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NCAA Changes Football Overtime Rule

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.


Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

5 Comments for NCAA Changes Football Overtime Rule

  1. Headhurts
    1:53 pm April 23, 2019 Permalink

    Adopt the NFL rule, seems to work ok.

    • ClutchCargo
      2:16 pm April 23, 2019 Permalink

      Agree. I’m not a big fan of sudden death as a way to decide a game that can mean the difference in making the playoff or not. But maybe coaches will also dislike it enough to just go for the win instead of getting it to overtime, so it might have the same effect.

    • truebluefootballfan
      7:48 pm April 23, 2019 Permalink

      I think that the nfl rule just decides the game in a coin toss in most cases. You win the toss, then you usually win the game on the first drive. I’d rather see both teams get an equal chance at winning since that’s the way the game started and ended in regulation.

  2. Catuary
    2:14 pm April 23, 2019 Permalink

    Might as well just make it a tie after 4 overtime periods. The alternating 2-point conversion attempts is too gimmicky.

  3. BackinBlue
    6:45 pm April 24, 2019 Permalink

    How about they make the coaching staff run two plays each and the o e with the fewest casualties wins???