The blog for inquisitive Gators, Saurian Sagacity, has done an interesting analysis of the effect of the 2006 NCAA football game clock rule changes. I was annoyed all year by the new changes because I felt that it was making the games shorter. I like college football. I don’t want shorter games. I want longer games! It seemed all year that the games were shorter, but the time I spent sitting in front of the TV didn’t change. And now I realize why.
Yes, the games were shorter by about eight minutes. But it’s not like the networks gave me that time. They took away six or eight plays per game, but we got to see around seventeen more commercials. That sucks. There are already plenty of commercials. It’s not like that cash is going to the schools to pay player salaries. Broadcasting college football is a license to print money. That’s why games are being carried by TBS and TNT now. It’s so lucrative as it is there’s no need to screw me out of those six plays.
The only real issue I have with this analysis is that I think it misses the point. What I’d really like to know is the difference between the number of plays run by quarter. The big change this year, I felt, was that the 4th quarter always seemed to be where the time disappeared. There were definitely some thrilling come-from-behind victories this season, but was it just me that thought there were more of them before the clock rule changes?