I know that we don’t often discuss controversial issues here, but sometimes we have to address the truly difficult subjects.
According to Greg Johnson of NCAA.com, the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved a new rule for kickoffs, with fair catches anywhere inside the 25-yard line resulting in touchbacks and the football being placed at the 25-yard line.
Previously, touchbacks only occurred when the kickoff was fielded in the end zone.
The new rule could help prevent teams from trying to pin opponents deep in their own territory by skying the kickoff and not giving them much of a chance at a return. In the past, any fair catch in the field of play resulted in the ball being placed at the spot where it was fielded.
All things considered, I’m okay with this change. It will take some of the excitement out of the game as teams settle for the 25 and kick returns become routine. But there will still be times when teams seek to change the tempo of the game by trying their hand at a return.