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NCAA changes college football overtime rules

Jun 5, 2019; Austin, TX, USA; Detailed view of the NCAA logo at the NCAA Track & Field Championships at Mike A. Myers Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Back in 1996, the NCAA adopted overtime for college football after repeated push back against games ending in ties. Since then, overtime rules have changed some.

It’s led to some dramatic finishes while also seeing some games last over four hours. The idea of an offense starting at the opponent’s 25-yard line with the process being repeated for the first four overtimes seemed to make sense at first glance. Teams being forced to go for two-point conversions after the second overtime period and the like. It was fun.

The NCAA is now changing the college football overtime rules for the 2021 season.

  • Teams will now have to go for two-point conversions after scoring a touchdown following the first overtime period. It was previously after the second OT.
  • College football games will transition to a two-point “shootout” after the second overtime period. This previously happened following the fifth OT.

The idea is to shorten games and lower the possibility of injuries by having lesser plays from scrimmage. Whether this works remains to be seen. But it is a rather dramatic change from what we’ve seen in the past.