NCAA Season Starts Thursday, Some News and Notes

With the 2006 College football Season opening up on Thursday we have noted some significant happenings that occurred over the off season in addition to what to look for in the 2006 campaign. Remember to jump on board for Maddux Sports’ Winning College football picks this season.

Head coaches will have one opportunity to challenge an official’s call, as long as his team has a timeout remaining. Every close play is theoretically able to be reviewed by the refs, so the only time a coach is expected to challenge is if the offense is in hurry-up mode.

A fifth BCS bowl has been created to serve as the national title game. The stadiums where the Rose, Sugar, Orange and Fiesta bowls are hosted will get the extra game on a rotating basis each year. In 2006, the Fiesta Bowl will host a BCS game on January 1st and than the national title game on January 8th. The extra BCS game was added to deter the threat of a lawsuit by non-BCS conferences teams that were left out. Now any school like TCU, Boise State, Fresno State, or Utah from a non-BCS conference that finishes in the top 12 gets an automatic BCS bid.

The most exciting week of the regular season has to be week 3. Games include Iowa State/Iowa, Oklahoma/Oregon, Michigan/Notre Dame, LSU/Auburn, and Miami Fla/Louisville.

There are a couple of new rule changes that are all projected to shorten games. The clock will now start when the ball is kicked rather than when it is fielded. The clock will also begin to run when officials spot the ball after first downs and after changes of possession rather than at the snap.

Sports bettors remember this one. If will no longer be mandatory to attempt the extra point if it doesn’t affect the game’s outcome for teams that score a TD at the end of the game

Ohio State is ranked No. 1 regardless of the fact that have a defense that returns only 2 starters. We’ll know if the Buckeyes are national championship contenders early, as they have road games at Texas and Iowa in September.

The 12-game regular season means less flexibility in the schedule, which potentially means more trouble for the south eastern coast schools if any hurricanes take landfall.

Finally the NCAA has permitted four new bowl games, for a total of 31, and lifted the limitation that a winning season was necessary for a bowl bid. Now, .500 is good enough if there’s a contract in place or a vacancy.

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