In 2005, the season before the Football Rules Committee started messing with the clock rules, an average of 52.61 points were scored in a game. Scoring in 2008, played under the 40/25 clock rules, has surpassed the 2005 average, according to data provided by Marty Couvillon of the fabulous cfbstats.com.
There are 5.99 less plays a game from 2005, but why hasn't offensive output suffered? A educated guess is that the number of teams running the spread offense has increased and teams running the spread stack their best players on that side of the ball. The result is that defenses tend not to have the depth they had in 2005.
Lack of depth tends to show later in the season as players get bruised and battered. The 2008 points per game would seem to indicate defenses breaking down later in the season. Two weeks ago, the points per game stood at 52.32. That number has risen .30 in two weeks when 98 of the 712 total games have been played.
Marty's weekly look at the average number of plays and time of a game for the past four seasons, plus the Week 13 numbers:
G Plays/G Time/G Pts/G
2005 717 140.71 3:21 52.61
2006 792 127.53 3:07 47.53
2007 792 143.42 3:23 55.37
2008 712 134.72 3:11 52.62
Wk 13 48 136.08 3:11 55.52
The longest games of Week 13:
Boise State-Nevada: 3:43
Ball State-Central Michigan: 3:36
Texas Tech-Oklahoma: 3:34
Texas El Paso-Houston: 3:31
Nevada Las Vegas-San Diego State: 3:28
Mississippi-Louisiana State: 3:28
Fresno State-San Jose State: 3:21
The shortest games of Week 13:
Northern Illinois-Kent State: 2:34
Air Force-Texas Christian: 2:37
Central Florida-Memphis: 2:50
Oregon State-Arizona: 2:53
North Texas-Middle Tennessee State: 2:59