Oregon Football: Are Game Length Increases A Cause For Concern?

Fans of College Football have always known they needed to carve out part of their day to watch their favorite team, but that time has been on the increase.

Are the added minutes over the last several seasons a cause for concern? For fans of the Pac-12 and other Conferences throughout the country, it might be. Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott recently said he would like to see shorter game times, along with several other Commissioners throughout the sport.

According to ESPN, the average game time has increased 7 minutes in the last 4 years. While this may not seem like a lot, it does bring up a good question. The key moments of the game, usually late, are delayed due to tv timeouts – in some cases for more than 4 ‘real time’ minutes.

I realize that without the revenue Athletic Programs would suffer, but in the case of Oregon Football this past season who lost their sell out streak there is one thing that we can do. (not that the old school “Blackout” is an option, just sayin’)

While television is a clear culprit, the plays on the field and time to execute those plays could be considered the opposite. The number of plays is roughly the same(at 143) over the last three seasons. Of course, when the game is well in hand for one team, the game will go faster. When it comes down to a win on the final few plays, that could easily make the final 2 minutes of a game a 20-minuteAre drama-fest. This is an area where you might be able to shave off a few minutes.

Other areas to save time? Reset the number of timeouts per half. Shorten the halftime period by a few minutes. Depending on the score – if it is well out of reach – have the fourth quarter roll with a running clock.

The NCAA Oversight Committee will be meeting in a few weeks and game length is one item on the docket for discussion. The Oregon Football average for Home Games this past season was 3 hours, 32 minutes.

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