TQ: Why We Love College Football, Part 2

Posted Feb 14, 2012

In honor of Valentine's Day - Why Do We Love College Football? Part 2

Tuesday Question 

Why Do You Love Football? - Part 2

TQs - 2011 TQs | Playoff ideas | OSU or Michigan. Who'll be stronger?

- Why do we love college football? Part 1

TQ: On Valentine's Day, why do you love college football?

By Matt Zemek

Wider hash marks. Genuine variety in terms of styles of play and ways to win a game. Authentic creativity as opposed to reductionist approaches in which protecting the quarterback is the first and last priority.

Passion. The urgency of November. The magic of a season-altering upset, which does carry more weight than an NFL upset; in the pro game, a late-season upset merely takes a 13-1 team to 13-2 and fails to alter the playoff picture in any meaningful way. In college, upsets linger in most cases and ripen into the indelible events they're supposed to be. In the NFL, the entirety of the regular season is just a prelude to the second weekend of the playoffs, when the four teams with wild card byes take the field. College football's regular season can and does produce 11-1 teams who have not been appreciably tested, but it still eclipses the NFL's regular season in any day of the week ending in the letter "Y."

Why else do I love college football?

Regional color. Unique school histories that allow for different accomplishments to mean different things to different fan bases. LSU's national title equals South Carolina's SEC East title which equals Vanderbilt's bowl bid. Different teams can achieve at different levels and feel immensely satisfied with their body of work. That's a good thing, a very good thing.

The Rose Bowl. New Year's afternoon in the Arroyo Seco. Ohio State versus Michigan. Army-Navy. An SEC gameday greeted by a crisp, sunny autumnal afternoon. The Sun Bowl in El Paso. The Holiday Bowl. The Peach Bowl.

A titanic non-conference game in early September, something the NFL can never match. Collin Klein somehow twisting through defenses. Robert Griffin III working his magic. Fight songs. The UGA family of bulldogs. Late-night Pac-12 shootouts. MACTION. Joe Tessitore games. Sexy noon eastern kickoffs that make a Saturday interesting for a full 13 hours, not just the mid-afternoon and prime-time broadcast windows.

And we're just scratching the surface.

By Phil Harrison
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHarrisonCFN  

Admit it, though you may have a significant other in your life, and certainly he or she has your heart, they will never have your attention quite like college football. Here are four reasons why I love college football:

The Rivalries
Unlike professional sports, and unlike other big-time collegiate sports, the stakes of a rivalry mean a whole lot more in college football. Aside from a very rare few examples, a meeting between the Hatfield and McCoys happens but once a year in places like Columbus and Ann Arbor, Austin and Norman, and Tuscaloosa and Auburn. That means a win will result in bragging rights for a year, or an itch that can't be scratched by the losing team until the calendar flips again. It can make or break a season--and it often does on an annual basis.

The Tradition and Pageantry
In what other sport do you get to witness such traditions that can often be traced back to years prior to professional sports? There are huge bands playing songs that have been played since well before many of us were born, and fans of good ‘ole State U feel camaraderie when traveling and make very strange pride calls and symbols when met with one of their brethren. People actually fight over who has the best traditions--and we are all winners because of it.

The Passion
Don't tell folks from the Southeast that college football takes a back seat to the professional ranks. And whatever you do, please, please, please don't tell fans of the Big Ten or Pac 12 that their conferences are inferior to the others. Fans of college football are like none other. Weddings are postponed, induced births are re-scheduled, and days are planned around an amateur sporting event. Sure it happens to some extent in other sports, but not to the magnitude and breadth of college football.

The Unpredictability
Just when you think you have a season all figured out--you don't. Every year, a big boy goes down to an underdog, and it seems like we all find one weekend in which chaos reigns supreme. There are epic games, unbelievable moments, and jaw-dropping situations that leave us all with plenty to reflect on, react to, and ponder for a week, until we do it all again. It happens every year in a sport where every single game counts for something.

Happy Valentine's Day!!

By Terry Johnson
Please follow me on Twitter @TPJCollFootball

There is nothing like it.

Starting with the Thursday before Labor Day, and ending sometime in December, hundreds of thousands of fans fill stadiums all across the country to watch their favorite teams play. During that those three and a half hours, people put aside their opinions and differences, and all 100,000 fans see the same thing the same way.

It's impossible not to love something that unites people, especially given the heated debate in the current political climate.

Another reason to love college football is that every game counts (though the 2011 season might be an exception). A single loss could mean the difference between playing for national championship and heading to non-BCS game. This places a sense of urgency on every game – a sharp contrast to the NFL where a team can lose seven games and still win the championship.

I love a system that rewards excellence, rather than rewarding a team that gets hot at the end of the season.

Yes, many people will argue that college football has a fatal flaw because it has not always crowned the national champion on the field. While the BCS is far from perfect, the genius of the system is that it generates discussion all year long. In fact, people will continue to debate the 2011 BCS standings for many years to come.

What is not to love about a system that is always the topic of conversation?

The biggest reason to love college football is the atmosphere on game day. Words cannot accurately describe the sheer bliss of a Saturday afternoon at a storied venue such as Bryant-Denny Stadium, Memorial Stadium (aka Death Valley), Boone Pickens Stadium, or Autzen Stadium. Nor could they do justice to the unique atmosphere surrounding the Red River Rivalry or the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail party.

Happy Valentine's Day, college football. Fans all across the country love you very much!

- Why do we love college football? Part 1