College Football Kickoff: Two Weeks and Counting
Whether you are relaxing at the beach, enjoying a stroll in the mountains or are hard at work at your desk, college football players are currently in the midst of intensive workouts in preparation for the coming season. That season begins in just two weeks when dozens of schools begin play on Aug. 29, with many more getting started over the following four days.
As the 2013-2014 season approaches, the college football news cycle is beginning to heat up. Its the dog days of summer and a new season of gridiron fun will soon be upon us!
SEC Secures More Bowls
As the post season begins to change from a two-team championship to a four-team playoff, the bowl system is getting reworked. New bowls will likely emerge too as the strongest conferences seek to secure post-season opportunities for its bowl-eligible teams.
The SEC appears to be at the forefront in expanding its bowl commitments, lining up as many as 10 according to ESPN. That’s beside the spot that its top team may get if it is part of the playoff system, likely given the SEC’s dominance over the past decade.
Most of the bowls are located in the SEC’s backyard, which will make it easy for fans to travel and fill up stadiums. Those locations include Memphis, Nashville, Jacksonville, Houston and Tampa along with the Sugar and Orange bowls. Bowl eligible teams must go 6-6 to qualify for a post-season game. With an eight-game conference schedule still in place, even an SEC bottom feeder could see post-season action by sweeping its non-conference games.
Johnny Manziel Drama
Texas A&M star quarterback Johnny Manziel become the first freshman player to win the Heisman Trophy, snagging the award last Dec. Manziel would leave for the NFL today if he could, but professional football requires players to watch three full NFL seasons elapse after completing high school before becoming eligible according to Time.
Manziel may be particularly eager to leave college not just because he already won the Heisman Trophy, rather due to recent allegations that the Aggies star sold his autograph to several dealers, a clear violation of NCAA rules. Manziel may be banned this season if the NCAA finds that the allegations are true, sending shockwaves through college football. Regardless of what happens, Manziel will probably opt for the NFL as soon as he is eligible to do so in 2014.
Don’t Forget the Rule Changes
The NCAA has overhauled some of its rules for the upcoming season, and those rules include everything from the simple — uniform jerseys and numbers — to the more complex — automatic ejection for committing a foul. The low-impact rules have everything to do with changing jerseys in a game to wearing contrasting colors for numerals.
As far as automatic ejection, targeting fouls can result in a player’s immediate removal from the game. One rule, targeting and initialing contact with the helmut or other exposed area of a player, has been around since 2008. As always, the offending player will be ejected, but beginning this year a 15-yard penalty has been added.
Other contact that can result in an ejection includes various upward thrust contact that is designed to cause injury such as a player jumping up from a crouching position to slam another player. That player will be thrown out of the game and may miss the first half of his next game if his infraction occurred in the second half or in overtime reports USA Today.
Are you ready for some (college) football? Chances are you are especially if football has been occupying your mind since the BCS championship game in January. We’ll have more reports as the season begins and onto January when the final BCS game is played.