The new NCAA "targeting rule" has become a passionate topic to discuss during media days and throughout the college football landscape. Social media has been blowing up about this with wide ranging opinions.
Washington State's Mike Leach and Nebraska's Bo Pelini are two who have strong opinions against the popular rule change. They don't think the rule will be effective and could live without it:
#Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said targeting rule is "going a little overboard" based on some of the plays he's seen on TV— Mark Schlabach (@Mark_Schlabach) July 24, 2013
And from Scout.com:
With all due respect to the officials, you've got old guys with bifocals on trying to identify in a split-second who lowered their head first. -- Mike Leach
Tell us how you really feel.
Keep in mind that Leach is an offensive genius and could probably do without defensive players as well. It really says something for him to have such a strong opinion on a rule that benefits offensive players even greater.
Do you agree with the targeting rule?
Unless Nebraska improves its defensive performance from last season, the consequences of the rule may not even effect its defense. Pelini's club ranked seventh in the Big Ten in total defense and allowed more than 500 yards in each of the final two games. The targeting rule can't come into play unless a defender is capable of tackling in the first place.
The rule insists that any player who intentionally draws contact above the shoulders to a defenseless player can be ejected from the game. His team would also receive a 15-yard penalty. If that wasn't enough for folks to cause an uproar, the penalty will not be reversed upon replay, per Joe Schad of ESPN:
Replay can overturn a targeting ejection that was in error, but the penalty will stand.— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) July 23, 2013
Players were taught from a young age how to tackle. They see the player with the ball and they simply attack. The game of football is all about instincts and reacting quickly. Now, defenders are at an even bigger disadvantage having to change their playing style and think how they are going to hit the ball carrier.
This is serious stuff when it only takes one or two inches for a hit to be ruled illegal. That player is then ejected from the game and said team's chances of winning decreases.
The new college football rule was sure to spark controversy once the season began. Nobody expected coaches to be so vocal about the rule change during the offseason.