Top 6 College Football Rule changes

Gridiron lovers, there are always changes in life, and college football is no exception. As we gear up for the new season, here are a couple of changes college football lovers should be aware of.

1.Targeting fouls:
If a targeting penalty is over turned after reviewing the play the decision to also remove the 15-yard penalty is also available. This is different because last year the decision to remove the penalty was not optional.

2.Targeting fouls in the game without instant replay:
If the instant replay is not used in the game, or there is no option to video review a specific play, the ref has the chance to review that particular play at half time when video is made available. This rule will allow for reviews and changes to be made in the 2nd half or following quarter.

3. Low hits on the QB:
We saw a few top notch QB’s suffer injuries that could have potentially ended their careers due to low hits. This year the rules for roughing the passer is being extended. This means that defenders are NOT allowed to make what is considered forcible contact at the knee or below to an opponent who is is the position to pass. Traditionally this rule pertains to QB’s. The whole idea with this is to limit knee injuries on plays where a defensive player forcibly drives a shoulder, helmet or forearm into the lower leg of the passer (QB).

We will still see wrap up tackles made at the knee level, the difference is the angle taken and the style of tackle. This rule is entirely for player safety, and honestly will benefit both the NFL and NCAA by extending the life of quarterbacks by decreasing risk of injury.

4. Numerals on jerseys must contrast with player’s jersey:
We see a lot of teams with colors that blend, sometimes so well we can barely identify players by numbers. Of course I can’t think of a specific team off the top of my head but it happens. In the case that this does occur the ref has the option to ask the team to change into appropriate jerseys before the game begins. If the team doesn’t abide they will lose a timeout. The same jersey change opportunity will be offered between 1st and 2nd quarters, halftime and the beginning of the fourth quarter. Each time the team does not change uniforms they will lose a timeout.

5. Establishing in or out of bounds:
A player must determine whether he is in or out of bounds.
An example would be a defensive back standing out of bounds who leaps up to secure the possession of a pass and lands inbounds. Based on the older version of the rule, this would be an interception however now it is required that the player establishes himself as inbounds before jumping up to catch the ball.

And last but not least…

6.Enforcement of personal fouls:
This change is a little smaller. The rule regards penalties called on the defense during a pass completion. The penalty is now marked off at the end of the entire play.
The SEC will have an experimental crew of 8 officials this season to observe this change and determine if this should be a league-wide rule next fall.

These rules will be enforced beginning with the first regular season game and their effectiveness will be determined at the end of the season.

I’m looking forward to the first game next weekend and I know you are too, so keep your eyes peeled for these changes and prepare for that gut wrenching, tummy turning, heart pounding excitement that we so fondly call college football!


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