It is near impossible to turn on a football game the past few years without hearing the term “RPO.”
Ask defensive coaches what their main concern is with the proliferation of Run Pass Option plays, and most will respond that lineman end up being more than the allowed 3-yards downfield a healthy amount of the time, which is well outside the current rules. Ask offensive coaches, and they’re going to tell you they like the way the rule reads now.
Well just two years ago, the NCAA was kicking around the idea of adopting the NFL rule where offensive lineman are restricted to one yard beyond the line of scrimmage, according to an article by CBS Sports. Because it is so hard for officials to track the ball and where offensive lineman end during during a play, there was even conversations about making the whole deal reviewable.
Can you imagine how long a game would last if officials (or the review booth) had to stop games every RPO or play action to see if a lineman was within their allowable area? Every pass play would almost warrant a review.
Thank goodness, the committee decided to “stringently enforce” the 3-yard rule, instead of cutting it down to 1-yard.
But rest assured defensive coaches, officials are more and more cognizant of offensive coaches taking full advantage of the rule more and more every year, combine that with the fact that some of the top defensive coaches spend a lot of time figuring out how to stop (or at least slow down RPOs), and you can bet that RPOs will be harder and harder to run as time goes on.