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Jumbo Package: NCAA considering rule changes to shorten football games

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Womens Basketball: SEC Media Day Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday, everyone. Some big news dropped yesterday around proposed college football rule changes designed to shorten games. Ross Dellenger seems to have been the first to report:

  1. Clock would no longer stop on first downs, save for the last two minutes of each half
  2. Clock would run on incomplete passes after the ball is spotted, save for the last two minutes of each half
  3. Consecutive timeouts would be outlawed (usually icing the kicker late in the half)
  4. No more untimed downs when a quarter ends on a defensive penalty. Instead, the next play would open the following quarter. He doesn’t specify, but one would have to assume that halves would still be extended for an untimed down in this instance.

The reason for the changes? So that the NCAA can claim it cares about player safety in court, as Dennis Dodd outlines in this next piece.

The NCAA continues to assert it is not legally responsible for the health and safety of players. It also continues to fight dozens of lawsuits involving medical issues that contend otherwise. (The NCAA was found not to be liable in two recent cases.)

“I believe strongly in a balance between health and not completely bastardizing the game,” Egdorf said. “Changing the first-down rule makes sense. Trying to figure out what you can do with the hurry up [offense] makes sense. Changing incomplete [passes to a running clock] does not make sense to me.

“I really want more discussion about a lot less practice than there is now. Studies show guys just get more hits in practice. That’s just how it is.”

College football games average about 30 more snaps, or as they are calling them here “exposures,” per game than those in the NFL. According to Dodd, a study by the SEC suggests that these changes would remove the equivalent of 2.2 games of snaps over a potential 16 game season played. Currently, the maximum number of games is 15 for a national championship game participant. That number will be increasing to 17 with the 12-team playoff, with 16 far more likely most years since the champion will likely be one of the four teams that received a bye. Thus, the NCAA can claim to reduce “exposures” even with the extended season.

Ain’t that something?

Of course, the trade-off is that, while the actual game time will be shorter, commercials certainly won’t be reduced. This means that advertisements will take up an even greater percentage of the time allotted for game telecasts.

As Mike Rodak notes, so much about college football as we know it ends after the upcoming season.

The CFP selection committee will still rank teams 1 through 25 in 2024, but the top 12 teams in the rankings will not necessarily be the seeds for the 12-team playoff. Instead, the top four seeds will go to the top four-ranked conference champions, and the next two highest-rated conference champions must also be included in the 12-team field.

THE FINAL SEASON OF... TWO LOSSES DOOMING A SEASON’S NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP HOPES: Alabama’s playoff hopes were effectively extinguished last season when it lost its second game of the season to LSU. Even several dominoes falling the Tide’s way in the final weeks could not push Alabama into the four-team field, and no two-loss team has ever made the four-team playoff.

Top four conference champs get byes, and two more conference champs get autobids. What a ridiculous, watered down “playoff.”

Nick Pringle is getting some love after his big night.

The Seabrook, South Carolina native had a career night against Georgia, scoring 19 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in 21 minutes. As great as that stat line was, Pringle succeeded by playing within his role: using his athleticism to finish at the rim with dunks and layups. Even so, Pringle didn’t expect to have such an explosive game.

“I’m just an energy guy,” Pringle said after the Georgia game. “I’m not really looking to score. I’m looking to defend, rebound the ball and do things that don’t show up on the stat sheet.

“When you play hard and do blue collar things, points will come your way.”

That last line almost sounds like someone who has been, dare we say, Processed?

Bryce Young was invited along with CJ Stroud to a dinner, hosted by Kim Kardashian, to discuss prison reform. In the bottom left photo, you see Bryce sitting next to Fanatics exec Michael Rubin and two seats from Kim.

This is an important issue for Stroud as his father is serving what amounts to a life sentence.

The details of his case are quite ugly.

On Sunday, April 12, 2015, in downtown San Diego, a man forced his way into the vehicle of a woman stopped at a traffic light. He told her to drive to a house so he could buy drugs, assaulted her and then, after she escaped, fled San Diego Harbor Police in a chase that ended with his crashing the vehicle into a pole and leaping into the San Diego Bay.

This was Coleridge’s fourth arrest and first in more than 20 years. From 1989 to ’92, he was convicted of felony drug possession, receiving stolen property, unlawful taking of a vehicle and armed robbery. For the latter, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

During a 2018 appeal, Coleridge argued in mitigation that in ’12, when his marriage fell apart, “his life spun out of control and he began using illegal drugs again after more than 20 years of sobriety.” The appeal was denied, and his sentence—38 years to life—was upheld.

One issue that most folks agree on is that the prison system is in need of reform. Unfortunately, I’m not sure that Mr. Stroud is the poster child for it.

Look, 20 years is a long time to be recovered. Still, he had three priors including armed robbery when he carjacked a woman, assaulted her, led police on a high speed chase, wrecked the car and fled.

Hard to say that a life sentence isn’t appropriate in that case. How would the court possibly know that the same thing wouldn’t happen again, after a decade in prison didn’t prevent it this time?

Last, Marshawn Lynch is out here doing a little running back recruiting for us.

While on an episode of the I AM ATHLETE podcast released Monday, Lynch along with former Tennessee Titans running back LenDale White listed their top five running backs in the league right now.

The moment came at the one hour, 10 minute mark of the episode as Lynch listed Saquon Barkley, Derrick Henry, Josh Jacobs, Nick Chubb and Najee Harris as his best in the league.

Three out of five ain’t bad.

That’s about it for now. Have a great day.

Roll Tide.