How to fix college football

Published 7:28 pm Thursday, September 18, 2008

I love college football.

That’s probably a point that I’ve already hammered home a few too many times, but it’s something I can’t help.

I love the pageantry. I love the bond between the fan and the school. I love fight songs, tradition, tailgating and anticipation. I love waking up Saturday morning nervous about my team’s game and the good feelings that result from a win.

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But what I hate is the constant tinkering and toying with the game that I love.

For starters, the powers that be still feel the need to tinker with the clock as a means of shortening the game.

Two years ago, rules were changed so the clock started on kickoffs and change of possession instead of first touch and first snap. The rules were deemed ineffective — possibly even game-hindering — and scrapped for the 2007 season.

But of course, never the type to leave things alone, college football’s governing body felt the need to meddle again. Now a 40-second clock replaces the traditional 25-second clock, but it starts immediately following the conclusion of each play — not when the ball is set.

Meanwhile, that same governing body continues to overlook the headliner responsible for the length of football games.

Guys, here’s a hint. You want to cut down on game length? Take a few less commercial breaks, or make them shorter. Don’t go to commercial between each and every possession.

And while I’m ranting, there is a difference between the incidental and flagrant facemask. If the facemask is not used to tackle a player, it’s not a personal foul in my book.

If I wanted the NFL, I’d demand college referees wear the ridiculous, spage-age uniforms they started donning a few years ago.

I’m not through ranting yet.

I don’t like Ohio State. I never have, I never will.

As their hype machine cranks up annually, they find themselves amongst the top five teams in the country. But when they step outside their conference, amazingly, only the Buckeyes are in awe of the Buckeyes.

We saw it two years ago when Florida drubbed them, and LSU did the same thing last year. And last week the Buckeyes were beaten like a drum by USC, and the hype machine used an excuse created in pre-game coverage — running back Chris “Beanie” Wells didn’t play.

I say, 32 points one running back does not make. But I digress.

You want to make college football better? Here’s how you do it.

Stop rewarding BCS teams that are pathetic outside of their conference. Get rid of an hour of the commercials that run during primetime games. Let goalposts fall and teams rush the field as pure displays of emotion.

But most important, stop being smotheringly overprotective and try to look past the coffers to find the root problems and the methods to fix them.