We will never see another game like Kentucky’s seven overtime thriller vs. Arkansas in 2003.
This morning the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel voted to approve a few college football rule changes. They made a minor tweak to kickoff formations and added a 15-yard blind-side block penalty. The most dramatic change is for overtime.
Once the game reaches a fifth overtime, instead of returning to the 25-yard line to switch possession, teams will simply alternate two-point conversion attempts. The reason behind the rule change: player safety. Directly from the NCAA:
Panel members approved a tweak to the overtime rules. If a game reaches a fifth overtime, teams will run alternating two-point plays, instead of starting another drive at the opponent’s 25-yard line. This rules change was made to limit the number of plays from scrimmage and to bring the game to a conclusion. Additionally, there will be a two-minute rest period after the second and fourth overtimes. The rules for the first four overtimes remain unchanged.
Playing more than four overtimes is rare, but when it does happen it is an instant classic, like last year’s LSU-Texas A&M game.
Was this change necessary? Not at all. Since the adoption of overtime in 1996, only five games have resulted a seven overtime endurance test.
There was also a change to the targeting rule. On some occasions the call on the field would simply “stand” after further review. Now there’s no gray area. Replay officials must either confirm the rule on the field or overturn the targeting penalty.
Read all of the changes here.