Category Archives: College Football

“This is a first step.” 

Change appears to be coming for the 2023 season ($$).

The NCAA Football Rules Committee officially recommended the adoption of three rule changes, which will need to be approved by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel in April. They are the following:

  • A running clock after first downs (like the NFL), except for the last two minutes of each half.
  • Banning the use of consecutive timeouts by a team.
  • Carrying over a foul to the second or fourth quarter rather than playing an untimed down.

The effects of the last two are negligable.  It’s the first one that will have some impact.

Tulane athletic director Troy Dannen, who chairs the competition committee, told The Athletic this week that he expects the three combined rule changes to eliminate seven to 10 plays per game.

Early prediction:  we are going to see an increase in the number of questionable injuries on the offensive side of the ball, the purpose of which will be to stop the clock.

Somebody we know seems pleased with the development.

“The steps we’re taking are measured, in terms of the clock,” said Georgia coach Kirby Smart, co-chair of the rules committee. “We’re going to find out a lot this year how much it changes. But I think it’s a smart decision to looking in that direction as we look to take on more games.”

And why shouldn’t he be?  Fewer plays run in a game makes it harder for teams to mount a comeback, and there weren’t exactly a ton of games Georgia played last season where that would have been an issue.

The most troubling thing about this is that it appears to be perceived fairly widely as just a beginning to the goal of reducing the number of plays run in a game.

College football games are taking too long, far longer than their counterparts in the NFL. And, perhaps more importantly for this discussion, they average many more plays per game.

College football games average about 180 total plays per game, compared to about 155 in the NFL, according to an NCAA study on the 2022 season (that included special teams). It’s both a player safety concern with an expanded CFP on the way and a fan engagement concern as FBS games average close to three hours and 30 minutes, while the NFL average is 3:10.

“A fan engagement concern”?  More like a broadcast partner engagement concern, methinks.  The NFL-ification of college football continues.



Filed under College Football

Still futzing with the game clock

Ah, yes, college football’s battle with shortening game times never ceases.

High-ranking college football leaders have been reviewing four specific changes to clock rules, two of which are considered non-controversial, one that has garnered wide support and a fourth that has left some divided. The non-controversial proposals include (1) prohibiting consecutive timeouts (ie, icing kickers) and (2) no longer extending a first or third quarter for an untimed down if the quarter ends on a defensive penalty (the down would be clocked starting the next quarter).

While those are considered to be incremental changes that will save only a fraction of time, the other two proposals are more significant.

In a third proposal that is garnering wide support, the clock will continue to run after an offense gains a first down except inside of two minutes in a half. In a more controversial fourth proposal, the clock will continue to run after an incomplete pass once the ball is spotted for play.

How significant are we talking about here?  This significant:

College football conducted a field study last season to ascertain the impact of the proposed changes. A running clock after a first down would eliminate about seven to nine plays per game. A running clock after an incomplete pass could eliminate more than twice that number.

Somehow, I feel like Kirby Smart would be more than cool with that.

Of course, we all know this is about how to address the problem of fitting games within that three-and-a-half hour broadcast window without touching commercials, but the new concern is of a doing it for the kids nature, coming up with some means of reducing the number of plays they have to run in an era of postseason expansion.  With regard to that, beware of the unforeseen consequences.

The impact of a running clock after an incompletion could be so significant that many officials believe coaches, in an attempt to negate the reduction of plays, would implement a more up-tempo offense.

Offenses, many of which already operate in a hurry-up mode, would move to “super turbo,” as one official said, potentially negating the elimination of plays and heightening the risk of injury.



Filed under College Football

Tortious interference

Interesting tidbit from Florida’s latest NIL law, per Andy Staples ($$):

The new version also establishes liability protection for coaches so that decisions such as benching or suspending a player don’t open the coach to a lawsuit because the decision affected the player’s NIL deals.

I’d love to know if this just came out of some legislator’s fever dream, or if there really is a coach or AD who lobbied for this.  If it’s the latter, I’d love to know the who and why behind it.  On the one hand, it’s a dumb scenario, but on the other… what if there were a coach who actually wanted to do that for that express purpose?


Filed under College Football, Political Wankery

The times, they are a-changin’. Again.

For college football, 2023 really does mark the end of an era.  Consider what’s coming next year:

For better or worse, it’s gonna be a different world.  It’s comforting to know, I guess, that amid all the chaos coming, we can still count on the one constant:  schools will always chase the next dollar.


Filed under College Football

Straight shooter

How it started.

“He made a pretty routine (76-yard) pass last weekend (to Arian Smith against Ohio State), but it was just such a big moment, putting a pass on the money, leading the receiver for a touchdown. I think it was probably under eight minutes in that game [8:41], they were down 10 [actually 11], and just him being able to stay calm, cool and collected. And obviously that last (game-winning) drive was just awesome. It’s really an honor to play against him. I can’t wait. He has a great story. I can’t wait to hit him. I can’t wait for him to throw a pass over my head. It’s just going to be awesome.”  [Emphasis added.]

How it’s going.

I’m not posting this in the spirit of mockery.  Quite the contrary — Hodges’ honesty and self-awareness is this day and age is refreshing.  You just don’t hear a lot of players talk like that after a big loss.  (Hey, Vols!)  He’s the kind of guy I can’t help rooting for.

By the way, doesn’t his Georgia praise resonate more because of his honesty and self-awareness?


Filed under College Football

TFW awards aren’t all they’re cracked up to be

He gets canned and Lanning, who should have won, gets a head coaching job.  Do I even need to mention how the Riley vs. Monken show down went?

Do better, Broyles folks.


Filed under College Football

“There’s got to be some criteria that’s elite and special.”

If you think the College Football Hall of Fame is hearing the rumbling about how its admission criteria need to bend for the likes of Erk Russell and Stetson Bennett and is ready to be flexible, well, the dude who runs the National Football Foundation, which oversees the Hall of Fame voting, doesn’t see things your way ($$):

“We have rules, and we stick by them,” he said. “Everything that we do is reviewed every year. But we’ve got a process, and we think the process is a good one.

“The rules have been in place for a long time. The question is have they always been enforced?” Hatchell said. “Since we got here, we were told to be very steadfast about the enforcement of the rules.”

“We understand the emotion of the minute; we understand what the person did, but we’ve got the rules, and we like the rules,” Hatchell said.

Ah, yes, rules iz rules.  Surprised he didn’t mention rules’ cousin, Mr. Slippery Slope.  Maybe they need to admit both of those to the Excuses HOF.


Filed under College Football

NIL tipping point?

You probably haven’t taken note of this, but I’m keeping an eye on it.

By all accounts, he would be a top-five pick.  By all accounts, being a top-five pick in the draft means a lot of money.  So why is he waiting?

This is something that was hinted at years ago, when Manziel’s camp suggested he would have been tempted to stay in school if the finances could have been made right.  An impossibility then, perhaps not so much now.

And Baumgardner’s right.  This is how it should be, but not just for Stroud.  It’s also a plus for Ohio State fans and college football in general for talent to stay in school as long as possible.

The odds are still likely he’s gone.  But if things are close enough to make Stroud delay making a final decision, that sounds to me like NIL may prove to be a convincing incentive for kids who aren’t top-five projections.  And that’s good for the sport.


UPDATE:  Another down to the wire decision that’s closer to home…


UPDATE #2:  So much for that.


Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

Your non-Dawg game day post

Bowl season comes to an end (sniff!) with this slate of games today:

  • It’ll be interesting to see how MSU responds in the wake of Leach’s death.
  • Boy, would I love to see Tulane pull off the upset.  (Kinda wonder how much the Trojans want to be there, right?)
  • LSU-Purdue, who’s feeling cheeziest?
  • The Rose Bowl might surprise us with a competitive game, but Utah’s been pretty stout when it counted this season.

And your thoughts as the season winds down?


Filed under College Football

Your non-Dawg game day post

Today’s complete slate of games…

First of all, Mickey, there are only four games today and you still managed to broadcast two of them at the same damned time?  There’s a programming genius who needs to be fired.

Anyway, three quick thoughts:

  • I think we see motivated ‘Bama today, since Young and Anderson are playing.
  • The Music City Bowl should be a showcase for some craptastic offensive play.
  • Gotta watch the Fiesta Bowl, if only for scouting purposes for the natty, right?

Your thoughts?  Have at ’em in the comments.


Filed under College Football