Big 12 News

CFB Rule Change: Clock To No Longer Stop on First Down

According to a report from CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd, the NCAA is expected to approve a rule change proposed earlier this year that will allow the clock to run after first downs are achieved. This rule change is expected to be accepted at all levels of college football, with the exception of Division III.

The approval, which will come from the Playing Rules Oversight Committee (PROP), will take away the rule that has distinguished the college game from the NFL since 1968.

The PROP, which annually vets rule changes proposed by the NCAA Football Rules Committee, proposed this change in March, with the NCAA’s expected approval coming today, April 21.


The rule change is being enforced to help with game duration issues and player safety concerns that have risen in the college game over the last several years. Allowing the clock to run after first downs will reduce the number of plays by an average of seven per game, according to Steve Shaw, secretary-editor of the rules committee.

This will drastically change the way that games are called by offensive and defensive coordinators, with the need for players to know several plays in advance being more crucial now than ever. However, one familiar rule from the NFL will be adopted as well.

The new rule will also ensure that the clock stops after a successful first down during the final 2 minutes of the second and fourth quarters. This will allow teams to make crucial half- and game-ending drives with the use of first downs to the offense’s advantage.

With so many changes in college football, it’s a wonder how this game looks the same after so many years. However, it’s still America’s most-beloved sport, and that isn’t going to change any time soon.

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