July 31, 2006

No offense meant: games may have less scoring in 2006

College football coaches and bloggers around the world are abuzz about a rule change for 2006 that will start the clocks on the "ready for play" signal rather than at the snap. See the many links on the subject at the conference media day events:

College Football Resource, Nevada Appeal , Wizard of Odds, LA Times

Coaches like Pete Carroll and Pat Hill feel they they can lose 8-12 plays a game and potentially as much as 7 points a game. The Nevada Appeal article is the most insightful of all the links. Nationwide, the coaches from the big offense schools are the ones kicking and screaming so much this weekend.

Most coaches say under their breath that TV is to blame - check out the official NCAA publication on Rule 3-2-5-e - the only motivation for this rule change was to shorten the games, yet "studies by several Division 1-A conferences" estimate that it will only save five minutes a game. Hardly a change worth making if you want the game to be more TV-friendly.

Let us analyze Rule 3-2-5 further. The clock will start on the free-kick rather than the possession of the receiving team. How much time will that run off the clock? Assume an average of 50 points scored per game, so three TDs and a FG for each team makes eight scores. Assume a hangtime for a kickoff is five seconds. Add in the kickoffs at the start of each half, that is ten kicks times five seconds. That is 50 seconds less actual play time for each game on the kickoffs alone. See how this starts to add up...

I was thinking which teams would like this rule and who would hate it...let me know what you think...
  • Alabama may only miss out on three points a game, but their opponents may miss out on ten because of the amazing Tide defense and the offense without Brodie Croyle.
  • I do not think it will affect the hurry-up offense teams as much (Hawaii, Northwestern, Oregon), unless they are playing from behind and those pesky refs keep spotting the ball quickly.
  • One of the appeals of the Mid-American Conference is their excellence in two phases of the game - offense, and waiting to play offense. I am looking like hell for the quotes from the MAC coaches to no avail.
  • Rice, Duke, Syracuse and Temple fans can't wait for the games to end quicker anyway.
Stay tuned to OCF for more as it becomes available, although I doubt the NCAA even looks at those pesky petitions.

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