There may not be anything in football more exciting than college
overtime, which is vastly more compelling than the NFL's
sudden-death format, in which more often than not the team that
wins the coin toss prevails. Tennessee's 51-43 victory over
Alabama in five overtimes last Saturday is a perfect example of
why the college format is superior.
In a game that lasted nearly five hours, the Vols tried
everything, including concocting new plays on the sideline.
Tennessee has a 700-page playbook, but during the third overtime
offensive coordinator Randy Sanders came up with a quarterback
keeper that led to the field goal that forced the fourth
overtime. Sanders drew up a few other plays, but his best move
may have been in the fifth OT, when he inserted seldom-used
running back Corey Larkins, who ripped off runs of 15 and six
yards to set up Casey Clausen's game-winning one-yard TD. "We
needed a spark," said Sanders. "It's a little scary when you put
in a guy who hadn't carried the ball. The last thing I told Corey
was, 'Don't fumble.'"