Data Confirms The Unfortunate Impact Of College Football’s New Clock Rules

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College football fans can usually expect a few tweaks to the rulebook over the offseason, and this year was no exception thanks to new regulations concerning how the clock operates. Unfortunately, it appears some of the fears people had when that measure was announced have been quickly realized.

For the uninitiated, the NCAA introduced a rule in 1968 that stated the clock would temporarily stop after a team secured a first down and start rolling against once the members of the chain gang relocated to the new spot. However, the new policy states it will continue to run unless the play in question unfolds during the last two minutes of either half.

The people behind the decision positioned it as a way to cut down on the overall length of games, but it was impossible to ignore it really meant fans were going to be treated to less football when everything was said and done.

It didn’t take long for that reality to be confirmed once Week 0 kicked off, and UCLA head coach Chip Kelly devoted a solid chunk of his halftime interview to criticizing the new clock rule while implying it prevented his team from getting into a groove during their season opener with Coastal Carolina.

Now, we’ve got some early data concerning the impact the change has had on college football games thanks to analyst Tej Seth, who crunched the numbers after Saturday’s slate wrapped up in order to determine how much football we’ve been deprived of so far compared to the 2022 campaign.

The drop in plays per game represents an approximately 10.7% decrease from the previous season, while the number of drives per game has fallen by around 9.6%.

However, that hasn’t stopped networks from managing to pack as many ads as possible into college football games (which is probably why the actual length of the games hasn’t been significantly impacted so far), so there’s at least one thing that hasn’t really changed.

Connor O'Toole avatar
Connor Toole is the Deputy Editor at BroBible. He is a New England native who went to Boston College and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. Frequently described as "freakishly tall," he once used his 6'10" frame to sneak in the NBA Draft and convince people he was a member of the Utah Jazz.