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College Football and the NFL Playing Role Reversal

February 21, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 137

Growing up in the South, the NFL had very little presence outside of television. There were not very many teams here and pro football seemed to have more of a national flavor rather than a regional one. I pulled for the Atlanta Falcons because they were the closest team to me in South Carolina. But the teams they would play were so far away that it was hard for me to take it too seriously.

Back then, the Falcons were in the NFC West division (if you could believe that) and the only other team that was not from the west coast was the New Orleans Saints (I'm pretty sure that is the reason why they are rivals today). A true rivalry takes place between two teams in close proximity. In the NFL, Washington and Dallas were big rivals. Kansas City and Oakland were also rivals. But those teams are simply too far apart to be regional rivals. Pro Football was fun to watch but it lacked the passion of the college game. Most of the college games were played between teams that were no more than 300 miles apart.

However, a new millennium leads to change and a big one was about to take the NFL and College Football in opposite` directions. The NFL decided that there needed to be re-alignment to put teams closer together geographically. The Carolina Panthers now play in the NFC South division with Atlanta, New Orleans, and Tampa Bay. And if you look at the other divisions, they are put together the same way. With the teams being closer to each other, it means that now the opposing fans can attend a road game just like in College Football.

But wait, College Football is no longer the regional game it used to be. Conferences are expanding and reaching out into different TV markets (for money of course). South Carolina will now have to travel to Missouri in the SEC conference and if you think that's bad, Boston College is in the same conference with Miami which is 1500 miles away. No two teams are that far apart in the same division of the NFL. Because of expansion at the college level, some teams in football, who used to be rivals, will not play every year and in basketball, they will only play once.

It's hard to tell what the long term effects of expansion will have on College Football, but there's no doubt that it is less about the passion of the rivalries and more about the passion of money. The NFL used to be all about the high paid athletes competing. Today, between the debate of a playoff system and teams moving from one conference to another, I see more dollar signs flashing on Saturday than I do on Sunday. How ironic is that?

For all of your favorite college teams in the state of North Carolina, check out my site at http://ncsportinggoods.com

Source: EzineArticles
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