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The rules are changing

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Many new rules will be enforced for the next college football season. Some of them are good, some of them are bad, and none of them involve a playoff system. Maybe next year.

Courtesy of Rivals.com and ESPN.com, here is a look at the changes that will be in effect for the 2008 season.

Officials will have more freedom to penalize players who initiate any contact with the crown of their helmet.

  • What this rule really says: Officials will have more freedom to emasculate and nitpick aggressive defensive players.
  • How it affects BSU football: Jeron Johnson, Jason Robinson, and the rest of the Bronco secondary may just out-gain the opposing team with their penalty yards.
Officials will have more freedom to penalize players who target defenseless opponents above the shoulders.
  • What this rule really says: The NCAA hates big hits.
  • How it affects BSU football: No hitting "defenseless opponents"? How are the Broncos supposed to tackle Utah State players?
Eliminating the unintentional face-mask penalty.
  • What this rule really says: Go ahead and grab the face-mask. Just don't break someone's neck or else we're penalizing you 15 yards.
  • How it affects BSU football: We've always been bigger fans of the intentional face-mask anyway.
Adjusting the "chop block" rule to make it easier to understand and enforce.
  • What this rule really says: Sorry, Glenn Dorsey.
  • How it affects BSU football: Bronco linemen are not traditionally dirty. They are traditionally small, agile, and drafted into the NFL. Also, WAC D-linemen don't really necessitate chop blocks.
A penalty would be added for horse-collar tackles.
  • What this rule really says: Tackle someone the proper way, except not with the crown of your helmet or by their face-mask or if they're defenseless.
  • How it affects BSU football: It doesn't really.
Administering a 40-second clock to start play after a preceding play ends, and starting the clock on a referee's signal after a play goes out of bounds.
  • What this rule really says: The NFL has some pretty good ideas about time management.
  • How it affects BSU football: Considering the Broncos' possible no-huddle approach, the NCAA could have changed it to a 15-second clock and Boise State would have been fine.
Giving the receiving team the option to take possession at the 40-yard line after an out-of-bounds kickoff.
  • What this rule really says: You're an NCAA kicker and you should be able to keep a kickoff within the field of play.
  • How it affects BSU football: Teams may choose to kick out of bounds rather than let Ian Johnson, Doug Martin, and Co. bring back the kick. Starting at the 40 is a lot better than starting in the red zone.
Eliminating warnings for sideline control.
  • What this rule really says: Don't celebrate in the end zone again, Georgia.
  • How it affects BSU football: Hopefully, it will keep Pat Hill off the field.
Instant replay would be allowed on fumbles leading to immediate recoveries.
  • What this rule really says: We have no faith in our referees.
  • How it affects BSU football: Perhaps this rule will increase the number of forced turnovers. Then again, it might take some away, too. Bummer.
A coach who successfully challenges a play would retain the right to make one more challenge, for a maximum of two.
  • What this rule really says: College football games aren't long enough as it is.
  • How it affects BSU football: Is Coach Pete ever wrong? We don't think so. They might as well just give him two challenges to start the game.