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Post Another CFB scoring record, another asterisk

Tuesday November 9, 2010

While the Senator and Elkon take up how we record yardage lost by sacks, Saturday’s scoreboard explosions got me thinking again about my own peeve.

This is a drum I’ve been beating for at least four years now, and it came up again last weekend in the Michigan-Illinois game. It was already a high-scoring game at 45-45 after regulation, but the effect of three overtimes makes it possible to write something like this: “In the highest-scoring game in the storied history of Michigan football, the Wolverines’ defense provided the game-winning play, stopping a 2-point conversion attempt in the third overtime for a 67-65 victory on Saturday.”

Nearly a third of those record-setting points came in overtime when the offense was given the ball at the opponent’s 25. They didn’t have to drive the field or create the field position with defense or special teams. There’s no way that the score should stand as any kind of record.

My recommendation remains the same: as in hockey shootouts, just give the winning team a single additional point whether it takes 1 field goal or 7 touchdowns to get there. I’m even torn whether individual stats should stand – those are still legitimate yards gained, but does it inflate touchdown stats? Fortunately overtime games aren’t terribly frequent to where this is a big deal; it just doesn’t sit well that scoring records are falling simply because we cut the field by 75 yards.

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