Are you keeping your New Year's resolutions?|
Story Archives: Ready for LSU?
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|Ready for LSU?|
So how ready are you for the 2008 football season?
If you are an LSU fan, it's much easier to look back than look ahead. Especially considering the Ryan Perrilloux saga.
But let's face it, the chances of 2008 being as exciting as 2007 are about as slim as Rich Rodriguez being named West Virginia Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year.
Besides the Tigers taking the championship when all seemed lost about three times, there were so many other intriguing stories in 2007, such as Appalachian State, Hawaii, Missouri and Kansas.
And we certainly can't forget the Louisiana-Monroe upset of Alabama, Notre Dame's continued collapse and Stanford over Southern Cal.
Besides Southern in the Pac 10, every race in the major conferences should be wide open.
It will be interesting to see who this year's Kansas or Missouri will be.
And, of course, a lot of new coaches at new schools. Houston Nutt at Ole Miss and Bobby Petrino at Arkansas will certainly make things even more interesting in the SEC.
And Nick Saban coming back to Baton Rouge will grab all the national headlines.
There are also some proposed new rule changes.
There will be a few automatic calls to protect the players with the NFL's horse-collar tackle, when a defender tackles an offensive player from behind by grabbing from inside the shoulder pads behind the neck, and a chop block rule whenever a block comes from below the waist on a player already engaged with a blocker.
Little late for Glenn Dorsey, but that needs more attention.
Also, the five-yard incidental face mask penalty has been done away with, so now there's no question about the call. A face mask call is 15 yards, and there's no other option.
Hope Les Miles reinforces that to Tyson Jackson.
There's also a new automatic call for when there's no room on the sidelines, when officials used to be able to call a sideline warning first.
LSU certainly had its share of warnings last year and needs to heed this new rule.
The best new rule change involves if a coach successfully challenges a call, he gets another challenge.
That's a great rule, because coaches should not be penalized for a wrong call.
Now there will be a maximum of two challenges allowed.
Another change is on kickoffs with the receiving team getting the option of taking the ball on the 40 if the kick goes out of bounds. With kickoffs being moved back last year, and a major penalty given for inaccurate boots, there should be even more big returns.
I'm not so sure I like that rule. If a team is good enough to march the ball 90 yards in 12 plays, they should not be penalized if their kicker shanks one.
And here comes another that tampers with my pet peeve about rule changes –
In the continuing effort to shorten games, the college game is going the NFL route by starting the play clock on the snap of the ball after a runner goes out of bounds, outside of the final two minutes. The play clock will also go to 40 seconds, when it's not stopped, to get the offenses to pick up the pace. This likely won't be that big a deal, but it'll force teams to be a bit sharper and it'll force officials to be uniform across the country when it comes to declaring the ball ready for play.
Sorry, guys, but if you want to shorten the game, make these networks cut out some of those promos they do for their own television shows.
I know they pay you big bucks, but they are also getting a lot of people watching their network. You probably have at least 15 or 20 minutes of self-promos.
Besides, a top-notch college football game beats most of the stuff on prime time anyway.
I don't there were too many people turning to watch something else last year in most of LSU's televised games.
We already have to go almost seven full months without it. Don't rush it.