Daily Archives: February 12, 2014

The NCAA keeps muddling on.

The NCAA’s Football Rules Committee got together this week and, as is its wont, decided on some more rules tinkering.  One thing comes as no surprise to many.

The NCAA Football Rules Committee proposed an alteration involving the instant-replay review on targeting fouls during its Feb. 11-12 meeting in Indianapolis, which includes the ejection of the player committing the foul along with a 15-yard penalty.

Last season, the targeting rule was implemented and any player committing the penalty would be ejected and his team assessed a 15-yard penalty.

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.

Now this, while widely anticipated, still begs the question.  We were told when the original targeting rule was enacted that the permanence of the fifteen yard-penalty was important, because officials wanted to know somebody had their backs as they were being encouraged to call the penalty even in the gray areas. So how are officials going to react if that cover is taken away?  To some extent, you can see a fig leaf proposed in the very next paragraph:

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.

In other words, if an official suspects targeting, he can always throw two flags on the play.  That’ll teach everybody what matters, which is protecting the delicate fee fees of football officials.

It’s the second proposed rule change that’s going to get a lot more hackles up, I suspect.

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.

“This rules change is being made to enhance student-athlete safety by guaranteeing a small window for both teams to substitute,” said Calhoun. “As the average number of plays per game has increased, this issue has been discussed with greater frequency by the committee in recent years and we felt like it was time to act in the interests of protecting our student-athletes.”

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. This part of the rule will remain in place in scenarios where the play clock starts at 25 seconds.

We’re seriously supposed to believe this is being pitched as a student-athlete safety measure?  Who did the study, Dr. Nick Saban?

That’s not to say the committee didn’t look at any studies.

The committee discussed the issue thoroughly before coming to the conclusion that defensive teams should be allowed some period of time to substitute. The committee believes that 10 seconds provides sufficient time for defensive player substitutions without inhibiting the ability of an offense to play at a fast pace. Research indicated that teams with fast-paced, no-huddle offenses rarely snap the ball with 30 seconds or more on the play clock.

So one proposal waters down a rule that was enacted to provide for greater player safety, while the other is being pitched ostensibly in the name of greater player safety.  Ladies and gentlemen, this is your NCAA.

Each of these proposals must be approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel, which will discuss the football rules changes March 6.  I’ll bet there’s some major push back coming.


UPDATE:  The bitching commences.


 UPDATE #2:  And…



Filed under The NCAA

This is how Mark Richt deals with an ice storm.

Curling, Dawg style.

He’s got time on his hands now that he’s got the special teams straightened out.


Filed under Georgia Football

The SEC is in a different place.

Or it may be pretty soon if the ACC goes to a nine-game conference schedule, a move reportedly over half its athletic directors now favor.

But more than half the conference athletic directors want nine games, according to an ACC source, which means those talks will deepen the intrigue as the College Football Playoff era begins in earnest in the fall and leagues jockey for position in the national semifinal. If the SEC feels it can eschew nine games based on its body of work on the football field and its ability to schedule good non-conference games, that conviction will be tested more than ever if it’s on an eight-game island.

The article goes on to note that while the ACC shares some scheduling difficulties with the SEC, it’s more motivated to add that ninth game as a step towards establishing its own television network, something the SEC already has.

That being said, it will be worth watching to note how Mike Slive reacts if the SEC alone has its eight-game conference slate held against it by the playoff selection committee.  Were that to happen, Slive would have a couple of options at hand.  He could throw in the towel and add that ninth game – something that would also garner the conference more TV money.  Or he could hold firm and wait for the inevitable playoff expansion, figuring that it would be much harder to hold the conference schedule against the SEC in a field of eight… or twelve… or, well, you get it.

The other possibility here is that Swofford might be playing this as a lever to get Slive to consider more seriously the 8+1 cross-conference partnership scheduling deal that was floated a few days ago.  That’s not a bad move, if you think about it.

One things for sure, money’s driving this thing.  That means something’s gonna happen sooner or later.  And that means Slive ignores the consequences at his risk.


Filed under ACC Football, SEC Football

You don’t have to do that at Georgia Tech!

You’d think in that rarefied academic atmosphere Georgia Tech inhabits, the Jackets would be regularly fighting off the likes of Duke, Vanderbilt and Stanford for the services of the kids it recruits.

Wrong, insect breath.

Georgia Tech’s signees had a lot of choices. Most often, it appears, Marshall was one of the options. Marshall offered nine Yellow Jackets signees, according to 247 Sports, the most of any team. Marshall was followed by Georgia State with seven and Appalachian State, Middle Tennessee State and South Carolina with six.

Marshall was something of a surprise, given that Marshall is three states away (four if you count South Carolina). You wouldn’t think there’d be so much fishing from the same pond. Marshall only has seven Georgia players on its roster. Of the nine Tech signees that Marshall offered, seven are from either Lamar County (DBs Lance and Lawrence Austin and WR/DB Qua Searcy) or Florida (OL Gary Brown, DB Step Durham, LB Terrell Lewis, OL Jake Stickler). The other two were DE Kenderius Whitehead (Georgia Military College) and C Jake Whitley (South Carolina).

Marshall recruits plenty in Florida, as does Tech. There were at least a few Marshall signees who chose the Thundering Herd over Tech.

Appalachian State, Georgia State and Middle Tennessee State all were often competitors for whom Tech was the top choice, conference-wise.

Marshall, you may recall, was Kendall Gant’s fall back option – his “out” in the words of his coach – when he failed to meet Georgia’s entry requirements.  I’m betting Gant won’t be struggling with calculus at West Virginia next fall.

On the bright side, no Georgia State signees picked the school over an offer from Tech.  So there’s that.


Filed under Academics? Academics., Georgia Tech Football, Recruiting

Today’s trivia question

There is only one football program in the SEC which has seen its home attendance decline in each of the past five seasons.  Can you name it?


Filed under SEC Football

At the intersection of recruiting and sexting

This ought to be fun.

For those of you who are even bigger social media tyros than I am, here’s what that means:

The photo messaging application allows users to take photos or videos and add text or drawing, then set an expiration for the message once it is opened. The service has been criticized in popular culture as a means to distribute explicit material, particularly for its part in the social phenomenon of sexting.

Can you say plausible deniability?  I thought you could.


Filed under Recruiting, Science Marches Onward, The NCAA

Another Mark of genius

Shorter, yet utterly predictable, Mark Bradley:  Even if Georgia Tech isn’t very good at them, Mark Richt sure could learn about special teams coaching from Paul Johnson’s example.


Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Musical palate cleanser, birds and bees edition

Scorpio’s comment last night about suffering from a certain kind of biologically unrequited love immediately brought a song to mind, Del Amitri’s “Not Where It’s At”.  Enjoy.


Filed under Uncategorized