Saturday, September 17, 2005


Watching the Clemson/Miami game today, I remembered on of the things that I really love about NCAA football when compared to the NFL. The NCAA actually finishes games, and manages to create a winner in every game, without resorting to sudden death. I figure that if baseball can play 162 games a season without any ties (All Star Games aside), the NFL should be able to manage 16 games without ties. I know they're rare, but they should be nonexistant. However, I'm not 100% a fan of how the NCAA does it, so here we go, my overtime idea for the NFL (which may or may not be original):

1) As many rounds of overtime as necessary will be played to determine a winner.

2) Each round of overtime shall begin with a coin flip, with the home team choosing home or away. The winner of the toss can choose either whether to play first or second, or which end zone to play towards. The team which loses the coin flip will be allowed to make the other decision.

3) Each team shall be allowed one timeout per overtime.

4) All replays shall be initiated from the booth. Neither coach will be allowed to challenge.

5) Each overtime round shall consist of one possession for each team, playing towards the same end zone.

6) The first overtime shall be started at the defenders 25 yard line. Each subsequent period shall start 5 additional yards from the goal line, pushing no further back than the offensive 25 yard line.

That's the change, right there. None of this two-point-conversion requirement. Keep pushing it back. Make the teams eventually be forced to earn field goal range. I doubt any game would push much later than 4OT. At that point, the teams are starting at the 40 yard line, getting pushed out of field goal range, and more likely to have had a defensive stop and/or turnover. Else, well, just keep them playing. None of this golden goal crap that lets a team push into field goal range and win it with a kick without the other team even getting a chance at the ball. I know, I know, the defense has to earn the chance for the offense to touch the ball, but in circumstances where both defenses are being seives, it all comes down to settling the game by a coin flip, and that ain't right.


At 10:10 PM, Blogger Basil said...

I like the progressively-poorer field position idea. The 25 y-l is a ridiculously short field, come to think of it.

On the other hand, call me crazy but I loved the ties. There was something cool about, say, a 6-4-1 season, or even crazier stuff like 9-1-2.

I also thought the "playing for the tie or playing for the win" decision was quite compelling. There was, of course, Osborne's decision to go for two in the Orange Bowl versus Miami in the early 80s. In addition, in 1990, UVa was ranked No. 1 and down 38-35 to Georgia Tech late in the game. It was fourth and goal at about the seven, and George Welsh essentially had to forgo a shot at the national championship for a shot at the conference championship; he made that choice, tied the game, but then Tech won on a late, late FG. (Ironically, Tech, with a loss, and Colorado, with a loss AND a tie, shared the nat'l championship.)


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