Pace of Play
Peak Pace – We Have Reached the Top
Peak Pace Reached
College Football Begins to Slow Down
The era of increased plays per minute, after seven years of consecutive pace of play rate jumps, is coming to an end in 2015.
I started tracking Pace of Play metrics two years and in 2014, I wrote this article questioning if we were approaching Peak Pace. The pace at which the tempo of the game becomes too inefficient for offenses and the defenses start to catch up the to the schemes. At the start of this season, I looked back again and felt, at worst, we were going to see a flattening of the pace of college football.
With thirteen weeks gone by, and given the trend of teams pace slowing as we get deeper into the season, I feel comfortable stating the fast is past. As you can see in the chart below, we are looking to end 2015 at a pace of play that is slower than 2012, 2013 and 2014. Keep in mind, this pace is still much faster than earlier years, so I believe the faster tempo is here to stay, just in a more controlled and efficient manner. Ultimately, this should produce a better and more balance brand of college football for all fans, and will bring relief to those that fear and ever increasing pace will ruin their game.
NEW RECORD: Points per play in college football has reached an all time high in spite of football running at a slow pace than previous years. It tells me the offenses are getting smarter and the defenses are no where close to closing the gap. 2015 Offenses, per first half play, are scoring at a rate that is 6.6% higher and with a pace that is 6.9% faster than in the 2008 season when we saw the up tempo trend start.