The SEC sent out an email explaining the decision to allow Auburn to kick a field goal at the end of the first half on Saturday. From aldotcom:
At the end of the 1st half in the Alabama vs Auburn game, during a play that resulted in a first down inbounds, the game clock went to 0:00. Replay stopped the game to review the clock. The decision from the Instant Replay Official was that video evidence showed there was 1 second on the clock when the player was down so the clock operator was instructed to put 1 second back on the game clock. The referee came back out to the line of scrimmage and informed both teams that the clock would start on the ready for play. The referee got back in position and blew his whistle and wound the clock. The snap was off before the clock went to 0:00.
They then go on to quote the rule that allows the replay official to put the time back on the clock.
In the words of many great philosophers: “No shit, Sherlock.”
It is understood that the current rules allowed it to happen. The problem, of course, is that it would have been humanly impossible to run the kicker out onto the field in time to kick without the replay review. Since, by rule, less than three seconds is not enough time to snap and spike the ball, common sense would dictate that the half was over. Somehow it’s always Auburn that finds unintended consequences within the rules, but there are a few easy fixes here.
- Get rid of the clock stoppage after first downs altogether. This is the simplest fix, but would be a major change.
- Make it so that the replay official cannot put less than three seconds back on the clock unless the ball was incomplete or out of bounds, or the offense has a timeout.
- Once the clock has expired, only the 11 offensive players who participated in the last play must stay on the field. If any offensive player leaves the field or any other players enter the field, the play is not eligible for review. This works even in the case of an injury, since that would require a ten second runoff or timeout anyway.
Any of the above would work and, while this is a fairly rare occurrence, the replay was not intended to be exploited by allowing extra time for the offense to substitute with a stopped clock. Which of the three proposals above do you support, or do you have another?
Vote and tell us in the comments.
Which of the above rule proposals makes the most sense?
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Other, and explain