The Rutgers Head Football Coach, Greg Schiano came up with a new plan for Kick-Offs in College Football.
His PlanReplace all kickoffs with a punting situation, including after the opening coin toss and to start the second half. So, as an example, when Team A scores a touchdown, it immediately gets the ball back on a fourth and 15 from its own 30-yard line. It can punt it back to Team B — the most likely outcome and a safer play since the bigger collisions usually happen on kickoffs. Or it can line up and go for the first down, essentially replacing an onside kick with an offensive play that would require more skill than luck.
- “Annual Survey of Catastrophic Football Injuries” (1977-2010) – Shows that Schiano may be right that this can help sustain more safety in College Football.
- Less Likely to Have Severe Injuries: The full force of player running down the field is like a Ferrari going 0 to 60mph in less than 4.5 seconds and colliding into a wall. This is dangerous.
- Taking Away A Huge Element of Football: The Game-Changer & Field Position. Special Teams are “Special” because there are many games won and lost by it: Kick Return for Touchdowns, Fumbles, Onside Kicks, Kicking Ball Out of Bounds, and most importantly Field Position. Kickoffs play a very large role in games and it is often over looked. Field Position will be irrelevant in a game where it more times than not, it determines the game.
- The Best Interest of The Players: You may think this should go in “The Good” but actually there are many players that don’t start on there actually football team. You have 85 guys on scholarship and there are only 22 players on the field at once (both teams). Most likely all the players on the team are not going to play and special teams (especially Kickoffs) is where they can show there skills. Also, the coaches may see something in those players that are working on the special teams and move them into an actual skill position.
- Dangers of Onside Kicks, Not as Dangerous: In College Football there has to be a minimum of 4 players on each side so you don’t have the danger of over blowing the receiving team on one side of the field. This also causes less onside kicks to be successful and less dangerous. The reasoning for being less dangerous usually there is man for man so no one player is left defenseless except the man catching the ball. Now, don’t get me wrong…this is still dangerous, but this is a physical sport and if you want to catch that ball you will take that risk and if you don’t then the player who wants it more will get it.
- 4 and 15 at the 30?: Wow. This is where Greg Schiano went way off the deep end and created a new sport, handball. Here is a simple scenario where this can make the game way out of control. Now, let me say this, people will or may think this is really cool, but this is not the XFL (I know they didn’t do this, but it is extreme). Here is an example of what could happen. Texas is beating Oklahoma 41-21 in the 4th quarter with 5 minutes left. Oklahoma scores a touchdown and kicks the extra point. Now, Texas is up 41-28. According to Greg Schiano’s idea, now Oklahoma can decide whether they will kick it (punt style) or go for it as if it’s a 4th and 15. Huh? Seriously? If I am Oklahoma I am stoked and I would definitely take that scenario. Now, you may be thinking, we’ll what is so extreme about that. Now Texas is thinking that the lead is never big enough. Now we need to blow out teams. More scoring and more blowouts I believe would come of it. Others may just say the opposite, but if I am a coach, I am keeping my best players on the field at all times because if you give up a touchdown once you may never see the ball again when you are up (in the scenario above).
- Wants Opportunity, With Little to No Risk: A team “can line up and go for the first down, essentially replacing an onside kick with an offensive play that would require more skill than luck”. The whole idea here has some meaning, but is beyond flawed. You are discussing an idea where a team can go for a first down when most likely they are behind. I do not see a team that is winning going for it on 4th down. My idea here is if “skill” is the issue then obviously the team that is going for it, probably does not have the “skill” THAT DAY to win the game because they are behind. The point is you are not giving a team a 4th down, but you are actually giving them a 5th down. That has nothing to do with skill or luck which makes his point irrelevant to me.
Greg Schiano at least wanted this to be discussed and I guess we are discussing so he got what he wanted, but overall I believe this will hurt the game of football more than help it. Yes, it is a risk keeping this format and no one wants to see anyone want to get hurt in any circumstance, but that’s life. Sadly, people are injured or hurt everyday at home, driving, etc. For example, no person can expect a 250 pound player that puts on a 5pound helmet, shoulder pads, and thigh pads and hit another player with the same force and not expect to get hurt. I understand, Greg Schiano is looking out what is beneficial for the players and I commend him for it, but I think he is looking in the wrong areas. Maybe he should be looking into the football helmet. The one that is driving into a player with the force of cannonball. Again, his intentions are very good, but I don’t believe the game itself is flawed rather the idea of what is in the game that has created more injures.