William Correro column

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 16, 2008

More clock rules added for televised games

As all good things seem to do, the season is off to a flying start and we have week three in the bag as you read this.

Nothing really earth shattering has happened yet due to the lack of games of any import the first two weeks. Tennessee losing at UCLA wasn’t a good thing for the SEC but we will prevail as usual.

With the additional games in the season it sure seems more of the top teams are playing some soft non-conference games when they have the chance.

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I’m guessing some of these sort of work like practice games but no coach would ever admit to that in public. Whatever works I guess.

Along the lines of good things over too quick, as baseball heads into post-season play I can only hope the Yankees will do what I said after last season was over way too fast: buy some good pitching.

The thing about baseball is with both sons playing I can be a fan with no desire to ever work in the sport. My favorite is a game that one of mine is playing in and that just spills over into watching MLB and college baseball too. And just maybe the Cubs can stop the world for once and make it to the Series. You never know.

Back to football – sorry.

If you’ve been to a televised game this season you might have noticed another new clock rule change in the frenzy to speed up the games. On any game that is on live TV, if a team calls a timeout and TV does not want to go to commercial then it is only a 30-second timeout.

The TV Coordinator has to be alert when a timeout is called to know if TV wants the break or not. If it’s a game on ESPN, all those decisions are made in Bristol so it can take a few more seconds to find out.

Lose focus and don’t pay attention when a timeout is called and next thing you know the Referee and a pair of head coaches, along with several of their assistants, will be looking like they want a piece of the official in the red hat. Nobody likes to wait.

The Thursday night game I had on ESPN at Vanderbilt last week went three hours and thirteen minutes. That’s from the opening kickoff till the clock hits double zero in the 4th quarter.

That’s not too bad and it’s about what the average college TV game was last season. With just about every offense passing more than they run that clock is just not going to run a lot.

I’m sorry but that’s the way it is.

We did have an injury timeout for a Vandy player who broke his leg but then that was only a bit over five minutes. CBS has the most breaks for commercials than any other network but I had one of those done in three hours and three minutes a few years ago.

The teams were just running the ball a lot in that one. They have to be careful messing with the rules because the market for college football is just huge with the SEC the leader of the pack.
And those TV dollars carry a lot of weight.