Dabo Swinney: 'We need less of all the wasted time'

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Thursday January 19, 2017


Photo credit: Reuters

Do college football games need to be shortened? Dabo Swinney says just don’t change the actual game.

Per CBS Sports, the average FBS game is three hours and 24 minutes. The national championship broadcast was more than four hours long.

Swinney was asked about that while on The Rich Eisen Show, but pointed to the off-field factors, rather than the game.

We don’t need less of the game. We need less of all the wasted time,” Swinney said. “That’s what we need less of. I would not be for any changes that change the game. But all the commercials and timeouts and that stuff, the replay stuff, that’s where the game gets extended. But I loved every second of it. I didn’t want it to end.”

But all those commercials create the money that makes its way back to the schools and gets used on facilities and salaries. Back in 2006, college football ran clock on kickoffs and changes of possession to shorten games, but those were quickly changed after backlash.

What about not stopping the clock on first downs and using more NFL rules? The AFCA said last week that game length is a discussion, because it’s not a problem at the lower levels. The average game time is 3:24 for FBS, 3:05 for FCS, 2:48 for D2 and 2:40 for D3.

“We are in discussion about the duration of games at the FBS and FCS levels. Division II and Division III coaches have not been impacted by the length of their games because they are averaging two hours and 46 minutes to play a game, while our FBS and FCS games are not,” the AFCA said in a release.

“Changing our playing format as a group creates problems for our lower division programs to the point that it would shorten their games. We need to work with the NCAA model and our television partners about the length of FBS and FCS games.”

Swinney was also asked about the targeting rule. Coaches want more consistency, and the AFCA said it applauds the efforts of many groups, but Swinney expressed a strong support for the rule and said it’s making the desired difference.

“I think it’s been a little inconsistent. I think they have improved greatly,” he said. “It is changing the culture of football, which is a good thing. People are so much more conscious of it. The refs aren’t perfect. They miss some. We had one the other night I felt should’ve been called. But for the most part, they’ve gotten it right, and it has truly changed the culture of the game and how things are being taught and how guys are playing.

“They’re so much more aware. Guys want to play. You have guys put out of games and things like that. The change they made this year where it can be reviewed, those were all positive. There’s been more discussion of things that can make it better, but I think we’re heading in the right direction.”

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to chris@coachingsearch.com.