Patriots win Super Bowl LI in overtime
I hated seeing Belichick, Brady, and the Patriots win the Super Bowl too, but don't blame the rules!

Probably bitter over the New England Patriot's unprecedented comeback victory in overtime of Super Bowl LI, a CBS Sports blogger (and probably many others) is arguing that the NFL should adopt college football overtime rules. The author asserts "But the one thing college football does better than the NFL? Overtime, without a doubt.".

Um, no. Absolutely not!

The college football overtime rules is something that I despise about that game. For many reasons.

College overtime isn't football

First of all, it's a totally different rule set than the regulation game. The CBS writer claims that "The overtime rules in college football are straight forward." I disagree on that point as well, as college overtime is full of caveats of its own. After all, if it were so simple, then why would sites like Sports Illustrated and ESPN feel it necessary to feature posts titled "How does college overtime work?"? For example, why is the ball placed on the 25 yard line? Why not the 30? or the 50? or the 10? Why not just put the ball on the two and give each team one play to score a two-point conversion? Seems pretty arbitrary.

Another arbitrary college overtime rule is that after two overtimes, teams are required to go for two-point conversions because the rules-makers realized they needed some way to limit multiple overtimes. It's a more complicated and arbitrary ruleset than the CBS writer gives it credit for, and it's no less complicated than NFL overtime rules which is played virtually identically to a regulation game, except that it has a hybrid "sudden death" that allows for the game to continue if the opening possession results in a field goal.

Granted, there are plenty of arbitrary rules already in football. Why does a touchback go out to the 25 yard line? Why are kickoffs from the 35 yard line? Why is a touchdown worth 6 points? And so on. So if we're stuck with arbitrary rules, we might as well keep them consistent between regulation and overtime.

Devin Hester return TD
Special teams stars like Devin Hester are
completely irrelevant in college overtime.

Perhaps most importantly: college rules completely ignore special teams. Have an explosive punt or kick returner like, say Devin Hester? Well, in college football, he never gets to step foot on the field - at least, not as a return man. Same goes for an exceptional punter (like Hall of Fame punter Ray Guy) or a standout kick coverage unit (like perpetually-snubbed gunner Steve Tasker). They all get to sit on the sidelines and watch because they're arbitrarily no longer part of the game. Special teams is part of football, and should be part of overtime. Any overtime rule that neglects special teams is not football.

No possibility of a tied game

Another of my biggest complaints with college football overtime is that it favors the offense, exhausts the defenses, and leads to inflated scores and stats. A 10-10 defensive struggle that is unresolved in regulation can end up turning into a 38-35 shootout. Don't forget that this supposedly-exciting "shoot out" could turn into a slog of exchanging field goals indefinitely.

The current college rules also don't allow for a game to end in a tie. I know that with only 12 or 13 games, every game in college football counts, and a tie would look awefully confusing to any top 25 pollsters. But the reality is that sometimes a tie might be more representative of the outcome of a hard-fought game than some inflated triple overtime score.

Lastly, by not permitting a tie, the college overtime rules permit a game to go on indefinitely until a winner is decided. This is a rule that changed in 1995. Prior to that year, college football games could end in ties, but the rules committee decided that was undesirable. Even regular season games must go on until there is a winner. This can wear out the players and can dramatically increase the risk of injury. I can understand the desire to play a playoff or championship or bowl game until a winner is determined (even though I disagree with it), but is it really necessary for every single regular season game too...?

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Chicago Bears alt logo

I was looking forward to a breakout year for the Bears. I even drafted Jay Cutler in one of the later rounds in one of my fantasy football leagues expecting him to have his best season ever and be a top-tier quarterback. All the pieces were in place. And the defense being a liability seemed to be even more promising, since Cutler would have to play from behind more often, giving him plenty of opportunity to put up huge numbers.

But then the season started, and my excitement was almost completely squashed by losing the season opener in overtime to the Bills.

But I never feared it would get this bad!

The Bears have only three wins in the first ten weeks of the season, and the past three losses have been embarrassing. A loss to the Dolphins in which the Bears couldn't even score more than 14 points. And now two straight games against the Patriots and Packers that were both over by halftime. And the loss to the Packers came after a bye!

The Bears are failing at every level of play. The offense can't move the ball or score points. Special teams hasn't done anything special. And teams are cutting through the Bears' defense like butter. The defense at least has the excuse of injuries. Charles Tillman is out for the year, and Lance Briggs just returned from a multi-week injury. But that doesn't justify giving up over 100 points in two weeks, nor does it justify the defense being the statistically worst defense that the team has ever had in its 90-plus-year history.

Bears - 23 | Patriots - 51 : Rob Gronkowski scores a TD Bears - 14 | Packers - 55 : Jordy Nelson wide open TD reception
The Bears' defense has set franchise records for awfulness.

But as bad as the defense is, it wasn't expected to be very good. New coach Mark Trestman is an offense-oriented coach, and the defense is old and has lost some of its best talent (like Brian Urlacher).

What is disappointing is that despite being the most "talented" and hyped offense that the team has ever seen, the offense is completely inept. It's as bad as the post-SuperBowl Rex Grossman offense!

The Bears don't even look like a professional football team right now.

There's two obvious scape-goats here: coach Mark Trestman, or quarterback Jay Cutler.

Cutler has been inconsistent and oft criticized, but his apologists always said that he needed a better offensive coach...

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One of the NFL's new rule changes for this year is that the booth will now automatically review all plays that are called as touchdowns on the field without needing the play to be challenged by a coach.

It sounds good in principle.

Patriots 38, Dolphins 24 - Reggie Bush breaks the plane, but was called out of bounds on the field.
Reggie Bush's touchdown was ruled out-of-bounds on the field, so had to be challenged by Tony Sporano.

Make sure that teams aren't getting points put up on the board when they shouldn't be.

But what about the inverse?

The rule is that only plays that are called as touchdowns on the field are being reviewed. For plays that are incorrectly called as not a touchdown, the coach still has to use a challenge.

So the NFL is making sure that points aren't put up on the board when they shouldn't be, but they're not making sure that points do go up when they should. Why the hell not?

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It's a debate that's been going on for a decade: Is Tom Brady better than Peyton Manning?

Peyton ManningTom Brady

Tom Brady has more championships, so the conventional wisdom would say that yes, Brady is superior.

But I think this week's season opener proves otherwise.

This Sunday marked the first time since 1997 that Peyton Manning was not the Indianapolis Colts' starting quarterback.

Championships aren't the only measure of quality for an NFL quarterback. Remember, Dan Marino never won a Super Bowl. He's easily the best player in Super Bowl era of NFL history to have never won a Super Bowl, and he's one of - if not the - best quarterbacks in history. And Manning does in fact have a ring! He won it against my Bears in 2006. But if somebody was going to beat the Bears in the Super Bowl, I'm glad it was Manning. The guy deserves it!

So how else can we compare them?

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Welcome to Mega Bears Fan's blog, and thanks for visiting! This blog is mostly dedicated to game reviews, strategies, and analysis of my favorite games. I also talk about my other interests, like football, science and technology, movies, and so on. Feel free to read more about the blog.

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