It seems like one of the big debating points around college football is beginning to be less of a concern. Pace of play was hotly debated by coaches and fans last year at this time, when the college football rules committee was beginning to review proposed rule changes for the coming year.
“There hasn’t been an awful lot of concern about that this year,” NCAA coordinator of officials Rogers Redding told the Associated Press Monday. “We’ll probably talk about it in the meeting, but I don’t anticipate any changes in the rules as a result of that.”
Alabama head coach Nick Saban and Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema were among the most notable coaches to be on record supporting rules being changed to slow the game down, although Saban later denied he had any influence on the topic. Bielema may have taken things a little too far.
Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops and South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier took the other side of the debate, which eventually had its way for the most part. No significant changes were made to the game designed with the intent of slowing the game down, although a rule preventing an offense from snapping the football in the first 10 seconds of the 40-second play clock was put into the rule book.
Last year the football rules committee decided to shelve any further conversation about pace of play to allow for more research to be compiled regarding scientific data regarding pace f play and any correlation to injuries in the game. So far there does not seem to be any such evidence that would require further discussion regarding a change in the rule book.
While the tempo of the game may not receive much in-depth discussion. the rules committee is prepared to spend time reviewing some other potential changes to the game to keep up with the times. That includes quarterback headsets to communicate with coaches like in the NFL, eight-man officiating crews, as well as the use of tablet computers and video on the sidelines.
Expect the ability to use tablet devices to be received well. Tablets are a great tool and can add something to the way coaches break down the game on the sideline. Secondly, it opens the door to potential corporate sponsorships for conferences. Similar to how the NFL reached a deal with Microsoft to put Surface Pro tablets on the sidelines around the NFL, look for power conferences to cash in on their own corporate-sponsored tablet deals in short time once they can.
Autonomy at work!