penn state

Penn State fans cheer for the Nittany Lions as they play Purdue on Oct. 5.

Like most of you, I love college football. However, as much as I love it, I realize it is not perfect.

In fact, if I were King of College Football, here are some things I would try to change.

n The overtime rule. Currently, a team has to forgo kicking the extra point and must go for a 2-point conversion starting with the third overtime. Let’s change the rule and say you have to go for 2 from the beginning of overtime. No kicking of the extra point. With all the concern about player safety, this would help eliminate the possibility of a four-, five- or six-overtime game. Multiple overtime games are very real safety issues, especially for defensive players. The players are too tired.

n I would have tried to make Joe Paterno’s vision a reality of an eastern all-sports conference back in the early 1980s. It might have stopped much of the geographic nonsense that exists today. If I were King, college conferences would be made up of like- minded and similar institutions that also have geographic proximity. The eastern all-sports conference would have had Penn State, Pitt, West Virginia, Boston College, Rutgers, Temple, Maryland and one other member.

n I might shake up a few things. For example, Clemson would be in the SEC, Kentucky would be in the ACC, Cincinnati and West Virginia might be in one of the two. Kentucky really is more like an ACC program anyway, with its passion for basketball over football. On the other hand, Clemson is more like an SEC program, with its passion for football over basketball.

n I would be very careful about listening to those folks who want to minimize college football. After all, which sport do you think pays the bills? Which sport funds all of the other 18-30 Olympic sports that most land-grant schools feature? Which sport actually seats 50,000 to 100,000 spectators and has significant television dollars? Let’s not mess with a product that is responsible for homecoming parades and has been bringing alumni back to campus for 150 years.

n College basketball would not start until Thanksgiving weekend. I love college basketball. I always have and always will, but the season starts too early. In the second week of November, fans are still in football mode. Look around at the arenas. In the early weeks of November, there are empty seats everywhere. Also, there are very few compelling games.

n The first Top 25 football poll would come out the first of October and not the first of August. We know a lot more about the teams after the first month of the season.

n Finally, if I were King — and this has nothing to do with football — all Major League Baseball playoff games in October would be played in the daytime. Fall, playoff baseball just looks better in the bright sunshine.