Football College Overtime Rules

Football College Overtime Rules

The overtime rules in college football are unique to any other league. The rules currently in place were instituted in 1998 and are commonly known as the "Kansas Plan" due to the resolution of a tied Kansas high school ball game.

After the end of the fourth period, the referees and team representatives will gather for another coin toss, with the winner electing whether they would like to play offense or defense first. Unlike the NFL, college overtime is not sudden death and therefore the decision is more strategy-based.

Each opportunity will start at the opponent's 25 yard line. The offensive team will have one possession to score a touchdown or field goal, hopefully not turning the ball over in the process. The amount of time the possession takes does not matter. The team who gets the ball second will then get one attempt to match or beat what their opponent accomplished.

If no team prevails, they will keep playing overtime periods, alternating which team gets possession first. Once the game reaches three overtimes, the teams must attempt a 2-point conversion rather than attempting an extra point try after a touchdown.

The college overtime rules are preferred by many fans as opposed to extra time in the NFL as they believe that each team getting an opportunity to score is the most fair solution and allows the coin toss to be less indicative of the winning team.

The record for the longest overtime game in history is seven overtime periods. The five games that achieved this feat were 2001 Arkansas vs. Ole Miss, 2003 Kentucky vs. Arkansas, 2006 North Texas vs. FIU, 2017 Western Michigan vs. Buffalo, and 2018 LSU vs. Texas A