That’s no way to determine the winner of a football game

Question: How do you like the NCAA's new overtime rule?

That overtime nonsense was ludicrous. Just a farce, really, and I honestly cannot believe that is what college football decided to turn to in order to end lengthy games.

I’m fine with the rules for the first two overtime periods — just continuing to play football from the opposing 25-yard line. That works. That makes sense.

Having both teams compete in a two-point conversion contest starting with the third overtime is just dumb. It’s way too gimmicky and is no way to decide a hard-fought game between two teams.

The best comparison we can make would be to decide a basketball game with a free-throw shooting contest.

No. Just no.

It’s too random having the game determined by a series of two-point attempts.

The debacle we saw play out in the nine-overtime game between Penn State and Illinois was the worst-case scenario for whoever dreamed up that format for overtime. The Nittany Lions had seven opportunities in the two-point try portion and converted only one, and the Illini mercifully ended the game with a short pass for the 20-18 victory.

My idea for overtime would be, beginning with the third extra period, have both teams start from the 10-yard line. I wouldn’t even be opposed to limiting the teams to just three plays from the 10, instead of four.

One thing we obviously need to be considerate of here is these college players having to play a ton more snaps if the overtimes keep going and going and going. Having the two-point contest takes care of that problem.

But it creates other problems.

It was ridiculous having the two teams walk up and down the field after each two series. Why not just keep everybody on the same side of the field and keep playing from there?

I’m getting mad just thinking about this mess. Now, it was awful to watch in large part because Penn State’s offense was atrocious, not only in the overtime periods, but all day.

The Lions should be embarrassed by that entire performance, and especially offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich. He was hired to come in and bring an explosive offense that could score 40 points per game, not one that couldn’t even score from the 3-yard line in six out of seven tries.

But back to the overtime rules.

I’m all for trying new things. I actually like the baseball extra-inning rule of starting with a runner on second base, something I know most baseball fans hate. It started in the minor leagues with the Curve, and I saw how it shortened games, so I like it.

But limiting football to one play, to me, is really taking the football out of football. Yeah, I know a lot of games come down to two-point conversions in the closing seconds, and those are fun because there’s a lot of drama.

I will admit there was good drama in the two-point format we saw between Penn State and Illinois. But it’s no way to determine the winner of a game having both teams keep doing that stuff over and over and over.

Cory Giger is a Penn State beat writer for DK Pittsburgh Sports and host of “Sports Central” weekday afternoons from 4-5 on WRTA. Contact him at cgsports12@aol.com.


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