Even Walter Sobchak Thinks The ACC is A Little Uptight

↵Football is not 'Nam. There are rules, and the rules say that anyone who's going to participate in a play has to run between the hash marks before lining up, lest the defense not notice him and the offense exploit this. This only happens on field goal fakes where the guy skulking near the sidelines is totally uncovered; plays where the offense would send in one guy like that were the reason the rule was installed 10-ish years ago. ↵

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↵So this goes on for a while, basically until last week's Georgia Tech-Clemson barn-smolderer, when GT gets a touchdown and Clemson a long completion with the same idea: ↵

↵ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵ ↵

↵The reason this didn't get flagged: The receiver in question didn't trigger the rule because he stayed on the field instead of coming on afterward. Clemson pulled the same thing off later. ↵

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↵The ACC thinks this is 'Nam: ↵

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↵⇥Both plays in Thursday's game should have been flagged and nullified for violating a rule prohibiting substitution tactics that may confuse opponents, ACC coordinator of football officials Doug Rhoads said Monday. ↵⇥

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↵⇥"What happens is the play confuses the officials, too, which is exactly what happened," Rhoads said. ↵⇥

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↵It turns out that the rule is this: ↵

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↵⇥No simulated replacements or substitutions may be used to confuse opponents. No tactic associated with substitutes or the substitution process may be used to confuse opponents. ↵⇥

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↵Doesn't that seem to outlaw everything from the hurry-up to the wildcat? It's about as clear as the NCAA's regulations on voluntary/mandatory practice times (if you've been under a rock for the last month, Rich Rodriguez can confirm they are not very clear at all). And as such it places incredible pressure on refs to make a call for no other reason than "Uh… I don't think you can do that."  The ACC thinks an SEC refereeing crew missed a similar call in last year's South Carolina-Clemson game, which begs the question: Is this 'Nam? Because no one's following this particular rule. ↵

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↵(HT: Doctor Saturday.) ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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