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Saturday, 20 December 2014

8 Reasons Why College Football Trumps The NFL

It’s not hard to get excited about college football. The history, the pageantry, the game day experience. Fans yelling at other fans with passion sometimes stronger than love. The debate over which is better – the NFL or the NCAA – for decades. Here are a few reasons the college game trumps the guys making all that money.


Remember, these are scholar athletes. They play on scholarship and can have that taken away at any time for any reason. This isn’t like the NFL, where many players are paid millions, which gives them a sense of entitlement.


The college game gives us cliché games like David vs. Goliath. And on any given Saturday (I know the same things can be said about the NFL) the team with a losing record can rise from the ashes to win. College football gives us great upsets like Appalachian State over Michigan and Georgia Southern over Florida.


No award (besides the Lombardi Trophy) means as much to the sport as the Heisman Trophy. It represents everything that is good in the sport and continues tradition – something the NFL lacks on many levels.


There is no other sport where there is so much speculation each week. Which teams will be in the four-team playoff? What coach is going to get fired? Who will jump into the Heisman race? Can Florida or Miami return to dominance? The media is to blame and networks like ESPN and the SEC Network earn their rating weekly.


It may be the best sports show on television. The fact that week after week the ESPN crew travels to college campuses and gets us in the spirit for football (like we needed help) each week is like a college band playing our favorite fight songs. Chris Fowler leads the charges each week and we can’t get enough.


Florida State/Miami. Georgia/Florida. Alabama/Auburn. Ohio State/Michigan. They are what college football is all about. You cannot break it down any better than that.


You cannot take a Texas fan or alum and change him into an Oklahoma fan. While NFL fans tend to remain true to their favorites, moving to new cities can spark new interests. You don’t see that in the college game. A Buckeyes fan hates Michigan until his deathbed. A Seminole will never agree to root for the Gators or the Hurricanes. And Army and Navy are bitter rivals.


Steve Spurrier is as honest as the day is long. Bo Pelini challenged the Cornhuskers administration and lost. And then there is the greats like Bobby Bowden, Vince Dooley and Paul “Bear” Bryant who were as popular as their programs. The college game allows coaches to become the faces of their programs. While players are characters as well (see Tim Tebow, Brian Bosworth and anyone from the 1987 Miami Hurricanes) coaches seem to last longer than the players who play for them.


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