What’s so bad about a tie?

I meant to post something about the epic 9-OT game last weekend between Penn State and Illinois, but forgot, which probably gives you a good indication that the new overtime format isn’t exactly a burning issue in my mind.  That being said, I kind of found it silly.

I understand that college football, to its credit, is trying to avoid any further 2018 Texas A&M-LSU game situations, but there’s got to be some approach that doesn’t feel so contrived, Steve Shaw’s back patting ($$) notwithstanding.

“The rule is a player safety rule,” Steve Shaw, the NCAA’s national coordinator of officials, told The Athletic on Monday. “We started on this journey a few years back, with that Texas A&M-LSU game that went seven overtimes and had almost 260 plays. It was a lot of plays. Way too long. The injury rate began to creep up in that game; it was observable.

“Even though I know you are going to hear both positives and negatives … it accomplished what we wanted it to by limiting plays. You can’t just say (you’re) for student-athlete health and safety, and, ‘Well, there’s only a few of them, so put them through the gauntlet,’ right? That’s not the right answer, even if it’s a low percentage of games.”

If the goal is to limit plays, why not cap the number of overtimes at, say, two?  Are ties such anathema?  Shaw says we think so.

“I would never be opposed to a tie. But our society is not dictated in that way, and too many conferences (need results for divisional races). Everybody wants the game to have a winner, and if you’re looking out for the student-athletes, this is the best way to do it.”

Agree or disagree?


Filed under College Football

70 responses to “What’s so bad about a tie?

  1. Hogbody Spradlin

    We got along okay with ties for how many years, decades, centuries?

    Liked by 18 people

  2. Just back the starting point of OT to the 40, and you solve the problem. Make teams have to get at least 1 first down for a realistic field goal.

    The problem wasn’t the format, it’s that starting it at the 25 is too close.

    Liked by 10 people

  3. Remember the Quincy

    I hate ties personally, but I wonder why the starting yard line was always the 25? If I just spike the ball three times, I have a 42 yard field goal try, which is certainly doable for most teams. I felt like starting each team at the 50 would be a better way to do it, and it would likely limit the number of overtime periods because each team isn’t guaranteed a shot at scoring if they can’t move the ball.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gastr1

      That wouldn’t solve the problem because you’d be increasing the chance that neither team scores. You un-tie the game by putting them in position to score but also giving the defense a chance. Just make them go for two after a TD while in OT.


    • Hogbody Spradlin

      See Richt, Mark, vs. Michigan State, 2012. Oy!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. stoopnagle

    Have you seen society these days? We shouldn’t be listening to it.

    Liked by 18 people

  5. Shewdawg

    Hey, Boon, come over and check this out.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. The most exciting play in a game in the pre-overtime era is the 2-point conversion when the coach decided to go for the win. No one told Tom Osborne he was an idiot for attempting the 2-point conversion against Miami in the Orange Bowl when a tie may have given him a share of a national title. I thought Pittman made the wrong call to go for 2 at the end of the Ole Miss-Arky game (they may have still lost in OT, but get the game there).

    I hate the overtime rule, period, because it isn’t football. Field position and special teams don’t play a role (other than the field goal kicker). Play one OT period (shorten it to 10 minutes with no TV timeouts), and let each team get the ball once (I hate the NFL rule with score a TD on the first possession, game over). After that, it’s sudden death. If the 10 minute period runs out, the game ends in a tie. If you’re really interested in player safety, play a 7:30 period to shorten the OT.

    This 2-point play rule may have an indirect effect on player safety, but it’s really done for the TV people to be able to move on to the next game in the broadcast window.

    Liked by 4 people

    • It also seems they didn’t contemplate having to switch ends of the stadium like they do.

      Liked by 1 person

    • bucketheridge

      You hit the nail on the head re: TV time as the driving force, eethomaswfnc. To build on your point about the two point conversion being unrepresentative of football as a whole, I’d add that is especially true in the age of spread offenses. There are very few offenses in college football these days that are able to operate in a phone booth.


    • Totally agree with your point that the current OT format takes special teams and field position completely out of the equation. And the most recent rule change reduced the outcome of the game to a single play, i.e., whether the teams can punch it in from the 3. With college teams converting the 2-pointer at a rate of about 50% overall, you literally might as well flip a coin once you’re past the second OT.


    • Re: Pittman… in close games like that, you’re going to need someone to come up with one play in order to win… and being 2 yards from the goal line when that play happens is almost as good a situation as you can ask.

      You go for the kick, maybe you make it, maybe it’s blocked (see UGA-UK). If you make it, you get the ball on the 25, and so do they. Now your offense AND your defense have to come up with the right set of plays to win.

      The 2-pointer makes a whole lot of sense, through that lens.


      • I see that. It is from the 3, and there’s a reason coaches don’t go for 2 every time. If you had the NFL rule of the 30 yard PAT, I could see that in college without a consistent kicker.

        Why did Kirby kick the PAT in the Rose Bowl? It was the right thing to do. I just think with overtime in play, you kick the PAT and take your chances (unless your defense is dead tired and you don’t think you can get the OT stop).


  7. I dislike ties. But I disliked the end of that game even more.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. biggusrickus

    I think most fans hate ties. I’m indifferent to them myself. They could have done something less dumb to shorten overtimes, though, like require two-point conversions from the beginning. Though, I don’t think there was any way to shorten that travesty Saturday. I don’t think either team could have scored a touchdown from the 25 if you gave them six downs instead of four. They could barely make a two-point conversion whether the play was open or not.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. ASEF

    Not exactly must-see-TV, was it?

    They should make coaches do a “Name That Tune” type bidding war after OT 2. Winning bid gets the ball on the winning bid-yard line and a shot to score. Losing bid gets to play defense. Score? Offense team wins. Don’t score? Defense team wins. Either way, game over, no tie.


  10. PTC DAWG

    A tie would have been fitting for that game Saturday…I watched enough to know that..

    I still like the NFL OT better..

    Just extend it like they do for playoff/ conference championship games.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Texas Dawg

      That was a game where NOBODY won, rather somebody lost. You would have thought the winner was headed to the gallows immediately after the game was over the way they both tried to avoid winning.


  11. ugafidelis

    Every time an NCAA officiating coordinator speaks, a Georgia defender gets cut blocked by a Tech lineman.

    If we can’t have ties and they want to limit plays/injuries, put the ball on the 45 and let each team kick field goals until somebody misses. They can shift from left to right to up the difficulty.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. dawg100

    Field goals from the 25 yard line out in 5 yard increments. And just like high jump competitions, you can just move it back as far as you want to as well right away. Other team has to match you.

    I’m kidding, but it’d be no less exciting than this format now.


  13. How the hell did that game go 9 OTs and end in that score? Did neither team score a point in 3 or 4?


    • mddawg

      I was confused too before I remembered the new OT rules. OT periods 3 through 9 consisted of each team getting one 2-point play. If neither team scored, it was on to the next OT period.


    • theorginaldawgabides

      Game was 10-10 at the end of regulation. They both got field goals in the first two conventional OT’s, 16-16. Then neither team could convert the two pointer in OT’s 3-7, it was brutally inept. They both converted in OT 8, and in OT 9 Penn State failed while Illinois converted. Game over.


      • Thanks! I figured it was a low score at the end of regulation. I did see the highlight of the last OT. Brutally inept seems the best way to describe it. Ha ha


  14. Good grief. We played the penetration OT rules back in high school and that worked fine. The 9 OT game was painful to watch. I didn’t think anyone was going to score….ever.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. If the two teams are tied at the end of regulation, play an extra 15-minute quarter. If they’re tied at the end of that period, it’s a tie. Does it really need to be more complicated than that?

    I get that lots of fans don’t like ties, but bitching and complaining has been part of the CFB experience since 1869. The NCAA’s attempt to solve it via increasingly complicated OT rules is akin to performing oral surgery by going through the rectum.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Doug, that last sentence made me laugh. You have a way with words.

      Post of the day!

      Liked by 1 person

    • sundiatagaines

      Horse has left the barn. We can’t have ties unless you also want to dump the playoff and conference championship games. Which I’d be fine with, but nobody else would.

      I think it’s fine the way it is. This was an anomaly.


  16. Hogbody Spradlin

    Remember the glorious 78 Tech game? Vince had a chance to kick the extra point for a tie, but HELL NO. It made it that much sweeter that he went for the win with no overtime possible.

    Liked by 5 people

  17. SlobberKnocker

    As for the safety element, I get the sentiment that less plays equals less chance for injuries. But, the Ilinni QB broke his arm/wrist in something like the 7th OT period. I know this is only one example but, the thought process didn’t work for him.


  18. 79dawg

    If tied after 3 regular OTs, it stays that way…

    Liked by 1 person

  19. jdawg108

    I think they should do how it’s been done for a while (start at 25 yard line). After the second overtime disallow field goals. After the third make them go for two.


  20. kokainmothershed

    If they’re going to keep the 2-point conversion format, I’d be in favor of letting the team that goes first pick which yard line both teams have to try from during that OT session. If still a tie, then the other team gets to pick the next distance.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I agree with sentiments already expressed above, that if neither team can win after 2OT then they “deserve” a tie.

    I would even be okay with this in championship games. A co-national champion wouldn’t hurt my feelings if they slugged it out for regulation + two OTs and neither team could put the other away.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. RangerRuss

    I didn’t see much wrong with the old rules. Worked for the Dawgs in the Rose Bowl. Not so much their next game.
    Can you imagine these chickenshit rules deciding the NC?

    Liked by 2 people

  23. If I had a nickel for every time “doing it for the children” was used as an excuse, I could buy all of CFB. Then I would do stuff for the money to earn it all back before fixing this crap.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    Lot of good comments here. But this particular 9-OT game wasn’t so much about the rule itself as it was about how inept the teams were by this point in the game.

    I did not watch as it happened, but Spencer and Richard on Thinking Out Loud really demonstrate it without the agony of watching the whole game. It’s probably still available if you want to set you DVR.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Ozam

    Alabama ran 92 plays against TN last week. No one was complaining about player safety. I’m not sure it’s a real concern for overtime. The question simply is do we want ties?

    Liked by 5 people

  26. MudCat's Mechanic

    Ties aren’t a bad thing. If they’re so obsessed about safety (continuous goal line plays contradict that motive) why not have the kickers line up sans OL and DL and kick until someone misses, kinda like a shootout. Go back 5 yards every time. 🤷🏼‍♂️
    That said, I loved the original overtime format before they started screwing with it. It was pretty entertaining.


  27. uga97

    F ties & more wussification- someone needs to lose & someone needs to win.. life’s lessons..
    War of attrition is also another reason recruiting & transfers matter. Starters being too tired shouldn’t be a reason we change rules. Besides, NIL contracts means kids get more screen time to make game saving/winning plays. 9+ OTs is just fine.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. originaluglydawg

    Pat Dye loved ties.
    I hate ties. To quote my HS coach, “A tie is the only way both teams can lose”. He once ran us half to death for celebrating a tie.
    Start from the twenty five and not FG’s or PAT’s allowed.
    OR if you love FG’s (as CMR surely did)…the closer you drive to the goal line before kicking a FG, the more it counts.
    From the 25 out…1 point.
    From the 15 to the 25…2 points.
    From the goal line to the 15….3 points.
    Touchdown..6 points and required to go for two.
    This rewards a team for actually being able to drive the ball (called “playing football”) instead of rewarding them for having one good converted soccer player from another hemisphere that didn’t know a touchdown from a punt before he got a scholarship offer.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. ApalachDawg aux Bruxelles

    3points for win
    1 point for a tie
    0 for a loss

    problem solved


  30. Ties suck.

    The current OT system is amazing and 9OT games are exceptionally rare.

    Also, lol as if anyone in charge gives a shit about player health.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Morris Day

    I watched the entire OT fiasco. It was okay. I was entertained. What drove me nuts was all blathering about the record number of OT periods! BFD…

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Briggy1981

    I watched the game and all the OT didn’t bother me. It went by quicker than the old format. It was fun and exciting. And to hell with ties.


  33. 123 Fake St

    I’ve been saying this for years.

    Have the offenses start at the 50.

    It’s ridiculous that they start in field goal range before they even hike the ball.