The greatest sport in the world kicks off tonight, and that is, obviously, College Football. Football is the #1 sport in America, and despite the “declining ratings” some site…it’s not close. And when comparing the flavors of football, College has it ALL OVER the NFL.
This isn’t an endorsement of the shameful racket that is the NCAA, but strictly a judgment of the on-field product.
Top reasons why College football is better:
College Gameday: The BEST sports-related show out there. Barkley and crew are the only competition, but they don’t do it in front of a live audience, don’t have an 80 year old crazy guy putting on mascot heads and dropping f-bombs, and don’t make news because of truly genius signs.
Variety: I spent 8 seasons coaching football, at all different levels, and I can’t give you major differences between pro offenses…other than personnel groupings and play calling. They are all essentially within the same narrow framework when it boils down to it.
In college you have teams running the Wishbone, 3 backs, no backs, no pass, all pass, up tempo, no tempo…and on the other side of the ball you need to game plan for something drastically different every week.
Also, anything “new” you’ve ever seen in the NFL…guess where they stole it from???
Actual Underdogs: College football has no parity, which leads to some lopsided matchups. True, many times it makes for some September snoozefests, but it’s also means teams need to be innovative to compete. And occasionally, you end up with a team that gets it all working for a season, or a month, or shit, for one game, and you end up with a truly HUGE upset- something the NFL hasn’t really witnessed in probably 20 years.
And because there are so many teams, if you do run into a lopsided game…just turn the station, there are like 20 games on at a time.
The “Atmosphere”: Now, this is a hotly contested item on the regular text chains. My Buddy Matty is generally the one to push back on this, so to address MBM: Yes, I understand I’m not actually there. And I understand that the “tradition” and “pomp” have nothing to do with the game. But this is goddamn America, and I can still enjoy it.
Major college sports are a multi-billion dollar corporation, but it doesn’t play out that way on Saturdays. Even on TV, you can hear the band, the buzz in the crowd, the crazy chants…it’s all deadly.
Overtime: Overtime in college is more fair, and simply put, WAY better. There is no reasonable argument otherwise. Anything that gives a team a decided advantage based on a coin toss is inherently stupid…and college does it right.
*I would, however, do away with PAT’s, to speed it up. I’d go to forced 2-pt conversions on each possession.
Stopping the Clock on first downs: The college game ain’t gonna let no slow-footed, dumb-witted linesman who can’t line up the damn ball thwart a comeback. I don’t know why die hard NFL fans, who constantly bash referees any chance they get, settle for anything less.
Stop the clock, get the chains set, then wind it up. College has this right, and again…there is no rational argument against this.
*FYI the ONLY reason the NFL doesn’t adopt the two above rules is because of Network television schedules, which should tell you I’m right about this.
The Regular Season means something: Every week can make or break a season. Leagues aren’t just free-flowing random assignments, they are filled with long-time rivals. There are trophies and cool names for some of the best Rivalry games. The NFL has no real rivalries, certainly none that approach the ones contested on Saturdays in November.
In conclusion: Variety, Upsets, Rivalries, Rabid fanbases and rules that make for more exciting finishes….I’m still trying to figure out why everyone isn’t in agreement on this.
Do yourself a favor and work on becoming a college fan this year. There are some blowouts, but the payoff when you catch a truly great game is well worth it, and better than any random Sunday. And there are plenty of great ones every week.