5 Reasons to Believe College Football Is a Better Game Than the NFL

5 Reasons to Believe College Football Is a Better Game Than the NFL


Dollars to donuts, a true football fan loves any version of the game. That being said, for many aficionados of American football, there's no question that the college version of the game is vastly superior. While it's true that the NFL gets the cream of the crop player-wise coming out of the NCAA, a case can still be made that college football is where the best game playing exists. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, here are five reasons why the NFL plays second fiddle to college football's greatness.


1. Every Week Feels Like the Playoffs

It's true. Every week of the college football season feels like the playoffs and functions like it. From the rivalries that go back decades to the reality that a single loss can keep you from making the newly minted playoffs at the end of the season, players, coaches, and fans are always giving it their best. In many ways, it's just simple math: 12 teams out of the NFL's 32 will make it to the playoffs and have a chance to compete in the Super Bowl. In Division I NCAA football, four teams out of 128 will have a chance to make the playoffs and possibly win a national championship.

Higher stakes yield a greater drama. Don't believe it? If you're someone who likes to bet on football now and again — bear in mind that offshore sites offer a far superior product and experience — put a little money on a good college team in September or October. It's a thrill you won't get on the pro end of things until the end of the season.


2. Live Mascots

While it's true that a handful of NFL teams have live mascots, the number and type pale in comparison to the live mascots on the college end of the spectrum. From the terrified looks of the five guys running Ralphie, Colorado's real, live buffalo, onto the football field to the West Virginia Mountaineer and his honest-to-God musket, college football's live mascots are far superior to the NFL's.


3. No Two-Minute Warning

To many lovers of the game, the NFL's introduction of the two-minute warning was never as much about strategy as it was just one more opportunity to sell airtime to advertisers. In college football, the lack of a two-minute warning keeps the game in progress and any cynicism about money in sports temporarily at bay. Also? It showcases just how good — or bad — an offense and its quarterback can be when they don't have the constant intervention of a coaching staff.


4. Overtime Is Fair

When a game is sent into overtime in the NFL, the team that wins the coin toss wins the game at a wildly unfair rate. Why? Because the NFL's overtime is sudden death, so whichever team gets to play offense first has a tremendous scoring advantage — though it has been adjusted somewhat, now requiring a touchdown to end the game.

College football's overtime, on the other hand, is totally equivocal. Each team is given the ball at their opponent's 25-yard line, and without a game clock to worry over, tries to progress down the field. Whoever's in the lead at the end of both possessions is declared the winner. If a tie remains, they each get the ball at their opponent's 25-yard line, again. At the third possession, if there still isn't a winner, each team must attempt 2-point conversions after scoring touchdowns until a winner emerges.


5. Play Styles Are More Interesting

With so many more teams and leagues in college football, it may have been inevitable that a diversity of play and style would exist. After all, the NFL is considerably insular in that the same 32 teams are always competing against one another and often passing the same coaches, staff members, and players back and forth between one another. With college, play style in the Big Ten is very different than it is in the PAC-12, and every conference has its own predilections.

It makes for fascinating matchups and mash-ups, as well as a sense of local and regional culture that is every bit as real on the field as it is when you travel to the various college towns where the games are held. The NFL's style, on the other hand, is much more homogenous, betraying almost nothing about league or location.

While a great game is worth watching no matter who is playing, college football — at least in these five areas — is markedly superior to the game played by the pros.