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It Is Time For College Football To End The Idiotic Stopping The Clock On 1st Downs That Cause 5 Hour Games

Icon Sportswire. Getty Images.

ESPN- College football leaders are meeting this week in Indianapolis to consider three rules changes that could shorten game times and reduce the number of plays during games this upcoming season, a continued push to monitor player safety as the sport prepares for a 12-team College Football Playoff beginning in 2024.

The rule changes under consideration include: running the clock after a first down is awarded, except in the last two minutes of either half; eliminating the option for teams to call consecutive team timeouts; and carrying over any fouls to the next period instead of finishing with an untimed down.

Steve Shaw, NCAA football secretary rules-editor and officials coordinator, told ESPN on Tuesday that the combined changes are estimated to shorten average length of games by seven to eight minutes and eight plays.

It is not exactly a secret that the length of college football games has gotten completely out of hand. Often they will run for 4.5 or even 5 hours!

Look, I LOVE college football. But this is out of control. In this era of up tempo spread offenses, teams are running 90 plays a game all the time! 

Unless you are Alabama or Georgia, no teams have enough depth on defense to keep up with that pace for 4 quarters. 10-7 halftime scores become 41-38 finals every Saturday. This is especially true in the G5 where no one has depth.

What will happen if college football keeps a running clock on 1st downs?

1) There Will Be More Upsets

Shorter games give underdogs a much better chance to win. Currently college football is full of blowouts because the games literally never end. Small schools defenses are GASSED in the 2nd half. A shorter game will change that some.

2) The Games Will Be 3-4 Hours

As I said, I love college football. But 5 hour games…. COME ON! That is just way way too long for any sporting event. 3-4 hours is much much better.

3) Less Injuries

The amount of stress 90 plays a game puts on athletes bodies has to cause some stress injuries. Less plays and shorter games means fewer injuries.

I DO NOT want college football to overhaul the sport. The thought of a running clock on incomplete passes is a complete joke. But running the clock on the first down will be a very positive step towards more parity in college football and less 5 hour games.