Posted by: marcmwm | August 29, 2008

Five things about tomorrow . . .

1. Maybe one of these years we’ll go two seasons in a row without a playclock change. Yeah, I know, who am I kidding.

Two years ago, the NCAA football rules committee sped things up. Games went from 3:21 to 3:07, but fans and coaches howled because there were about 13 fewer plays and five fewer points per game in 2006 than 2005. Last season, the NCAA went back to the old rules and games went back to the old 3:22 and the plays and scoring came back.

That was deemed too long and now here were are.

This will be Iowa’s first game under the 40/25-second playclock, similar to that of the NFL. At the end of every play, the 40-second clock will start. The old rule had the 25-second clock start AFTER officials marked the ball. Now, the 40 clock rolls at the end of the play. A 25-second clock will be used on the first play after a change of possession.

This could help no-huddle offenses. This will give quarterbacks more time to read a defense. There will be problems with consistency. Let’s face it, not all officials are speed demons.

Let’s quit tweaking the greatest game, huh fellas.

2. During Big Ten media days, we saw an officials’ emphasis film. Officials will be keeping an eye out on the following this season:

— Above the shoulder tackles and tackles involving the crown of the helmet will be 15-yarders. A second will be an ejection. The video they used to emphasize this was that hit a Michigan State defender put on a Wisconsin receiver last season. Safety first, even in football.

— Hits on defenseless players will draw flags. I’m guessing these will involve receivers and punt returners. I guess this will be a “know it when you see it” kind of deals.

— No horse collar tackles. In 13 years of covering Iowa football, I don’t remember ever seeing one of these. The question came up to Kirk Ferentz in Chicago and the answe was the same.

— The ol’ codger refs really hate the showboating. Here is what they’re looking at this season, spiking the ball, somersault, taunting, helmet off and anything that resembles the “Lambeau Leap.” Basically, anything drawing attention to yourself will draw a flag, so get out of my yard, you kids.

3. Iowa quarterback rotation.

Well, what up with that? Will it happen? Will it matter?

The answer is no if the offensive line doesn’t block and it the receivers flit around like those electric vibrating football players when there is a blitz.

4. Shonn Greene.

I’ve written that I won’t believe he’s actually back until he has 400 yards. I don’t think he’ll have all those by the second half today.

5. Football geek stuff.

I’m with you, football geek. I want to know and will try to keep track of the No. 3 tight end and running back today. If nothing else, it’s a glimpse into the future and gives you a little gauge on how healthy the roster is.

My pick at TE is Brad Herman; at RB, I think Jewel Hampton and Jeff Brinson play with Adam Robinson taking the redshirt.

I’m in the UNI-Dome right now waiting for Cedar Rapids Washinton to take on Cedar Falls in the first game of the prep football season. It’s my first prep game in three or so years.

Wash appears to have new uniforms, junking the copycat Wisconsin motion “W” for something very Alabama like.

Oh, Keenan Davis just dropped a pass in warmups.

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