That one is huge, much bigger than changing the transfer rule. It lets the staff experiment and adjust without hurting the future of young players during the course of the season. Game reps, even limited ones, are so much more helpful to evaluating/developing young players than practice.
Think a freshman can help? Put him out there for a game or two and then decide whether he stays. Got a starter with an injury that will keep him out a couple of weeks? Suit up a freshman for a couple of games.
The participation charts for some of these cupcake games will be very interesting. It also will be interesting to see if late season games get treated like the post-September 1, MLB rosters, with young players getting “called up” off the scout team for the final games of the season.
I think in about three years this rule will really help improve the quality of play. Right now, I think the rule really helps the Hogs as CM starts the building process.
It will still be a balancing act to some extent (and I like the change too). If you play young guys early in cupcake games, and then late a starter gets hurt, you could run into a situation where just like in the old days, you have to decide to play someone and burn a redshirt or not. It will be interesting to see how coaches play it.
I think this is especially beneficial to the kids mentally. Everybody usually thinks they shouldn’t redshirt coming out of HS. When tagged with redshirt it may take some of that drive out of them that first year. With this rule they know it could happen anytime to be thrown in a game(s) with a chance to perform.