Who says Americans have balls? If the NCAA Rules Committee really had them, they'd emerge from the undisclosed location they meet in, face a few flashbulbs, and saunter up to the mike to read a statement that read in total like this:
Hi. We fucked up. Blame our lucrative television tie-ins. We're going back to the way it was. Apologies.
Fucking up should be defined, by the way, before we suggest using it in public. Fucking up is not merely making a small or even mid-sized mistake. No, fucking up involves specific criteria in its proper use.
Dr. Nick: very familiar with fuckin' up. Perhaps the NCAA needs a consultant?
One: the idea must have been bad from the start, and understood by the majority of those who heard about it to be a wretched concept. When your company decided to institute "Hammer Fight Tuesdays," you knew it was a bad idea. Your friends knew it was a bad idea. And yet, here comes "Hammer Fight Tuesday," where the poor HR department lost seven good people in the span of five minutes...even though everyone knew just how terrible an idea it was.
Two: the idea must be implemented badly, and with little concern for public opinion.
Three: the idea must work badly, and be universally loathed by everyone except the implementor, who will maintain an irrational and egotistical affinity for the project despite the best evidence of its complete failure.
If you've got all three, they you've got someone fucking up. In the case of 3-2-5e, you've got a clear instance of fucking up. The rule emerged despite strong ratings for football and increased attendance. It bombed in its implementation, enraging coaches and forcing some to respond with the only rational protest, absurdity.
Finally, it's likely not to die, but to live on in a mutated, lobotomized form thanks to the rules committee's irrational fondness for screwing fans who actually showed up to the game. Mark Richt's said it better than we can:
"I felt like they shortened the game and lengthened the commercials," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "I think we're cheating the fans from what they want to see. Do you think they are saying, 'Well, we just drove six hours to the game. I wish we could see 12 fewer plays'?
It's television that's driving it, which is profit-driven, which no one wants to say because that would imply that college football is business to the point where sponsorship dictates the content. That would take balls, which no one has here. Thus the mysterian, occult decision making and complete unwillingness to address the simple question everyone's asked since day one: why?
One certainty is clear: aside from reversing the rules, the committee's solution will be to refuck the rules up, because they've shown little indication of learning the lesson fully. Then next year, they're likely to line up, unzip, and refuck them up some more. We're looking to be pleasantly surprised, but not hopeful. Until then, it's Hammer Fight Tuesdays at the NCAA.