread spreading into it’s league because their darling has been exposed the last two years by progressive offenses

  • EasTex

    Saban groused about the fast paced offenses before last season, had trouble dealing with it all three times he faced it and now after losing to OU when his plethora of five stars were heaving and panting in the first quarter, the NCAA suddenly takes up this issue.

    I seldom believe in coincidences.

    During Coach Wilkinson’s 47 game winning streak OU ran what he called the “GO-GO” offense. They ran three plays a minute and actually huddled. That was over fifty years ago and the changes we have seen in how the game is played within the rules has come full circle. Why change the rules now?

    Over the years we have seen offenses change from era to era, from “smash mouth” to “spreads.” The relatively new A11 Offense has had elements incorporated by some colleges, but is mainly confined to high school. I guess the NCAA is trying to prevent any further changes to football and force all schools to adopt limited schemes.

    • Sooner Ray

      Hell, let’s meet at mid field after every series for cheese and crackers…..you know, to protect players from injury.

      • EasTex

        Okay and Saban can bring the Whine.

        • JJsooner1

          Don’t forget the Binky to dip in the wine!!

      • EasTex

        I’m actually a big fan of the A11 offense, if it caught on jersey numbers by position would no longer be needed.

        In the 2009 & 2010 seasons the Piedmont Highlanders successfully transitioned the A-11 Offense into a thriving and dangerous offense that completely conforms to all NFHS, NCAA and NFL rules. With athletic skill players in both eligible and ineligible numbered jerseys, defenses are forced to account for every player on the field who might run, pass or throw the football.

        • Sooner Ray

          I’m gonna take a look at that. It sounds interesting at the very least.

          • EasTex

            Check out the videos.

          • Sooner Ray

            Damn, talk about spreading the spread! That would make a D-coordinator drink the hard stuff!

        • JJsooner1

          I saw that used once and it was borderline unfair:-)

        • Daddy R

          A-11 is forming a PROFESSIONAL football league too, to be played in spring months. I happened to come across the league website the other day…looks interesting. I have never seen A-11 played though…could it catch on (as its own league and form of football)?

          • EasTex

            Interesting, thanks for the info.
            As to your question, I have no idea. Based on what we know about the morally bankrupt NFL I’m sure they would bring all their assets to prevent it.

      • JJsooner1

        Kumbaya my Lord! No smores!!!????

    • JJsooner1

      Yep and look at what Mizzou and A&M have done to the SEC defenses and now Malzahn at Auburn.
      Hmmmm guess the Big 12 wasn’t so far behind.
      Guess some teams in the Big 12 CAN play defense and don’t whine like lil girls.

      I suggest we take up a collection to buy Saban an adult binky and blankie:-)

  • Adrian

    Hearing there is also a proposal that will say you can no longer return a missed FG for points. Interesting that they are trying to change so many rules to benefit Bama

    • JJsooner1

      Omgosh! I hadn’t even thought of that with the Auburn fiasco!! Hell how about “coach you special teams better”?

    • JSam

      Perhaps they can propose something like getting 1 point for a missed FG and 3 for a made one. That also would have benefited ‘Bama this year quite often.

  • JJsooner1

    Yeah, I’m ok with the targeting thing. But wth are they thinking about the clock? A delay of game penalty for going too fast?? Is that not a contradiction in terms??

    The NCAA often reminds me of politicians getting together just so they can say they did something.

  • CoachStauder

    The #’s actually are showing that less injuries have occurred in games in which the HUNH is employed by at least one team….wish I had a link. It was a debate here in LR and one of the prominent HS coaches went on the radio talking about the #’s. Was really well done. Bielema and Saban are just blowing propaganda to try and stop something that their style of play doesn’t jive well against. Especially Saban’s defense…

  • Shelby is a Patriot

    This is infuriating. The game is fine, leave it alone!

    • Sooner Ray

      Finally, someone who makes sense! HAHA!

  • PLAW0720

    ESPiN taking up the slow down clause in 4, 3, 2, 1, go! They will trot out their “expert” line up of talking heads in support of the Saban Rule.

    Saban has three timeouts a half plus a roster of fake cramps to get gassed players off of the field – the rules don’t need to change.

  • Andrew

    I think the NCAA is on the SEC’s payroll….what a bunch of rubbish(2nd rule)!!!!!

  • Leroy Jenkins

    Mike Leach blasted this proposed rule. This is absolute gold. (Link: http://espn.go.com/blog/pac12/post/_/id/69415/no-huddle-coaches-blast-ncaa-proposal

    Leach: “That’s really insulting that they are hiding behind player safety just because somebody wants an advantage…My suggestion is rather than spending a bunch of time coming up with a bunch of really stupid rules, spend that time coaching harder. Worry about your own team and try to make your product better rather than trying to change the game so you don’t have to do anything.”

    If Saban and Bielema are truly concerned about safety, then they should never schedule non-conference games against lowly FBS schools. The whole point of the hurry up offense is to limit defensive substitutions and to tire the defense out. You know how Auburn moved the ball so well in the title game during the last 2 minutes? Florida State DT Timmy Jernigan looked like he was about to puke. Defenses already get plenty of rest due to all the ridiculous media timeouts as it is.

    Stanford didn’t complain when they got roasted by Oregon a few years ago; they learned from it, coached their players better, and adapted. Now it seems they’ve figured out Oregon’s offense, and are still one of the best defenses in the country. This is all about Saban complaining and hurting the SEC brand, putting the other conferences at a disadvantage.

  • TheMind___Gap

    So I was never one to give much credence to the NCAA being in the pocket of the SEC but with this it is very clear that that is exactly what is going on. I truly hope that enough coaches can put enough heat on the NCAA to prevent them from showing overt preference to their cash cow. This is so fucking ridiculous. The more I think about it the angrier I get. There is no way for them to make anyone really believe that this is about player safety but I dont think the NCAA really cares what people think about them. I really want go punch something right now.

    • Malicong

      I am the same way. The more I think about the arrogance of changing the rules because it got too hard for some teams gets my blood boiling.

    • Sooner Ray

      Punch a politician, they’re easier to locate than an ncaa official and come from the same mold.

  • Gary Robbins

    Hypothetical with no timeouts left. 9 seconds left in the 3rd quarter with a 30 m.p.h. wind at your back. It’s 3rd and eleven from the 20 yard line. Can you run up and spike the ball ? I’m confused oh well I can still make “happy hour”.

  • Jackson1006

    The hurry up offense is to college football what the 3 point shot was to basketball. A way to bring excitement, creativity, and most importantly parity to the game. You read it here first.

    • Boomer4life

      Well said sir, well said.

  • BigRedDad

    Some of the things the NCAA comes up with just makes you shake your head in wonder.

  • JJsooner1

    Ok so two things at the heart of this. Bama’s special teams gaffs(think Auburn) and OU’s relentless pressure on Bama’s defense and making them look silly(Think Auburn, Texas A&M and OU).

    Note to Coach Saban: 1. Get a field goal kicker. 2. Play better special teams. 3. Get linebackers who can cover people. 4. STHU and quit whining.

  • Andrew

    Maybe both teams should tell what play they are going to run…..because it isn’t fair if you don’t know the play the other team is running…..SMH!!!!!

  • #justwinOU

    Why slow the game down to snapping the ball and a cloud of dust? The game has evolved into 4 Qs of fast pace football that get many players on the field and many TDs on the scoreboard. The college game is more popular than ever. Don’t change it just for Saban and Bielema. They need to work harder at scheming defenses to simply defend the fast paced offenses.