I originally posted this on August 29, 2013
Billy Koehler of Leftover Hot Dog (I suggested they rename it Leftover Hot Dawg) posted an excellent explanatory article of the coming targeting rule. He covered the definition of targeting, implementation of the rule and the how the review will work.
My bet is that there will be many targeting fouls called in 2013 and the overriding impetus for the flag will be a big hit. When there is a loud pop and the crowd gasps/roars – look for the flag.
What really gets me is that the rule is supposed to be about "player safety." That's simply not true. The NCAA and its member institutions could give as da*n about player safety. They are being proactive to try to defend against the player lawsuit that is coming like the one brought by the former NFL players. The term many of us grew up with "smash mouth football" is now illegal per se. In 1892 after the death of UGA's Richard Von Gammon, there was a movement to outlaw football that almost worked. What do they say about history repeating itself? Atleast in 1892, it was truly about player safety.
Well, Vandy's QB was not a defenseless player because Drew hit him just after he threw the ball. Drew did push him down, with his arms and forearms, but the hit was not above the head or shoulders, it was into his the QB's chest. Murray received a far worse hit after he threw the ball in the Mizzou game where the Mizzou defender took 3 steps or more, led with his helmet, hit Murray under the chin right in front of an official.
The other hit was not targeting either as the Georgia defender hit with his shoulder.
Both flags came late as well. The first one, I'm really not sure what the ref or the officiating crew in the review booth were thinking or doing. The second flag, I can understand it being thrown, and fortunately, the review booth got the call right by reversing the targeting rule.
However, this targeting penalty which is a made up of 2 parts is badly written and is being badly officiated. Officials are waiting to see any big hit and the crowd's reaction to throw flags on some hits, and on other hits that are clearly targeting, they are not throwing a flag because either the crowd doesn't give a big reaction or a smaller player hits a bigger player; therefore, it doesn't look as bad.
Rule needs to rewritten to where it either is a 15 yard penalty with a player being ejected or it is not penalty at all.
There are two horrendous flaws in the targeting rule set:
1. When the targeting call is overruled, the 15-yard penalty for an infraction that never was committed still applies. This is, by far, the worst part of the rule, and why any rules committee member who voted for or participated in this rule should be ejected and banned from rules participation forever.
2. The other is that, in the name of safety, officials should call a rule even if it's just remotely close. This, in effect, causes officials to throw flags when perhaps they normally wouldn't, to cover their arse, and also to suspect any big hit to the point they throw the flag.
It's the worst rule ever enacted, and it's consequences, such as changing games even when there is no infraction, were easily anticipated by anyone with half a brain.
That is what happened to Georgia yesterday, and the impact of these horrendous calls was, most likely, sufficient to cause Georgia to lose the game. Now there were other things, like the ST gaffes, the late fumble, and some others, that were enough in themselves to cause Georgia to lose. That's how poor and sloppy the game was played.
But that doesn't excuse the terrible calls and their impact on the game. What happened yesterday is a combination of a terrible rule and poor officiating.
Further, the excuse we keep hearing from TV people about how the rule is justified by safety concerns, is politically correct horse manure. The aforementioned flaws do nothing to increase safety or conformity to the rules.
The Ray Drew non foul deserves reshowing. Why is the ref pulling the flag before the hit even happens? WTH????
Was kind of wondering why Clowneys hit yesterday wasnt ruled as targeting.... oh yeah its Clowney and the SEC wouldnt do that to him.
Part of the unwritten rule is that if a players launches himself, both feet in air and the defender's body becomes a missile that is targeting.
The part that is not well understood is "attack must have an apparent intent beyond a legal tackle or legal block or playing the ball" A violent but otherwise legal tackle is not a foul. The refs seem to think that when in doubt, it's better to throw the flag because it's review-able. If they would only make this call when head-hunting hits occur like Clowney vs Mich or the blinside to Murray in the SECCG, they could make the game safer without ruining it.
Exactly. This rule is a legal defense
@Bulldawg Bob2 waiting to see and hear the crowd's reaction is an unintentional attack on what makes it fun to be in the crowd. The officials and rules makers are going to kill the sport we all loved.
100% dead on.
@IveyLeaguer The rule as written (as I understand it) is not the way they are calling it on the field.
1) First it should be called as a Personal Foul. This in and of itself would eliminate many of the questionable calls that are currently being made just cause it "looks bad".
2) AFTER it is called as a PF Then and Only then should it be reviewed (In the Replay booth) for Targeting. The Officials should Never mention the word Targeting until it has been reviewed and called by the replay officials.
This is the way I have heard it explained by some that worked on the rule and had it implemented.
I qualify as one of the half-brained, just ask my wife.
@dougscoffee I watched this for a couple minutes and I believe the ref was going to throw a penalty in the Commies for holding Ray Drew. The clip begins with the ref looking into the line and you can see the OLineman's hand come from holding Ray Drews uniform around the neck. But then he jumps as if surprised that Ray hit the QB and whammo...targeting. The actual hit looks like Ray just ran into him and gave him a shove. Both calls were outrageous...
@Gawdsport The Ramik one was clean. He basically turned around and put his shoulder in. The receivers momentum was what created the big hit. Our dawgs did not deserve to win the game, but Vanderbilt definitely didn't. All congratulations should go to the lousy officials.
The sad part is Ramiks feet are both on the ground, that one by itself cost us the game. Of course there were 4-5 other plays that contributed.