I had an opportunity to talk to many college coaches the past week about the evolution of college football and the BCS as we know it. Many were quick to point out that expansion (last years major topic) is not over and will continue to evolve the next two years. Conference USA and the Mountain West decided to merge as one conference that could house up to 24 teams, spanning over 5,000 miles. You may wonder why this non-BCS conference could help change the landscape of college football?
A super conference could help change the future of college football.
Heres your answer; the conference has discussed petitioning the NCAA for a waiver due to the size of the league that would allow it to have semi final games prior to a conference title game. Makes sense right? If the NCAA mandates twelve teams for championship game then why not extra games for twenty four teams? If this were to get approved the next push for expansion could come sooner than later. The conferences could then force more intra-conference games and less money cupcakes. This would also prove that some sort of playoff would and could be in the offing. The ACC has already done what the SEC is resistant to doing; add another conference game in the regular season.
The NCAA has no control over the BCS; however their ruling on this waiver could move us quicker to a playoff and a true national champion.
Could the College game go the way of the NFL?
This and that...The proposed rule changes quietly made their rounds this week for college football. They are as follows:
1. Move the kickoff up to the 35 and cut down on the number of returns, lessening the chances for concussions. They would also move kicks up to the 25 after a safety.
Acks Take: Well the SEC led the country in kickoff returns for touchdowns and that is an off-track storyline that should be looked at! But I think this has the best shot to pass on Feb 21st.
2. If a player loses his helmet (other than as the result of a foul by the opponent, like a facemask), it will be treated like an injury.
Acks Take; What? I dont get this? Players lost their helmet twice a game, but this is no reason to make them sit out a play.
3. Blocking below the waist is allowed in the tackle box.
Acks take; The interpretation of the old rule was too complicated and a thorn in the side of programs like Air Force, Navy and Georgia Tech.
4. Eliminate jumping over shield blocking on punt teams.
Acks take; a new blocking scheme that has developed over the last five years forces some potential concerns for injury. In the old days you run a guy over, nowadays just jump over, if you can.
5. Additional protection for the punt returner.
Acks take; Why not just put a three foot pig well around them so they can get the ball even if they drop it? The returners are protected enough.
Honestly all these proposed rules and many today are put in place to make things safer, but we also need to look at equipment and formations that make the game safer. Injuries are part of the game, but you improve helmet technology and pad technology to potentially prevent serious injuries.
Keep an eye on the commissioners meetings on Feb 21-22 in Dallas. We could see a movement for more aggressive scheduling if they can agree on strength of schedule component in determining a BCS Champion. If a 10-2 team plays a tougher schedule than an 11-1 team then why should they be eligible to play for a championship? All things created equal this would force some leagues to schedule tougher and programs to beef up their non-conference schedules. In my opinion, if we can just break the top tier of the FBS off into a BCS Alliance you could mandate that you only play BCS Alliance Schools. Just a thought with a lot of depth to it, but not enough time to type it!
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