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1. Fans Don’t Wear Jerseys
This isn’t entirely true, because fans of some schools tend to wear jerseys more than others, but when looking at college football as a whole versus the NFL, there are far more jersey-wearers in NFL stadiums. Wearing a jersey to a football games is a terrible trend typically reserved for plumbers, rappers or wanna-be rappers (no offense to these respected professions).
2. Better Male / Female Ratio
Unless you attend a school like Georgia Tech, the beautiful co-eds are one of the best reasons to attend college. Every Saturday in the fall these co-eds are on display. Take a tour of college campuses in the south, and you’ll likely be admiring the well-dressed female fans off the field more than you will the actual play taking place on the field.
This is not the case in the NFL. Often times the only good looking women in the stadium are the cheerleaders on the field or the wives of the men sitting in the suites.
3. Lack of Parity
Parity is the most overrated aspect of professional sports. Parity means all teams are essentially on equal footing making a league more competitive. College football has very little parity when you look across the entire country.
Even if your team is having a down year, you can count on a few cupcake games where you run up the score on a bunch of rejects. This enables three things. First, it allows average teams to reach bowl eligibility, which enables them to make an ass of themselves during late December/early January. Second, it provides a reminder that there is another team out there that’s way worse than your team. Lastly, it makes you think that you could have played college football because you have to be better than the 5’2 guy playing safety for that cupcake team.
Instead of criticizing the lack of parity in college football, let’s be honest with ourselves and start acknowledging that we love it.
4. Better Tailgating
While drinking beer and eating chili in a cold parking lot outside a stadium can be enjoyable, NFL tailgating is pretty mediocre compared to college tailgating. Tailgating in college football is bigger than the game itself. Every open space on entire college campuses and in entire college towns is turned into a tailgating event during a gameday weekend. Heck, die-hard tailgaters roll into town mid-week with RVs and tailgate for 4 or 5 days straight.
In college, you even have a small group of fans that do nothing but tailgate. Literally. They don’t even go to the games. You probably know one of these gentlemen. They are outstanding people. They tailgate all day, watch the game on a television outside the stadium or engage in some other worthwhile activity, and then resume with the rest of the fans after the game. Their focus is singular. Tailgating is their passion.
5. Inter Conference Warfare
Perhaps the biggest difference between college and pro football is that in college it’s not just enough to beat a team, you have to beat their conference. In recent years, you even try to put opposing conferences out of business.
Conference pride is big in college football. If your team isn’t playing, college fans will still root for the team representing their conference. This is very different than any other sport. When is the last time you heard a baseball fan root for the NL East?
Even more awesome is the convergence of business and conference pride in recent years. Yes, we’re talking about conference realignment. Nowadays, it’s not enough to have a better win/loss record against another conference. Now, conferences try to steal the best teams from other conferences and force them to go under. Without an overarching central authority, conferences are autonomous entities. Their gain is often at the expense of another conference. When the SEC fan is rooting against the ACC, they’re not just looking for on-the-field victory; they are looking for the ACC to go under and for entire athletic programs to vanish. This has led to a whole new dimension of being a fan.