How might CFB rules proposals affect Beavs?

ONE OF THIS offseason's college football rules change proposals would shorten the distance o-linemen can move downfield to one-yard before the ball is thrown. Currently, it’s a three-yard limit. The resulting "pop pass" has become a huge part of the game the past five years. On one hand, a change would help the Beaver D. But what about the new OSU offense under first-year head man Gary Andersen?

Oregon State is going to run their quarterback more, and put him on the move more in the passing game, under Gary Andersen. So it probably will affect some of what they do in that area if o-linemen can't move more than one-yard downfield.

But OSU, and pretty much every other team, have been hard pressed to effectively defend against the pop pass. Among those who added it to their arsenals the past five years include: Arizona, Oregon, UCLA, Florida, Ohio State, Kansas State, Auburn and others. It’s made its way to the NFL too, with the Seattle Seahawks’ Pete Carroll using it effectively.

NCAA coordinator of officials Rogers Redding told the Associated Press the proposed rule change on the illegal man downfield penalty is because it is too difficult for officials to determine in the flow of a game whether a lineman had gone beyond three-yards before a pass was released. That’s certainly a true statement but it’s not the real reason, in my view. The NCAA wants to restore some balance to a game where the scales have tipped so far towards offense.

Defenses key on offensive linemen for their run-pass reads. The pop pass plays havoc with that. And so no matter how fast, athletic or just plain salty a defense is, they get burned on the pop pass. A lot.

No one wants to see a 6-3 defensive struggle. But trying to restore a little of what defenses have lost in recent years makes sense. Last year’s proposal that offenses would have to wait 10 seconds before snapping the ball to allow for defensive substitutions met with a huge backlash and was later withdrawn. Will this proposal – one that would match the NFL’s one-yard rule -- draw enough blowback to produce a similar fate?

The proposed change is to be voted on by the Rules Committee in March. Some of the other proposed rules changes seem to make perfect sense, others seem destined to suck the drama out of a would-be fantastic finish:

-Allowing an eight-man officiating crew.
-A 15-yard unsportsmanlike foul on players who push or pull opponents off piles.
-If a helmet comes off a defensive player in the final minute of a half, there will be a 10-second runoff of the game clock and the play clock will be reset to 40 seconds. Previously, the play clock was set to 25 seconds.

You can find the full list here: CLICK HERE

The NCAA is also looking to gather more information on the potential use of tablets and computers in the coaching booths, team bench area and locker rooms for coaching purposes. The NCAA wants to also explore allowing players to wear helmets with cameras to show footage from the perspective of a player, and permitting wireless communication from a coach to one player on offense and one on defense. (Wireless devices in helmets that allow coaches to give directions or play calls to quarterbacks and one defensive player are used in the NFL).

The Pac-12 is also trying to push a new rule that would eliminate the clock stopping after a first down is made, although it doesn’t appear to have enough traction to make it onto the rules committee’s list at this point. FBS games averaged 3:23 in 2014, up six minutes from 2013. The 143.7 total plays per game was the highest ever and the points per game per team (offense) tied for the most ever at 29.5. In 2006, the average game length was 3:07, the plays per game stood at 127.5 and the points per game was 24.4.

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