Nine conferences will follow the lead of the Big Ten, which experimented with instant replay last year. The Sun Belt and Western Athletic conferences won't install a conference-wide system, which is a shame according to San Diego columnist Nick Canepa, who wrote, "Replay sure wouldn't hurt the WAC, a league whose officials couldn't see the Himalayas from Nepal."
The Mountain West is the only league that will allow coaches to challenge calls, NFL-style. But all 28 bowl games are expected use a system similar to the Big Ten after the NCAA grants permission. So, if Wyoming plays Southern California in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 4, the Cowboys would be at a distinct disadvantage because of their unfamiliarity with the nuances of the Big Ten-like system. Talk of a tainted national title would be rampant. Or not.
In Big Ten games last season, 21 plays were overturned out of 43 that were reviewed. A replay official, monitoring televisions in a secured booth, has the discretion to notify on-field officials about an incorrect call. Judgment calls such as holding or pass interference can't be reviewed.
The primary concern has been slowing down games already lagging because of television timeouts. The average review in the Big Ten took 2 minutes 39 seconds. The ACC wants reviews to be around 90 seconds. "What we all want is to get that crucial call right," ACC Commissioner John Swofford said. "I think it will enhance our abilities to do this."