College football is a very popular sport in the USA. Since there is no minor league or developmental league for the National Football League, college football serves that purpose. Here are some things you should know about college football.
Football has risen to be the most popular sport in the USA. After playing in high school, the best players get recruited to play in college. College football is played at Division 1, 2, 3, NAIA and junior college levels, with Division 1 being the biggest name schools. The players recruited to play often get some scholarship money, although there are many cases where players 'walked on' and had very successful college football careers.
Division 1 college football is a big business in the USA since the games can draw up to 100,000 attendees on a Saturday afternoon. When the University of Nebraska plays at home, the stadium becomes the 3rd largest city in the state. Division 1 football makes a lot of money for the schools. It is said that the income made by Notre Dame football pays for every other scholarship the school gives out.
Division 1 colleges are arranged in conferences generally by geographic area (Big East, Southeast Conference, Pacific-10, etc.). The winners of these conferences and the best of the rest go to post-season bowl games. The biggest bowl games are called the Bowl Championship Series or BCS, and are played to decide which school is crowned the national champion. There is some disagreement about whether the BCS selections are biased or not. There is sentiment to go to a playoff system as is done in Division 2 and 3 football.
College football games are a big part of college life in the Fall. There are pep rallies, bonfires, cheerleaders, bands, tailgating, and all kinds of parties around the weekend football game. Intensive rivalries develop over the years with other schools, and the anticipation of the big game is the focus of the campus all week. In areas of the country without pro teams, college football teams take the place of professional football, with very devoted fan bases. In fact, many people like college football batter than NFL football because of the college campus atmosphere and their connections to one school or another.
At the end of each college football season, the top players get drafted for millions of dollars to play in the NFL. The college coaches recruit top high school players, and the cycle begins again for next year's college football season and the promise that it brings.