If you like more commercials and less football, Week 5 was for you.
The 40/25 clock rule made its biggest impact in Week 5, with number of plays driven to a season low and the time of an average game finishing at a season high, according to data compiled by Marty Couvillion of cfbstats.com.
There were 53 games last week and the number of plays averaged only 133.62. Conversely, the time of an average game was 3:13, a season high. For the season, the average number of plays have dropped from 134.56 to 134.40, meaning we've lost 9.02 plays a game from 2007. The new rules have shortened games by an average of 13 minutes.
Bottom line: We're seeing even more plays lost and now the length of games is
inching upward. How can this be? The suspicion is that
commercialization is once again driving up the length of games because the number of plays is down dramatically.
This chart shows the average number of plays per minute in four games. Virginia Tech-Nebraska and USC-Oregon State averaged only .61 plays a minute — tied for the low of the week. There were only 121 plays in the Hokie-Cornhusker game that took 3:21 to play and was broadcast by ABC. The Trojan-Beaver game featured 124 plays and took 3:24 to play. It was broadcast by ESPN.
The Troy-Oklahoma State game, which featured 155 plays (an average of .79), took 3:16 to play. It was not broadcast. The Bowling Green-Wyoming game had 145 plays (an average of .80 — high for the week) and finished in a snappy 3:02. It was broadcast by the Mtn.
Our weekly look at the average number of plays and time of a game for the past four seasons:
G Plays/G Time/G
2005 717 140.71 3:21
2006 792 127.53 3:07
2007 792 143.43 3:23
2008 250 133.62 3:10
The longest games of Week 5:
Michigan State-Indiana: 3:40
Colorado-Florida State: 3:39
Central Florida-Texas El Paso: 3:31
Fresno State-UCLA: 3:30
North Texas-Rice: 3:29
The shortest games of Week 5:
Buffalo-Central Michigan: 2:50
Rhode Island-Boston College: 2:50
Western Kentucky-Kentucky: 2:54
Weber State-Utah: 2:55
Army-Texas A&M: 2:55
Western Michigan-Temple: 2:57
Morgan State-Rutgers: 2:58