I wouldn’t call myself a football expert but ever since I was born, my weekends have been filled with high school football on Friday nights, college on Saturdays, and NFL on Sundays. I have been to multiple HS games, over 75 college games, and a few NFL games. College games are the pinnacle of the three and I would say the difference is not even close. High school games are immediately ruled out of the running due to skill/competition and the fact that some of the players can’t drive sort of changes how I see them. The real debate would be between NFL and college football. For many Americans, NFL Sunday’s are the ultimate day for football but Saturdays are far and away the winner.
The crowd. The NFL always have great crowds but are totally unmatched by college stadiums. If you just look up “Best College Stadiums” on YouTube, you will see what I mean. The rush of running out of the tunnel, the countless traditions, and the true fans that attend the games are much more of an exiting group in college ball. Sure the 12th man in Seattle is great but I’ll take LSU’s Tiger Stadium or Notre Dame’s Touchdown Jesus any day. You see the real football fans and true passion for the regional teams.
The competition. Now I totally agree that NFL teams are better than college teams but this doesn’t make the games more exciting. In college, more and more we are seeing spread offenses where the ball is thrown and ran all over the field. The Power I formation is unheard of in college and this makes games a lot more exciting. Seeing two QB’s throw for 350 yards each against each other is more exciting than seeing Adrian Peterson run for 125 yards on 23 carries. I want to see down the field play and 45-42 games. Along with type of play, I also find it better to watch players who don’t get paid 8 figure salaries to do the same as college students. College players just play for the passion and pride of their school and not for a paycheck (totally different discussion IF they should get paid). I want the 20 year old who just had a Biology test rather than the 32 year old who just took a vacation to Paris with his supermodel wife. The passion is clear and makes watching the college games more enjoyable than NFL.
Money. Its all about the $$$$. I can go to just about any college game for under $75 and for over half, I can go for under $40. If you go to an NFL game, you should expect to spend upwards of $200-$300 and that’s just for the basics. $125 for the ticket, $50 for parking and $50 for a burger, bottle of water and a beer. Most of the fans can’t afford this, which makes the college a better option. $45 for the ticket, $10 (or free) for parking and another $15 for food. It is a better overall deal for a college football game based on money alone. If you have the true fans of the game attend, and not just those who can afford the game, the atmosphere is at the ultimate level.
With my experience of attending dozens of different types of football games, I have concluded that college games are much better than NFL. The true electric atmosphere, the type of play, and the relatively low cost of attendance makes college football the king. I would pick any college football game over any NFL game any day. My goal is to get to as many college football stadiums as I can in my life due to these factors and I’m sure each one will live up to the hype!