The NCAA is considering a change to its current rules, and are looking at new CFB overtime rules. The changes, if instituted, would have an impact on betting on college football.
Currently, when a college football game goes to overtime, teams are each given one possession from the opponent’s 25-yard line. Play continues to a second overtime if the teams remain tied after the first.
After the second overtime, a team must go for two after scoring a touchdown. This rule was instituted to shorten an overtime game. If this new rule passes, teams will no longer start at their 25-yard line after the second overtime.
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Proposed New Rule
The NCAA Football Rules Committee is in favor of adopting a new rule that will allow a team to “go for two” after the second overtime. With a game tied after two overtimes, teams would start their next possession at the three-yard line.
What many fans may not realize is that the current rule actually uses this same format but only after the fifth overtime. Once a game reaches a fifth overtime, teams run alternating plays from the three-yard line.
The idea behind the rule, of course, is to shorten overtime games. They are already long enough. Last year, Stanford and UCLA went to overtime tied at 34-34.
The game went to a second overtime where Stanford scored first and kicked the extra point. UCLA responded with a touchdown, but head coach Chip Kelly opted to go for two. Both teams had played a lot of plays and had some injuries. Rather than continue, Kelly decided to end the game. UCLA’s two-point conversion failed.
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Ironically, it’s Stanford head coach David Shaw who is the head of the NCAA Football Rules Committee. Shaw represents coaches around the country whose major concern is the health and safety of their players. Limiting the number of plays and the length of a game improves player health and safety.
In a recent survey conducted by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), head coaches overwhelmingly supported the new CFB overtime rules.
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Betting Totals With New CFB Overtime Rules
When betting college football game totals, the new overtime rule will have some impact. The percentage of college football games that go to overtime is relatively small. There are a number of teams that have played more overtime games than others.
Since overtime was introduced at the college level during the 1995-96 bowl season, two teams have played more overtime games than any other – Tennessee and Texas A&M. Both teams have played 20 overtime games.
Texas A&M was involved in one of the wildest overtime games in the sport’s history. The Aggies and LSU went to seven overtimes in 2018. Texas A&M won 74-72. That, of course, obliterated the posted game total.
Northwestern, TCU, Oregon, and Arkansas have all played 19 overtime games since the rule was instituted. Having some knowledge of teams that historically have played a lot of overtime games could be an advantage when betting college football totals.
The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel will discuss whether or not to institute the new CFB overtime rules on April 22. If passed, the rule would be instituted for the 2021 season.