As a fan of football for over 20 years, I see now why there are far more obvious reasons that college football is different than professional football.
One of the most noticeable reasons is that the pro level of football pays its athletes but there is more to it than that. Pro level football is not as exciting or as fun to watch as college football is. As I have watched college football since eighth grade, I noticed something different about this game as opposed to NFL games: these football players play with their heart and soul, they play the game with more passion, intensity, and integrity.
The atmosphere is completely different, NFL gameday at a stadium is somewhat 50/50 depending on the team and audience. But for college football, the atmosphere is electrifying with a young and lively audience.
According to an article by ESPN writer Ryan McGee, “There’s a lot to love about billion-dollar pro-football palaces such as the Jerry Dome and MetLife Stadium, but only if you can afford to go. Sure, the bigger college stadiums do all they can to cater to the biggest donors, but there’s still always room the little folks. I would rather see freshmen with their faces painted and frat guys in surrender cobras any day rather than gratuitous NFL shots of the rich gray-haired owner in his end zone penthouse flanked by Hollywood types and his ‘niece.’”
There is also another pivotal difference in both levels. At the pro level, one, two, or even three games won’t hurt your record if you want to make it to the playoffs because there are six spots to get into the playoffs for each conference. But for college football, there are only four spots and that’s for over 50 teams which means they only have one game to lose so college players have more to lose in a single season.
According to usatoday.com, “One win can cost you a spot in the national championship. Every game matters.”
Another example why college football is better than NFL is because of overtime. Overtime games in the college level are not timed instead they depend on who can outlast each other in a scoring shootout and each team will get a chance to have the ball. Unlike the pro level, it’s decided on a coin toss on who will get the ball first and after that, if that team scores first they automatically win the game and the other team loses and won’t have a chance to have the ball.
Lastly, college football is better because of the pausing the clock for first downs.
Again according to McGee, “As the clock nears 00:00 at the end of each half, college quarterbacks are given multiple ways to stop the clock, most notably the pause to move the chains that come with a first down. That adds post-two-minute-warning drama that simply doesn’t exist in the pros. Think about all the wild finishes in humungous college football games this year alone. It was more than the NFL produces in multiple seasons.”