Kansas State coach Bill Snyder, who runs one of the few offenses in the league that still huddles, wanted the extra official for that reason.
“With these fast-paced offenses, one of the things they do is run receivers 85 yards downfield, throw an incomplete pass, then run four new guys on and they’re ready to go right now,” Snyder said. “Your defensive backs are 80 yards from the line of scrimmage trying to get back and they’re trying to snap the football. Sometimes officials did not see the substitutions.”
Defensive coaches have been screaming about that inequity for years. Every team that runs an uptempo offense has gotten away with it more than a few times.
“The recommendation was the eighth official gives you somebody that can pay attention to that and not allow that to happen,” Snyder said.
Whether or not it plays out that way when the first conference games commence Sept. 7 remains an open question. Oklahoma’s game against West Virginia at Owen Field could very well be the test case for the effectiveness of the additional official. The Sooners and Mountaineers both have the ability to operate at a brisk pace.
OU coach Bob Stoops joined the majority of the conference’s coaches in voting for the extra official. But he admitted it was to help the defense.
“I sometimes wonder how good a position officials are in to call what they need to and see what they need to. So you’ve got another set of eyes on spot substitutions … I thought it could only be good,” Stoops said. “It’ll help govern the game better, whether by seeing substitutions or being in position when the ball is snapped. It has a chance to have more eyes being set and ready to govern the game.”
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