The Wiz has the story on game times and number of plays run in this post. Not much changed from a statistical standpoint:
… In 2007, the average game had 143.43 plays. Thus far in 2008, the average is 134.61 plays. That breaks down to a loss of 8.82 plays a game. Last week the number was 8.7.
The time of an average game remained the same, 3:10, despite a 5:18 marathon between Western Carolina and Florida State. That game had two weather delays totaling 2:14.
Subjectively speaking, it strikes me that coaches seem to be able to affect the pace of the game more than before, particularly in terms of how the 40-second clock is utilized. The change of pace between the first quarter and the third quarter in Athens last Saturday was palpable (especially to those of us sitting in the heat).
The other thing that leaves me slightly optimistic at the moment is that so far, unlike with the ’06 clock rules changes, the current version of the rules doesn’t seem to have had a negative impact on the ability of teams to make comebacks late in the game. We’ll see if that’s just an early aberration, or a good sign of things to come.