HOOVER — Texas A&M beat LSU last season 74-72 in a seven-overtime game that took nearly five hours to play and had 255 total plays.
It got fans buzzing the whole week. It got college football rules officials thinking.
Steve Shaw, The SEC Coordinator of Football Officials, spoke Tuesday at SEC Media Days to address the rules changes that will be implemented this season, including overtime.
In the fifth overtime period, under the new system, there will be no offensive series. Each offense will line up at the 3-yard line and attempt a two-point conversion.
“At some point we’ve got to get the players off the field,” Shaw said. “Our overtime procedure is pretty good. A lot of people think it’s better than the NFL, better than high school. So the rules committee didn’t want to ruin the overtime.”
That was one of a few changes starting this season. Another tweak is with one of the most contentious rules in the sport, targeting.
Since its inception into college football, the targeting rule has been criticized, ridiculed and scrutinized.
A big reason for that is the ramifications are so severe – disqualification. Targeting call reviews either stands unless there is indisputable evidence to overturn it.
“There is no option anymore for stands targeting,” Shaw said. “It will either be confirmed or overturned. To be confirmed, all elements must be there. They have to validate all of it.”
Targeting occurs when a player “takes aim at an opponent for purposes of attacking with forcible contact that goes beyond making a legal tackle or a legal block or playing the ball.”
Another player-safety rule change is blind-side blocks. One of the examples Shaw used to illustrate this was Alabama’s Jaylen Moody’s hit on a Louisiana-Lafayette player during a punt return that helped spring Jaylen Waddle for a touchdown last season.
That play would have resulted in a 15-yard penalty this season.