I just saw a coach decline the delay penalty to prevent the field goal kicker from getting to kick from five yards further away. Then the offensive coach deliberately told one of his linemen to false start. That moved them back five yards for the field goal kick.
Why would you want to be farther away from the goal posts?
You would not. Those two coaches—Arkansas and TX A&M—are nuts.
Why would they think it’s better to kick from farther away?
Pre-1974 NFL rules. 1974 is when the NFL moved the goal posts from the goal line to the end line (back of the end zone). Also, the hash marks used to be wider—40 feet apart rather than the current 18 1/2 feet.
Biggest target is easiest to hit
What you want for the kicker is the widest possible angle in degrees from the tee to the goal posts. If the tee is on a hash mark in the NFl, where the hash marks are the same width as the goal posts, the closer the better. But if the hash marks are wider than the the goal posts, as is the case in college and high school, AND the goal posts are on the goal line, there comes a distance where the closer, the narrower the angle you have to kick.
But with current NCAA goal post and hash widths, the goal posts being on the end line, not the goal line (since 1927 in NCAA), and the field goal snap going back to the holder seven yards behind the line of scrimmage, there is never a line of scrimmage that narrows the angle for the kick when you move closer.
The shortest possible field goal distance is 18 yards (the ten yard depth of the end zone plus the seven yard from the line of scrimmage to the holder and the ball has to not yet be on the goal line.) from that far out or farther, closer is always better.
In the Arkansas-TX A & M game, I think the kicking team wanted to move back to the 10 and the defense wanted to keep them on the five. Dueling dunces.
I diagrammed it on graph paper and got out my protractor. From the five-yard line on a hash mark, the angle between the goal posts from the tee is 21º. From the ten-yard line on a hash, the angle from the tee is 16º.
In other words, the kicker’s target is 21º ÷ 16º = 131% bigger from the five than from the ten. So why was the defense trying to make it bigger and the kicking team trying to make it smaller?
It’s not 1973 anymore
Like I said, they’re nuts. Apparently these two college coaches think they are playing under pre-1974 NFL rules. WTF? I guess they heard that you don’t want to be too close back in the pre-1974 NFL and never realized that stemmed from the goal posts being on the goal line and the hashes being 40 feet apart.
Unless the goal posts are on the goal line, which they have not been since 1974 in the NFL and since 1927 in college, and the hash marks are wider than the goal posts, which they are except in the modern NFL, the closer the kicking tee is to the goal posts, the bigger the target the goal posts are for the kicker.
How come I know this and no one is paying me to know it and these college coaches, who probably get paid a million or more, can’t be bothered to figure this out?