The clutter

By the Numbers, the College Game Has Less Action

The Sugar Bowl, won by Louisiana State over Oklahoma Sunday night, contained the following: 111 replays, 163 informational graphics, 262 changes in the corner score box (down and yardage, statistics), 86 crowd or marching band shots, 120 cuts to the coaches, 28 shots of cheerleaders and 20 sideline reports.

Oh, and 16 minutes 28 seconds of live action generated by 161 plays, or 8.1 seconds per rush, pass, punt, extra point, field goal or kickoff.

Through the prism of obsessive stopwatch analysis, that means that only 7.3 percent of the 3-hour-43-minute game contained real-life movement. It’s not a lot, but any more might require on-field triage.

Throughout the game and during halftime, ABC and its local stations left the Louisiana Superdome 25 times to show 79 commercials (can we ever shake the memory of Snoop Dogg in a series of Nokia commmercials?) and took 35 other diversions to promote its or ESPN’s programming 48 times (have you heard enough about “According to Jim,” the new “Celebrity Mole” and “I’m With Her”?)….

Indianapolis’s 41-10 victory over Denver featured 133 replays, 141 graphics, 222 changes to the corner score box (95 alone in the Colts’ 17-point second quarter), 107 shots of the coaches and 80 fan shots. CBS broke away for commercials 29 times, showing 78 advertisements, and offered 34 promotions for its other programming.

The Colts’ dismantling of the Broncos produced 12 minutes 18 seconds of real-time action. The 132 plays averaged 5.6 seconds each.