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Wednesday, October 31, 2012
3-point stance: Offenses on record pace

By Ivan Maisel

1. Offenses this season are making history. Offenses this season are averaging 239.2 passing yards, 410.4 yards of total offense and 29.7 points per game, all well above the records of 233.1, 392.8, and 28.4, respectively. Those records were set in 2007, when games averaged 3:22 in length. The NCAA Football Rules Committee responded by installing the 40-second play clock. Games this season average 3:17. Yet the average number of offensive plays is almost identical (71.9 in ’07, 71.5 in ’12). Take a bow, fast tempos.

2. Stanford head coach David Shaw awarded Josh Nunes the starting quarterback job in August because made the fewest mistakes, and Shaw figured that Nunes would improve with experience. But Nunes hasn’t improved enough to give the Cardinal the offensive engine it needs. Sophomore Kevin Hogan has shown a spark, however, and now Shaw is beginning a midseason transition. No coach wants to attempt that. But if you’ve seen the struggles of the Stanford offense, you know why Shaw is trying it.

3. The smartest change that the NCAA approved in its enforcement process Tuesday is the expansion of the Infractions Committee from 10 to 24 members. Hearings will be expedited because the committee will break up into panels. That’s how our judicial system works. Each judge upholds the law while viewing it from his or her unique perspective. One Infractions Committee panel might differ from another. But the benefits of the expansion -- quicker, surer justice -- outweigh the concerns of fairness.