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Greetings from "Can't Wait For Saturday," your morning morsel of college football, courtesy of longtime Illini beat writer, AP Top 25 voter and Heisman state rep Bob Asmusssen. He'll give you his views each day on the game he loves.
Was the call correct? Yes. Should Newton have to sit out the first half of the next game against Minnesota? By rule, yes. But logic tells me "no way."
The penalties for targeting are too severe. It doesn't matter which team you are rooting for, being forced to both leave the game you are playing and miss half of the next is too much.
Should players be protected from hard blows to the head? No question. But there has to be another way.
In Newton's case, the expulsion cost his team the game. The 15 yards were big of course. But the loss for Illinois of its defensive leader was off the charts negative.
Any other games last weekend when the penalty didn't fit the crime? Might want to ask Iowa and Cooper DeJean. His brilliant punt return touchdown seemed to give the Hawkeyes an improbable win against Minnesota. But the striped shirts got together and decided DeJean signaled for a fair catch and the play shouldn't have counted.
Time to fix that rule. A side wave should not signal a request for a fair catch. It has to be more demonstrative.
Here's hoping college football spends the offseason looking at all of its rules. Most of them are great for the game. Some need to revised.
I am not blaming the officials. I am blaming the rules they have to work with. Rules that need some adjustments.