There won't be coaches tossing red flags onto the field, pleading for a different outcome. There won't be timeouts charged, or pass interference calls overturned, or referees running to the sideline to peer at a TV set.
Instant replay, though, is making an appearance in college football. With conference play getting underway in earnest in the Big Ten -- the conference that is serving as the NCAA's replay guinea pig -- other leagues will be carefully scrutinizing what happens today and in coming weeks.
"We know people will be watching closely," Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said this week. "That's fine. We just want to get it right."
Nowhere has officiating caused more consternation in recent years than the Big Ten, where some officials have been fired, others have been stalked by coaches as they left the field, and athletic directors have called for reviews of the officiating process. So last year, the conference conducted a test run of a replay system, and over the summer, it received permission from the NCAA to try out a replay system.
"We have a lot of television, a lot of fans," Delany said, "and a lot of close games."
So far, the technology -- which involves a "technical adviser" sitting alone in a secure room in the press box, following the game with the aid of a TiVo device -- has been used in 13 games, and it has resulted in five stoppages of play and two calls being overturned.
The most focus came in the first week, when Wisconsin hosted Central Florida. Play was stopped twice in that game, and one delay resulted in the repositioning of the ball -- by one yard.
"For what was really a meaningless call," Wisconsin Coach Barry Alvarez said, "it really did affect the flow of the game."
Alvarez said he thinks the conference learned from that instance, and a memo issued the following week -- which encouraged technical advisers to use "common sense" in replay rulings -- seemed to back that up. "We're really interested in the flow of the game," Delany said.
The potential problems with instituting replay across the board are both financial and practical. While most games from the six major conferences are televised, Delany said it will cost the Big Ten between $20,000 and $25,000 to set up replay at the few league games that aren't televised. Extrapolate that to the Mountain West or the Sun Belt, and the cost could be prohibitive.
And while most coaches surveyed this week were in favor of anything to aid officials -- "It's the thing we should be doing," Michigan State's John L. Smith said -- there likely won't be consensus until further review.
"I'm just not in favor of it," Georgia Coach Mark Richt said. "I can't even tell you why. I just don't want to change the game."
-- Barry Svrluga