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Michigan football: New college football rule change could benefit the Wolverines

The Wolverines may benefit from the new college football rule changes.



Michigan football, college football rule change

For the first time since 1968, college football could see the removal of clock stoppage on first downs. The NCAA is expected to approve a college football rule change today that could significantly shorten the duration of games this coming fall. If approved; first downs would no longer lead to any clock stoppage until the final two minutes of each half. Instead, the time will continue to run, just as it does in the NFL. This could be beneficial for run-first programs like Michigan football.

College football rule change could benefit Michigan

The expected approval was reported Friday afternoon by CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd. The rule is intended to speed up the pace of college football games. It should also shorten how many plays can occur in a game, a change which is likely looking toward the increase in matches with the College Football Playoff expansion in 2024.

Over the years, it has become abundantly clear what Michigan football likes to accomplish on offense. When they enter the field, they want to stay there for as long as possible, preventing the other team an opportunity to score the ball. For the Wolverines, this is done using a dominant run game and a strong defense.

In using the running game as a primary choice on offense, Michigan football has found great success in keeping the clock running. The proposed rule change could make this even easier for teams like the Wolverines. One of the most significant challenges to teams that prefer to dominate time of possession is the clock stoppage, when the ball would either go out of bounds or create a first down. Now, the first down issue could completely go away.

On the other side of the ball, this could amplify a dominant defense and what they’re capable of doing. With clock stoppage, the offense had a chance to relax, gather themselves and think about what they wanted to do with their next set of downs. With the clock continuing to run, game management must be emphasized this coming season, giving ground and pound-teams an upper hand heading into this college football season.

Big changes could be coming for the college football landscape

College football has become a game of dominant offense. A boom or bust style has worked mainly because there has always been so much time stoppage. More possessions meant more opportunities for big plays. Now, as the clock will continue to run and chances to set up for the big play might diminish, a larger emphasis on the line of scrimmage and time of possession could be coming soon.

Teams like Georgia, Wisconsin and Michigan have become known for their dominant offensive line play for years. Unfortunately, until recently, with the last two national championships, this strategy hasn’t always been a winning strategy on the national stage. Flashy offenses have typically dominated, but we might be heading into a new era of college football.

With the new rule changes, significant adjustments could be on the way for college football. Luckily for the Wolverines, they might be among the select few to benefit most from it.

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A recent graduate from Kalamazoo College, Tyler has four years experience in sports writing. He currently works as assistant editor for Blue By Ninety and specializes in a variety of sports such as football, swimming and diving, and basketball.