Urban, SEC Are Anti-Rules Changes

By Adam Caparell - September 08, 2006

Urban Meyer was just one of many outspoken coaches earlier this week that aren’t happy about the new rules changes to the clock.

“Just very disappointed in the rule,” Meyer said. “I always get concerned when we start changing things for television or to be like the NFL.

Meyer said he was very disappointed how the changes “got through. I read somewhere we had the opportunity [to voice concerns to the NCAA's football rules committee]. I’m telling you we did not have the opportunity.”

The rule changes were drafted over the winter when Meyer said he and his fellow coaches were on the recruiting trail and were not available to attend any conventions or seminars to voice concerns. The NCAA did not come to the coaches asking their opinions and that’s what has frustrated Meyer and others the most.

“They didn't ask us coaches if we wanted to shorten [the games],” South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said. “It helps the underdog. They get fewer plays, the favorite gets fewer plays. I don't like the rule personally.”

The rules changes have done their job, though, in cutting down the time it takes to complete a game. According to USA Today, games were 17 minutes shorter on average last weekend compared to last season. Numerous coaches have railed against the rules, asserting that the number of possessions and plays lost due to the rules changes has been significant.

A new web site against the rules has gained some quick notoriety. wehatethenewclockrules.com is collecting signatures to protest the rules changes. Over 12,600 college football fans have signed the online petition.

While some of the Big East coaches didn’t notice much of a difference in their games and haven't been outspoken against the rule changes, that isn't the case in the SEC.

Georgia coach Mark Richt and Tennessee coach Phil Fulmer don’t like the changes and think they may not be around much longer.

“I didn't really like the rule when I heard it. I don't like it now,” Richt said. “My guess is we'll change this rule. That's what I'm hoping anyway.”

“From our meetings in the SEC I’m not sure how long it will actually last,” Fulmer said.

Look for coaches to really voice their displeasures to the rule committee in the off-season and lobby heavily to have the new rules overturned.

“I have enough headaches with making sure guys are going to class, guys are living right, or getting first downs,” Meyer said. “It's probably selfish on my part, but I like football. I think we need more plays, I don't quite understand it.”

Week 2 Predictions:

Boston College (+2.5) over Clemson
Strength against strength as the Tigers defensive line goes up against the Eagles offensive line. But Clemson will be without two of its top linebackers in Anthony Waters and Tramain Billie. I think Boston College’s running attack has a better showing than in the opener and that’s the difference in this game.

Notre Dame (-7.5) over Penn State
Brady Quinn didn’t have the kind of season opener everyone was expecting. Chalk it up to a better than advertised Georgia Tech defense. Chalk it up to the fact that it was the season opener. Chalk it up to whatever you want. Charlie Weis isn’t going to allow a mediocre performance out of his offense in the home opener.

Tulsa (+5) over BYU
I think Tulsa is being sold a little short in this one and they’re more than capable of knocking off the Cougars, even on the road.

Georgia (-3) over South Carolina
South Carolina’s defense put up a nice performance against Mississippi State in the season opener. Can they do the same against these Bulldogs? I think not, despite the fluid quarterback situation for Georgia. These games are historically close – and I think this one will be as well, especially since it’s in Columbia.

Texas (-2.5) over Ohio State
The big one. I’m going with Texas based on the fact that their defense is good enough to keep tabs on Troy Smith and the rest of the Buckeyes. They're not going to stop them. They're going to keep tabs on the Buckeyes so Colt McCoy can muster enough to get the job done offensively. Mack Brown doesn’t want McCoy to take over the game, just distribute the ball to all the talent around him. He’ll be able to do it, plus the Texas offensive line should win the battle against Ohio State’s defensive line. I like Texas by a touchdown.

Last Week: 4-1
Season: 4-1

Posted by Adam Caparell at 11:52 AM on September 08, 2006

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