Mar 13, 2023 - Sports

Ohio State may be playing shorter football games soon

Illustration of football as an alarm clock

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

It appears our Buckeye blowout victories will need to wrap up sooner in the coming seasons.

Driving the news: The NCAA Football Rules Committee has proposed several measures to shorten college football games, Axios Sports writes.

State of play: Officials are concerned about the heightened risk of player injury that comes with marathon games featuring snaps that don't affect game outcomes.

  • With longer seasons coming after 2024's expansion of the College Football Playoff, the NCAA wants a jump on improving player safety.

One major proposal: Letting the clock run after first downs except in the final two minutes of a half, mirroring the NFL.

  • The clock currently stops after a first down until referees reset the chains and spot the ball.
  • Another suggestion is to prohibit consecutive timeouts in the same dead-ball period, which are often used to "ice" a field-goal kicker.

By the numbers: The average Football Bowl Subdivision game last season averaged 180 total plays over 3 hours, 27 minutes.

  • OSU's 12 regular season games averaged slightly longer at 3 hours, 30 minutes.

The big picture: College football is not the only sport working to achieve shorter game times.

  • MLB is implementing several new rules to speed up the pace of play this season, most notably a pitch clock.
  • That's something Columbus Clippers fans are well used to by now.

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