The mercy rule in football is one that always sparks a debate.
Is it a sportsman’s duty to show mercy to the other team, or is it meant to be a bloodbath?
Well, Ole Miss and Florida’s college football teams are a great way to look at the situation.
While yes Lane Kiffin’s Rebels did need all four quarters to beat Will Muschamp’s Gamecock’s the score was extremely high. With a score that high a mercy ruling might usually be put in place, where the clock does not stop moving.
This would have possibly hampered any form of offense on either sideline, but it could have also given both teams a reason to rest some stars in preparation for bigger games. In this instance the arguments against the mercy rule ring true, every team should have the opportunity to win no matter the cost. The Florida game was a different story.
Dan Mullen had arguably won the game before half time, but the Hogs of Arkansas did keep the game interesting by scoring in each half. Here the mercy rule could have been used to save face for the Arkansas team that is just not up to par with the high octane Florida offense. While the Razorbacks would have wanted every opportunity to win, in the second quarter it was plain to see that this Florida offense and defense were firing on all cylinders.
A mercy rule is hard to judge, and is usually different on a case by case basis, but these two games that happened last week give football fans a real glimpse into their necessity. It is purely opinion-based as there is no rule in division 1 college football, but some fans may begin to voice their opinions, I being one of them.
Mercy rules allow for good sportsmanship amongst coaches and also keeps starters fresh for more win-able games. This is just one journalist’s opinion but I do hope something is done about it.