Words to live by

USA Today hosts a roundtable discussion on the topic of whether college football games are too damned long (predictably, the panel splits 2-2), but as far as I’m concerned, Paul Myerberg wins the day with this:

I don’t think there should be any adjustments for time to shorten games. What, the season isn’t short enough as it is? I’m in favor of games taking days on end and the college season running for seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. My dream is for a game between No. 1 and No. 2 lasting three days and 25 overtimes.

The only people who moan about the games being too long are television executives and reporters on deadline. Since we don’t print a paper on Sundays I say let’s keep things exactly as they are.

College football is like beer.  You can never have too much.


Filed under College Football

22 responses to “Words to live by

  1. Hardcoredawg 93

    No question CBS games are too long. Incredible amount of commercial breaks.

  2. lakedawg

    And I can think of one more thing that would fit that category quite well also.

  3. I buy into that argument “no such thing as too much college football” when it comes to the bowls, but I do wish that games were on average 10-15 minutes shorter if for no other reason than it kills me when you set the DVR to record a game even with an extra hour of recording time on the end, and still miss the last few minutes of a game sometimes. Yeah, I know, first world problems. But if they can figure out how to make the DVR’s smart enough to keep recording until a live event is finished, no matter how long it runs, then I won’t have any more complaints. 🙂

  4. michaelnitz51

    If they really want to cut time, they should change the rules to make the game less pass happy. Even though the clock restarts after the ball is set on an incomplete pass, there are probably 5 to 10 seconds lost between the time the play is over and when the ball is set. Do that 20+ times a game and you’ve eaten up some serious time.

  5. Macallanlover

    I am with Myerberg on this, while commercial breaks piled on top of one another are annoying, if we could get more football because of them I say bring them on. We watch TV shows where 33% (20 minutes of the 60 in a one hour show) of the time are sponsor messages, I don’t think CFB is any more than that.

    My complaint isn’t the commercials, it is the layering of too much quality content on top of each other. I would watch games seven nights a week, why do they give us a 14 hour window on Saturday to watch all the great games? Lot more commercials could be viewed if they spread the games across more days/months. (And while we are at it, why can’t 1AA play their games in the Spring?) Is there a 12 Step program for this?

  6. There’s too damn many commercials, if that’s what they’re talking about. UT vs TAMU game took 5 hours and it wasn’t because of the play on the field.

    Don’t shorten games by changing the rules. Shorten by removing random long commercial breaks

  7. Atticus

    What are the statistics on ratings (non playoff games) and attendance? I love college football and can watch great games forever. But the games are still the same length last I checked, 60 minutes. Its all the other BS that goes with it. Look at how the NFL runs their games. Very efficient and always done in 3:15 unless an exception or OT. At some point sitting in a stadium watching a scrub game and sitting for hours during TV breaks gets old, hence attendance at these games is significantly down. I think ratings are suffering as well.

    • Russ

      This is how I feel. I obviously love CFB and actually enjoy the eleventy-seven bowl games each year. But all the game broadcasts last entirely too long. I’d rather they go to a soccer formula with normal timeouts (no TV timeouts) during each half with running advertisement at the bottom of the screen, and then during halftime, load up on the commercials. I promise to watch all the halftime commercials.

  8. I’m just tired of paying thousands of dollars to be a studio extra.

  9. 83dawg

    Ok, we can (almost) all agree that the real answer lies in (1) the commercial breaks (not that bad, really) and the length of the commercial brakes (getting absurd), and (2) the odds of that changing in any productive way are about the same as UGA going undefeated in basketball this season.

    So, now a solution being proposed is to cut the actual amount of football itself, which I’m sure makes sense to networks but, you know, the actual football is the reason we watch the games to begin with, so this is obviously a bit of a short-sighted solution.

    They have already tried this. For 2008 they changed the clock rules to shorten the games (probably “for the fans” and “to protect the student athletes with more plays being played due to hurry-up offenses”) . Since then, the games have gone from averaging 3:11 to 3:20, the number of 3:30+ games has doubled, and the number of 4:00 games has quadrupled.

    So anyone claiming that providing even less product (actual football) via clock rules will shorten the games is, historically, full of a mythical beer known as $hitz (slogan: ‘If you know you are going to get Blitzed, why not settle for $hitz?”).

    Actual football is not why the game times have increased after the last time they gave us less football.

    And, as previously mentioned, the commercials aren’t going away–they will get longer and longer as the networks try to pay for their bizarre over-the-top contracts with conferences.


    So what can be cut without hurting the mouse?

    Erm, replay reviews should be conducted by the written rule “incontrovertible evidence”. Period. After the truck has the relevant replays lined up (no matter how long that takes), if you can’t overturn the call in 60 seconds then it, by definition, it isn’t “incontrovertible evidence”.

    Harder, but manageable — Ref conventions held in the middle of the field. It is like watching a bunch of people at an office decide where they are going to lunch and who is driving. Somebody threw the flag–it wasn’t dropped from the blimp (unless CBS needed another commercial break)–take responsibility for the flag and call the foul and get on with it (unless another official trots up with a valid objection, and then it is a 20 second discussion).

    I think you could get a ruling from the EU or a bill through Congress faster than some of these discussions. And the $hlitz icing on the cake is, after discussing how to effect world peace, feed the hungry, and quit blasting canned music at us when there is a fine band just sitting there on their rears (just kidding about the last one), they all nod their heads, the ref trots out to make the coalition call, turns on his mike, turns off his mike, and then the discussion starts all over again (I know that is more likely about the spot but it still looks really bad). It is like watching a Donnan team call a time out to avoid a delay of game penalty coming out of a commercial time out, then getting a delay of game penalty on the play anyway because they couldn’t get a play called and the team lined up with and entire commercial break and a timeout to do so.

  10. SouthernYank

    As to football, at home, don’t care. At the stadium, the TV timeouts get a bit much. But college is no where near as bad as NFL. Going to an NFL game and sitting through the TV timeouts is horrible.

    Never understood the argument re baseball either.

  11. To me the time for each game is reasonable enough gives athletes some rest to decrease possible injuries from shear fatigue. The season is too long because of the gap between the regular season and the bowl season including the current championship format. Almost 4 weeks of empty schedule. LOL. That’s the way I look at it.

  12. CBS is out of control.

    I always wondered, can’t they just charge more per commercial, and have less commercials? Or is it that they are charging more for commercials, and have more commercials?

    Time out on field, commercial, followed by punt, commercial. And it’s not just one commercial while sides change or a 30 second time out. Its minutes of commercials on a 30 second timeout. Its out of control on CBS. A standard football game shouldnt last over 4 hours. Its not safe for the players by the way.

    The game on ESPN last weekend was about 45min shorter than our game on CBS.

  13. 69Dawg

    I know it’s blame the commercial time but the real in game problem is the clock stoppage on a first down. This rule is the biggest difference between the Pro and college game. With the HUNH game and the number of first downs the clock is being stopped a lot. If you want to retain the clock stop on first down make it like the new out of bounds clock stoppage. The last two minutes of the half and the last two minutes of the game, stop it. The rest of the game let it run.

    The other problem has been mentioned, there are too many reviews of plays that are obvious. I know the replay guy wants to justify his job but damn watch the play the first time. Limit the reviews to plays that matter. Turnovers and scoring plays. The replay guys are so old they can’t see the TV and now due to the SEC “Full Employment of Retired Zebras Act” we have guys in Birmingham watching and yet they still miss obvious calls like bounce passes. The TV folks have learned that a review is going to take a minimum amount of time and they cut to commercial at which point the dude in the red hat walks out on the field. Now even if the officials are ready make the call it’s the Red Hat guy in control. No football game, not in OT, should take 4 hours.

  14. What’s worse is that if they shorten the actual playing time, they can shove more commercials in. I doubt there’s any net effect of shortening play since people are accustomed to 3:30+ times for games.

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