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Shorter College Football Games? Good, Bad, or Maybe

[lead align=”default”]The latest problem the Football Bowl Subdivision thinks it has is the need for shorter college football games.[/lead]

A Brett McMurphy piece revealed that there is a “consensus” among the conference commissioners that games are too long. A number of ideas have come about to try to make games faster and/or more efficient.

You have to ask yourself if some of the proposals listed below are worth it. To shave maybe 15 or 20 minutes off the game, you’re going to make drastic changes to it? Is it really worth the 15 or 20 minutes? College football’s fans are passionate and they like being immersed in the sport. The conferences care, but lots of fans don’t.

Proposals For Shorter College Football Games

As raised in the ESPN article, some of the possible changes include cutting down on the number of timeouts, reducing the length of the play clock, and, gasp, going down to 12-minute quarters.

No More Clock Stoppages on First Down

Good idea, for the most part. This will change college football for sure, but it’ll make things go a hell of a lot faster. If that’s their objective, this has to be one of the things they consider.

It changes how teams approach their drives, but not necessarily to a great degree. Sure would make two-minute drills more intense, and make clock management a valuable skill. Definitely wouldn’t feel like college football, however.

Shortening the Play Clock

Bad idea. The NFL is 40 seconds and college is 40. Hell, in high school it’s becoming 40 in many places. Cutting the play clock would actually make this element of the game tougher than in the NFL. There are better ways to create shorter college football games.

Cutting Down on Halftime

Good idea. NFL halftime is 12 minutes, but college can run quite a bit longer. Marching bands can get their acts in with a few less. Doing this is a pretty effort-free way of lopping 5-10 minutes off the length of the game. Since that’s such a big thing for these Power 5 leagues, this could almost solve their problem by itself.

Limiting Replays

Depends. If this means that they’re getting more calls wrong, then it’s not a good thing. Yet, limiting replays could also mean fewer unnecessary stoppages. Maybe college football needs a challenge system with a limited number of reviews rather than stopping to review every other questionable play.

Reducing (Media) Timeouts

Good idea. Television and radio networks need to make their scratch, and that’s the American way, baby. There are a whole hell of a lot of commercials, though. The problem is that said networks will never go for this.

Reducing (Team) Timeouts

Bad idea. What, are we going to have two timeouts now? One? That’s a pretty significant change to the time element of the game, and one that won’t cut much off of the length of a contest.

Shortening the Quarters

Bad idea. This isn’t high school. 60 minutes per game is fine.

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