To begin with I’ve got to be honest. Alabama stinks at overtime. It seems to me a-we panic and b- we have no plan whenever we go into overtime. However, that being said, overtime itself is a blight on college football.
To begin with overtime is not even football it is a sport invented to prevent tie games.
(1) Allowing each team to start with great field position is not football. In football you have to earn the 25 yard line.
(2) In football you have a game clock. The time left in the game dictates a situation. In overtime you have no game clock.
(3) In football you chose when you go for two or one, not the rules.
Secondly, overtime rewards the coin toss winner. I don’t know the exact stats but the winner of the toss wins the game more often. How is that fair? A tie game might as well be decided by a coin flip.
Third, overtime adversely effects the regular time. Basketball overtime is fine because it is an extension of the regulation. You never see a basketball team playing for overtime. Baseball’s extra innings do not effect the way you play the first nine. But in football with a tie game and 5 minutes to go teams start playing not to lose, rather than to win. I’d even go so far as to say that last night that dumb Honey Nut took out Dre because he was afraid Dre was about to separate his return man from the ball. A penalty, even a penalty for assault with intent to injure, is ok as long as we keep the tie in place.
Anyone watching last night could clearly see both teams go extremely conservative in play calling and time management just to get to overtime. It reminded me of Notre Dame running the clock our on Mich. St. in 1966. That, by the way was a terrible game. Two teams playing not to lose.
Fourth, overtime makes coaches make dumb decisions. Let me give you an example. If a team scores with no time left and needs a 1 pt. conversion to tie the score they almost always kick the 1 pt to go to overtime. Assuming each team’s odds in overtime are 50-50, this is a bad choice. Failure rate of a 1 point conversion is 2%. Combining those stats you see that a team lining up to kick a 1 pt. conversion has only a 49% chance of winning the game. However, the success rate of a 2 pt. conversion is 55%. So, going for 2 at the end of the game actually gives you a 6% better chance of getting the win than kicking the point. But, because we have been lulled into this overtime thing coaches make a dumb mistake and attempt to kick the point. (Let me point out the same thing applies to a team that scores 2nd in the first or second over time and kicks for
the tie to go to another overtime. It is the wrong decision.)
Fifth, football is not made to be an overtime game. Football is so physically hard 60 minutes is all it should be played IN A WEEK. Every other sport, baseball, basketball, soccer, etc. you can play everyday. You can not play football but once a week. Overtime is just too taxing. I’m always glad when overtime is over and no one on Bama's tram is hurt because I’m telling you it is a real possibility. And teams playing two or three overtimes or more will actually hurt their chances of recovering in time for the next game.
Sixth, football conferences etc. do not require clear cut winners in every game. The only time you need to have a clear winner is when you have a playoff and only 1 team can advance. Aside form that, a tie is just fine in the standings, the polls, etc.
Seventh, not all ties are bad and some games actually should end in a tie. Last night was a good example. The game should have ended in a tie with the last team with the ball still trying to score. I know Coach Bryant said a tie was like kissing your sister. But in his first 3 years at Bama he had 5 ties and everybody seemed pretty happy about the way the program was headed. By the way, he said it was like kissing your sister which I’m taking he meant giving your sister a hello kiss on the cheek which basically invokes no real emotion. He did not say it was like having a kidney stone.
Eighth, the overtime rule took the best drama situation in football and eliminated it. The best drama situation was when the favorite team scores near the end and has to decided to go for one for a tie or two for the win. That is like the Nebraska v. Miami for the NC. Nebraska would have won the NC with a tie, but went for the win and lost. We had a similar thing with USC in 1977.
Ninth, back on this train of thought that we must have a clear winner. Why do we think that? I live in Ga. Our high school football has a great approach to the play-offs. When playing an elimination game teams will play overtime. However, if the championship game ends regulation in a tie, both teams are declared co-champions. I’m good with that. Maybe, just maybe, there are some times when two teams are actually even, equal, etc. Why not let both be champions? I mean is that some kind of disgrace?
Tenth, overtime rewards luck. Now there was no luck involved last night other than the coin toss which sealed our fate But, a lot of overtime games are decided by pure luck. In the course of game the bounces usually even out. But, in an overtime game there is no time for the bounces to even out.
In a way we might as well flip a coin to get a winner and save some time and heart break. I would have been happy with a tie last night even if the overtime had gone our way. The way we played the last series in regulation and the way we tried to kick a 52 yard FG which had no chance was sad to me. It was a give up from a team that had fought hard all game and then gave up at the end. I promise you AJ throwing a Hail Mary on 4th down was more likely than Cade kicking a 52 yarder. Heck, let Trent run a draw play.