“Ah, beer. The cause of and the solution to all of life’s problems.” – Homer Simpson
You’ve been granted a six-pack of beers—gratis— one per solution. Your assignment: to generate six ways in which you think college football can and would be better than it is today.
Simple as that?
Not so fast… there are three stipulations:
One : It doesn’t have to be a rule on the field, it can be anything. Anything at all.
Two : This is a big one, one of your choices cannot be a playoff system, because that’s what every college football nut wants.
Three : Try to keep a clear mind and, oh yeah, let’s not go hoppin’ in any automobiles after all of these suds puppies, comprende?
Ready? Do you have the ‘suds’ to come up with a list? I do…
Six College Football Rule Changes That Should Be Made
Beer No.1: A Few Quick Rule ‘Tweak-ifications’
I mostly have positive feelings on the way the college game is being played. For example, the college game’s overtime rules run circles around the NFL. If you’re not with me there, then go flip a coin.
Yet, there are a few changes that I would make—a few ‘tweak-ifications’, if you will. I’ll quickly touch on three: pass interference, ‘down when down,’ and excessive celebration.
To explain: That damn 15-yard penalty on pass interference should be a spot foul. If a guy is clearly beat on a deep play, then why not mug him? It’s ridiculous.
Then there’s the “down when down” rule. C’mon, a slip in the open field and the play is over?
Finally, there’s the excessive celebration rule, which needs to be tweaked, especially since it’s causing teams victories. This one is a blog upon itself, and a rule that hardly leaves me jumping out of my seat.
Down the hatch!
Beer No. 2: Give All Preseason Rankings The Axe
Listen, prognosticators can rank teams until they’re blue in the face. Go ahead, let Lou Holtz put Notre Dame No. 1 from 2010 through 2015, that’s fine.
Let’s just not make these polls official until month two because it causes too much illegitimate variation. Teams that are “great on paper” wind up sticking around, even though they should be falling into the toilet like Mike Leach’s career, and that’s not fair.
Let’s instead pick a date—say the weekend where most teams are beginning to move into conference play—and start up the official polls then, based on how each team performed non-conference, weighing in the quality of their opponents, margin of victory, and so on.
Beer No. 3: Eliminate the “Field of Nightmares”
What’s the most important thing to you when you turn on a college football game? Besides winning, of course? I’ll answer that for you—it’s the quality of play and the safety of the players.
This is where I get blown away by how much the moneymakers in all this mess are milking the use of college football stadiums these days. There’s no better example than what happened in Orlando (Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium) during the end of last season.
It was a joke. The place was way overused.
First, you had a series of high school championships played there, followed by bowl games and yes, that’s plural.
With Wisconsin and Miami playing, then Penn State and LSU on the same field a few days later, you saw a completely trashed playing surface and a series of unfortunate injuries by a number of players, not to mention slow and sloppy play.
The NCAA needs to slap this concept on the wrist, and soon.
Beer No. 4: The Transfer Process Needs A Transformation
While I don’t have exact stats for the number of approved school transfer cases, I do know the percentage is minuscule. We’re talking tiny like Michigan’s conference win total these days.
Here’s the deal: a kid commits to a school, a program, and a way of life. Often, they sign into a situation that fits the way they play, the way they live, and so on.
Once a regime changes, often that can completely do a 180 on a guy, and the kid should have the option to transfer to another school (in these specific conditions) without adhering to a one-year penalty.
Bear in mind, I realize there’s a fine line here and people can’t just randomly change their minds or “pull a Florida."
(cough Urban Meyer cough Billy Donovan)
There should be more cases granted, and I’d like to see changes going forward, instead of having all these talents move on to FCS schools that we never see on television.
Beer No. 5: Someone Please Blow the Whistle On The Review Process
The review process has gotten out of hand. There needs to be more structure. In some games, there are far too many reviews, and while I get an officiating crew wanting to put out a drama–free product, there needs to be some human review still intact.
We need to instill some kind of structured limitation on reviews. With every play potentially subject to booth review, it becomes “Snoresville” for the fans. Put a cap on reviews, and give some power back to the officials.
Beer No. 6: Split Screen TV + Regional Equality = Countrywide Knowledge
What’s the biggest complaint by many?
Your team isn’t on TV here, or this team doesn’t get enough respect in the polls. It isn’t an easy problem to solve, because TV ratings are important to the game, and therefore, regional networks will only put the local teams on the big screen.
Here’s an option: two additional split screen channels on a national sports network.
One with two games top and bottom, featuring a Northern team (say Big Ten) and a Southern team (say the SEC).
The other channel would feature an East (ACC) and West team (Pac-10). Depending on where you are regionally, you could potentially satisfy the “red tape” by promoting a regional school, while also giving exposure to a team that many never see on TV.
The result is more exposure for the pollsters and more exposure for the fans, therefore equaling more widespread knowledge of the game.
OK, so it’ll probably never happen but dammit, if it does, I want credit coming my way.
Six changes, all as clear as JoePa’s vision.
Now it’s your turn.
** Note: In no way do I condone excessive drinking, specifically underage drinking. However, I realize that college football and beer do tend to mix. After all, my friend has the t-shirt (“A Drinking Town with a Football Problem”) to prove it.*