Thursday, February 14, 2008

NCAA Tries Again to Shorten Games

Does anybody think college games are too long? Is that a complaint you often hear?

The NCAA Football Rules Committee, saying the time of games in 2007 averaged 3 hours 22 minutes, is pushing through several rules designed to shorten games in 2008.

The most controversial has to do with the game clock after a player runs out of bounds. Under the old rule, the game clock would not start until the ball was snapped on the next play. Under the new rule, once the ball is ruled ready for play, the official will start the game clock. This will will not apply in the last two minutes of each half.

Other rules changes:
  • The 40/25-second play clock, which was approved last year, will go into effect. After every play is whistled dead, the 40-second clock will start. When there is a stoppage of play, a 25-second play clock will be used. Previously, only a 25-second play clock was used and it did not start until the ball was marked ready for play.
  • A coach gets an extra replay challenge if his first one is upheld. But he will be granted only the one extra challenge.
  • The incidental five-yard facemask penalty has been eliminated. It's now strickly a 15-yard penalty. This eliminates a judgment call on the part of the officials and it appears that only when there is a pulling, twisting or turning of the head will a penalty be called.
  • Horse collar tackles are now illegal and classified as a personal foul and 15-yard penalty.
  • The receiving team will have the option of taking the ball on its 40-yard line on kickoffs that go out of bounds. Previously it was the 35.
  • Sideline or bench warnings to coaches and players who crowd the field have been eliminated. It's now strictly a penalty.
How do officials feel about the new rules. Check out this thread from Ref Stripes. There's also this video featuring Rogers Redding, NCAA secretary-rules editor, explaining some of the changes.

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel will rubber stamp the rules in April. Do you like the rule changes, dislike? We'd love to hear what you think so fire away in the comments section.

Thanks to Image of Sport, CDugan and We Are Penn State.

15 comments:

Noah said...

All unnecessary. The best way to shorten games is to reduce the number of TV timeouts, but we know that'll never happen. And does that mean incidental facemask contact is now legal? It was never that much of a judgment call; there's a noticeable difference between an accidental touch (5 yards) and a facemask tackle (15 yards).

The O'Neals said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The O'Neals said...

The whole purpose for the attempts to shorten the games is to add more commercials. I'll bet any amount of money that to the average tv viewer there will be no noticable change in the length of the game. In place of actual football they will just add more commercials.

gerry dorsey said...

wow granting coaches more challenges is a great way to speed the game up. nothing keeps a game flowing like a good 5 minute stop down for a challenge.

Knute Bryant said...

If they really want to speed up the games... take less of a half time and don't cut away to commercials every change of possession.

Of course commercials are what bring us the game on TV. it's a complicated love/hate thing.

furrer4heisman said...

why not just keep the clock running after first downs like the nfl?

cacapeepeepoopooshire said...

OMG! I WANT TO SMASH THE NCAA's FACE INTO... INTO... JELLY!

Why not do what TBS did... have a SPONSOR for the game. Panasonic kept the game flowing with little interruption by having it's logo pasted on the field when plays were being called in.

"Sideline or bench warnings to coaches and players who crowd the field have been eliminated. It's now strictly a penalty." It's about fucken time... The Texas/ASU game pretty much sealed that deal.

Jack said...

As an added bonus, coaches will have to adapt to the timing changes. Since it takes them several years to figure out what the current rules are, it's sure to be lotsa giggles as they have tantrums on the sidelines.

scotty said...

I can see the horse-collar rule for safety purposes, but as far as shortening games, I have nowhere to be when the game is on. In fact, bring on the 5-hour 7-overtime game.

We Are...Penn State email list said...

Knute Bryant:

If they really want to speed up the games, take less of a half time...

You obviously don't go to games. Watching the band(s) is part of the gameday experience.

Anonymous said...

Games are getting longer because there are more pass attempts than there used to be. Since they cannot outlaw the pass and I'm sure they don't want to put in a pass limit, the only option is to keep the clock running even after an incomplete pass.

Anonymous said...

bands suck.

noah said...

why not just keep the clock running after first downs like the nfl?

Because that would pretty much have the same effect as the longer play clock: shorter games, fewer plays. The truth is that the assumptions of the NCAA are faulty; games are not actually too long.

Anonymous said...

will the clock still stop after first downs?

noah said...

Yeah, they didn't change that rule.