Don't mess it up again

Chad Morris

We're depending on you, college football powers at be. Don't screw up like you did last offseason with that silly rule on targeting. Just look where that got us.

The NCAA Football Rules Committee came to its senses this week and proposed a change to the instant-replay review on targeting penalties. That's great, because the letter of the law was made absolutely no sense.

Any player who was flagged for targeting would be ejected and his team would receive a 15-yard penalty. And, of course, replay-review would determine if the ejection would hold or be overturned. However, it would not allow for the penalty to be taken away.

In 2014, the penalty for targeting would still exist, and that's wonderful, because player safety is of the utmost importance in today's game. The committee has proposed that the 15-yard penalty can be taken away if the replay-review confirms that the player should not be ejected for targeting.

Yes, it appears that common sense has a shot at prevailing in 2014.

Where the rules committee dropped the ball this week was in the second half of Wednesday's release from the NCAA.

The committee is playing the player safety card in its recommendation to allow defenses to substitute within the first 10 seconds of the 40-second play clock.

"This rules change is being made to enhance student-athlete safety by guaranteeing a small window for both teams to substitute," said Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun, who chairs the committee. "As the average number of plays per game has increased, this issue has been discussed with greater frequency by the committee in recent years and we felt like it was time to act in the interests of protecting our student-athletes."

Troy, you had me at "student-athlete."

If the new rule proposal is passed, Chad Morris can have the play signaled to Cole Stoudt/Chad Kelly/Deshaun Watson as soon as humanly possible. But, Stoudt/Kelly/Watson won't be able to snap the ball until there are 29 seconds left on the play clock, unless there are two minutes or less left in the half. Then, there is no restriction.

Though Clemson doesn't normally snap the ball that fast anyway -- the play clock is usually in the low to mid 20s -- the threat is gone for 56 minutes. You can bet your bottom dollar that Morris doesn't want to rebrand his version of the hurry-up, no-huddle to the hurry-up-and-wait, no-huddle.

Fortunately, for Morris and other tempo-driven coaches, nothing is official. The recommendations are just that.

So, if you want to continue watching high-octane offenses move at the speed of light, write a letter to your Senator, complain about it on Twitter, bitch, moan, whine, because if enough people don't like it, the NCAA will adjust.

Look no further than the proposed changes to the targeting rule.

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