Possible changes to College Football rules

No problems with suggestions 1 and 2. However, I’m not a fan of anything that will shorten the games. Best entertainment out there…why would we want to shorten it? (And yes, I get that TV might like to for programming purposes). But I like the drama of the clock stopping in late-game drives. And that a team that falls behind early can crank up the passing offense knowing that they clock stops on incompletions, extending the game.

Also, there is the aspect about a team trying to run out the clock having to decide whether to keep the ball on the ground (and run clock) or risk throwing the ball (to get a first down, but with the possibility of having an incompletion and stopping the clock, preserving more time for their opponent to come back).

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I still remember when they put in the stopped clock for first downs rule; college football was pretty good without it.

I looked back at our box scores from last season. In order, time of game:
4:16 (yes it was 3OT, but still)

The shortest game was 3:06. And the Poultry game was nearly 4 hours without OT. Good thing it wasn’t a night game, or people would have been getting back to Little Rock at 3 a.m.

Guaranteed that every time the telecast joins our game late because the previous game ran long, people will moan to high heaven. How do you fix that? By keeping the previous game from running long. Which also means keeping our game from running long.

The time gobbler is the review. Got to speed those up.


This… lessen the time and, if possible, the frequency of these reviews. I don’t understand why they take so long, doesn’t make sense.

My thought is, reviews only when a coach tosses the flag costing him one.
But I feel the length of games is now mainly because of the ads. Way too many per game, but I realize money is the root of most things.


As we all know, commercials are the main culprit. The commercial breaks have gotten longer and more frequent over the last 6-7 years.

I believe Matt Jones had an article during the season and said games were having 48 minutes and 35 seconds of commercial time per game. That’s crazy to me.

They won’t change that though, they’ll just find other ways and I hate that.


That sounds about right, but even if there were no commercial breaks at all, some of our games were 3 hours plus.

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And start getting them right.


I’m a huge football nut in general - I think these are smart changes. Especially with all the TV stoppages we already have. These are areas where the pro game is simply smarter in how it gets executed. I would be ok to leave the halftime as long as it is in the college game if these were enacted.

This could be the way to get where no local games start before noon down the road. It’s a pain in the rear now when some games take over part of the next game on a TV channel so you might miss part of your team’s game.

That ain’t happening. As long as there are college football games in the Eastern time zone, they’ll start some at noon ET. Which means 11 CT. And since the SEC and Big Ten cover both time zones, those schools in the Central will get stuck with 11 CT (just imagine those UCLA and USC road games in the B1G starting at 9 am Cali time, or BYU road games in the Big 12 at 10 am).

TV will dictate how many commercials and their times and this impacts the length of games as much as replays etc. I was watching basketball game last week and thinking how much longer these games are too. Great for selling stuff at stadiums but easy for me to tape it and watch later without the commercials. Changing rules like in baseball to speed the game up just causes people to not watch as it no longer is the game they grew up watching.

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The problem is every time they make changes to shorten the game, TV just takes the opportunity to increase commercials. The same thing happened when they decided to run the clock on out of bounds plays until the last 2 min of the half (or maybe it’s 5 min). The games didn’t get any shorter because they added commercials.


Officiating remains the elephant in the room. Until the human element intrusion into the flow of a game is managed in a more efficacious manner with officiating-related changes the game length will be difficult to change considering where the lengthening is occurring. Here are few areas for change:

  1. Conference Employed Officials
  2. Required Official Certification to include Live Time Evaluation
  3. Post Game Grading by Opposing Coaches and Conference Review
  4. Restrict Reviews to be conducted by two non-involved members of the assigned officiating team - all reviews and decisions will be subject to post-game review by Conference
  5. Coach initiated all play reviews with each opponent given three reviews with any reversal restoring the opponent’s used reviews
  6. Use of Electronic Ball Tracking Device for Goal Line Penetrations
  7. Experimentation with Electronic First Down Ball Progress Measurement in non-Conference Games with the Goal to Eliminate Sticks and Chains within two years 8) Eliminate Time Out Calls prior to Field Goals and following Scores prior to Extra Points
  8. Shorten the Play Clock by 5 Seconds
  9. Start Clock 15 seconds following all pass incompletions from point of the official’s whistle
  10. Start the Play Clock following any Kickoff or Punt with 15 seconds of Dead Ball Call.

I should add that any time saving in today’s commercial dominated world can only occur within the time now used for the play between the two opponents. Networks have an amount time they expect to sell and likewise the networks have scheduled an amount time for reach contest. By experience we know the second and third game frequently start prior to the completion of the first game and this practice can be expected to continue despite the actual length of the action on the field. It should clear by this point that the only folks concerned with game lengths are fans. Conferences could care less and individual administrations (even Sabans) cannot marshal the strength to restrict the network time demands…way too much greed involved. So even with shortening the game on the field the network’s interest runs contrary. In my first television experience I recall from 1954 the telecast including college and professional included the full halftime shows with marching bands et al. About the only thing close to that now would a commercial filled pregame march into the Army Navy Game Stadium.

I had an exercise developed twenty years ago helping students “steal” study time. One of the nuggets was that the average TV sitcom has 7.5 minutes of commercials per 30 minute slot, and NCAA football games used to have 2.5 minutes of commercials per timeout. Sitcoms are now often at 3min per break, especially if an hour show (and they go even longer sometimes, 3.5-4min across the “half hour break”). TV timeouts for SEC games were over 3 minutes long.

What I neglected to quantify over the years: the NUMBER of timeouts. Part of the change in Nolan Richardson’s “Hawg Ball” was the required media timeouts every four minutes (ish, of course). Now, only the start of each half, and within 4 minutes of the end of the half, are free of TV timeouts on a possession change.

Split screen technology is easy, and a way to ease back into game action. Not to mention getting the end of one game while the next game is beginning.

Didn’t the NCAA tinker with having the game clock run non-stop until the final 4 minutes of the game unless there was a challenge, injury, or change of possession? That is not a bad fix.

The games don’t need to be shortened. Commercial time needs to be reduced. When you go to a game, you spend most of your time waiting for the commercial timeouts to end.

Are people really that stupid?


One of the reasons I don’t really enjoy games in person these days that much.

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Agree, the games do not need be shorter. It is a great game like it is. TV should just allocate more time for the games. I always record the games so I do not have to sit through 3-5 min of ads constantly. If TV would wise up, they would slot 1 min. for ads and charge more. People would actually watch them. They do that on some TV shows. Oh yes, I do not watch any of their half time mess either so I can get through most games in 2 hrs or so.

Completely disagree. That would shorten games to about 2 1/2 hours and eliminate 30% or so of the plays, offense, scoring, etc.

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