Mike Gundy was one of many coaches to speak out against a proposed NCAA rule change. (John Rivera/Icon SMI)
The big development to come out of last week's NCAA Rules Committee meetings was the proposal of a 10-second window for defensive substitutions. This would call for an offense to be flagged for a delay of game penalty if the ball is snapped before the 29-second mark of the play clock, effectively putting the kibosh on teams such as Baylor or Washington State that use a hurry-up, no-huddle approach. (HUNH if you're nasty.) The rationale behind this proposal was player safety, although there isn't any conclusive evidence that a faster pace leads to an increase of injury risk.
Coaches were blindsided by the possible change. Some took to Twitter, and others expressed their frustration to anyone who would listen.
It was later revealed that both Arkansas coach Bret Bielema and Alabama coach Nick Saban were in the room during the conversation, leading to conspiracy theories that Saban is trying to slow down football, and that the SEC is scared of going up-tempo, or something.
Chances are this rule won't pass. And even if it does, it won't last long if it hurts the game; just look at the targeting rule, which is already on the chopping block after only one season.
Lots of dumb rules probably get talked about in these meetings and never make it to the proposal stage. Here is a list of (entirely fictional) proposals that have no chance to work their way into the rule book.
• Decrease the play clock to 30 seconds after telling teams they can't snap the ball until the 29-second mark, just to mess with coaches
• Eliminate the play clock, allowing teams to use a four corners strategy for football
• Get rid of extra points
• Get rid of field goals
• Get rid of kickers in general
• Let players celebrate more, because, hey, they're not getting paid to do this
• As in Quidditch, designate one player on each team as the Golden Snitch. If the other team finds him and tackles him, the game ends
• Make the coin toss more about skill than luck
• Replace all footballs with Nerf® Vortex Howlers
• Put nicknames on the backs of jerseys, because this was actually a great idea when it was tried by the XFL
• At halftime, have both teams open presents and play games and light candles together, like the Christmas truce during World War I
• Retire kickoffs since there is actually more evidence that kickoffs are an injury risk than up-tempo offenses
• Install a freestyle round
• Go 500 style, with quarterbacks calling out how many points each pass is worth if a receiver catches it and scores
• Experiment with the idea of playing football in a pool, or find a way to make Blitzball from Final Fantasy X a reality
• Play some games on aircraft carriers, like in college basketball
• Get more dancing involved somehow
• Incorporate elements from that weird Italian game that looks cool as heck
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(via MODERN GLADIATORS - CALCIO STORICO from David Battistella on Vimeo)
• Bring back leather helmets or get rid of helmets entirely
• Put tackling dummies and moats and trap doors and stuff on the field
• Eliminate the age requirement for the NFL draft
• Involve the mascots more
• Holograms -- I don't know, just go with it