College football and NFL football are similar in a number of ways philosophically and fundamentally, but it is the differences between the two sports that often separate the men from the boys, so to speak. Purists of the sport of college football may scoff at the idea of adopting ideas used by the NFL, but there may be some ideas and rules worth evaluating and implementing in the college game that can help improve the game overall.
Matt Zemek, of The Student Section, ran down five ideas he would take from the NFL rule book and hand over to the NCAA rules committee today if he could. The rules may make some sense too. Changing pass interference to a spot foul is one I can support. Allowing defenses to only be punished 15 yards for taking out a wide receiver 30 or 40 yards down field seems cheap in principle. Why punish the offense, in a sense, for the defense taking advantage of a rule like this? Stopping the clock on all penalties under two minutes is another change I would be OK with in the college game as well. Changing the helmet rule seems like a logical move too, even in this age of increased awareness of head trauma.
Zemek also goes into a change that would, in theory, help with television programming, which I can get on board with as well. One idea I am not quite as enthusiastic about right now is the idea of running clock on first downs. While length of games continues to be a rising concern around football, the rule with a temporary stoppage of the clock to move the chains seems like a good rule to me. When you consider the officials have to adjust their positions on the field to ensure the game is played correctly and accurately, I do not think a team should be punished for a lagging chain crew. This is actually one rule I think the NFL should take from the college game, personally.
One change I fear may one day come to the game is the addition of the two-minute warning. Without attempting to give any money-hungry power conference commissioners any ideas, the addition of a two-minute warning in college football would quickly help bring in more revenue for conferences and television partners, and would likely be something given quick approval when the idea of more easy money is brought to the table. How it has not happened yet considering the rising media packages and contracts in recent years is really surprising to me.
What rules from the NFL do you think the college game should embrace? Or what rules do you wish the NFL took from the college ranks?