The NCAA instituted the following rule changes for the 2006 season.
The NCAA ruled that teams could schedule twelve regular-season games (up from eleven) beginning in the 2006 season. (NCAA teams in Alaska and Hawaii, and their home opponents, are allowed to schedule an extra game over and above this limit.)
Instant replay is now officially sanctioned and standardized. All plays are reviewed by the replay officials as the play occurs. They may call down to the on-field officials to stop play if they need extra time to make a review. Each coach may also make one challenge per game. In the case of a coach's challenge, the coach must have at least one time-out remaining. If the challenge is upheld the coach gets the time-out back but the challenge is spent. If the challenge is rejected, both the challenge and the time-out are spent.
Players may only wear clear eyeshields. Previously, both tinted and orange were also allowed.
The kicking tee has been lowered from two inches tall to only one inch.
Halftime lasts twenty minutes. Previously, it was only fifteen minutes.
On a kickoff, the game clock starts when the ball is kicked rather than when the receiving team touches it.
This rule change has resulted in controversy, highlighted by the matchup between Wisconsin and Penn State on November 4, 2006, in which Wisconsin deliberately went off-sides on two consecutive kickoffs to run extra time off the clock at the close of the first half.
On a change of possession, the clock starts when the referee marks the ball ready for play, instead of on the snap.
The referee may no longer stop the game due to excessive crowd noise.
When a live-ball penalty such as an illegal formation occurs on a kick, the receiving team may choose either to add the penalty yardage to the end of the return or require the kick to be attempted again with the spot moved back. Previously, only the latter option was available.
If a team scores at the end of the game, they will not kick the extra point unless it would affect the outcome of the game.
Regular season top 10 matchups
Rankings reflect the AP Poll. Rankings for Week 8 and beyond will list BCS Rankings first and AP Poll second. Teams that failed to be a top 10 team for one poll or the other will be noted.
Ohio State was ranked No. 1 in all of the BCS-component polls (AP, Coaches', USA Today) in the preseason and the 14 polls taken in the regular season. When the BCS rankings began on October 15, Ohio State was No. 1 on all 8 rankings released during the season.
The Bowl Championship Series selected the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked teams to play for the national championship on January 8. The 2006 season marked a change for the BCS system, as the BCS National Championship Game became a standalone bowl game for the first time, to be played at the site of one of the four BCS bowls (the Fiesta, Orange, Sugar, and Rose Bowls) on a rotating basis. Under the previous format used from 1998 to 2006, the BCS National Championship coincided with one of the BCS bowls. The 2007 BCS Championship Game was played in Glendale, Arizona, the week after the Fiesta Bowl had been played there.