New kickoff rules

The NCAA playing rules oversight panel announced new rules today which will impact kickoffs next season in college football.

In an effort to increase player safety, kickoff coverage members will only be allowed a five-yard running start before the ball is kicked. More importantly, the kickoffs have been moved from the 30-yard line to the 35, a rule change which will result in more touchbacks.

USC kicker Andre Heidari had 10 touchbacks last season (13 percent of his kickoffs) but his average kick length of 65 yards would have resulted in over 50 percent of his kicks being touchbacks under the new rule.