Each week during the off-season we will be doing this feature that will simply be called "This Week In College Football". We will cover the biggest news and stories of the past week and give some opinions and analysis. In addition to covering the weekly happenings we also do a weekly roundtable where we discuss varying topics and we give several opinions on each topic.
If Spring Games are your thing then we've got you covered this week with a rundown of the Georgia game and will have others up later in the week. Enough with the chit chat let's talk about this week in college football...
On Thursday the NCAA's Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved some notable rule changes. The first is the "Derek Dooley rule". Basically it says that a 10-second runoff can occur if a team commits a penalty in the final minute of a half. Teams will have the option of taking the yardage and the time, only the yardage or declining the penalty. The panel also voted to allow video monitors in the coaches' booths. The coaches will not be allowed special equipment but will be allowed to watch the live broadcast of the game which will help in deciding on whether to challenge a call of not. As Mark Richt said yesterday during the G-Day game, this is important because sometimes in visiting stadiums the home team has access to a TV (even though it might be one booth over it's still viewable from where they sit) and the visiting team might not.
Another key change was a tweak to the taunting rule. This year if a player is called for taunting before he crosses the goal line then a live-ball will be assessed at the spot of the foul and the score will not count. Some examples of this would be high-stepping or point the ball toward the opponent. Should be interesting to see who gets zapped with that penalty first.
From a safety standpoint two other rules were approved. The first was that RBs or receivers who line up outside the tackle box will not be able to block below the waist unless they are blocking straight ahead or toward the nearest sideline. Also, it is now illegal for three or more players to try and overpower an offensive lineman during a place kick. So there you go, a couple of penalties to watch and a couple to hopefully keep kids safer during the game.
OLE MISS LOSES A QB AND AN DL
Ah, the saga of Houston Nutt and his QBs. It's become a yearly past-time looking at how QBs come and go out of Ole Miss. Last year we all remember Houston Nutt taking on transfer Jeremiah Masoli from Oregon. How many of you remember that it was Nathan Stanley who had won the job prior to Masoli coming on campus? Stanley ended up playing in 4 games last year going 17 of 32 for 261 yards with 3 TD and 1 INT. Nutt hasn't named a starter at QB yet this year but apparently Stanley had fallen down the depth chart and now the 6'5 215 pound junior is looking for somewhere else to play. Nutt has been very positive on Randall Mackey this year and it looks like he will win the job depending on what happens with the status of West Virginia transfer Barry Brunetti (who has not been cleared yet to play this year). If you look toward the Ole Miss Spring Game for answers it was Barry Brunetti going 12 for 21 for 211 yards with 2 TDs and 2 picks and Mackey went 9 for 18 for 151 with 1 TD and 1 pick. We will keep you updated when we hear about Stanley's future plans.
Ole Miss came into the year with some big time questions about their defense. On the DL they returned two starters, D.T. Shackelford and Jason Jones. Well, this past week D.T. Shackelford tore his ACL so he will be out for 6-8 months. That will be a huge blow to the Ole Miss defense. On the positive side of the things earlier this month DE Kentrell Lockett was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA and will be back for the Rebels next year. He sat out 2010 but did have 39 tackles and 5 sacks in 2009.
FLORIDA GATORS LOSE TWO RECEIVERS
The season hasn't even started yet and the Gators have already lost two receivers. Chris Dunkley, who scout.com rated as a 5-Star prospect and the #8 WR prospect in the Nation for 2010. Dunkley was a redshirt freshman who did not play last year due to hamstring issues. The other is Javares McCroy. He was a part of the 2011 recruiting class and rated as a 4-star prospect by scout.com and labeled as the #31 overall receiver in his commitment class. McCroy was an early enrollee this year who know plans to enroll at Texas Tech to play with his brother Ben. McCroy had been a Texas Tech commitment before changing to the Gators. This isn't a crippling loss but it still hurts since Florida doesn't return any receivers who have actually accomplished anything yet in their careers. McCroy is 5'9" and Dunkley is 5'11" so on paper they probably fit better with Urban Meyer's offense than they do with Charlie Weis's offense. Still it has to sting a little to lose two guys who were so highly recruited and thought of coming out of High School.