Blog Entry

NCAA considering 10-second run off rule

Posted on: February 10, 2011 6:31 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli

I suppose we could call it the Music City Rule. When Tennessee and North Carolina played in the Music City Bowl, the Tar Heels spiked the ball with one second left on the clock to set up a game-tying field goal. The problem was that the Tar Heels had too many men on the field and were penalized for their transgression.

Though there are plenty of Tennessee fans who don't feel the Heels were penalized enough, as North Carolina would then tie the game and go on to win in double-overtime. Well, here's some news that may come as solace for those Vols fans who were twice vandalized by too many men on the field and too much time on the clock this season. The NCAA is considering adding a 10-second run off rule.
The NCAA Football Rules Committee has recommended that penalties which occur in the last minute of both halves, and stops the game clock, inlude a 10-second runoff of the clock -- just like the NFL does it.
The opponent would have the option to take the penalty yardage with the 10-second rundown, take the penalty without the rundown to preserve the time remaining, or decline both the rundown and the penalty yardage. The clock would restart when the ball is marked ready for play.
"The idea is to prevent a team from gaining an advantage by committing a foul to stop the clock," Rogers Redding, secretary-rules editor of the committee, said in an NCAA news release announcing the proposals.
There are other rule changes in the offing as well. The NCAA is looking to make blocking below the waist illegal unless you're on the line of scrimmage within seven yards of the center -- read: linemen -- or a receiver or running back in certain situations. It'll also now be illegal to line up three defensive players shoulder-to-shoulder over one offensive lineman on placekicks.

The intentional grounding rule may also be amended. Where as it currently sits, a play was deemed intentional grounding if the quarterback's "pass" to his receiver wasn't reasonably catchable. It seems that will be changed to the receiver just needs to be in the "area." What exactly the "area" is, I don't know.

Also, while it isn't a rule change, the NCAA also plans on monitoring the number of helmets that come off during play next season in an effort to see if any changes will need to be made in the future.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: February 11, 2011 12:39 pm

NCAA considering 10-second run off rule

This also would not be considered intentional. The foul was also not what stopped the clock. What stopped the clock was the spike. Had North Carolina not spiked the ball, the game would have been over. The play would not have ended an NFL game, I'm sorry.<br />

Since: Oct 16, 2007
Posted on: February 10, 2011 11:11 pm

NCAA considering 10-second run off rule

Your comment is not 100% accurate. In the NFL, any other foul which intentionally stops the clock can be assessed a 10 second run off. In practice, the NFL applies this when the Quarterback snaps the ball before the players are set (illegal shift- live ball foul), and would also apply the rule for too many men on the field, as a team would be deemed to have "intentially" committed an illegal act to stop the clock.

Thus the play in question would have ended an NFL game.

There are situations where your comment is correct. In the Dallas/Arizona game this past December, Arizona was called for an illegal formation penelty with less than 10 seconds. However all players were set, they just didn't have enough on the line. This play was not deemed to have been intentional, because the foul was not a product of Arizona trying to kill the clock, it was a product of one of their players lining up improperly.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: February 10, 2011 7:50 pm

NCAA considering 10-second run off rule

The play wouldn't have resulted in a run-off, though. A too many men on the field is called after a legal snap. By rule, there is no runoff after a legal snap/

In the NFL, North Carolina still wins that game, and this rule change does not alter that.

Since: Dec 2, 2008
Posted on: February 10, 2011 7:17 pm

NCAA considering 10-second run off rule

The 10 second runoff is really a no brainer.  When Tennessee got screwed on what should have been the final play of the game with a spike, that even North Carolina's QB clearly didn't think would preserve the game, the NCAA should have immediately expressed its intent to change the rule.  As things currently stand you could pass the ball long down the middle of the field and then have two downfield receivers hike the ball to each other without any linemen or anyone else set and get a clock stoppage while the rest of the team makes its way down field and it only costs you five yards.  You've got to have the run-off or you are doomed to get patently unfair results like what happened at the end of regulation in the Music City Bowl.

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