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NCAA rule change shortens football OT yet again

I hope you enjoyed that 2018 LSU game, because we’ll likely never see anything like it ever again.

NCAA Football: Louisiana State at Texas A&M Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Texas A&M’s last-second regulation comeback that led to a seven-overtime marathon in their 2018 victory over LSU was the game of the year three years ago, and easily one of the wildest college football games. But a new NCAA rule change all but assures we won’t see another game like it for a long time, if ever.

The new change stipulates that teams must now begin going for a two-point conversion following a TD beginning in the second overtime. If the game goes to a third overtime, teams will simply alternate two-point conversion attempts, rather than start a drive at the 25 yard line.

This comes just two years after the NCAA had previously changed the rules to shorten overtimes. These rules changes are meant to limit the number of plays from scrimmage and bring the game to a quicker conclusion. And in general, I’m always in favor of rules that prioritize player safety (especially as long as players are not paid employees with a union or the option of collective bargaining). And yes, the number of games actually impacted by this rule will be tiny. Maybe only one or two a season in all of college football. But those rare, crazy, marathon games are also some of the most memorable in the history of the sport, and even if it’s for a legitimate reason, it seems a shame to lose that.

Enjoy that nutty, exhausting and controversial game for the anomaly that it was. It was something most of us had never seen before that night, and the NCAA has ensured we likely never see it again any time soon.