The Wiz and CFB Stats keep their eagle eye on the statistical impact of rule 3-2-5-e, which changed clock rules in college football and allowed television to sandwich in more advertising while robbing fans of 8-9 percent of what they pay good money to see created a totally new and better game experience for everybody!
The numbers do not look good as of week five going into week six. Points totals between both teams are down:
The second half numbers seem particularly drastic. Point totals in 2005 varied from the first half to the second half of games by a split of 26.8 to 25.15 points. Want to see the impact of play-calling strategy, particularly in the final five minutes? In 2006 point totals dive from 24.58 in the first half to 21.63 in the second, a difference of almost four points. The crucial element in the decline? We guess getting off an effective two-minute offense with a winding clock combined with even more stalling by offenses hunkering over on fourth quarter leads.
The overall approach could most predjudicially be put this way: the Rules Committee has turned college football into soccer, where teams can take a one-goal/td lead and sit on it with even greater confidence in the other team's inability to surmount the deficit. Nowhere is this more true than in the SEC. We'd love to see the declining point totals as reflected in the most points-averse conference in the nation, since we bet they're dismal.
Actually, given the 7-3, 13-10 Auburn/LSU games of the past few years, we bet on this trend to worsen, with next year being a 3-2 final decided by a 65 yard field goal. Then you won't even be able to claim the soccer parallel, since we've seen Chelsea/Tottenham games with higher scores than that. Myles Brand claims not to know what people think of the rule change, either, as evidenced by a sideline interview this weekend. We'll clarify our editorial position on this rule, and what we'd like to see done with 3-2-5-e:
Attention, Myles: this is a visual metaphor, but to be clear, it means the rule sucks ass.