There are no major rule changes for the upcoming college football season, and the most intriguing rule change does not even affect the play on the field. But it could, and should, provide a new look and more color to college football.
Starting this season, both the home and visiting team will be able to wear their home jerseys in a game, and it will not cost each team a timeout.
I am talking about Rule 1-4-3-a, of course.
The rules for many years have required white jerseys to be worn by one team, which must be the visiting team unless the opponent agrees otherwise prior to the start of the season. The new rule creates a process whereby both teams may wear colored jerseys if the visitors have received written permission from the home team, and if the home team’s conference agrees that the jerseys are of contrasting colors. If the visitors wear colored jerseys without having such agreements, they will receive a 15-yard penalty following the opening kickoff of each half.
I am not advocating for twin home jerseys in every Ohio State/Michigan game, but I think it would look great every ten years or so. The teams could decide to do it every five seasons, starting in 2010 (an odd number of years would allow the tradition to alternate stadiums).
Giving the decision some structure would take away the temptation of using this new rule as a gimmick or ratings ploy. No matter the coaches, ranking, or implications, the teams would simply follow a preordained plan.
I don’t think the sport’s best rivalry needs much, but I think the dueling home jerseys would be cool every now and again.