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Tom Jones' Two Cents

Sports analysis, perspective and more.

NFL vs. College football -- Which one is better?



Which is better, college football or the NFL? Let's break it down.

Dotting the "i'' at Ohio State. Tailgating at Ole Miss. Clemson touching the rock. Chief Osceola's flaming spear. Texas A&M's 12th man. Sure, grilling a brat in the snow in Green Bay sounds kind of cool, but nothing beats the traditions of college football. EDGE: College.

College football fans are as passionate as anyone with allegiances dating back generations. But, come, one, wearing a wedge of cheese on your head? Dressing up like a dog and eating dog bones? Remember those guys who used to put on pig noses and dresses? It takes a sick, sick person to do such things. In this case, sick is good. EDGE: NFL

College has some legendary figures, such as JoePa, the Head Ball Coach, Bobby Bowden. But NFL coaches are borderline psychotic. Jon Gruden is at work by 3:30 in the morning. Think of Bill Cowher, the former and you can bet future head coach, spraying spittle on his players, coaches and officials. Then there's the class of Tony Dungy. EDGE: NFL

Pro players are better, but that doesn't mean the actual games are better. No single NFL regular-season game is super critical. Every NFL can afford two or three losses. But in college, one lost could dash your national title hopes. Two or three losses and you're making plans for the Bowl. EDGE: College.

What playoffs? If you're a college fan, that's what you say. The NFL playoffs are riveting. In fact, the day of the conference championships rank among the best days of the sports year. EDGE: NFL.

Name one truly classic NFL stadium. Go ahead, I'll give you a week to think of one. Most of them are nice and swanky and all, but they lack true charm and character. Meantime, the country is littered with great college stadiums such as Ohio State's Horseshoe, Michigan's Big House and cathedral of all football stadiums, Notre Dame Stadium. I mean, if it's good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me. EDGE: College.

The best NFL mascot isn't even around anymore. I'm thinking of that big lug who used to wear that Vikings getup and stand in subzero temps. But in college, we have Notre Dame's Leprechaun and the USC Trojan. Colorado has an actually buffalo running wild. How about that Nebraska guy with the humongous head? And, lastly, the ugliest but coolest mascot in all of sports: Georgia's bulldog named UGA. EDGE: College.

Some NFL nicknames lack originality and/or sense. It seems every NFL nickhame was the first that came to mind. Steelers? Seriously, I don't think that's even a real word. Jets? We're naming a team after an airplane? When was the last time you saw a Bear wandering Rush Street? At least colleges try -- Tar Heels, Hoosiers, Demon Deacons. EDGE: College.

Basically, the NFL determines overtime games by a coin toss. More than 60 percent of the teams that win the coin toss get the ball and win. At least in college, both teams get the ball. EDGE: College.

Most college players bust their rear ends for a chance to get an education. NFL players are spoiled millionaires who do nothing but complain to the media. But you know what? We in the media like guys who whine. You might hate T.O., but you can't help but listen to some of the stuff that comes flying out of his mouth. EDGE: NFL.

In the NFL you get piped-in versions of the Black Eyed Peas, Justin Timberlake and the one song that makes you want to drive an ice pick into your ear: YMCA. But in college, we get the fight songs: Notre Dame, Michigan, USC, We Are The Boys from Ol' Florida and the greatest college song ever, Rocky Top. EDGE: College.

The NFL gives you scantily clad cheerleaders dancing to hip-hop. College gives you marching bands. I'm not even going to get into the middle of this debate. EDGE: Even.

John Madden is pure genuis. So is Terry Bradshaw. They're NFL guys. And college has lost all the great ones. Now that Keith Jackson is gone and Brent Musburger isn't, college football just isn't the same on TV. EDGE: NFL.

Final score: College football wins 7-5-1. But good thing they don't play on Sundays. Because that's the day I watch the NFL.

[Last modified: Monday, June 14, 2010 2:40pm]


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