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2 Minute Warning Among New Rules for College Football in 2024

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart speaks to the referee and line judge during the second half of a NCAA college football game.
Credit © Joshua L. Jones / USA TODAY NETWORK

It's a new era in college football and with that, come changes. The NCAA on Friday approved a few rule changes for the upcoming season. New Rules for College Football in 2024.

New Rules for the 2024 College Football Season

Technology is a big part of everyday life now, and it continues to creep into the sports world. The NCAA approved the use of tablets. Each school will have the ability to use up to eighteen tablets.

The tablets can be used on the sidelines, up in the coach's booth, and in the locker room. The Panel made sure to say that the tablets cannot be hooked up to any device that will enlarge the picture or have any data access capability. Now let's wait for the next hacking scandal to hit a major school.

The NFL has had in-helmet communication since the 1994 season. Now games that involve Football Bowl Subdivision teams, and each school will have the option. As in the NFL, the player designated to receive communication will have a green dot on the back of the helmet. Communications will be cut when the play clock hits fifteen seconds, or the ball is snapped.

Similar to the NFL all college football games will have an automatic timeout when two minutes are left in the second and fourth quarters. This will allow the game officials to synchronize all timing rules at the end of the game like the ten-second runoffs and after first downs gained in the field of play. On the timing rules Division III will now have the same first-down timing rules as both Division I and II.

The ever-polarizing horse collar tackle has had an adjustment made to it. In prior years there was no horse collar called if the foul happened inside the fifteen-yard tackle box. If a horse collar infraction is now committed in the fifteen-yard tackle box it will be a fifteen-yard personal foul on the player that committed the infraction. The Panel did have talks about banning the hip-drop tackle like the NFL, but those conversations were tabled.

Starting this year conferences can use a collaborative replay review system. This means now, as the SEC started in 2016 all conferences can have a central hub with people monitoring the replays and have communications with the replay official in the stadium. This was experimental last year but is now in the rule book.

One other minor rule change that will probably only annoy most coaches, is that they can conduct interviews with broadcast partners at the end of the first and third quarters.

What impact will these new rules have on the season?

I feel it can only be beneficial if done correctly and fairly. In cases where technology for one side of the field goes down, will the officials take the option away from the team that still has access?

The Michigan sign-stealing scandal is what more than likely led to this being approved. Gone should be the hand signals but relying on the chosen player to have communications to properly relay information to the team on the field.

The helmet communication technology is not required, but teams have the option of using it. This is what was keeping the panel from approving it, the equitability of implementing it concerned that not all schools could afford the system. Teams can still use hand signals or those hilarious playboards.

The timing rules should have no impact on the game. I think it makes the end-of-game scenarios better and it will help broadcast partners avoid back-to-back TV timeouts.

The horse collar rule will take players a few games to get used to, but if it's called consistent then there shouldn't be any problem. I don't think many fans knew it wasn't a penalty inside the tackle box, so hopefully this will clear up confusion for some fans.


Michigan Football
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