NCAA Changes Football’s Overtime Rule


By Otis Kirk

This week the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel has made a change to its overtime rule in college football.

The new rule calls for teams, beginning with the fifth overtime, to run alternate 2-point plays as opposed to gaining possession at the 25-yard line like in the prior overtime periods. The rules already call for teams to have to attempt a 2-point conversion following a touchdown beginning in the third period. 

The current overtime rules were put in place in 1996. Since that time, five games have gone seven overtimes. Arkansas played in two of those games. 

The first seven-overtime game was on Nov. 3, 2001, when the Razorbacks defeated Ole Miss 58-56 in Oxford. The Hogs also played in the second seven-overtime game when they defeated Kentucky 71-63 on Nov. 1, 2003, in Lexington. The Hogs lost in six overtimes to Tennessee 41-38 in 2002 in Knoxville.

The other seven-overtime games were Oct. 7, 2006, when North Texas downed FIU 28-26, Oct. 7, 2017, when Western Michigan defeated Buffalo 71-68, and then Nov. 24, 2018, as Texas A&M beat LSU 74-72. 

Under the new rules, there will be a two-minute rest period after the second and fourth periods. The new rule has been put in to reduce the number of plays and shorten the game. 

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