We're in a two-minute offense as we try to catch up before the start of bowl season. Here's a look at how the 40/25-second clock rules impacted the final two weeks of the regular season and how the previous three seasons compare to 2008, thanks to Marty Couvillon of the indispensable cfbstats.com, the ultimate site for college football stats junkies. Go there and check it out.
The average length of a game has been shortened by 12 minutes and the number of plays is down 8.69 from 2007. Scoring has also decreased by 2.59 points a game.
To refresh, the Football Rules Committee has been trying to shorten the length of games. In 2006, the controversial 3-2-5e rule drastically cut the length of games, but also reduced plays and scoring to unacceptable levels. The rule was tossed out for the 2007 season, and scoring and points surpassed the 2005 levels. So did the length of games.
So the committee took another whack at it last offseason and we've been tracking the results. There has not been much protest surrounding the 40/25 clock rules, but it will be interesting to see what the committee does this offseason. Will it try to trim even more time out of games?
Of course, this gets back to our original argument that there is nothing wrong with the structure of the game. The problem is with increased commercialization, which is forcing games to run longer and longer. And that doesn't even begin to address another issue that has become commonplace — the insertion of commercials between plays. This is often cleverly disguised as "this programming note." Flat out, that's a commercial, an advertisement for other programming that has nothing to do with the game you're watching and in no way enriches your life.
Nothing set us off this regular season like ESPN's updates on the NASCAR chase for the cup. Talk about annoying, having to listen to Lou Holtz describe why Jimmie Johnson was the man to beat at Homestead-Miami Speedway, which you can watch Sunday on ESPN. ... Now let's get back to action. It's third and eight for the Hokies. ...
The boys in the booth would then share a chuckle about Holtz's knowledge of NASCAR. Everybody this side of Delaware knew he had no clue.
I digress. ...
Marty's weekly look at the average number of plays and time of a game for the past four seasons, plus the Week 14-15 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 770 134.73 3:11 52.78
Wk 14 42 134.74 3:15 56.76
Wk 15 16 135.13 3:15 49.75
The longest games of Week 14:
Baylor-Texas Tech: 4:08
Florida International-Florida Atlantic: 3:58
Washington State-Hawaii: 3:54
Georgia Tech-Georgia: 3:41
Central Michigan-Eastern Michigan: 3:40
Louisiana State-Arkansas: 3:35
Oregon-Oregon State: 3:33
Oklahoma-Oklahoma State: 3:33
The shortest games of Week 14:
Alabama Birmingham-Central Florida: 2:37
Navy-Northern Illinois: 2:44
New Mexico State-Utah State: 2:50
Southern Mississippi-Southern Methodist: 2:57
Notre Dame-USC: 3:00
West Virginia-Pittsburgh: 3:00
Arkansas State-North Texas: 3:21
The longest games of Week 15:
East Carolina-Tulsa: 3:30
Boston College-Virginia Tech: 3:23
Ball State-Buffalo: 3:19
Arizona State-Arizona: 3:17
Middle Tennessee State-Louisiana Lafayette: 3:15
The shortest games of Week 15:
Arkansas State-Troy: 3:00
Western Kentucky-Florida International: 3:05
South Florida-West Virginia: 3:11