“But I firmly believe we have to shorten games for the good of the game.”

Oh, noes!  College football is about to embroil itself in another existential crisis over game time.

Perhaps it was fitting that the first college football game of 2016, between Cal and Hawaii, lasted almost four hours.

It was a harbinger of the coming season, in which the average game time was the longest in college football history at 3 hours, 24 minutes. That was much too long for a number of people.

“I would like to see shorter games,” Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said.

Scott is not alone. He is among a number of conference commissioners and head coaches who told ESPN they believe games have become too long.

The biggest challenge, however, is determining how to shorten the games.

Yeah, that’s gonna go well.

If you need a hint on how they’re about to fuck things up yet again, consider that there are more than a thousand written words in that article without a single mention of television commercials.

It’s amazing how much I can simultaneously love college football and despise the assholes running the sport.  Multi-tasking, for the win…

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56 Comments

Filed under College Football

56 responses to ““But I firmly believe we have to shorten games for the good of the game.”

  1. My default response to anything regarding the guys that run college football: they’re all whores.

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  2. Squatch

    They should present all games without commercial interruption except for team timeouts. That would have to be at least an hour of saved time.

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  3. Otto

    I have said before I want to see UGA win a National Title before I walk away from the game as I have NASCAR and the NFL.

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  4. Doug

    They’ll cut back to 12-minute quarters or implement a running clock before they even think about messing with ad time.

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    • JTPruett

      That seems likely. It’s bad enough to start the clock after a player goes out of bounds, but shortening the game is ridiculous. I wish the powers that be would just sit back and enjoy the flow of money and leave the game alone (and expand the playoff to 16 teams, which it will after they expand it to 8 teams). It’s all about money. When they say otherwise, it’s just disingenuous.

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  5. Irwin R. Fletcher

    The combined revenue of the top 5 soccer leagues in Europe is more than the NFL and rather than losing ratings and interest they are growing in popularity locally and worldwide.

    I’m sure it has little to do with television timeouts, game schedules and game experience being dictated by the actual game versus the needs of the networks and sponsors. #eyeroll

    Erosion results in small increments over time…every time these guys sacrifice more of the game for the sake of sponsorship and networks, they put another gash in the core of the sport.

    I would LOVE if one of the things they expirimented with would be more in-game ads (running signage, etc.) and tried a broadcast where the only commercials were at timeouts and quarters. I would bet money that ratings would be higher and percentage of eyes on the actual ads would increase while lowering game time.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Castleberry

    Epic. God forbid you bookend a quarter break with three and outs from both teams. It feels like there are 15 minute spells with 8 uneventful plays.

    Would love to see them enforce a minimum number of plays before commercial break were allowed.

    **** SNARK MODE ON *****
    Another big idea of mine is to mic up the QBs and force any audibles to be linked to game sponsors. Instead of OMAHA, RAZOR, EXPRESS, they can yell –
    AUTOZONE
    YELLAWOOD
    FARMERS
    and so on…

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  7. DawgPhan

    td > timeout > xpt > timeout > kickout > timeout > 1st down

    maybe dont do that.

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    • OrlandoDawg

      I have timed this sequence on occasion. At times, it is about 8 minutes between a td being scored and the 1st down play being run after the kickoff. I can hardly watch a game without the dvr anymore.

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  8. JTPruett

    When a game says that it starts at 3:30 PM, then the ball should be on the tee and kicked off at 3:30 PM. I don’t want or need CBS or ESPN to have an intro like it was a sitcom and then have some talking heads have to tell us about the games and teams for 5-10 minutes. If I want to watch this game, then I already know all that crap. Commercials take up waaaay to much time. Don’t believe me? Go to a game that is televised by CBS and you’ll experience the dreaded TV timeouts (or, pay attention to a game on ABC that also starts at 3:30 and see which game ends first). The game and time of the game is just fine (except for the stupid targeting penalties – get rid of those too. If it’s a penalty, call the penalty without throwing the kid out of the game). I wish the jerks at the top would stop trying to shorten the games in the shortest season in sports! Just do away with all other sports (or leisure time activities call themselves sports) and bring back the USFL in the spring so that the football junkies can enjoy the off season!

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    • Uglydawg

      Great idea on the targeting penalties…..just throw the flag, step off 15 and forget it.
      Quit having 5 minute referee huddles…
      Use technology to tell when the ball crosses the goal line.(eliminate replays)
      Use technology to tell when a player steps out of bounds. (both easily done) and only stop the clock on passing attempts past the LOS…spiking the ball is intentional grounding anyway.
      Make long field goals count less. Less scores mean less breaks….why give a team that can’t drive the ball past the 40 the same 3 points that you give a team that drives it to the 10? Teams would gamble more and that would run clock.
      When a team scores a TD..give the opposing coach the option of conceding the extra point, unkicked, and requiring the scoring team to kick off from 5 (or 10) yards deeper as a reward for conceding it. That will just about end extra point kicks.
      Also..give a discount to the sponsor who can cut 15% of the time off of his ad..and have that sponsor acknowledged by the announcers.
      And get rid of Mooseburger…he makes a 3 hour game seem like 7 hours.

      But if they shorten the quarters it will piss me off..especially when we all know that sponsors abhor a vacuum…

      Liked by 1 person

  9. “It’s hard to envision [reducing] commercial times, so we have to figure out ways to make games a little shorter.”

    Nobody ever accused those d bags of being visionary that’s for sure. Now they are going to look at ways of screwing with the product rather than the revenue model. Lovely.

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    • I mean, is it really too much to ask to reduce the amount of commercials and raise the commercial rates?

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      • Macallanlover

        Seriously, that is the most obvious move of all. Add the limit on commercials per play, especially around scores/extra points/kickoffs. Then stop the multiple timeouts before FG tries to freeze kickers. Eliminate the penalty for block in the back, above the waist, when a player is in motion….never seen an injury under those circumstances but it gets called multiple times a game for no obvious reason. That might be 5 minutes that can be saved.. Now set a 3 minute max on reviews, if it wasn’t obvious it isn’t supposed to be over turned.

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      • I’ve said that for years. Cut commercials in half. Double rates. Tadaa

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  10. doofusdawg

    Goes right along with your article on game attendance vs. tv broadcasts. Is there a real Georgia fan that wishes game days in Athens were shorter or that the actual games were shorter. Even the 2007 blackout vs. Alabama was a game that I wish had lasted longer. Being in Sanford Stadium is special even for the folks who have been doing it for fifty years. Had I been watching that Bama game on tv I would have tuned out way before the game ended.

    Money has a way of corrupting most everything.

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  11. Bware

    Shorten halftime to 15 minutes.

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  12. Debby Balcer

    The game is not to short there are too many commercials. They affect momentum and take the crowd out of the game. We don’t watcgh the game to see commercials we wartch the game despite commercials. Wish it could be lujethe masters the years they were commercial free.

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    • doofusdawg

      Yep. Hate that official on the twenty. Someone should bring him a chair.

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    • Mark

      And it’s not just the actual commercials. We could do without the “post – commercial, pre – resumption – of – play game recaps, statistics updates, human interest stories, highlights of other games, hype of the network’s new comedy series” that keep the ref with the red hat standing on the 20 for much longer than just the time of the actual commercial.

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  13. Russ

    We need to shorten the games so we can add more games.

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  14. Dawg in Austin

    Maybe I read the wrong article but I saw commercials mentioned at least 3 times. That being said, I totally agree with the concept of limiting commercials and just making the sponsors pay more for fewer ones. Supply and demand, for the win!

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  15. Bulldog Joe

    The game would speed up if Georgia could eliminate all those first and third quarter timeouts.

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  16. SouthGaDawg

    1) Go with NFL timing rules.
    2) Get rid of ALL instant replay.

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  17. Faultering Memory

    Get rid of ESPN.

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  18. It’s damn ridiculous how long the game takes today. That has nothing to do with the number of plays, the length of quarters, a 20 minute halftime or the clock rules. It all comes down to the number of times the guy with the red hat steps out on the opposite 20 yard line after every stoppage of play.

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  19. old dawg

    the long games make me appreciate high school football…12 minute quarters…no TV timeouts…refs don’t seem too flag happy…and the ticket price is a bargain…

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  20. Uglydawg

    One other option is for fans to start a movement boycotting the third commercial’s sponsor during every break. Two’s enough.
    Or ask the NFL to offset the costs in order to shorten the games..they are the ultimate beneficiaries of the system..so let them pay for a percent of the broadcast and cut commercial time by that percentage.
    The broadcasters are greedy bastards is the real problem

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  21. I hope they don’t ever give up those 8 pm kickoffs. Those are the best.

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  22. Bright Idea

    Why are the commissioners and others who are paid big bucks to be at the games so worried about the length. Are they blaming any perceived or real loss of interest on long games? The games are obviously too long because of the commercial breaks but they refuse to discuss correcting that so why bring it up?

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  23. Grathams replacement

    Go the masters route. Limit sponsers, dictate game times to the networks (like 1:30pm) and charge huge fees for the exclusive rights

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  24. Guys, there is a simple solution to this if you’re willing to ignore the stigma against watching recorded sports that has been forced upon us by the advertisers:

    Record the game.
    Start watching 1-2 hours into the game (or when it’s over).
    Skip all commercials, injuries, etc. Heck, go ahead and skip kick offs, punts, fast forward dead time between plays, etc.

    You can watch a ~4 hour game in about an hour. It is GREAT.

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    • Doesn’t help those of us who buy tickets and sit in the September noon heat.

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      • Stop buying tickets also – until they cut it the hell out with the tv commercial breaks.

        Honestly, the in-stadium experience has become horrible. Especially when you factor in parking, getting in/out of the stadium, etc.

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    • Macallanlover

      I will do this on some sporting events, occasionally, but never CFB. It just doesn’t work for me, suspense kills me. All I watch live is sports and news. Your idea is good, but I watch 2-3 games at a time flipping back and forth so the length doesn’t bother me. Commercials give me time to catch up with other games, or refresh a drink.

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      • Having multiple games works too. Pause them and then toggle between them. But recording is even better.

        Until they make live sports suck less, they don’t deserve to be watched live.

        It is hard at first, but once you train yourself not to care that it isn’t live, you will be much happier! 🙂

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