Former head coach: Eliminating PATs would create more thrill & suspense, not 10-second proposal

NCAA Football: Sam Houston State at Texas A&M

Former Clemson coach Tommy Bowden hasn’t coached since 2008, but he has a radical new idea for college football, which is a hot topic in the NFL.

Related: Cal’s AD ripped Bielema for his 10-second proposal reasoning citing ‘Death Certificates’

Bowden wants to eliminate PATs after touchdowns, and he explains his rationale on his website,

Bowden says the NCAA’s proposal to slow hurry-up offenses doesn’t make sense, because why would anyone want to change the game when college football has broken attendance records? Bowden explains, if the college rules are going to change, why not change for the better by eliminating PATs?

One of the reasons college football has broken attendance records this year is because of the extra excitement that the no huddle up tempo offense has brought to the game. That’s why the discussion to slow the game down doesn’t make since to me. If we want to change a rule, change the extra point rule like the NFL is considering. This would even bring more thrill and suspense to a game that is gaining in popularity every year.

How would it work? There would be no more kicking on a extra point and the team would have an option to run a play for 1 point. A touchdown would now be worth 7 points. If you elect to go for an extra point and fail, then you lose 1 point and you now have 6 points. If you successfully make the extra point attempt, you get 1 point and now have 8 points. You can also chose not to attempt and extra point and your total would remain at 7.

Why change the extra point ? In the NFL there were 5 missed attempts in 1,200 kicks. Four of those 5 were blocked. The 17 top scorers in the NFL are kickers. That just doesn’t seem American. If you remove the extra point the leading scorer would have been Jamal Charles, of the Kansas City Chiefs. College kickers are just about as accurate. You need to remember, years ago when players would kick extra points they were not specialist. It was probably a running back who just carried the ball 8 times on a 12 play drive and lines up to kick with blood running down in his eyes and a sore knee and a banged up shoulder. It surely wasn’t an automatic successful kick like it is today by a specialist who’s only job is to kick.

Bowden’s proposal would make coaches think after a touchdown. Do you keep seven points? Or do you risk going for eight and getting six?

Related: SEC QB recruitment is, well, weird

Bowden has been the only outspoken proponent of eliminating PATs in the college game, but 2015 is a rules change year, right? It’s not likely this proposal would gain any ground anytime soon, but if there’s some way it can be tweaked under the umbrella of player safety, look out.

Should college football say bye-bye to PATs and make touchdowns worth seven?

Photo Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports



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  • I’d hate to see the pat taken out. Sure very few are missed or blocked but games are won or lost by one point.

  • Interesting proposal. PATs are a waste of time and he’s right about the leading scorer stuff. Kickers would still remain very important. Alabama could still miss that Kick 6 that led to Auburn’s miracle win. That all could still happen. This would change the game, and I agree it would add more suspense and thrill to the game. But I guess I’m just a traditionalist.

    • You seem to be the only person for removing the PAT. I wonder if Ole Miss beating Florida in 2008 on a blocked PAT has anything to do with that?

      • Had everything to do with getting to Miami and throttling Oklahoma, for sure….No it has nothing to do with it. And I’m not even for it. I stated I was a traditionalist, which means I like the PATs now, because, well, tradition.

  • I don’t know that this would spice the game up any more than it already is. How many coaches would really take that chance for the extra point?

  • PATs should stay. As others have said, in a close game, the PATs are pretty nerve-wracking, because NOBODY wants to lose by one after the kicker misses a PAT.

  • That proposal is pretty stupid, imo. No huddle hurry up offenses have been around in college football for quite some time now so I don’t see how that statement works either.

  • If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it

  • This coming from someone who hasn’t coached in 6 yrs…thanks Eyeore.

  • Either proposal alters the game. I dunno…I’m more against slowing down no-huddle offenses than eliminating the PAT. Extra points are boring. Field goals aren’t. I actually don’t mind the proposal by Bowden, but this would never happen in a million years.

  • So it would still be ‘foot’ ball because of what? No, the 1 point and 2 point conversions are both great for the game. So is the safety. By that logic we could eliminate the field goals and add excitement with with what? to replace it? another punt? Let’s see we have already eliminated a lot of exciting run back attempts instead of just insisting that coach teach protecting the receiver. What other boring elements will the NCAA trump with next. (oh yeah, the 10 sec. rule)

  • That is what happens now. The only thing you are doing is taking the kick away which is way more exciting when you fake an extra point.

  • So they won’t to take away a play, where there is really not much contact at all, to give a team a chance to add another play of hitting? But….but…..what about player safety??

  • For anyone who thinks that a PAT or a field goal is automatic just watch Mississippi State try to kick one. You will soon know that even these “specialist” are not so special. Come on DAN get a feakin ST coach!!!!