Shorten The Damn Game – College Football Doesn’t Have To Take So Long

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Just be honest here for a second. Have you ever thought to yourself this college football game feels like it’s taking forever? I know I sure have. I’ve turned on a matchup at noon that ended near 5 p.m.

NCAA football is truly one of the most storied traditions in America. This is its 150th year of operation. The fight songs, mascots, inebriated students, and beautiful stadiums are just a part of the draw and what differentiates it from the NFL.

But sometimes more isn’t always a better thing. This article is going to examine why the NCAA should consider shortening games to create a better viewing experience.

The average college football contest averages out at 3 hours and 24 minutes, and while this may not sound too long, many close primetime matchups feel like they last four hours.

I love sports as much as the next guy, but four hours for a sporting event that doesn’t involve a championship is a bit much. If you drank a couple of beers at the tailgating festivities, your buzz may wear off by the end of the game.

In comparison to the NFL, college football feels a lot longer. An average pro game lasts three hours and twelve minutes but for some reason the game seems to fly by.

When I step away from the TV during a Seahawks game my Dad tells me that I missed a turnover, touchdown, or some other meaningful play. In terms of game time, I can miss up to 3-5 minutes of action.

When I watch a college contest and step away from the tube, I do not get this same feel. Somehow the clock just seems to tick way slower.

The rule changes aren’t that different between the two levels, except for one distinction. STOPPING THE CLOCK AFTER FIRST DOWNS.

What the hell is the point of this rule?

Do the higher powers of college football think that the chain-gang isn’t fast enough, or that head coaches can’t call plays in this time frame, or is it just an attempt to add extra commercials to increase broadcasting revenue?

I don’t have an answer to this question, but I’d sure like one.

When watching the Oregon State vs Oklahoma State matchup two weeks ago I felt like I saw the same play over and over again. The Cowboys continuously handed the ball off to their star running back Chuba Hubbard who would get a first down and then the time would stop. Then Oklahoma State would do the exact same thing, and the clock wouldn’t move.

There were drives when they got down the field after seemingly no seconds ticked off, all while running multiple plays to move the ball. In an NFL game, at least half of the quarter would be gone with this type of march.

Furthermore, this limits the effectiveness of the coaching strategy. When facing a good opposing quarterback, the best defense is one’s own offense. How many times have you heard the quote “Keep the opposing quarterback off the field?”

This isn’t just a quote; this is a defensive-minded scheme that allows less-explosive teams to grind out wins.

Maybe players start running 9 yards and falling over to keep the clock running; this seems about as logical as stopping the time after first downs.

I FRICKING LOVE COLLEGE FOOTBALL. It’s so fun.  But this rule is diminishing the amount of interest I have in games because I like my life too. And I can’t justify watching a 5-hour contest when there’s a whole world out there.

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About Author

Nicholas Bartlett

My name is Nicholas Bartlett I am from Shoreline, Washington (North Seattle). I am 28 years old and a graduate of the Edward R Murrow School of Communications at Washington State University. I am a coach for a 6th grade boys basketball team and a coach for a 5th grade girls basketball team. I also am a assistant coach for a unified basketball team which is associated with the Special Olympics. You can contact me at Nb206wsu@gmail.com.

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