Eight Things College Football Does Better

American sports have many unique features, but one of the most cherished is our love of the college football game. In fact, there are many sports fans who rate the college version of their favorite sport as superior. And no college sport captures the imagination quite as much as college football. So why is it so popular?

On the face of it, there are some disadvantages. After all, despite the recent liberalization of the U.S. sports betting market, fans looking for the best betting tips won't find many sources for college football. That's because this version of the game is excluded from betting in many states.

There's also the fact that the bigger rosters and higher turnover of players can make it harder to get to know a team and establish a connection. And yet, millions of football fans opt to follow college football over the NFL every year. Here are eight reasons why:

Earlier start

The NFL preseason is eagerly anticipated but soon becomes a chore, as coaches rest their best players and there is none of the usual competitive spirit. The good news is that the college season starts a week earlier. The college season always kicks off Labor Day weekend, which means college football fans have seven days fewer to wait before the real action gets under way.

Saturdays better than Sundays

College football is staged on Saturdays, while the NFL is on Sunday. So what, you might say? Well, there's a world of difference between the feeling of waking up on a Saturday and the atmosphere of a Sunday afternoon. On Sundays, your mind is already on the next day and the start of the working week. But Saturdays are perfect for chilling, getting in your snacks and drinks and enjoying some sports, knowing you can stay up late with no work the next day.

Deeper rivalries

There are some obvious rivalries in the NFL, but these pale into insignificance next to the strong historical rivalry that defines so many relationships in college football. Yes, there are big clashes in the NFL, but nothing can rouse the passion of football fans quite like the competition in the college game. Does the NFL have anything to match Ohio State vs. Michigan, or USC vs. UCLA, or the Iron Bowl? Nope.

Sports arenas

Not only are many college stadiums bigger than some of their NFL equivalents, they also generate a unique and vibrant atmosphere. Most NFL venues are located in commercial or downtown districts, but college stadiums are usually found on campus, generating an intensity that cannot be equaled.


Yes, the tailgating tradition is found in the NFL, but there is no comparison between the NFL version, which often has a corporate element, and the college football tailgating phenomenon. In fact, with some college teams, there are more people tailgating than going into the stadium. The elaborate and varied tailgating parties of college football are a major attraction.


The NFL players may be more polished, bigger, stronger, and faster, but there is something authentic and inspirational about the way in which college players approach the great game. Sure, college players hope to go on to the NFL in many cases, but at the college level, they are playing for the love of football. And the chance to see young players mature into great adult athletes is something unique to the college game.

Bowl season

The NFL playoffs are great, but they can't match the fascination of the bowl games. The varied and fascinating clashes and rivalries represented by these great traditional games make a perfect accompaniment to the festive season. And few things in the NFL can compare to two old historic college rivals going head-to-head in one of the big holiday season bowl clashes.

College football fans

Perhaps the best thing about college football is the fans. Just as the players in college football seem to play with more love for the game than their NFL counterparts, so the fans in this version of football are more passionate. This is understandable. Sure, you might feel loyalty to your city and to the NFL team from that city. But that connection cannot possibly match the affection that a former student feels towards the place where they lived for three or four of the most important years of their life. And with so many more college teams than NFL franchises, there is way more chance that you could have a personal connection with a particular team.

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