Saturday, September 21, 2013

Unofficial Mercy Rule Used Twice in College Football Saturday

College football, the NCAA, and more specifically the University of Miami, Savannah State, Louisville, and Florida International should be embarrassed and ashamed. Their respective games today are the epitome of what is wrong in college football today.

Both games--Miami/Savannah State and Louisville/Florida International--had some form of the mercy rule used in Saturday's games.

On two occasions Saturday a form of 'mercy' was used. According to officials from the American Athletic Conference both coaches agreed to have a running clock for the last 18 minutes of the game:

The score was 51-0 at that point, and with more than a quarter of action left it was pretty clear what was going to happen. No need to draw it out for the kids and risk injury, right?

If that is the case, why in the heck are you scheduling the game in the first place?

They were not alone. The Miami Hurricanes and Savannah State actually agreed to cut the final quarter short; 12 minutes instead of 15.

I get why it was done in both cases--the games were barely games. They were blowouts pretty much from the opening whistle. When it got as bad as it did something needed to be done. Cutting the games short was not the answer.

Incidentally, there is no 'mercy rule' on the books in college football, but there have been a number of instances in recent years where teams have agreed upon one.

They never should have been scheduled; definitely not in Week Four of the season. I get that it means a lot of money for the smaller school and a chance for the bigger one to work out the kinks, wrack up some stats, and keep/get everyone healthy.

But they aren't real 'games.' There was no contest in either game and at this competitive level they should be. Things like this make college football look every bit the business that the NFL is. Maybe I'm being naive in thinking it should be otherwise, but--well, it should.

Yes, I know that there are cases every season where small schools give the big ones scares, but those cases are the exception.

If you are going to schedule it at least take your lumps and play it out--like Florida A&M did against Ohio State. Oh--and don't bother to say your thinking of the kids because if that was true the game never would have been scheduled anyway.

Florida International Head Coach Ron Turner had enough pride to later say that he never agreed to a running clock. He also said that he was never asked.

Was he lying? I don't think so; too easy to prove. But that creates another question--who approved the running clock then? Someone had to for it to be 'agreed upon.'

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