October 21, 2014

NCAA will vote on the “10-second rule” on Thursday. I have a theory on how to keep the game exciting while watching out for player safety

Mizzou and several schools would have their offense limited by the proposed 10-second rule.

Mizzou and several schools would have their offense limited by the proposed 10-second rule.

The “10-second rule” is scheduled to be voted on Thursday by the NCAA playing rules oversight panel. The proposed 10-second rule would penalize teams for snapping the ball in the first 10 seconds of the 40-second clock. Alabama’s Nick Saban says that the pace of play in college football needs to be looked at for player safety because of the number of plays run. Only 25 of the nation’s 128 FBS head coaches are in favor of the proposal.

I think college football is looking at this the wrong way, because the is at its best right now. We see talented, fast players, making great plays, longer runs…more points and games go deeper into the fourth quarter with the outcome still undecided.

My theory is pretty simple:  Don’t stop the clock.  Now wait a minute!  I’m not proposing like soccer, not at all.  I think perhaps simple changes would allow teams to continue to play no-huddle, up-tempo offense, but cut down on the number of plays in a game with just a couple of adjustments.

Instead of stopping the clock to move the chains when a team gets a first down, keep the clock moving. When a players runs or is tackled out of bounds, keep the clock moving.  What this does is continue to promote the fast tempo we love in college football, but by having the clock running non-stop with the exceptions of incomplete passes and change of possession, (whether by punt or turnover), I believe you would cut down on the number of plays.

Now this is just a theory, but we have 128 FBS schools, surely we have some smart kids who could analyze game day data and run simulated games to determine how many plays are actually cut off.  Maybe running the clock this way, cuts off too many plays.  Then keep the clock running until the final five minutes of each half and then go back to traditional clock management to keep the two minute drill intact.

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