Sure, the college system of giving each team the ball on the opponent's 25-yard line and letting them have at it isn't really football. Boo hoo! The NCAA's way combines heightened drama with the fairness of extra innings. Last Saturday night Florida and Tennessee traded the upper hand on nearly every down. When Neyland Stadium exploded in joy (above), viewers flipped the channel to watch Virginia Tech and Miami do the same thing. Great theater.
The idea is overtime, not overkill. In the pros' sudden-death OT, a team has to earn the win by moving into scoring position. The system works-there have been only two ties in the 1990s—and the drama is faithful to the flow of football. Who came up with the convoluted, clockless college system, Kenneth Starr? A college team has to be lame not to score, and the points can pile up until the mascots pass out. Soccer shootouts seem coherent by comparison.