For the hardcore college football fan, time is of no concern on a Saturday in the fall. The hardcore fan is perfectly happy plopping down on the recliner or sofa at noon eastern (or earlier for a pregame fix) and not budging except for bathroom breaks, snack and beverage refills for a good 12 to 14 hours. But for those who are waiting for one game to end before heading out to catch a dinner and a movie, the evening plans may be taking slightly longer to get to.
According to the “Summary of Game Duration Reported to NCAA for FBS Conferences,” a report tracking the length of an average football game over the last five years, the average college football game takes approximately 10 more minutes to complete than it did five years ago. As reported by CBSSports.com, games appearing on television typically take 12 more minutes to play than those not being broadcast to a television audience. With more and more games being made available on television with expanded network coverage, you can see why this may be a concern for conferences and television partners.
Fans of the Big 12 are typically in for the longest games at an average of 3 hours 25 minutes per game. SEC fans can expect to devote 3 hours 20 minutes per game, one minute more than those fans of ACC and AAC teams. Of the power conferences, Big Ten teams play the fastest games on average at a pace of 3 hours 14 minutes per game. Contrasting offensive styles can play a huge role in the disparity in the report. Big Ten teams typically rely more on the run than the passing styles found in the Big 12.
The other factor in the equation is the way different television deals are set. As explained by Big 12 coordinator of officials Walt Anderson, the Big 12’s deal with FOX Sports provides for two additional commercial breaks during a broadcast, which adds six minutes to the overall game time.
Do you mind the extra time it takes for a game to be played? Did you even notice a difference?