Alex Hutton, asst. sports editor:
Almost nothing in sports can rival what college football offers. Fans are treated to innovative offenses, aggressive play-calling and thrilling finishes. Instant-classic shootouts are far more common than defensive slogs, and those games get a boost thanks to the passion in the stadium. It’s a far cry from the NFL, which is sometimes overstuffed with punting. It’s also nice to see high-quality football where someone has to win no matter how many overtimes it takes.
The players in the college game are students, which helps connect them to the fanbase. By contrast, NFL players can feel separate from society, too important to be dealt with normally. College players want to win for their university. Rivalry games filled with history and passion ratchet up the intensity, but every game features players playing to win. NFL players tend to play to not lose.
It is worth taking a look at what happens in both pro and college ball off the field. The NFL is defined by what it does wrong. The league is marred by greedy owners, concussion issues that took too long to address and mishandled responses to the national anthem controversy. It costs an ungodly amount to attend a game, especially considering how much cheaper and more accessible college games tend to be. It’s impossible to shake the problems the NFL has and separate them from the product on the field.
College football is far from perfect. Players are not fairly compensated for their work. Recruiting scandals emerge frequently. People are taking steps to fix these issues, but work is needed to clean them up.
But on Saturdays, when the teams take the field, the marching band is playing, the student section is hyped and tens of thousands of fans are roaring — the troubles go away. College football becomes two teams playing to bring glory to their schools. It’s beautiful. No other kind of football comes close.
This is the opinion of Alex Hutton, a junior journalism major from Oakland, CA. Tweet comments to @LALoyolan or email comments to email@example.com.
Miles Thomas, sports editor:
There is just something about Sundays. Nothing in sports compares to waking up on a Sunday and having nearly every team in the league playing while nothing else is happening that day.
The NFL is the easiest professional sports league to follow as a fan, with each team playing only 16 games during the regular season. Each team also has a fair shot to make the playoffs, unlike in college football. In college, some teams do not get a chance at all to make the playoffs, regardless of their record. This is because some schools play in a smaller, less competitive sports conference and are basically punished for it. This is unlike the NFL, where regardless of schedule, each team has a fair chance to make the playoffs.
The college game might be high scoring at times, but it can be more pleasant to watch a game with a balance of both elite offense and defense, which is seen more commonly in the NFL.
There is also more parity in the NFL than in college football. In three of the last four years, the University of Alabama has played Clemson University in the College Football Playoff Championship Game. In the NFL, however, a different Super Bowl matchup has happened every season for the past 25 years.
Professional football also has more athletic, stronger, faster, and more talented players than college football, which results in a much higher level of play and competition. Following players is also easier. Fantasy football is a widely popular and great way for fans to connect even further and invest more in the game. College does not have the same type of additional fan content, which can enhance the football experience for many.
This is the opinion of Miles Thomas, a junior communications major from Hermosa Beach, CA. Tweet comments to @LALoyolan or email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.