College football rule changes 2023: Everything you need to know

College football rule changes are abundant for the 2023 season and here are the big moves in the rules that fans need to know this year. 
Michigan State v Michigan
Michigan State v Michigan / Rey Del Rio/GettyImages

College football is an ever-changing tapestry in every sense of the phrase. That’s never been more evident than this offseason with the rampant conference realignment that has the Pac-12 essentially being reduced to rubble after the 2023 season and with the looming already-planned moves of Texas and Oklahoma to the SEC, USC and UCLA (now joined by more) to the Big Ten, and much more. But it also pertains to college football rules

Whether changes in college football rules are made with player safety in mind or are done in order to improve the product for fans both in the stadium and watching on TV at home, they have been coming pretty often in recent years. But the ones in store for the 2023 season are going to be pretty big and, more importantly, noticeable. 

So with that in mind, let’s take a look at the big college football rule changes that are in store for the 2023 season that CFB fans need to be aware of as they represent a big shift in the way some aspects of the game are handled. 

College football rule changes 2023: What fans need to know

College football rule changes: Clocks will not stop after first downs

One of the biggest college football rules that differed from the NFL was the clock stopping to reset the ball after a first down regardless of if the player went out of bounds or not. That rule is no more. Starting in the 2023 season, the clock will continue to run after first downs when a player is stopped in bounds. The clock will stop on first downs, however, in the final two minutes of each half of the game. 

College football rule changes: No consecutive timeouts

Starting in the 2023 season, teams will no longer be allowed to call consecutive timeouts without a play in between or the opposing team calling a timeout in between. In previous years, we’ve seen teams try to ice the opposing kicker, assess their defensive positioning, or even just show gamesmanship when it comes to calling back-to-back timeouts. That will no longer be an option in CFB. 

College football rule changes: Penalties at end of first, third quarters will no longer have untimed downs

This rule change really feels like common sense. If a penalty occurs at the end of the first or third quarters starting in the 2023 season, there will no longer be an untimed down. Instead, the penalty will simply carry over into the second or fourth quarters, respectively. Again, we’re not entirely sure why this rule wasn’t the case at all levels of college football previously, but we’re glad logic has prevailed now. 

College football rule changes: Drones and second-half warmups

The NCAA also handed down two pretty obvious “clarifications” for rules that will now be in effect for the 2023 season. The first is that there will be no drones allowed in the stadium over the field or the sidelines. This, of course, harkens back to some weird incidents last year, most notably in the Pac-12 with true Pac-12 After Dark vibes. 

The other rule clarification is that teams are now required to wait until the field has been cleared to return out of the locker for warm-ups out of halftime. They will also have designated areas where they are supposed to warm up.