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2009 NCAA Football Rules Changes

The NCAA Released the 2009 rules changes on Friday and thankfully contained nothing as monumentally annoying as the clock changes that were in there last year. But there are a couple that I thought were interesting. On the NCAA Website you can find a complete listing as well as a page explaining each rules change. Here are the ones I found interesting.

ARTICLE 3. a. Players of opposing teams shall wear jerseys of contrasting colors. Players on the same team shall wear jerseys of the same color and design.
1. The visiting team shall wear white jerseys; however, the home team may wear white jerseys if the teams have agreed in writing before the season.
2. If the home team wears colored jerseys, the visiting team may also wear colored jerseys, if and only if the following conditions have been satisfied:
a. The home team has agreed in writing prior to the game; and
b. The conference of the home team certifies that the jersey of the visiting team is of a contrasting color.

RATIONALE: Creates a process to allow the visiting team to wear colored jerseys when the home team also wears colored jerseys.

Good thing we got that burning issue taken care of. Now USC and UCLA can both wear home jerseys when they play each other without sacrificing timeouts, taking personal foul penalties etc. I'll be interested to see what other random side effects come out of this one.

9-1-2-q Face Mask foul
Chin Strap included
q. No player shall twist, turn or pull the face mask, chin strap or any helmet opening of an opponent. It is not a foul if the face mask, chin strap or helmet opening is not twisted, turned or pulled. When in question, it is a foul.

RATIONALE: Chin strap added as a safety measure.

Were guys throwing each other around by the chin strap? I must have missed it.

9-1-4-a-5 Roughing the Kicker

5. Protection of the kicker ends (a) when he has had a reasonable time to regain his balance(A.R. 9-1-4-IV); or (b) when he carries the ball outside the tackle box (Rule 2-34) before kicking.

RATIONALE: Addresses the issue of the rugby-style kicker who runs for many steps before kicking the ball. Under this change, he would not receive roughing-the-kicker protection if he is outside the tackle box when he kicks.

This should be dubbed the Zoltan Mesko is now fair game rule. I actually like this one. The rugby style punt is lethal. It buys time for the coverage unit to get down field and is also a bitch to defend as a fake. It was a relatively brilliant exploitation of the rules but one that gave a distinct advantage to the team that was punting. At least now Mesko and that crazy ambidextrous Justin Tucker kid at Texas will be rolling the dice on getting decleated when they take a snap and roll out there like they are playing for the Wallabies. It will be interesting to see if coaches like Rich Rodriguez and Mack Brown keep the rugby style punt in their repertoire.