Possible changes to College Football rules

Andy Staples’ response to these proposals:

Cliffs Notes:

Getting rid of commercials ain’t gonna happen so let’s look at other options.

Shortening the games is being framed as a player safety thing, especially as playoff teams get to 15 or even 16 games in a season. Greg Sankey brought it up more than a year ago.

Looking at the NFL for an example is not heresy. The NFL is the most popular sports league in the country for a reason, far more popular than college football. Maybe four hour games are driving away viewers (or people who might otherwise buy tickets).

One way to speed things up is to allow teams to put radios in the QB’s helmet to call plays, as the NFL does. The bedsheet on the sideline stuff is ridiculous. Get the play in and let’s get going.

Streamlining instant replay is another area. Stop reviewing everything when often neither team really cares if it gets overturned. Review scoring plays and turnovers, and give each coach one challenge per game, with booth reviews in the final two minutes.

Maybe you get rid of stopping the clock to move the chains (which we did without for decades) but institute starting the clock once the ball is set after an incomplete pass.

Andy notes that the hyperactive offensive tempos have slowed down some as coaches have realized their own defenses are paying the price for moving so quickly. Plays per game are down from a high of 72 plays per team per game in 2014 to 67.3 last year. Did you notice the difference? Me either.

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There was a time when FCC regulations (or maybe it was law) limited the number of commercial minutes in an hour’s broadcast. I’d like that, but I know it’s not happening. Still, if it were across the board, it wouldn’t be a bad idea at all.

Badly need to shorten the time for play reviews. Perhaps eliminate some of them. It’d be different if the booth always got things right & caught a bunch of mistakes. Seems to me the booth is wrong about as often as the call on the field.


The FCC has been a joke (IMO) for years. Look at what is allowed on network TV today. Like the Grammy’s. A joke.

According to Wikipedia, an hour show in U.S. prime time will have 42 minutes of actual show and 18 minutes of ads. So if we’re getting 48 minutes of ads in a 3.5 hour game, we’re getting out lucky.

Several years ago the program to ad ration was much better than 42:18. I want to say it was something like 50:10, but I can’t be certain.

The same Wiki article said in the 1960s, it was 51 minutes of show, 9 minutes of ads. I’m not sure if the FCC mandated (or stopped mandating) anything or if industry practices just changed.

Yeah. I don’t know what happened, either, but I remember there was always more show than ads by a pretty large margin. My 50:10 guess was pretty close. I’d bet the FCC stopped mandating. Doubt it was just changing industry practices. Either way, I’d like to see some sort of regulation on that.

Of course, that was before cable TV & internet streaming. The rationale allowing such regulation was that the airwaves belonged to the public & the broadcasters merely had a license to use the public airwaves subject to regulation. Don’t know if the same rationale applies to internet or wired communication.

It doesn’t.

Fair enough. It would also eliminate 30% of commercials, 30% of injuries, and 30% of reviews. Assuming the 30% reduction in time of game is accurate. We are getting ready to get extra games via the expanded playoff. An 18-year old body is less able to withstand the punishment compared to a 25-year old in the NFL.

Commercials aren’t going away. That is a “lock box” revenue stream needed to keep games off of pay-per-view. Or…what will you pay to eliminate 30% of the commericals? Enough to cover for the fans who don’t want to fork over the extra $$?

The suggestion is just an idea that acknowledges that the #1 wish - fewer commercials - is a silly suggestion given that it is impossible.

I can remember when the BBC had zero ads. People with TV sets paid a monthly fee to finance the BBC. They dropped it many years ago.

I personally watch much less TV than I used to simply because of the idiotic ads.

No they didn’t. The fee is still in place (about $192 a year) and the Beeb still has no ads on domestic programming. There are plenty of commercial broadcasters who do have ads, but not the BBC. IIRC, they have trucks going around London that can detect if someone is watching the BBC who hasn’t paid their fee.

However, it’s thought that the license fee may go away by 2027, so they are looking for ways to raise more revenue without selling ads.

I thought they dropped the fee when solid state TV replaced cathode ray tube sets, as the horizontial oscillators of the CRT’s gave off a signal which the trucks detected and they knew if you had paid the fee or not.

However, I assume I am decades behind things.

From an article in The Athletic today:

Watch a college game. Then watch an NFL game. You’ll notice the college officials spend a lot more time administrating the game (with the clock stopped). NFL officials, who are routinely reminded that they’re part of a television production, keep games moving. They tend to conference less. They communicate more crisply.

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Marty is correct. No one wants to see a huddle with referees talking. They are brief in NFL.

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I wouldn’t be opposed to rules limiting the number of reviews. I believe someone else mentioned giving the coaches one discretionary review (risking a time out) and then putting it in the hands of officials in the final 3 minutes of each half…something like that. And, of course, confirming all scoring plays.

Otherwise, roll with what is called. That would save 10 minutes or so a game, I’d guess.

I with you Dave. Good plan. Makes too much sense for it to happen.

Seems to me that we lose about 5 minutes per game just on targeting reviews.

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Yes we do. One thing that could be done for that is to let play continue (with or without the suspected offender) while the question of his suspension is reviewed. Of course, that’d mean allowing the penalty to be enforced without the review, but that wouldn’t be the end of the world. If targeting wasn’t called on the field, the people in the B’ham could still review it & signal in that the player must be ejected.

Of course, the downside to that plan is that the first time we didn’t have a review left and had an Auburn 2020 or Florida 2009 type game, our fans would be screaming bloody murder. Then again, we DID have review in both of those situations and still got screwed.

You can’t please all the people all of the time.

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