The conclave has broken, the white smoke is emanating out of NCAA headquarters and Indianapolis, and the NCAA's football rules committee has offered a number of proposed rules changes for the 2015 season.
1. Allowing wide-spread use of eight-man officiating crews.
2. Adjusting the illegal receiver downfield barrier from three yards beyond the line of scrimmage to one. A lineman must now be engaged with a defensive player if further than one yard downfield.
3. A 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct for players who pull or push opposing players off piles. Every single fumble pile up will now be covered in yellow confetti.
4. Installing a 10-second run-off on the game clock in a defensive player loses his helmet in the final minute of a half. The play clock will now also be set at 40 seconds instead of 25.
5. Allowing teams a sideline warning when personnel moves out of the designated area, instead of going straight to a flag.
6. Players in violation of equipment rules - untucked jerseys, messages written on eye black - must leave the field for one play. A team may take a timeout to negate this rule.
7. Teams must be on the field for pre-game warmups at least 22 minutes before kickoff, but can mutually agree to reduce that number.
8. Calling of timeouts by the head coach is now replay reviewable. Without more clarity, there's a lot of gray in this rule. Is it when the coach says the words? Makes the timeout signal? When the ref sees it?
9. If the play clock reaches 25 seconds before the ball is set for play, it will automatically reset to 40 seconds. Previously, the clock had to tick to 20 seconds before the play clock could be reset.
10. Non-standard, Chris Canty-style face masks will now be prohibited.
Jon Solomon of CBSSports.com had a great look at the use of technology - mainly, the lack thereof - in college football. The committee considered some changes, but implemented none of them on Wednesday.
“The committee wants to incorporate the modern forms of technology and innovation that will advance the quality of instruction for the game,” said Air Force head coach and committee chairman Troy Calhoun. “We would like to encourage some controlled experimentation to further our broader discussion within our membership.”
All changes must be approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight panel to go into effect. The panel meets by teleconference on March 5.