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Blog Entry

NCAA institutes clock runoff for late-game flags

Posted on: April 15, 2011 11:07 am
Edited on: April 15, 2011 11:10 am
 
Posted by Jerry Hinnen

It's come too late to save Tennessee's infamous last-second -- or more accurately, post- last-second -- Music City Bowl loss to North Carolina. But in the wake of the Tar Heels saving themselves from watching the clock run out by accidentally committing an offensive penalty, the NCAA has now officially followed the NFL's lead in instituting a 10-second runoff for offensive infractions inside the final minute of either half.

Technically, the runoff isn't mandatory; the defending team has the option of declining both it and the penalty if they happen to be behind.

The new rule was recommended in February by the NCAA's Football Rules Committee and approved by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel, who naturally led their release with the panel's relatively minor change to receivers' ability to block below the waist. The NCAA also offers no recommendations on what to call the new clock regulation, though the "Dooley Rule" has to be the leader in the clubhouse.

Reviewing the other rules changes:
  • Previously, receivers' below-the-waist blocks (i.e. "cut" blocks, though you knew that already) were determined to be legal based in part on how close they were to the line-of-scrimmage or whether they were in motion. Now, unless they start the play within seven yards of the center (essentially, as a tight end), receiver's cut blocks must be made against a player facing them or headed towards the sideline. It sounds confusing, but from the official's perspective, disregarding the previous qualifications in favor of "have you lined up inside the tackle box or as a tight end or not?" has simplified things. We think.
  • The panel gave final approval to two rules changes already decided on last year, the more noteworthy of which is the shift of taunting penalties to live ball fouls, giving the officials the right to revoke a touchdown based on unsportsmanlike conduct while the touchdown is being scored.. No doubt you've read -- and complained -- about this decision plenty already.
  • The other change? Coaches will be allowed monitors in their coaching booths to watch a live broadcast of the game--and, to the point, determine if a replay challenge should be issued or not. As a result, we could see a slight uptick in the effectiveness of challenges in college football this coming season.
Comments

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: April 18, 2011 3:03 pm
 

NCAA institutes clock runoff for late-game flags

I also believe that you're wrong on an ineligible receiver foul ending the game. If the rule is taken directly from the NFL, as it appears to be, an ineligible receiver penalty does not cause a runoff because the ball was snapped legally and the foul is not committed with intent to stop the clock. In the NFL, the runoff only applies after a legal snap if the offense then is flagged for intentional grounding, an illegal forward pass or throwing the ball out of bounds to stop the clock (guess I was wrong to suggest the Browns should have done that against the Steelers in 2002). If that carries over, Scenario B would also be wrong.

I do know for a fact, however, that Scenarios A and C would NOT have a runoff.



Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: April 18, 2011 2:49 pm
 

NCAA institutes clock runoff for late-game flags

Yes, the timeout stops the clock, but in what universe does a timeout remove the runoff option that is given to the defense from an offensive penalty after the timeout?
All of them. Watch an NFL game sometime, where they already have the runoff. If you do (well, there won't be a season, so watch a game on ESPN Classic), you will realize you are totally wrong. The NCAA rule states that the runoff happens if the FOUL stops the clock. However, if a timeout or an out of bounds play has already stopped the clock before the play where the foul is committed, there is no runoff option given. Hence, if the clock was already stopped, there would be no runoff. It is also included in the rule that a team may use a timeout rather than allow the 10-second runoff to take place.

So your A and C scenarios are certainly wrong, and in fact, under this rule, North Carolina still wins the football game. Again, refer to the NFL. In a game a few years ago between Seattle and St. Louis, St. Louis mistakenly believed that it had won the game because Seattle was flagged for an illegal substitution while the clock was running. However, because the Seahawks legally got the snap off, there was no runoff applied. Had Seattle committed a false start, the game would be over.

North Carolina did the same thing. Similar to the Seahawks, the Tar Heels legally got the ball spiked before the clock expired, stopping the clock because of the play and not the penalty. The runoff only applies if the penalty stops a running clock. Thus, under the new NCAA rule, North Carolina still beats Tennessee.



Since: Sep 15, 2008
Posted on: April 18, 2011 12:53 pm
 

NCAA institutes clock runoff for late-game flags

Scenario A: Wrong. The timeout stops the clock, eliminating the runoff. The result is that you are now down 5 with 6 seconds left on the opponent's 15-yard line.
Yes, the timeout stops the clock, but in what universe does a timeout remove the runoff option that is given to the defense from an offensive penalty after the timeout? None. The penalty still gives the defense the runoff option. The game would be over. Don't be ignorant. This is exactly the scenario for which the rule was to prevent.

Scenario B: Wrong. If this penalty causes a runoff, it would take the time off from the amount of time left before the snap. Result is clock stops at five seconds left on opponent's 25, I believe. I could be wrong on this one.
No, you're wrong. In what game have the officials added time back to clock negating the time ticked off on an illegal play? None. They have only added time when the clock ran after a person stepped out of bounds, was downed, or time that ticked after a whistle. In other words the only time a penatly ever added time back to the game clock was if it ran after a dead ball foul. The clock continues to run during an offsides penalty, holding, interference, illegal block, etc. and none of that time has ever been added back to the clock.

Scenario C: Wrong. If a timeout is called or the clock is stopped in some other way, there is no runoff. Result of the play is nine seconds left and you're on the opponent's 45.
Seriously what would be the point of instituting this rule if it would not prevent the Tennessee vs North Carolina scenario from happening again? I don't understand why people think that the game clock being stopped before a penalty makes the offending team immune to the penalty designed exactly for that situation. There is absolutely no reason to believe that the game clock being stopped precludes the runoff. As soon as the "ready to play" signal is given (meaning few dead ball penalties can have taken place) the timeout period is over and the game clock resumes at the snap.

Seriously your critique is flawed to the core and I can go on. Per the NCAA release:

Another new football rule that will be enforced is a 10-second rundown of the game clock if a team commits a foul that stops the clock in the final minute of both halves.

The opponent has three options in these instances:

    • Take the yardage penalty and the 10-second rundown.
    • Take the yardage penalty without the 10-second rundown.
    • Decline both the 10-second rundown and the penalty yardage.


There is absolutely nothing in the NCAA media release to support what you say. False starts stop the clock, therefore the opposing tema is given the options listed above. The timeout beforehand has no bearing what-so-ever on the penalty resulting afterwards. There is nothing in the rules commitee release that says what you think the rule does.



I'll concede you might have a point about scenario (D) because it is not a play that stops the clock giving the offense an advantage in substitutions. But it does not change the fact that the removal of 6-7 points plus a 15 yard penalty is a justified penance for pointing at an opposing player and it does not remove the issues I raised in the earlier scenarios.
 If the NCAA comes out and clarifies, restricts or amends the rule as it is now worded then so be it. As of now you're wrong.



Since: Sep 7, 2009
Posted on: April 17, 2011 7:13 pm
 

NCAA institutes clock runoff for late-game flags

<h3>I don't remember how many were in the formation when the ball was snapped but I do remember a bunch of players (4 or 5) trying to get to the sideline realizing they were not supposed to be on the field. In those circumstances, the 5 yard illegal substitution penalty is prescribed. If there were more than 11 players in the formation and set when the snap and spike occurred, then you could make an argument for the illegal participation foul. <br /><br />As I recall, The holder and kicker were lined up behind the qb. There was a bunch, however, that were making a mad dash to get off the field.</h3>




Since: Jan 1, 2008
Posted on: April 17, 2011 2:41 pm
 

NCAA institutes clock runoff for late-game flags

I just wish the refs didnt give that game to UNC. That was an ILLEGAL PARTICIPATION penatly which is FIFTEEN YARDS. Instead of a 39 yarder it would have been 49. The chances of him hitting that FG drops alot.



Since: Sep 7, 2009
Posted on: April 17, 2011 10:28 am
 

NCAA institutes clock runoff for late-game flags

Well, too many men on the field wouldn't stop the clock but the new rule regarding all players not getting set after the ball has been marked RFP (U put it down) being ruled a false start and  shut down would have. That is what would have brought the 10 second runoff under the new rules.

It's that exact scenario which I think was the impetus for the new rule - Team A makes a first down inbounds late in a half, everyone rushes to the line and as the ball is put down by the U, the clock is started and then the QB spikes it as a few lineman are still running to the LOS to get set. In the past, the incomplete pass stopped the clock and the penalty for illegal formation was of little consequence since the offense accomplished their main goal of getting the clock stopped. Now, because all players weren't set between the time the ball was made ready for play and the snap, it's a false start to snap it and that will be a runoff (as long as they have no time outs left).

As far as the Unsportsmanlike Conduct enforcement change - teams were notified of this last year at this time to give them all time to get their minds right. A player has a choice - taunt or score. There is nothing competitive about taunting or unsportsmanlike acts. Blocking, tackling, running, throwing, kicking - these are football acts in which competetiveness plays a huge role. Dick Butkus, Jack Lambert, Joe Montana, John Hannah, Barry Sanders, Walter Payton, Emmitt Smith, Reggie White - would anyone assert that these players weren't among the toughest and most competitive ever to play? Are they remembered because they did endzone or sack dances? Did they high step and do choreographed maoves after great plays? Yet somehow, fans enjoyed and admired their play.

What makes football great are these - sacrifice for a common goal, overcoming pain and adversity, discipline, commitment, mental and physical toughness. No one has ever said a player can't celebrate, especially with team mates. What I see aren't unscripted acts of exuberance - they are pre-planned acts meant to get on highlight clips and draw attention to individual players. That's not what football is about. If you think it is, you've been playing and watching a different game than I love.




Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: April 16, 2011 7:12 pm
 

NCAA institutes clock runoff for late-game flags

No, it wouldn't. The Tar Heels legally got the snap off. The result would have been the same in the NFL as what actually happened.


corona79
Since: Sep 3, 2006
Posted on: April 16, 2011 6:16 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: April 16, 2011 5:53 pm
 

NCAA institutes clock runoff for late-game flags

Scenario (A):
6 seconds left on the clock and you're down by 5 on the opposing team's 10 yard line. You burn a timeout to draw up the next play. Line up for the snap. Whistle stops the play. False start. Game over.

Scenario(B):
20 seconds left on the clock and you're down by 5 on the opposing team's 15 yard line. Out of timeouts, you rush line up and snap the ball with 15 seonds showing. The TE sneaks across the middle and snags a 10 yard pass. Clock stops at 9 seconds for the first down, but a flag was thrown. The TE was ineligible because the slot reciever covered him up. Game over.

Scenario (C):
9 seconds left on the clock and you're down by 3 on the opposing team's 40 yard line. You need 10 more yards to get inside your kickers range. You burn a timeout to get the play in. You line up for the snap and the officals signal the ready for play. The game clock is stopped but the play clock runs. The QB sees an obvious problem with the formation and calls an audible. The crowd is too loud and he has to repeat himself. Whistle. Delay of game. Game over.

Scenario (D):
Down by 4 your reciever makes a fantastic one-handed grab and high steps across the goal line with 3 seconds left in the conference championship game - capping a 28 point comeback. Flag for unsportsmanlike conduct. The touchdown is taken off the board plus a 10 second runoff. Game over.


Scenario A: Wrong. The timeout stops the clock, eliminating the runoff. The result is that you are now down 5 with 6 seconds left on the opponent's 15-yard line.


Scenario B: Wrong. If this penalty causes a runoff, it would take the time off from the amount of time left before the snap. Result is clock stops at five seconds left on opponent's 25, I believe. I could be wrong on this one.


Scenario C: Wrong. If a timeout is called or the clock is stopped in some other way, there is no runoff. Result of the play is nine seconds left and you're on the opponent's 45.


Scenario D: Wrong. There is no runoff for this play. The clock is reset to when the foul occurred, and the team committing the unsportsmanlike foul will have that much time after a 15-yard penalty.


Scenario E: North Carolina is called for too many men on the field, causing a runoff and ending the game against Tennessee. Wrong. By rule, the foul does not prevent the snap from getting off. If the snap is legal, a foul that blows the play dead cannot cause a runoff. The rule would not have saved Tennessee.



Since: May 27, 2008
Posted on: April 16, 2011 5:00 pm
 

NCAA institutes clock runoff for late-game flags

We also now know you went to a big Ten school for your education.


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