The Heart of College Versus the Money of the Pro's

Joseph VitekContributor IJune 22, 2009

BOISE, ID - NOVEMBER 20:  Running back Jon Helmandollar #33 of Boise State is hoisted up by teammates Andy Weldon #80 and Jeff Cavender #54 after scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter against Louisiana Tech at Bronco Stadium on November 20, 2004 in Boise, Idaho. Boise State defeated Louisiana Tech 55-14. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

I know, I know. A vast majority of people on this site feel that for some reason, the NFL is better than the NCAA.  My question sincerely though, is why?

Please feel free to state why or why not you feel the same or differently once you've read this, but let's not kid ourselves into thinking we will change each others' view on the subject. I have seen countless articles on the topic, but seeing how the season is fast approaching, I wanted some fresh takes on the matter, so I thought it necessary to give a few reasons why I enjoy college football more than I do the "big leagues".

The rivalries, ah yes...the sweet, sweet rivalries.  You cannot tell me that there are more passionate, hatred-filled, enormously competitive rivalries in the NFL than the NCAA.  Furthermore, when they do square off, there is way more on the line.

With the likes of Auburn vs. Alabama, Ohio State vs. Michigan, Florida vs. Florida State, Miami vs. Florida State, Florida vs. Goergia, Texas vs. Oklahoma, Notre Dame vs. USC, and the list goes on...literally, and that's just to name a few. I am sorry if I didn't write one that your passionate about, I just don't have the time. 

These rivalries change the course of the season. It is kill or be killed in college game. One and done, win or bust, losers go home.  When they lock helmets, you know what's at stake.  Obviously, if they lose, their hopes of a BCS championship have eluded them, but worse than that, they will have to live with that loss for a year, and that's if they play them the following season.  Bragging right's in college football is one of the best gifts the sport can offer, it can also be one of the me.

Conference games also have a lot more passion involved. In the NFL, you can come in second, still get a wild card, and proceed to play for a championship (if you win of course).

Not so in college. If you don't win your conference, the chances of you playing for it all are slim to none to say it mildly.  This suspense can lead to very nail biting games and by far, the best reality television known to man.

Have you ever been to the Swamp? Or Death Valley? Or Neyland Stadium?  The reason I ask is simple.  Please don't tell me that NFL fans are more abundant and more passionate than college.  How many FBS teams are there? How many D-1A teams are there?  Now tell me how many NFL teams there are.

These are rhetorical questions of course, seeing how there are way more college football teams than there are professional teams.  Also, the average NFL stadium houses about 60,000, which is about the same for FBS fields.

But the reason I mention the first few schools, was that were talking about 100,000 seating capacity stadiums, filled to the collapsing point

s—stadiums so loud that it is hard to breathe, hard to think, hard to imagine being anywhere other than where you are at that particular point.

The players: Yes, the NFL houses an enormous amount of talent.  But how about heart? How about pride? Two qualities that you will find in abundance in college football.

Guys that go out and give it their all, not for a contract extension, but to get that initial contract, to win for their school, to win for the fans, to win for themselves.  All of them may not run a 4.3, but you will see determination at it's finest—and that is something that I live to watch.

You better believe that when Saturday comes around, I have my bible next to me (to pray for UT), a beer in front of me (to calm my nerves), my fiancee' in the other room (she will get too nervous), a Spurrier rag doll (to choke the crap out of when were losing), and my UT Vols hat (it's good luck...sometimes).  And I am ready to go....