New College Football Rules Enacted

March 7, 2013 at 3:06p    by Kyle Rowland    
36 Comments

It was a busy day at NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis, as a series of rule changes related to college football were adopted.

The only rule on the docket not put in place was one that would have required home teams to wear uniforms that differed from the color of their field. It was aimed at Boise State, which wears blue jerseys and pants in the blue-turfed Bronco Stadium.

Here's a run down of the changes:

  • To add a 10-second runoff with less than a minute remaining in either half when the sole reason for the clock stoppage is because of injury.
  • To establish three seconds as the minimum amount of time required to be on the game clock in order to spike the ball to stop the clock. If one or two seconds remain on the clock, there is only time for the offense to run one more play.
  • To require a player that changes numbers during the game to report this to the referee, who will announce it.
  • To preclude multiple players from the same team from wearing the same uniform number (for example, two quarterbacks on the same team are not allowed to have the same number).
  • To allow the use of electronic communication by the on-field officiating crew (the practice was used successfully on an experimental basis by the Southeastern Conference). This is a permissive rule and not a requirement.
  • To allow instant replay to adjust the clock at the end of each quarter. Previously, this provision was in place only for the end of each half.
  • To clarify uniform rules as follows: “Jerseys must have clearly visible, permanent Arabic numerals measuring at least 8 and 10 inches in height front and back, respectively, and be of one solid color that itself is clearly in distinct contrast with the color of the jersey, irrespective of any border around the number.” This rule goes into effect for Football Bowl Subdivision teams in 2013. Football Championship Subdivision, Division II and Division III teams will have until 2014 before the rule becomes effective.

36 Comments

Comments

AndyVance's picture

It's amazing to me that they didn't move on the "Smurf Turf" rule given the obvious advantage it creates for the Broncos in creating a natural camouflage for the home team. That said, perhaps the NCAA looked at it along the same lines of the legal convention that says you don't create a law that specifically targets a single individual...
Relative to the multiple players, one number rule, does that affect only players on one side of the ball, or will teams now only have one player per number regardless of on which side of the ball they play?

Nkohl13's picture

I think they wanted to target Boise State, but then the rule also creates problems for teams like Michigan State that have green jerseys. If they really see the smurf turf as a problem they should just make a rule banning colored turf between the endzones and giving teams that already have it an ultimatum.

AndyVance's picture

How many of the green teams (serious question, not being a smartass) wear green pants and green jerseys and green helmets? Boise is perhaps the most monochromatic squad in the country. MSU, for example, wears the white pants with their green jerseys...

LouieG's picture

I know the the University of South Florida sometimes wears green jerseys and green pants.  But, USF - like most D1 teams - has a bunch of jersey/pants color combos.  They have both jerseys and pants in each green/white/black.   I went to the FSU at USF game (I work at USF) and USF wore the green jerseys and green pants.

JeffCoBuck's picture

Marshall has gone all green (helmet to pants) on special occasions, but the kelly green of Marshall doesn't blend with the green turf like the Boise State blue-on-blue does.

BED's picture

FWIW, the NFL has a "natural grass color turf only" rule, and it's worked out just fine.

The Ohio State University, College of Arts & Sciences, Class of 2006
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Class of 2009

GlueFingers Lavelli's picture

I really wish everyone played on grass. Call me an old man, but I really dislike turf. I understand the finiancial/upkeep advantage, but I seriously miss grass and mud stains in the shoe.

Dustin Fox was our leading tackler as a corner.... because his guy always caught the ball.

BrewstersMillions's picture

Has that ever been an accusation by opposing players? If so, can't anyone who plays in East Lansing or Eugene claim the same thing about green?
I've never played on Smurf Turf but I don't recall the field being part of the problem when I played ball against teams that were primarily green.

4-6 seconds from point A to point B and when you get to point B, be pissed off

cronimi's picture

I don't know if any players/coaches have complained about it, and I tend to think they would not do so publicly because they would sound like whiners. But it sure seems to me that having uniforms (jerseys and pants) that were the exact same color as the field would provide a camouflage effect -- and there's no doubt in my mind that the uni color intentionally is exactly the same color as the BSU field. With MSU, Marshall, Oregon and the other 'green' teams, I don't think the uni green is an exact match for their fields. Boise has put together some great teams, and I'm not saying they would have more losses if they played on green turf (or had non-blue pants), but it seems like a home-field advantage the NCAA normally would prohibit.

sarasotabcg's picture

Sounds like AndyVance is approaching the camo effect from a fan's perspective rather than a player's. The camoflauge effect he mentions is a big deal from the stands because you are looking down on the field, but it is not such a big deal while on the field. The camo effect always came into play for me when uniform colors meshed with the walls around the field or things in the stands.

Following his logic, the Packers and Eagles have always had a competitve advantage over their opponents because they wear green. So does Sparty apparently. And USF. And Colorado St. And......

AndyVance's picture

AndyVance is actually just approaching it as a guy who really doesn't like the smurf turf all that much and was looking forward to seeing Boise knocked down a peg or two... Smug little upstarts, anyway...

tennbuckeye19's picture

As far as the 10 second run-off for injuries with less than a minute in a half, what would stop a defensive player from faking an injury so that time would be run off the clock? Say an offense is driving down the field and they've made it to the red zone and there's 8 or 9 seconds on the clock. A defensive guy lays on the ground faking an injury requiring a clock stoppage. Will there be a run-off of 10 seconds ending the half and not allowing the offense a chance to score? That could be an issue.

d5k's picture

It would have to be an option for the other team rather than a requirement.  I'm sure they thought of this otherwise I would have even less faith in the powers-that-be.

brandonbauer87's picture

I would think Boise is more camouflaged on tv than they are at eye level. 

AndyVance's picture

...which of course presents a disadvantage to the opposing team's coordinators up in the press box, right?

BrewstersMillions's picture

Perhaps when a play is called, once the ball is snapped the action is out of the hands of the coordinators. They can't do anything-seeing or not seeing players has no bearing on the play if the players themselves can see guys just fine.
I do see where you are going but I don't think the turf combined with the jerseys is an advantage.

4-6 seconds from point A to point B and when you get to point B, be pissed off

AndyVance's picture

I should have said up front that I'm not heavily emotionally invested in this rule, I just dislike Boise and their God-awful blue turf. A pox on both their houses, so to speak.
EDIT - I love that I've earned a serial downvoter because of my admitted dislike for the Smurf Turf. Sheesh - a guy can't admit that he thinks blue astroturf looks silly and get away with it? What's the world coming to...

brandonbauer87's picture

Upvote for you sir. Advantage or not its definitely silly. Another reason to #hateblue ?

JeffCoBuck's picture

I watched an entire I-AA playoff game on the Smurf Turf in '94.  After 3.5 hours, the blue gave me a headache.  That's why I hate their field.

William's picture

To establish three seconds as the minimum amount of time required to be on the game clock in order to spike the ball to stop the clock. If one or two seconds remain on the clock, there is only time for the offense to run one more play.

This is idiotic. 

BrewstersMillions's picture

It really is. Think about this in practice. Now of course it won't affect OSU as they will never be in this situation, but lets say a team is out of time outs, has 8 seconds to go and is inside of the 50, needing a TD. Play 1 goes for 29 yards and takes up 6 seconds. Team rushes to the line knowing the clock is going to start as soon as the ball is set-they have to have a second play loaded and ready to go in that hurried situation? They have no time outs and can't clock the ball (which takes fractions of a second) so they basically have to call the play while sprinting up to the line.
I'm all for rules that positively change the game but why was this rule needed? What on earth made it so that a time limit has to be established. All a team ever needs to win a 1 score game is the 1 second it takes to snap a ball. Why do there have to be three ticks now?
This will all seem harmless until some major team loses a game because their QB clocks it with 2 ticks left and the refs call the game.
I despise this rule so much. 

4-6 seconds from point A to point B and when you get to point B, be pissed off

penult's picture

This will all seem harmless until some major team loses a game because their QB clocks it with 2 ticks left and the refs call the game.

I don't think this rule precludes the team from running a play at that point, at least as I read it.  The rule is saying there has to be 3 seconds left to spike it.  So in your scenario, that means there were at least 3 seconds left on the clock when the ball was snapped. Then the QB spiked it.  With 2 seconds left the team can still run a play.
Unless I miss your point.
I would like to know what evidence they used to show it takes 3 seconds for a C to snap the ball to the QB and spike it. Seems like it could be done in less time.

BrewstersMillions's picture

On the contrary. It forces a team to run the play at that magical 2 second number. From set-to snap-to spike, I'd like to think one second would elapse. That gives a team who gets within striking distance of a TD the opportunity to huddle up and call a play that will decide the outcome of a game instead of having to sprint to the line and call a play at the same time. It allows for the team who is already behind the 8 ball at least some chance to get the right play in and not have to totally rush getting it off. It changes the mindset of a team-before it was-"Ok lets run up and spike it, and call the right play" now its "Oh shit, 2 seconds left run up and call a play at the line and hope all 10 dudes hear me". It creates chaos when it doesn't have to.
I'm saying what happens if at :02, team runs up to the line and spikes the ball and there's one second left? Is the game over since the spike occurred beyond the :03 mark? I'm going to say at least one time next year that happens and the shitteth will hitteth the fan when a team loses that last second and has to take a loss without at least a chance at a play to end the game. Imagine a more extreme example of a team without timeouts, needing a TD, getting inside of the 5 with 2 seconds to go spiking the ball with 1 second left on the clock only to be told the game is over when they are only a mere 15 feet away from a win.
Now I'm assuming a team can get the ball snapped and spiked in a second-maybe some can, maybe some can't. I guess this rule is aimed at making it easier for the refs to determine when a game is actually over? I don't know...but I know I don't like this rule. I can't wrap my head around why this needs to be. At 2 seconds a team can snap the ball and spike it to stop the clock with one second left. If they can't, they lose anyway. Why make it a 3 second requirement and effectively punish the team that can line up quick and spike it at 2 seconds leaving 1 second left?

4-6 seconds from point A to point B and when you get to point B, be pissed off

penult's picture

Indeed. Why not just use replay to determine if the ball was spiked leaving at least one second on the clock? 

Buckeyeneer's picture

Agreed.

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes
THE Ohio State University

FROMTHE18's picture

interesting point on the jerseys

kr66osu's picture

I really don't like those first 2

penult's picture

•To clarify uniform rules as follows: “Jerseys must have clearly visible, permanent Arabic numerals measuring at least 8 and 10 inches in height front and back, respectively, and be of one solid color that itself is clearly in distinct contrast with the color of the jersey, irrespective of any border around the number.” This rule goes into effect for Football Bowl Subdivision teams in 2013. Football Championship Subdivision, Division II and Division III teams will have until 2014 before the rule becomes effective.

So would the Nebraska/Wisconsin 2012 throwback jerseys still be legal? Seems the answer would be no.
Or were those numerals at least 8" tall? (Doesn't look like it.)

William's picture

 Jerseys must have clearly visible, permanent Arabic numerals measuring at least 8 and 10 inches in height front and back, respectively. 

Also did this really need to become a rule? Were teams going to roll out with 2 inch Roman numerals on their jerseys? 

penult's picture

Nebraska and Wisconsin did last year.  I think UM has before too, they wore jerseys with a big M on front. (Just checked, they did)
This could be called "the Adidas rule."

Poison nuts's picture

That changing of the uniform number mid-game & telling a referee rule - Kiffin'd

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

Earle's picture

I didn't see anything on deflating footballs!!??

cal3713's picture

Can we please stop implementing clock-runoff rules?  If people are taking purposeful penalties or pretending to be hurt, go ahead and flag them for yardage (or automatic first downs or whatever), but please let the games end on a play rather than a technicality.  Runoffs should have stayed a pro-rule only. 
 

Chief B1G Dump's picture

What about the rule That players get ejected for targeting above the head!? That's perhaps the biggest rule. That has the potential to have big impact on some games and create huge referee judgement calls. Not a fan.

BuckeyeMark's picture

Saw a play a while back where the Smurf Turf boys had a player lay down on the turf so as to not be seen.  Hard to argue that the blue turf isn't an advantage when they run that kind of play.

Grant Edgell's picture

"To establish that no university is to ever again do something so egregious with uniform design as to offend the senses of children and adults alike, punishable by an immediate 3,600 second runoff upon entrance to the field of play."