Coaches can’t be on the Field
Mark Stoops is going to have to hire a new “get back” coach. SEC coordinator of officials Steve Shaw explained the new national rule for coaches that will surely create a few additional 15-yard penalties this season.
“If a coach comes out onto the field of play, so in the green grass, and protests an officiating decision, it’s an automatic unsportsmanlike conduct foul.”
The goal is to “change the coaches’ behavior.” There was more than one occasion in 2016 where Stoops went well beyond the white sidelines onto the field. If he doesn’t control his temper in 2017, a 15-yarder at the wrong time could cost the Cats a game.
You Cannot Leap to Block Field Goals
The SEC is forbidding the most athletic play in football.
Why would you forbid this fantastic play from Zach Cunningham? Because apparently it often doesn’t end well. They actually used UK’s J.D. Harmon as an example. Attempting to block Georgia’s game-winning field goal, he was tripped at the line of scrimmage and landed on his head. This measure is for player safety, at the cost of one impressive highlight.
There is still one exception: a player can jump if they’re stationary within one yard of the line of scrimmage.
Broader Discretion with Horse Collars
The horse collar just got easier to call. Now officials do not have to nitpick before throwing the flag. The horse collar includes the nameplate area, giving officials a little more wiggle room before nailing the player with a 15-yarder.
Centralized Collaborative Replay
The SEC built a fancy, shmancy new instant replay video center for three officials. Each Saturday they’ll collaborate with an official on the field to make the correct call. It’s nothing new, they did this last year, and it’s not a permanent change, but the center is supposed to help cut down on the length of official reviews.
Halftime is 20 Minutes Long
It’s always been 20 minutes long, but this year they will be punctual. Games are running too long and part of the problem is that the second half is starting late. That will no longer be the case. Good luck getting out of the concession stand line in time.