NCAA turns back the clock to 1968! College football adopts NFL policy by allowing the clock to run following first downs 55 years after changing rules
- Previous years have seen the clocks stop on a first down to set up the chains
- This stoppage has allowed for some exciting finishes in the sport’s history
- DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
For the first time since 1968, the clocks in college football will not be stopping after a first down – with one notable exception.
The NCAA is set to approve rule changes that will bring back the running clock when a team gains first down at both Division I levels (FBS and FCS) as well as Division II.
Division III did not agree to the rule change, but said they might consider doing so in the future.
The one exception to the rolling clock is when the game enters the final two minutes of each half. At that point officials will stop the clock when an offense gains a first down.
This will allow for the chain crews to catch up to re-establish a first down distance while also allowing teams that are on potential game-winning drives to organize themselves.
The NCAA will be keeping the clocks moving after a first down – reversing its longstanding rule
Previous years have seen the clocks stop on a first down to set up the chains & down markers
Stopping the clock allows teams to get better organized – especially on last minute drives – which has resulted in some amazing finishes such as Tennessee’s win over Alabama in 2022
Stopping the clock after a first down is one of the few rules that help to distinguish the college game from the NFL. It’s been instrumental in many of the more exciting moments in college football’s story book – including last season, when Tennessee used the rule to advance down the field and beat Alabama.
According to Steve Shaw, the secretary-editor of the rules committee, the expected number of plays will drop by an average of about seven per game.
Approval for this rule will come from the Playing Rules Oversight Panel (PROP), which is the group that vets any potential changes to rules.
PROP is also expected to institute two other changes: teams will not be allowed to call consecutive timeouts and penalties at the end of the first and third quarters will be enforced on the initial plays of the ensuing quarter.