First 2 Weeks are Over--Effect of Rule 3-2-5-e

RJ Esq

Prick Since 1974

"Week 1 is complete and the data is starting to roll in on the number of plays lost because of rule 3-2-5-e, which the Wiz has been ranting about all summer. The rule was instituted because games were too long. Check this out: Saturday's Alabama Birmingham-Oklahoma game featured only 110 offensive plays, the fewest for a Sooner game over the last 50 years! That bested the 112 offensive plays in the 1960 game against Colorado and the 1962 matchup against Missouri. Here is where it gets interesting: The game lasted three hours 16 minutes. Last year, Oklahoma's shortest game was three hours 13 minutes (against Kansas in Kansas City). So the 3-2-5-e rule results in fewer plays and games that last just as long. Frigging brilliant! Judging by this example, 3-2-5-e doesn't work and officials are merely running circles around the real problem: Too many commercials! We would be curious to know if more commercial time has been sold for telecasts this season. If anybody can help answer that, please let us know. If requested, we will keep your identity a secret. As a point of reference, the shortest Oklahoma game in the Bob Stoops era was the 2004 affair against Nebraska, completed in two hours 49 minutes. Now if you haven't checked out John Niyo's fabulous piece in the Detroit Free Press we linked to Monday, you must take a look. The Vanderbilt-Michigan game had 125 plays. Last season, Michigan games averaged 145 plays. At this alarming rate, it can only be a season or two before we have more commercials than plays. Stay tuned, and thanks to the Midwest Correspondent for his help."
I hate this rule with a passion..It really upsets me.

My question is this, are the rule changes for good? or is just in a phase to see if it works?

Will they ever go back to the old rules? I want my football back!! I swear some of these quarters were done in 15 minutes over the weekend!
They are here to stay unless the coaches can get the NCAA to change it.

The coaches had veto power over the rule and let it come in. Then they realized what they did and they are all bitching about it.

Too many ads. That's what slows down the game.

And get those ugly bitches off the sidelines.

Erin Andrews can stay.
Some coaches were on the rule change committee.

Coaches had to approve. They did. Now they slap their foreheads.
Wow. I really hope this changes for next year, the games seem less exciting at the end with these drama.

DO they vote on changes every year in the summer or no?
The bottom line behind the new rule change is obvious -- more money for the networks which equates to more money for the NCAA.

I knew it was bad but I had no idea that the ads were that pervasive in the broadcasts! This is going to make games uglier and dare I say boring to be at in person.

How can a team get in a groove if the offense isn't allowed to make a decent amount of plays?

How is a coach supposed to try "risky" plays when they know that the clock is going to hinder any mistakes by sacrificing valuable time?
From College Football Stats

First Hard Data on 3-2-5-e: 18.32 Plays Lost

We have our first round of numbers regarding the impact of rule 3-2-5-e. Now this information comes to us from Marty at We ask that you give his site full credit. The man has put in a lot of work to get to this point, starting by documenting every play from the 2005 season. For future reference, Marty's site is also listed on the right under "Sponsorsed Links."

Here are the parameters we are dealing with: Every play that takes time off the clock is counted — rush, pass, punt, kickoff, field goal attempt — including those plays nullified by penalty. This is the fair way to judge the impact of 3-2-5-e because the rule was instituted to cut down on the time of the game.

2005 Total........121044......718............168.58
2005 Week 1........8664........52............166.61
2006 Week 1.......10368.......69.............150.26

Marty adds this note: We're talking about 18.32 plays (lost) per game from all of 2005 vs. week 1 2006. This includes games through 9/2/2006. I follow the NCAA guide of each week being Sunday-Saturday, so Sunday's and Monday's games are not included in the totals above, but will be in next week's totals.
September 5, 2006


The clock ruling on change of possession, like a bad piece of legislation or taco meat kept just a few degrees below health department standards, has crept from innocuous beginnings in preseason meetings to full-on unchecked menace. Its prey? Possessions. Urb is pointing furiously at anyone who will listen about how cracked the new rule is in Florida Today (HT: WATB):

The Gators had 10 possessions in the 34-7 season-opening win against Southern Mississippi. A year ago, UF averaged 14 possessions per game.
“You talk about fans want to see scoring, coaches want to see scoring,” Meyer said. “You work awful hard and 10 possessions is not enough in college football. I’m very upset. I don’t like the direction of that.

“Alabama, LSU, Ole Miss, they had nine possessions, nine drives (last Saturday). I’m not sure what direction and why we did that, but it’s obviously the way college football is. If someone asks, I’m going to make that very well-known. I’m very disappointed.”

Less football–that’s never a good thing. Never. But in the specific sense, it also alters strategy. Meyer himself admitted to getting impatient, throwing long, and even going for it on 4th and 14 late in the game as a result of the pressure placed on teams with fewer possessions. You will, as the season progresses, see teams take even more divergent strategies as the rule continues to whittle away at the length of football games.

If anything, it could turn teams into caricatures of themselves, with risk-averse teams–like Georgia Tech, for example–flashing four point leads around like gold plated tits, while risk-friendly teams could turn into Arena League offenses. On Saturday night, watching Leak firing passes with a 27 point lead, Florida’s obviously made up their mind to go the Tampa Bay Storm route. And watching Georgia Tech pimp a four point lead against Notre Dame…it’s apparent that they’ve got their solution to the situation, too.

Clockwatchers.jpg teams are gambling, I like that.

As a Um fan, it won't ever happen with Lloyd at the helm though.
Actual Game Times for Week 1

How Much Shorter Are the Games?

Many have been asking how much time has been shaved off games because of rule 3-2-5-e. To get the answer, we went to the man, Marty of We once again ask that you give his site full credit if you plan to use any of this information and remind you that his site is also listed on the right under "Sponsored Links."


Here are the five shortest games from Week 1:

Army-Arkansas State: 2:30
Minnesota vs. Kent State: 2:36
Northwestern vs. Miami (Ohio): 2:43
William & Mary vs. Maryland: 2:43
Appalachian State vs. North Carolina State: 2:45

Here are the five longest games from Week 1:

Toledo vs. Iowa State: 3:38
USC vs. Arkansas: 3:35
Stanford vs. Oregon: 3:31
Florida Atlantic vs. Clemson: 3:29
Brigham Young vs. Arizona: 3:22

Later tonight we will have the shortest and longest games from Week 2. We would also like to call attention to the best piece we've seen to date on the rule changes designed to shorten games by cutting down on the number of plays. Phil Mushnick of the New York Post simply nails it. A must read. Thanks to the Midwest Correspondent.


September 8, 2006 -- OK, here's the deal: You're the owner of a fabulously popular restaurant. For years, you packed 'em in. And why not? You provided a great product for which you were well rewarded.

Then complaints started pouring in from your steadiest customers: Service has become slow, slower, interminable.

You ignored the complaints, hoping the problem and/or the complaints would just go away. Didn't happen. Finally, moved to act, you had two choices:

1) Do everything possible to speed up service, from pep talks to spending a few bucks to hire extra help for the kitchen and wait staffs, thus improving the chances of sustaining the good and welfare of your establishment, your employees and yourself.

2) Reduce the size of all portions, thus eliminating a few minutes per meal per customer. After all, the less time they spend eating, especially the last course, the sooner they'll get the check, pay and leave.

The new rules designed to speed up college football games is a case of the NCAA choosing solution No. 2. The new rules call for the clock to run more often, thus, instead of reducing dead time, they reduce the time in which football actually is played.

That's typical of NCAA solutions in that they attack the symptoms. But attacking the problem (reducing dead time) might cost money, specifically TV money.

For starters, that televised Division I-A games regularly began to run 31/2 then nearly four hours became apparent about 10 years ago. Thus, it took years for the NCAA to act.

Beyond that, the NCAA's solution is similar to the NFL's: "Speed up" games by reducing the number of plays. The PGA, often confronted with issues of tardy play, could similarly act by reducing each round to 17 holes.

Of course, for 100 years there never has been any sentiment to reduce the number of plays in a college football game. Preseason estimates were that between 15-25 plays from scrimmage would be eliminated per game. After one week of play, those estimates generally have proven correct.
College games in the recent past featured in the neighborhood of 145 plays per game. This season, we're looking, minimally, at more than a 10-percent cut in action.

And less football is less football, no matter how you cut it.

But there certainly has been sentiment, over the past 25 years, to reduce the amount of TV commercial time. In response to that, commercial time has increased.

Not surprising was that last week's televised college games found commentators flatly praising the new "speed-up-the-game" rules. Of course they did; most of football's TV voices have been conditioned to think no deeper than the paper on which stats are printed.

Comically, a few of these conversations were inspired by the clock stopping to assess a delay-of-game call against a team that was in violation of the new, speed-up-the-game rules.

Reducing the amount of TV commercial time that has been tacked on, over the years, would guarantee shorter games without any reduction of playing time. Division I-AA, II and III games - played unattached to major commercial networks - still typically run 2:30-2:45. And they have for years and years.

Consider that Wagner won last week's I-AA game at La Salle, 38-15, in 2:40; 53 points in 2:40. In Division II, Minnesota-Duluth beat Bemidji State, 23-7, in 2:39. In Division III, Rowan beat Christopher Newport, 32-8, in 2:50.

On ABC, Notre Dame beat Georgia Tech, 14-10, in 3:30.

So is TV - TV money - the primary cause? Or is it that college football really needed to cut back on the number of plays per game? Were fans demanding less action?

Every big-time sports authority that has auctioned that authority to television invariably has allowed its sport to be chipped or chopped until the sport scarcely resembles what made it popular in the first place.

Oh, yeah, the NCAA really knows how to identify, attack and resolve problems. If it were in the deodorant business, it would sell nose plugs.

Good thing the NCAA is one of those businesses that doesn't have to worry about competition.
Week 2 Results--Games Just as Long Despite Lost Plays...

Here are the five shortest games from Week 2:

Toledo-Western Michigan: 2:27
New Hampshire-Northwestern: 2:35
Southern Methodist-North Texas: 2:35
Chattanooga-Memphis: 2:44
Middle Tennessee State-Maryland: 2:46

Here are the five longest games from Week 2:

Tulsa-Brigham Young: 4:04
Clemson-Boston College: 4:00
Iowa-Syracuse: 3:45
Hofstra-Marshall: 3:45
Oregon-Fresno State: 3:42