Whenever there’s a divisive topic in college football, you can always count on Ole Miss football head coach Lane Kiffin to give a great quote about it. And, his comments on the changes to clock rules in college football were no exception.
The big change of all the rule changes heading into this season was that the clock would no longer stop on first downs while the chains moved, unless it was inside the final two minutes of a half. The clock stopping on first downs was a longstanding college football tradition and was one of the things that differentiated the college game from the NFL.
how the new clock rules have impacted the games so far this college football season:
•plays per game: 131
•drives per game: 24.0
•plays per drive: 5.50
•plays per game: 117
•drives per game: 21.7
•plays per drive: 5.40
— Tej Seth (@tejfbanalytics) September 3, 2023
Of course, there aren’t any fewer commercials being shown, so the main culprit as to why there were four-hour college football games in recent years hasn’t really been addressed.
Many coaches have spoken out against the rules in the past few days, including UCLA’s Chip Kelly.And, Kiffin himself tweeted about the changes
So do you guys buy tickets to go see @MorganWallen or @taylorswift13 or your favorite concerts and want a few less songs at the end?? With all the issues in college football this is what you actually made a change to??? 🤦♂️ https://t.co/U3pCSNWdfz
— Lane Kiffin (@Lane_Kiffin) September 5, 2023
And, at weekly media availability Wednesday, Lane Kiffin spoke more about how much he dislikes the new rules.
“I just don’t understand it,” Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin said. “People pay to see, they sit down with their family to watch a game, they pay for tickets to go to a game and we’re going to shorten it? I mean it’s not like it was broke. And there’s a lot of problems that need to be fixed in the world around college football, and running the clock so the game’s quicker? I don’t get it.”
Kiffin isn’t a big fan of the new clock rules, which shrink the game down a bit by keeping the clock running even after first down conversions as long as it’s not in the final two minutes before a half. Previously first downs would trigger a clock stoppage while the ball was reset.
The change has made games shorter, though more data is needed to see whether that shortening is primarily in the number of plays versus the actual time games take to reach completion.
Either way, Kiffin doesn’t really get the logic behind the move to the new clock rules.
“You go to a country concert and want to have them sing two less songs when you pay for a concert?” Kiffin said. “No. So why do you want a game to be shorter? That just does not really show much awareness about what should be getting worked on and fixed around college football, in my opinion.”
Most fans and observers in and around college football definitely agree with Lane Kiffin on these ridiculous clock rules.
After a 73-7 win against Mercer on Saturday, Ole Miss will face a much stiffer test when they go on the road to face a good Tulane team this weekend.