Part of the charm of college football is the possibility of the crazy upset. One way to get said upset is by forcing the favored team in to overtime and playing the odds of the system set up to decide a winner at that point.
Apparently the majority of college football has figured out that its odds are better in OT than in trying for the win in regulation.
The Wall Street Journal has pointed out a dramatic increase in the number of college football games have gone in to overtime. As in, already topping the number of games that went in to overtime all of last season.
Now, that’s good news for neutral or casual fans, but for hardcore fans of teams who live and die with the results of all of these close games, it has to be tough. It’s also great news for ratings, as fans stay tuned to close games more often than they do when teams are getting destroyed. (Or, as it should henceforth be known, getting Rutgersed.)
For those teams much more competitive, overtime is a real possibility. That’s because 29 games have already gone to overtime according to the Wall Street Journal report.
That may not seem all that crazy, but consider this — the average for the entire season from 2013-15 was 35 overtime games. Given we’re just halfway through the season and there are some insane rivalry games yet to come, it isn’t far-fetched to think the average is going to get blown away.
So, what gives with this season? Parity certainly seems to be a possibility, as more teams are more competitive today than ever before.
“There is more parity, therefore games will be closer,” said ESPN commentator Chris Fowler. “Whether or not this is completely skewed out of scale, there’s a certain amount of randomness to it.”
It has always been a favorite talking point of college football coaches, especially after a Power 5 teams struggles with a team everyone expected them to beat in a non-conference matchup.
We’re also seeing that line of thinking being played out on the field, as even FCS opponents are giving FBS teams an increasingly difficult time. Just look at North Dakota State, the five-time reigning FCS champion, who has continually found a way to upset an FBS opponent over the last six years.
Overtime is simply an increasing part of the college football landscape, and for the fans that may mean intense highs and lows, but it sure is making for crazy-fun football to watch.