NCAA looks to decrease chances of marathon OT football games
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.