Why You Should Go For Two Instead Of a Tie In Overtime

ernie cohenCorrespondent INovember 22, 2009

In college football overtime, teams almost inevitably kick an extra point to tie the game rather than going for 2. This decision is usually wrong.

As everyone knows, going second in overtime is a substantial advantage; over the history of NCAA overtimes, the team on defense first has won 55% of the time. This means that on average, all other things being equal, if you kick the extra point for the tie, you will have to go on offense in the next overtime, and will win only 45% of the time.

But it gets worse. NCAA extra points fail 2-3% of the time. So if you choose to kick the extra point, you will win only 42-43% of the time.

Conversely, NCAA 2-point conversions succeed about 43% of the time. So going for 2 is at least as good as kicking the extra point.