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THREE HOURS, TWENTY-ONE MINUTES

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That's how long the average college football fan was happy for each Saturday last fall, provided they watched exactly one game on Saturday. Double that number if they watched two, since that number also represents the average time of a single college game in 2006.

Does the total time of a college game--which has been creeping up for a while now--present some problems? Sure. Tommy Tuberville worries about the impact of playing those kind of games in a 12 game schedule, and Mike Slive and other conference-heading types fret about running into the three-thirty games and getting sponsors and the networks a-huffy with overlap.

The counter to these concerns? Overlong games don't seem to hurt ratings, especially in bowl season where fans stayed glued to four hour bowl games in the Orange, Sugar, and Rose Bowls in large numbers. The AJC has a thoughtful piece on the complexities of game length in today's run.