NCAA looks to de­crease chances of marathon OT foot­ball games

The Tribune (SLO) - - Sports & Weather - BY RALPH D. RUSSO

Marathon over­time games in col­lege foot­ball, such as the one LSU and Texas A&M played last sea­son, are al­ready rare. The NCAA would like them to be­come ex­tinct.

Con­cerned about in­creased in­jury risk to play­ers, the foot­ball rules com­mit­tee later this month will con­sider tweaks to the over­time for­mat. The goal is to make it less likely for games to go beyond two ex­tra pos­ses­sions for each team.

Among the more rad­i­cal ideas set to be dis­cussed is go­ing to a 2-point-con­ver­sion shootout af­ter teams have played two full OT pos­ses­sions.

The com­mit­tee meets the last week of Fe­bru­ary in In­di­anapo­lis and will also – again – dis­cuss tar­get­ing. The Amer­i­can Foot­ball Coaches As­so­ci­a­tion wants to make tar­get­ing a two-tiered foul, with a 15-yard penalty for some hel­met hits and 15 yards plus ejec­tion for more ma­li­cious hits. Cur­rently, all tar­get­ing fouls re­sult in ejec­tion. A sim­i­lar change was con­sid­ered last year, but shot down and the same seems likely this year. How­ever, other changes will be dis­cussed that could lead to fewer ejec­tions.

The cur­rent over­time for­mat, im­ple­mented in 1996, gives each team pos­ses­sion at the op­po­nent’s 25-yard line, and repeats the process un­til one team has outscored the other. Af­ter two pos­ses­sions by each team, the of­fense must try a 2-point con­ver­sion in­stead of kick­ing an ex­tra point af­ter a touch­down.

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