The clock ruling on change of possession, like a bad piece of legislation or taco meat kept just a few degrees below health department standards, has crept from innocuous beginnings in preseason meetings to full-on unchecked menace. Its prey? Possessions. Urb is pointing furiously at anyone who will listen about how cracked the new rule is in Florida Today (HT: WATB):
The Gators had 10 possessions in the 34-7 season-opening win against Southern Mississippi. A year ago, UF averaged 14 possessions per game.
"You talk about fans want to see scoring, coaches want to see scoring," Meyer said. "You work awful hard and 10 possessions is not enough in college football. I'm very upset. I don't like the direction of that.
"Alabama, LSU, Ole Miss, they had nine possessions, nine drives (last Saturday). I'm not sure what direction and why we did that, but it's obviously the way college football is. If someone asks, I'm going to make that very well-known. I'm very disappointed."
Less football--that's never a good thing. Never. But in the specific sense, it also alters strategy. Meyer himself admitted to getting impatient, throwing long, and even going for it on 4th and 14 late in the game as a result of the pressure placed on teams with fewer possessions. You will, as the season progresses, see teams take even more divergent strategies as the rule continues to whittle away at the length of football games.
If anything, it could turn teams into caricatures of themselves, with risk-averse teams--like Georgia Tech, for example--flashing four point leads around like gold plated tits, while risk-friendly teams could turn into Arena League offenses. On Saturday night, watching Leak firing passes with a 27 point lead, Florida's obviously made up their mind to go the Tampa Bay Storm route. And watching Georgia Tech pimp a four point lead against Notre Dame...it's apparent that they've got their solution to the situation, too.
We're all clockwatchers now.