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2016 Big 12 Media Days: Walt Anderson and Big 12 Refs

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Day 2 of Big 12 Media Days kicks-off with the Big 12 Coordinator of Officials

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

For most general fans, Day 1 at Big 12 media days was generally a snooze fest. Bob Bowlsby made a bunch of messy statements that didn't answer anyone's questions, David Beatty spoke in hyperbole, Gary Patterson wouldn't discuss Baylor, and Mike Gundy rocked a mullet.

But Day 2 is the big day for us. and it kicks off with Walt Anderson and upcoming rule changes and emphasis' for the 2016 Big 12 football season.

Rule Changes/Updates

  • Use of electronic device rules (tablets on sidelines, computers in coaches booth) have been tabled until 2017 so the schools can come up with procedures and rules for it.
  • Change on the sliding QB: When the QB begins his slide, the ball becomes dead at that point, and becomes a defenseless player.
  • Unsportsmanlike conduct: If a coach has 2 unsportsmanlike fouls in a game, he is subject to disqualification in the game (coach now same as player under rule).
  • Blocking below the waist: Tight ends have been taken out of being able to block low from the side. For example, they now can't come and crack back.
  • Length of timeouts: A coach can now use one of three timeouts as a full timeout (given TV doesn't take a full break).

And the big one:

  • Targeting: Replay official can look at the whole context of the play. Replay official now also has the authority to stop play and call a targeting foul if there was no targeting called on the field.

The updates to the targeting rule give replay officials much more power to use the tools at their disposal to help continue the push to prevent targeting. Anderson emphasized that the replay officials will not stop every play to check, just the most egregious examples. This change also allows for refs to look at "intent", instead of just "contact to the head". Anderson went on the thank Big 12 coaches for working to implement correct tackling to help prevent targeting and improve player safety overall.

Another interesting part of Anderson's presentation was a look at what happens in the replay booth during a game. They put several cameras and microphones in the booth for the TCU-WVU game last year and showed un-cut footage through a TCU scoring drive that included a replay review. Also included in Anderson's presentation were clips from various games last year showing correct taclking, examples of targeting, and examples of calls that might have been affected by the new replay targeting rule.