6 ways to improve college football

College football players are better than they’ve ever been and the coaching is better than it’s ever been. But the game could still be better and fairer.

Senior Editor Phillip Marshall

One man’s opinion of six ways the game could be improved:

Do away with the ridiculous celebration penalty.

It was over the top already and now it’s worse. A touchdown can be taken away because, in the eyes of an official, a player “draws attention to himself” before crossing the goal line. Taunting should never be tolerated and should draw a 15-yard penalty. At worst, a celebration should draw a delay of game penalty and only if it is prolonged. Penalizing enthusiasm is ridiculous.

Do away with redshirting and give players five years of eligibility.

This makes so much sense that I can’t understand why it has not gotten traction. More freshmen would have opportunities to show they are ready to play. More players would graduate. Those who are ready to leave for the NFL after four years would and could still do it.

Define holding and call it consistently.

Yes, I know I’ve said this numerous times before. But it, too, just makes sense. As it stands now, what is holding to one official isn’t to another. There should be an agreement on exactly what constitutes holding and it should be called every time it’s seen. That would probably result in more holding calls at the outset, but players would figure it out.

Adopt the NFL’s pass interference rule.

Back in the 1970s, the current NFL rule, making pass interference a spot foul, was the college rule. The current college rule, making it a 15-yard penalty or a spot foul if the play covers less than 15 yards, was the NFL rule. The NFL has it right.

Adopt the so-called “plus one” system.

Since it appears that a full-blown playoff is not on the horizon, adding one game to the postseason would create what would amount to a four-team playoff. Auburn would have had its shot in 2004. TCU would have had its shot last season.

Start the season a week earlier or end it a week later

When the 12-game schedule was adopted, for purely financial reasons, the season was not extended. Instead of two open dates, teams are only able to have one. That’s clearly bad for the players who take a pounding week in and week out. What would it hurt to add a week to the season?

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