If you didn't sign the anti-3-2-5-e petition that attempted to incinerate football-stealing clock rule changes by popular demand earlier in the season, now might be the time: USA Today reports the NCAA Rules Committee is seeking "feedback" on ways to cut back on the "unintended consequences" of 3-2-5-e (or at least sublimely smartass exploitation of them) ahead of its February meeting in New Mexico, and accompanies it with a nifty table detailing the final ledger on the attrition ably charted all season by The Wizard of Odds and College Football Stats all season.
Read it and weep
Those numbers, provided by the NCAA, show way, way fewer plays lost, it should be noted, than the latest report by The Wiz and CFB Stats. Above, we're only short six snaps per game relative to last season, as opposed to the 16 consistently presented by the independent audit over several months - though the actual USA Today story, contradicting the Association figures in the graph, cites an average of 13 fewer plays. So that is a number in the air. The numbers on points per game don't quite jibe, either, by a few tenths of a point, but the margin of the attrition in that category does.
Outside of the "official" numbers, rules committee chairman Michael Clark expressed some dismay at the value of the completely predictable trade-off between saving time and losing plays:
"It accomplished what we wanted to accomplish in speeding up the game, but what did we give up and was it worth it? Things would pop up not in the spirit of the rule."
The changes took getting used to. Offenses sometimes huddled on the sideline after a change of possession and rushed to the line of scrimmage as the clock was about to start. Late in the second and fourth quarters, timeouts were sometimes called right after a team returned a punt so the clock wouldn't start before the ball was snapped.
"The clock is always a factor to some extent, but in a close game, you don't want the clock to be the dominant factor," Clark said. "You want players to be."
So, in order to fulfill the professed desire to diminish the clock's role in a close game, you pass a rule that by definition makes it the dominant factor? All of which was predicted with complete accuracy in July across the incredulous board.
SMQ remains incredulous that "speeding up the game" was necessary or in demand at all, unless you happen to not like football and want to go shopping or remember you have laundry to do or something by the middle of the second quarter, especially when the length of games is artificially inflated by increased advertising demands in spite of the unstoppable creep of the in-game pitches that in theory would cut down on commercial breaks (hello, CBS, and your maddening superimpositions of the Home Depot logo in the flat on third-and-two - "Boy, I hope Leak completes this one...but not until I get those 10 Ft. Tan Joist Gutters!).
These guys sure think games are too long
More interactive expressions of distaste: Here is your chance to tell the NCAA to sack the BCS, which it has no authority to do. Consider it catharsis. For Michigan fans, at least. Though Urban Meyer, judging from his curmudgeonly sentiments after the system skewed in his favor Sunday night, has signed it twice.
For his own ineffectual semantic subversion, SMQ toyed with declaring the Jan. 8 game he's long dubbed the "Mythical National Championship Game" because of its opinion poll-driven origin the "Mythical Mythical National Championship Game" because of the gaping disagreement within said polls on its participants (perceived unanimity came nonetheless via razor-thin margins in every case) and the distant likelihood at least one - the one whose voters aren't contractually-obligated to disregard their judgment and integrity if they happen to conflict with the result of a game arbitrarily declared above the dominion of polling- could cleave the mythical championship under certain unlikely circumstances.
Instead, he'll distinguish between possible controversy by simply referring to the poll-orchestrated and corporately-dubbed "championship" as the "BCS Mythical National Championship Game," and any others as the "[Insert opinion poll] Mythical National Championship" as necessary. Unless anyone has any better ideas.