Getting rid of kickoffs

Submitted by Calvin Bell Reverse on November 18th, 2018 at 4:15 PM

After yesterday's targeting on Edwards, Klatt once again brought up the prospect of removing kickoffs from the college game.

After resisting for a long time, I think I am finally there. 

One likely proposal would be:

- Every team starts from the 25

- If the kicking team chooses to 'onside'--they get the ball 4th and 10 and their own 35 yard line.

What does everyone think? Should we say farewell to kickoffs in the college game once and for all?


Goggles Paisano

November 18th, 2018 at 5:03 PM ^

It was Gus Johnson that said it.  And I said out loud "oh fuck you Gus Johnson".  This is a big reason I am not a fan of his.  He says things just to win the masses.  Kickoffs are part of football and should always be.  If you take those away, it is another step closer to just going to flags.  It is a very violent sport and we all have choices as to play or not.  

rob f

November 18th, 2018 at 7:40 PM ^

I agree, even texted to a friend the following:

"The IU player who laid Edwards out needs to be banned for the remainder of the season by the Big Ten!" 

...immediately after seeing it happen from our seats in that end zone.  

I don't think it matters whether IU becomes bowl eligible or not, the punishment of sitting out the first half next week doesn't fit the crime, especially when the victim of the hit ends up hospitalized.


November 18th, 2018 at 4:18 PM ^

So many games have turned on kickoffs though. Just yesterday, Ohio took a return to the 50 and were able to tie before time expired. 

I'm not convinced injuries are that much more prevelant on KOs than any other play, I'd like to see some quantitative data on it. 


November 18th, 2018 at 5:11 PM ^

The factors that affect the injury rate are: -11 players running at full speed crashing into another 11 (the closing speeds are the biggest danger)

-22 player free-for-all (as opposed to offense-vs-defense plays which has assignments players can expect where the opposition is going to be)

-cocentration of all players to one point at speed (not true of typical off-va-def plays)

-dynamic changing of directions causing head-on collisions at speed

To keep the kickoffs safe but also keep it competitive, they would have to address slowing down the collision speeds (easily the most injurious/concussive part. They could experiment with more or less players on the field (maybe), change engagement rules—who can engage who (similar to typical off/def plays) change HOW engagement occurs (kickoffs can be from one point BUT the kicking team non-kickers pursue from a different point, etc

There’s a million ways/methods that can still keep the spirit of the kickoff alive yet make it more safe.


Doctor Wolverine

November 18th, 2018 at 10:41 PM ^

The idea of modifying rather than eliminating makes sense to me. I am particularly interested in the idea of playing with how the engagement occurs. There are some unique ways to modify such as having some of the kickoff team located at various points downfield at the kick, but still say 3-4 guys back to keep the onside kick a viable option. 


November 18th, 2018 at 4:18 PM ^

Would like to see them keep kick off, but work to limit its impact and return frequency. Rule:


Fair catch in field of play - ball at 30.

Kick reaches end zone - ball at 20.


November 18th, 2018 at 4:21 PM ^

No.  Eliminate punts next?  I get wanting to make football safer but at some point it won't be football any longer.  You can't say that the risks of playing are being hidden now and guys know what they are signing up for. 

Rose Bowl

November 18th, 2018 at 4:26 PM ^

How about the Indiana player play football and not intentionally try to injure BE?  The guy was not interested in a tackle.  Suspend him for 3 games and that will stop real fast.

Maize and Luke

November 18th, 2018 at 4:31 PM ^

Kickoffs allowed the last 5 to 8 minutes of the game only. Might give a team a chance to comeback with a big return.

Keep onside kicks. I can't recall an injury on an onside kick. They're not traveling very far or very fast.