Earlier this week, the NCAA made a significant change in their redshirt policy for football players. Under this new policy, a player can play in four games while still maintaining his redshirt eligibility, significantly more time than the previous policy, which voided a redshirt after just one snap. The policy is effective immediately and it not retroactive. This new policy has the ability to make significant changes across the college football landscape and it will be interesting to see how it is implemented over the next season.
Bowl Games Will Be More Interesting
There are a ton of bowl games as it is and outside of the significant games, the quality of most of these games are bad between players not giving a full effort or some opting to preserve their draft status and not play. Now, with the potential of a freshman player looking to make a name for himself in a nationally televised game, there is something worth watching and can certainly provide headlines and viral videos throughout the month of December.
Dual-Threat Quarterbacks and Athletes Can Be Used in Non-Traditional Ways
This has happened plenty of time before with players like Antwan Randle-El, but non-traditional players will have more leeway to be utilized like a chess piece during their freshman year before ultimately settling into their role once they claim a starting job. There is potential here for two-quarterback offenses with a similar style to the wildcat, but now there’s a guy who can actually throw the ball as well as run.
Gambling is Going to Be More Difficult
Now that there is a high-impact player who may or may not play in a game, it’s become harder for sports bettors to make their wagers. Expect more backdoor covers this season.
Game Planning is Also Going to Be More Difficult
Even more important than the gamblers, opposing coaches will now have to prepare for the potential X-factor play who may or may not see the field.
The Learning Curve Will be Decreased
One of the hardest parts of any sport is adjusting to the increased level of competition. Many times, a freshman player will struggle to adapt to the speed of the college game. Now, instead of riding the pine for a year, a player can get his feet wet without the pressure of being overwhelmed and losing playing time or their starting job.
The Amount of Transfers Could Decrease
Transfers are becoming more and more common across the college landscape and many times it happens after a player redshirts for a year and sees himself getting playing time elsewhere. While I am sure the coach spoke with the player about their plans either during recruitment or at the beginning of the season, at the end of the day, the player wants to see the field, especially when he thinks he is better than the person playing over him. Now, a player will no longer have the feeling that he wasted a year by not playing and can prove he is more valuable with his on-field play, a win-win for the player and the coach.
More Playing Time Can Benefit a Player’s Draft Stock
The redshirt sophomore declaring for the draft is not uncommon today, and the extra four games of playing time can be beneficial to the player as scouts study his film, especially if he shows significant improvement from his four game cup of coffee.