/College games need an editor

College games need an editor

There has to be something. Too many games can be like opening War and Peace, or tuning into to Gone with the Wind. Commercials and all. Last Saturday’s Alabama-Ole Miss match lasted for four hours and twenty minutes. Weather delays were not encountered. There was no overtime. You shouldn’t believe that Alabama-Ole Miss was an exception. Troy-Southern Miss was able to last 10 minutes more despite a long weather delay. It’s quite a time to sit on a bench. It’s quite a time to be seated in a luxury suite, or in your favorite recliner with the remote in your hand. Football games used to last two hours and a half. That was before the invention of TV timeouts, before dreadful, expanded two-and-a-half-minute TV timeouts, before replay reviews and before so many teams threw it on nearly every down. I’ve never met anyone who believes that longer games are best for the sport. These stoppages interrupt the flow of the game. It’s almost like watching the last 30 mins of a movie on TV, with a commercial every two minutes. The games require an editor. He or she must cut out all the unnecessary information. The NFL can squeeze the majority of games into three hours, so it stands to reason that college football can do the same. First, I would reduce the length and number of TV timeouts. These are known as media timeouts. But working media hate them more than the fans. Yes, I realize that I am not the one responsible for paying the bills. It is impossible to cut money-making commercial time. The best thing you can do is to keep the clock going after the first down, except for the last 2 minutes of a half-game. This would save some time. It might be worth doing the same with incomplete passes. This would save several minutes on an average game. Halftimes in college last 20 minutes, whereas they take 12 minutes for pros. This is because traditionally, there are two bands performing at halftime. This is becoming less common. Let’s make a compromise: Make halftime 15 minutes long and then cut five minutes here. The pros have their limits when it comes to replay reviews. You can also do this for college football. It is not necessary to review as many plays in college football as they did in Bama-Ole Miss. This is especially true when they didn’t get it right even after long delays. These are just a few ideas. There may be more. The experts do. All I know is that football was not meant to last for four hours. Rick Cleveland is Mississippi Today’s sports columnist. Check out his columns as well as his Sports Daily blog.