There’s just nothing like Saturday football

Jeff Russ

The spread offense.


College football is so much better than the National Football League for all these reasons and more.

Watching the first episodes of “College Football Live” and “College Gameday” reminded me of everything I love about being alive – Saturday afternoons.

You cannot beat the NFL in terms of talent and competition, but it’s all the same. Everybody runs the West Coast Offense and either the Cover 2 or 3-4 defense. The action is exciting, but it’s nothing compared to college football.

Case in point: Tim Tebow. Tebow and Florida coach Urban Meyer’s shenanigans in the Southeastern Conference would never work in the NFL (see Alex Smith), but it’s what makes college football great. Sadly, a quarterback cannot rush for 1,500 yards and throw for 2,500 yards in a season in the NFL. The defenses are too quick.

College football is what football is supposed to be: 11 guys with a unique formation going up against another 11 guys with a unique formation. A team with a running back lining up at QB facing off against a 5-2 defense. How could anyone not love that?

Speaking of watching football, the NCAA is much better than the NFL. From 8 p.m. Thursday until 2 a.m. Sunday, there is a possibility to watch 10 to 20 games on BASIC CABLE. The NFL screws viewers with NFL Sunday Ticket and local markets (Oh boy, I get to watch the Ravens because the Browns are not on!).

I have never missed a big college football game because of licensing agreements. Meanwhile, the Patriots are playing the Colts, but I cannot watch it because the Browns were at home at 1 p.m., so the NFL will not give me a 4 p.m. CBS game.

In college football, I will not have to miss Georgia and Florida, Oklahoma and Texas, USC and … wait, are there any other PAC 10 teams this year?

There is also a closer connection to the players in college football. Especially because I live in Northeast Ohio, there is a chance I saw many Buckeyes play in high school just a few years ago. Someone who hung out at your house or sat behind you in math is on ESPN.

In the NFL, the only relation there really is to the players and team is the city’s name. With the Flashes or Buckeyes, local players represent your area of the world and its athletic prowess.

I always said if I won the lottery I would buy an NFL team and make a fight song. I would hire Urban Meyer and run the spread offense. The running backs would line up behind center because you should spend money on what makes you happy.

In retrospect, that would be a stupid idea. If I won the lottery, I would simply watch college football all day – because it already has that.

Jeff Russ is a campus editor and special guest columnist for the sports page. Contact him at [email protected]