College football executives continue to look for ways to shorten games. On Monday, four suggestions were leaked as potential fixes for long game times.
This has been a point of emphasis across all sports of late, and football is no different. While three of the suggestions have gained traction, there’s a fourth “controversial” suggestion that’s caught the attention of fans.
Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated posted the list of rule changes that could possibly be implemented by college football execs. All revolve around clock management adjustments at certain parts in the game.
The four proposals under consideration:
1) Prohibiting consecutive timeouts (i.e., icing kicks)
2) No untimed down at end of 1Q/3Q
3) Clock runs after 1st downs except inside of 2 mins in a half
4) Clocks runs on incompletions once ball is spotted
Dellenger went into more depth about the potential changes, saying, “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 changes include suggestions (1) and (2), which would have little impact on the game itself. No one is going to be sad to see the “icing the kicker” rule nixed, as it grows frustrating for viewers to see the buildup of a big moment only to have a coach call back-to-back timeouts to pause the game.
The same is true for the untimed down rule, as it essentially eliminates an unnecessary stoppage.
According to Dellenger, the third option is garnering “wide support,” which would eliminate the clock stoppages after first downs up until the two-minute mark of the first and second halves. That change would, in theory, significantly shorten game times with a running clock up through closing moments of each half. It seems more likely to be implemented than others.
A fourth “controversial” option involves running clock after incompletions. Fans and media were quick to react to the potential adjustments. Many had the same response.
College football analyst Josh Pate said, “Onboard with 1-3. The 4th proposal is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard.”
Another fan agreed, saying, “Of these, 1, 2, and 3 would seem easy/wise, with 1 and 2 almost unnoticeable by fans. 3 still keeps late game drives alive. 4 would change the game in a way that is drastically different than NFL, and should not be approved.”
There were other suggestions, too, most of which involved cutting media timeouts and replay review times.
Have they discussed not having 35 video reviews or cutting down the 45 commercial breaks a game? 🤪
— Scott Hevel (@ScottHevel) February 20, 2023
And the fact that these changes are being suggested to increase player safety rings hypocritical given the recent decision to move to an expanded playoff in the coming years.
A push to cut game times specifically for player safety after announcing an expanded playoff 2 1/2 months ago is ironic.
Don’t get me wrong, though. I’m ok with tweaks to make games smoother and more efficient.
— Barrett Sallee 🇺🇸 (@BarrettSallee) February 20, 2023
Comical listening to people discuss shortening games for player safety as they’re about to require some of them to play 17 games to win a title
— Josh Pate (@LateKickJosh) February 20, 2023
These changes are weeks away from approval, but they would impact the 2023 season if implemented. For viewers, hopefully that would mean more action and less down time with very little change to the game itself.