What to know about the recent changes in College Football.

College football has changed dramatically in the last five years and if you don’t keep up to date with the new rules, regulations, and realignment, watching the game will have you extremely confused.

  • College Football Playoff (CFP): In 2014, the College Football Playoff made the fight for a National Championship more competitive and bring in more viewers as it expanded from one game with the two best teams in the country to three games with the four best teams. In 2024, The CFP will undergo another expansion as it moves to 12 teams . Now, all twelve of the top teams will get a shot to compete for the National Championship in a bracket style tournament. The new system will have eleven games spanning a month, making the fight for a National Championship is harder than ever before. The saying, “Any given Sunday” does not apply here, as teams will have to string together multiple good performances to achieve the ultimate prize of a national title. This change in the CFP gives hope to teams that in the past would not have the chance to compete for a National Championship.
  • Conference Realignment: If you looked at the power five conferences five years ago, you would not recognize them today. In recent years, conference realignment has been a like a tornado. The PAC-12 is gone. The PAC-12 teams dispersed among the other conferences and many other schools left their respective conference to join others. With 18 teams, the Big Ten conference will be the biggest in the NCAA. Some notable changes are Texas and Oklahoma are now in the SEC. Arizona, Arizona State, Oklahoma State, and Utah are all now in the Big 12. UCLA, USC, Oregon and Washington are all now in the Big Ten. California, SMU, and Stanford are now in the ACC. With this new realignment we can hope for more competition and watch teams compete that normally would never play each other.
  • Rule changes: 2024 will be the second year, with the new rule changes meant to shorten the game. Teams are still not allowed to call consecutive timeouts, which are mostly used to ice kickers. The running clock is still in effect even when a team gets a first down unless it is within the last two minutes in a half. Previously, if a team got a first down in any quarter, the clock stopped.
  • Name, Image and Likeliness (NIL): NIL has been around College Football (CFB) for the last three years, yet can still be quite confusing. The reason NIL is important is because not so long ago, NCAA players were not allowed to make money on their name, image, or likeness. It was the school who made money from the sale of jerseys and memorabilia . The big example of this was Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M star quarterback from 2011 to 2013. The Heisman Trophy Winner was not able to see any of the hundreds of millions of dollars pouring into the school when he was the main cause of the increase in popularity and money. Now that is no longer an issue, because NCAA players can make money through NIL. Companies and corporations can now sponsor these athletes and use them as spokespersons for their products or services. Players can also make money from their own memorabilia and merchandise. If the players follow the laws of their given state, they can make all the money in the world. This adds a whole new landscape to CFB that is still adapting to this day.

With all these new changes in rules, regulations and realignment, I hope that people still remember that college football is one of the greatest sports in the world, and they must not take it for granted. Will you be watching this new season of CFB in August? I know I will.

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