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What would a PAT-less SEC look like?

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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell made headlines this week with his words to the NFL Network regarding PAT’s. Goodell suggested that the competition committee could do away with them altogether.

“The extra point is almost automatic,” Goodell told NFL Network. “I believe we had five missed extra points this year out of 1,200 some odd [attempts]. So it’s a very small fraction of the play, and you want to add excitement with every play.”

Goodell has a point, and it is almost automatic for sure. But what about in the college game? Should this come to be on Saturday afternoons too?

Not all NFL rules automatically follow suit in college, although I’d love to see the NFL abort the absolutely stupid rule that a player can fall down and get back up (and run) if untouched.

Missouri’s Andrew Baggett attempted more PAT’s than any SEC kicker last season, missing three.

But taking a quick look in 2013, SEC kickers attempted 636 PATs. They made 623, missing just 13…a made percentage of 98%. The worst percentage I could find was Florida’s Brad Phillips, who went 3-4 on the year (UF utilized three different kickers last season). Besides Phillips, only two other kickers didn’t have percentages in the upper 90’s, and these had percentages of 93% and some change.

Goodell suggested touchdowns would be worth 7 points, but if a team elected to “go for two,” a term that would need a makeover, the result would be an 8th point. But if they failed to convert, they would lose a point, making their touchdown only worth 6 points.

As I’ve written here plenty of times, I’m somewhat of a football purest. I hate messing with the game. The effort to shorten the games with a running clock a few years ago almost made me lose my mind, and every year they come out with new rules I have to carefully consider the use of Xanax.

But would this be a good rule? How would this affect the Auburn’s and Texas A&M’s of the world who employ the sucker-punch mentality to their philosophies? Would it take some their edge away from the “swinging gate” plays, or other “gotcha” plays that have cheapened the game?

Why not just make the kick more interesting, like backing it up to the 25, and/or making the team kick it from the hash of the defense’s choosing?

It is interesting to note however, that of the 15 SEC kickers who attempted 10 or more PAT’s on the year, only six were perfect.

What do you think?

2013 SEC Kicker PAT attempts/conversions
Marshall Morgan, Georgia 47-47 100%
Andrew Baggett, Missouri 66-69 95.7%
Andrew Ritter, Ole Miss 42-25 93.3%
Carey Spear, Vanderbilt 48-48 100%
Cody Parkey, Auburn 66-67 98.5%
Elliott Fry, South Carolina 54-55 98.2%
Michael Palardy, Tennessee 34-35 97.1%
Zach Hocker, Arkansas 28-28 100%
Colby Delahoussaye, LSU 56-57 98.2%
Cade Foster, Alabama 60-60 100%
Joe Mansorr, Kentucky 28-30 93.3%
Francisco Velez, Florida 6-6 100%
Devon Bell, Mississippi St. 25-26 96.2%
Austin Hardin, Florida 15-15 100%
Evan Sobiesk, Mississippi St. 15-16 93.8%
Brad Phillips, Florida 3-4 75%
Patrick Belass, Georgia 10-10 100%
Adam Griffith, Alabama 5-5 100%
Andrew Fletcher, Ole Miss 2-2 100%
John Henson, Arkansas 1-1 100%
James Hairston, LSU 4-4 100%

(Follow ITK on Twitter for Bama news, commentary and smack.)

8 thoughts on “What would a PAT-less SEC look like?”

  1. How about if you can kickoff through the uprights it still counts as 3 points? I don’t understand why it shouldn’t.

    The PAT isn’t exciting, but replacing it with…nothing? Except maybe a possible attempt at either an extra point or a penalty point? I don’t think any coach would be ok to risk the opportunity to lose points—–if the PAT is a nearly-guaranteed point, the new proposed rule just removes the “nearly” part. Getting rid of the PAT isn’t the answer.

    Why not just move them back, make it harder to hit the PAT? Or why not make a two-point conversion worth three points instead?

  2. Here is the answer to making the PAT relevant and exciting.

    You can make the kick more interesting by making the player who scored the touchdown, also kick the extra point. How many PATs do you think TJ Yeldon could make?

    Or, the PAT kicker at least must have been on the field when the TD occurred. TJ scores and then AJ McCarron, who handed him the ball, can try the PAT.

    Seriously, I’m a football purist too and we should just leave it alone. A missed or blocked PAT is rare, but many times when those rare moments come, they have an extreme impact on the game. Don’t mess with it, unless you follow my advice above.

    1. I don’t know how often a missed PAT ends up actually affecting the final outcome of the game, but I’d be curious to find out. It’s got to be pretty rare that it affects the game that much.

      Still, that’s all predicated on an error. I like football because it’s not a game of errors like baseball and basketball. The proposed NFL rule sounds like taking away a point would be a more likely option than scoring an extra two. The difference is still two points, but it’s still a mess.

      For what it’s worth, the NFL has other stuff they could (and probably should) fix to make the game more exciting before worrying about the freaking PAT, such as the ridiculous overtime rules and ball-control reviews.

      1. Rarely do I ever disagree with you Conduit, but I do here. A missed or blocked PAT almost always affects the decisions that must be made from that point until the end of the game. Teams seem to “chase” that point until the final gun.

        1. I agree with you on that.

          Let me rephrase; It’s not the PAT that makes the game strategy become more exciting; it’s missing the PAT.

          The game becomes more exciting as a result of a missed PAT than the rule change to forego the PAT would do on its own, but the NFL can’t force a team to miss a PAT any more than they can take the “foot” out of “football.”

          There’s got to be a better way to make post-touchdown play more exciting than just removing the PAT, let alone replacing it with the option to lose a free point. Might as well force every team to go for two on every touchdown.

          Then again, the choices made by the NFL are more confusing to me than trigonometry is to a paper clip. Fix overtime? Nope, let’s replace the PAT…

  3. I still remember Florida missing an extra point in overtime of the 1999 game at Gainesville that gave Alabama the win. Alabama missed a PAT in the Orange Bowl that season that cost the game.

  4. Ole miss blocked an extra point to win at Florida and give the gators their only loss that year…2007 I think.

    I watched Alabama this year NOT EVEN TRY to block field goals and PATS

    Don’t eliminate the PAT…try harder to block it and you’ll get a few blocks and misses under pressure…NFL teams don’t Even Try to block PATS

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