Last year, the Big 12 was given a one-year trial to move to eight officials to keep up with the speed of the game. This year, the NCAA is allowing all FBS conferences to make that move.
One of the major benefits of the extra official was to help with substitutions, which have become more difficult with the increased use of the “Hurry Up No Huddle” offense.
The SEC will now make the move to eight officials but it won’t jump in the deep end of the pool just yet. Instead, the conference will stick it’s pinky toe in to check the temperature.
The SEC will employ only one eight man crew and that crew will alternate games throughout the season so it will officiate at least one game for each conference team. This will help the conference decide if they want to move to this crew on an ongoing basis in the future.
The SEC officiating over the last few years has been questionable, so I’m not sure how adding an extra man would be a hindrance. We may see a slight up tick on penalties, with an extra set of eyes of the field, but overall it should make the game flow better and the officials should be able to maintain more control of the game, unless Penn Wagers is involved.