Blog Entry

Re-introduce the tie to college football.

Posted on: June 13, 2010 1:55 am
Okay, I haven’t really done a true “opinion” blog topic in awhile, so why not air my thoughts on something that has been bugging me for a long time.  A great and mighty tempest is brewing in college football which seems to be leading to the inevitable super conferences, with Texas truly expanding the definition of “Pacific.”  And as everyone clamors endlessly for a playoff (which I, too, would like to see implemented in the future), I have taken a more realistic approach to this issue by accepting that this radical change is nowhere in the immediate future.  It was suggested that the current BCS system may remain in place through 2040.  While I see that statement as a bit of a stretch, 2020 could be a distinct possibility.  This begs the question: what can the NCAA do NOW to increase the credibility of the BCS system and eliminate so many controversies that have plagued it in the past decade?

The answer, my friends, is simple.  Reinstate the tie to the college football rulebook, and eliminate overtime.

It is widely accepted that the overtime rules in both the NFL and NCAA are a farce.  In the pros, sudden death means over half the time, the coin flip decides the game; the winner will simply convert 2 or 3 first downs, kick a mid-range FG and go home.  In college, it is simply too ridiculously easy to score.  While the equal opportunity offense makes sense, it is extremely flawed in the NCAA.  Starting at your opponent’s 25 yard line, a team can kick a very makeable 42 yard FG without gaining an inch of territory.  How many times have we seen these games turn into 7, 8 OT marathons?  If overtime is to remain in place, the starting field position should be moved to the 50 yard line, but that’s another argument for another day.

Quite frankly, what brought this opinion of mine back to the forefront was a soccer match of all things: the United States vs. England, in the World Cup.  This game resulted in a 1-1 tie, but was it really a tie?  Obviously, one team (the US) can take a great deal more solace in this outcome than the English squad can.  The same would be true in college football.  If say, Eastern Michigan came into the Horseshoe this season and earned a tie with Ohio State, they would truly be the winners.

Think back to all those great matchups in the late 80’s and early 90’s before overtime was instituted.  Often the team with the final possession would score a touchdown while being down by 7 points, then face the gut-wrenching decision of going for the win or the tie.  If a team was in national title contention, this decision could speak volumes to where they played in January.  I believe the same could happen today, and it could eliminate much of the headaches associated with the BCS.  Many early season marquee non-conference matchups would likely fall into the tie category, as a coach with real aspirations would hesitate to gamble for a win when assured of a tie.  This team would still be officially undefeated, but whether it would be enough to land them in a major bowl game would remain to be seen.

It’s about time we make a return of authentic strategy to the college game.  Let a coach decide whether to go for broke or accept a tie.  At the very least, returning to the old way of doing things could clear up many conference title races, and it would almost assuredly help to clear what would be a muddled national title picture between 3-4 teams if OT was still in effect.

After reading my proposal, who in their right mind would be against bringing the tie back to NCAA football?

For those who are (and those who agree!!!), the floor is all yours.

Category: NCAAF

Since: Sep 19, 2006
Posted on: June 14, 2010 10:47 am

Re-introduce the tie to college football.

I think one of the biggest attractions to College Football is...well....Football.  So if we as fans get to watch a couple extra periods isn't that even better?  I'll tell you what I have watched most (if not all) of those 5+ OT games and all I can say is WOW.  People were on the edge of their seats.  Nobody left early.  You didn't see people filing to the exits.  Nope every single fan sat there and was GLUED to the action.  Isn't that what you want?  People watching the sport and are actually interested?  The only people that don't like 50-49 final scores are Defensive coodinators and some old man that just had his TD record broken.  Who cares really?  Please don't try to make Football into baseball where every single thing is tracked and counted.  It feels too much like work.  Football is about going out there and either winning or losing.  Americans love a winner, and we detest losing (thanks General Patton).  The only thing accomplished by a tie is both teams feel like losers at the end.  And yes when US tied with England in soccer I felt like a loser.

Since: Oct 29, 2007
Posted on: June 14, 2010 10:03 am

Re-introduce the tie to college football.

Right On!!!  I have been preaching same for years.  The two-point conversion was supposed to take care of potential ties, but it didn't.  The standings would be much more complex and interesting with tie games.  Moreover, the "student" athlete should not be subject to multiple overtimes that can and do lead to injuries.  Finally, if OT continues, the score of the game should be adjusted to the final tie score with an a notation that the game was won in OT (#) instead of 72-70 (which is rediculous).  Thanks for bringing up the subject.

Since: Mar 9, 2008
Posted on: June 14, 2010 6:35 am

Re-introduce the tie to college football.

How many times have we seen these games turn into 7, 8 OT marathons?

3 times. Wow, that happens practically all of the time.

Since: Jan 25, 2008
Posted on: June 13, 2010 11:27 pm

Re-introduce the tie to college football.

Don't throw the baby out with the bath water.

The college OT system is horrible, but doesn't mean we should go back to no OT, which is also horrible. The new NFL OT rules for the playoffs would work in college. 

Give the the team that lost the kick off a chance to score a TD if the other team kicks a FG on their first possession. Otherwise, it's sudden death for an extra 15 minutes.

After that, a tie. 

Since: Jun 13, 2010
Posted on: June 13, 2010 11:15 pm

Re-introduce the tie to college football.

Actually in the UK FA Cup, if there is a tie, there are no penalty shootouts. They schedule a new game and play it again, which would infuriate American fans even more than a shoot-out (which was invented in the US to appease Americans for the NASL).

But as the 1987 Kansas St-Kansas Toilet Bowl shows, there really are some days when neither team deserves to win.

Since: Feb 14, 2008
Posted on: June 13, 2010 3:12 pm

Re-introduce the tie to college football.

The overtime rules in college football is one of the good things and much better than what the NFL has.  It gives both teams an equal chance and is very exciting to watch.  In the World Cup of soccer ties are only allowed in the preliminary round, after that they go to overtime and then a shootout.
I dont think soccer should be the model for what football should be anyway.  If you like soccer and think what they do is so much better, than watch soccer.  American football doesnt need to copy soccer.

American football is fine just the way it is.  Leave it alone to for the hundreds of thousdands of American sports fans who enjoy it.  Whats so great
about a 0-0 soccer game anyway?

Since: May 28, 2009
Posted on: June 13, 2010 1:10 pm

Re-introduce the tie to college football.

I agree with your assessment for the most part, but my reasoning is on a much more basic level. As far as I am concerned, if two teams battle it out for an entire game and it ends in a tie, then neither team deserves that win being only just as good as the other team. By getting rid of the tie, the win has become partially devalued in sports. As now, you can play a team that is just as good as you, have the game end in a tie, and still get a win after playing some 'extra' time that is usually won by the team whose strategy most benefits from the overtime rules that are in place. Obviously, in a playoff system, there would have to be a winner and it is at that point that overtime would become necessary, but for a regular season game, if both teams play equally well, then neither team deserves that win.

Since: Jan 14, 2009
Posted on: June 13, 2010 11:24 am

Ties gone for a reason.

After reading my proposal, who in their right mind would be against bringing the tie back to NCAA football?


Good article with some interesting points but I disagree.  People just do not want ties in sports.  They got rid of the tie in college football for a reason because fans got tired of sitting through a game and coming out of it with a No-Decision.  The viewers wanted it out.  Hockey was the last North American sport to get rid of the tie and the has benefited dramatically from it. 

Soccer still has ties and remains extremely popular worldwide but not here in the states.  I think the tie is partially because of it.  Whenever I see polls on the internet of "why don't you watch soccer"  too many ties always garners a great deal of votes.  I think the only reason the tie against England was OK to sit through was that it is 1 game to watch every 4 years.  If you had to sit through several ties your tune would likely change. 

In otherworrds, the few dramatic 2 point conversions and feel good "we got a tie moments", would be negated by a bunch of disappointing, kiss your sister type, ties.

Disclaimer:  This reply is in no way meant to be taken as a support of the current OT system

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or