Has College Football Not Only Caught Up To The NFL, But Zoomed Past It?

Matt NewmeyerContributor IDecember 21, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - DECEMBER 20: DeSean Jackson #10 of the Philadelphia Eagles runs on a 57 yard reception against the San Francisco 49ers at Lincoln Financial Field on December 20, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

      Throughout the history of the NFL there has always been one constant with the game, the speed of its play. For years rookies would always struggle with the speed of the game that was supposedly light years beyond their days of college football. There was a common understanding around the league that there should not be too much pressure on young players who would most likely falter while trying to keep up in the early days of their careers. However, this is not the case anymore. Within today's game it is as if college football has launched a full scale assault on the National Football League. Speed has invaded the most popular league in the country and it refuses to leave.

       Over the last decade, the NFL has begun to transform into a clear-cut passing league. Teams want to score and do it quickly. Offense is the driving force behind the success of the league. As this has happened, the NFL has developed from a traditional pro-style offense into a league of the spread offense. The spread offense can be translated into simply one word, speed. NFL franchises today are furiously scouting the college world to find the fastest players they possibly can because they all know that speed kills. There is a reason that many rookies now come into the league making as much if not more money than the veterans, they have fresh, quick legs. So can it be said that the college game is now faster than the pro game?

       Take for instance the great amount of young players that are chewing up the NFL today: Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin, Desean Jackson, Chris Johnson, and Ray Rice just to name a few. What do they all have in common? Speed. It could easily be argued that the young players of today's game have begun to dominate the league. Time after time they light up veterans for long touchdowns whether it be on rushes, receptions, punt returns, or kick returns. Records are being rewritten by these great youngsters at a remarkable rate. So is the NFL really faster than college football? I think not. Maybe its the NFL that needs to catch up with the student athletes of college football.