Is College Football Now a Non-Contact Sport?

Scott Taylor@@Taylor_SportsCorrespondent IOctober 15, 2008

After watching college football all day on Saturday, I was disgusted with the high number of personal foul penalties I saw.

It started right away with the big Texas-Oklahoma game. There were three brutal personal foul penalties that greatly affected the outcome.

There were two fouls against Oklahoma on quarterback Colt McCoy as he was going out of bounds. In both cases, the defender (who was the same on both plays) tried to keep McCoy up as he slipped to the ground (on the Texas sideline), bringing out the hankies.

Then there was the phantom "running into the kicker" penalty against Texas on a total flop by the punter, prolonging a drive that resulted in a touchdown.

These kinds of things just can’t happen in big games.

Later in the day, I saw Tennessee get hit with two personal foul penalties for helmet-to-helmet hits,  one of which wasn’t even helmet-to-helmet. I don’t understand how you can play defense with having to worry about how you hit an opponent.

The same thing occurred in the Missouri game, where they laid out Dez Bryant twice and the second was called (by the OSU bench, of course).

I have also seen several roughing the passer penalties the past few years on plays where a defender tries to bat the ball down, misses, and hits the QB on the head with his arm.

How this can be dangerous and cause a concussion is beyond my belief, which is why the QB is always fine after these plays. An arm coming down on a helmet will do no more than give the QB a headache. Unless it was flagrant, it shouldn’t be a penalty.

With all the talk about spread offenses being the reason for all of the points scored, a lot of it has to be attributed to a cautious defense worried about making a penalty and all those personal foul penalties giving opponents cheap yards.

I understand protecting players from concussions and career-ending injuries, and I am all for protecting a player from a flagrant hit. But when a defender is simply trying to break up a play, there is no need to throw a flag. Chances are they aren’t headhunting, unless it is over the middle and well after the throw (see Rodney Harrison).

Football is supposed to be a contact sport, which means injuries are a part of the game. You can’t try to avoid them by making all kinds of rules. If you are that worried about injuries, don’t play football—or better yet, make college football a flag football league.

I love college football. It is my favorite sport to watch for numerous reasons. But what officials are doing to the game is ruining it, and I am not going to be the only one turned off.

I made a joke to my dad that my favorite sport is hockey now because it is still a contact sport. To be honest, it is not far off right now and closing the gap quickly. The true tough guys are out there losing teeth and playing with injuries that football players wouldn’t dream of playing with.

This isn’t a dis at football players at all. It isn’t their fault that those in charge are trying to soften them up. I am sure that many wish it was like it used to be (especially on defense).

As for me, if I want to watch good, hard-nosed football, I will have to turn on ESPN Classic and go back to the 1990s.

In the end, the NCAA is going the way the country is: trying to protect everyone, especially the defenseless.

I thought I could turn to sports to get away from the real world. Not anymore.


    Herman Excited About Texas QB Room

    Texas Longhorns Football logo
    Texas Longhorns Football

    Herman Excited About Texas QB Room

    Burnt Orange Nation
    via Burnt Orange Nation

    FSU Players Being Held Accountable Under Taggart

    College Football logo
    College Football

    FSU Players Being Held Accountable Under Taggart

    Wayne McGahee III
    via Tallahassee Democrat

    Season's Almost Here 🙏 Get Ready with New Gear 🛒

    Texas Longhorns Football logo
    Texas Longhorns Football

    Season's Almost Here 🙏 Get Ready with New Gear 🛒

    via Fanatics

    Riley Seems to Have Zoomed Past Herman

    Oklahoma Sooners Football logo
    Oklahoma Sooners Football

    Riley Seems to Have Zoomed Past Herman