To define college Football; one can say college football game is played between teams from different colleges and universities. College football roots back its origin to the 1860s era in the Northeastern United States. The first college football match to be believed and recorded was in 1869 between Princeton and Rutgers. Princeton Tigers (Princeton University) are believed to be the first-ever and oldest football team that debuted on November 6, 1869, against Rutgers College. This match between Princeton University and Rutgers University at Rutgers University is believed as the birthplace of the college football tradition. College Football as the name suggests is played among college-going students. These games originated in the United States and are played under the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
The NCAA is the major governing body for intercollegiate athletics. More than 1200 colleges are members of the NCAA. Under NCAA, there are three divisions for participating schools, and sport accordingly is divided like;
- Division I (Consists largest Schools and Universities as members and have the budget and highest level of competition.)
- Division II (Consists smaller sized Schools and Universities as members and a medium budget, and a lower level of competition as compared to Division I schools)
- Division III (Consists smallest sized Schools and Universities as members, have lowest level of competition and also tend to have lowest competition.)
These divisions are mainly created to promote college sports, and all the major college-related sports activity happens within these divisions which allows the schools with membership to award the students with athletic scholarships and much more.
College football is generally considered to be the mid-level of American Football in the United States of America and Canada. It is one step above the high school football competitions and one step below a professional NFL (National Football League) game. NFL football games can last over 3 hours in length, while college football matches are even longer than NFL football matches which may last around under 3.5 hours duration.
In some countries, a college football game is more popular even than NFL games. A player’s performance in college football decides the progression of a player to play in the NFL (National Football League) game. The best collegiate players are selected for the professional draft after gaining good collegiate game experience for three to four years. The National Football League holds its selection draft on an annual basis in which 256 players get to make it to the professional team annually. Thus a player’s performance in the collegiate game is all it takes to make it through the NFL selection drafts and also in the hearts of the fans.
A college football game has gained so much popularity in the United States that it is even much more popular than NFL games. The Division I program games which involve the highest level schools and universities are even financially equalized by the crazy amount of fans and are played at huge stadiums whose sitting capacities are tremendous and can accommodate 1,00,000 people.
A college football game is three and a half hours in length usually. These games last longer than the NFL games. Some football fans have raised an issue regarding the length of the game time thus have suggested many remedial measures and such remedial measures have also been taken into account. The college football game consists of 60 minutes of field time or gaming action.
A college football game consists of four quarters. The half-time is incorporated between the second and the third quarter. NFL matches also have similar game configurations. The game time is split across four quarters which are 15 minutes in length. But due to certain factors, the average college football game quarter may even stretch to around or more than 45 minutes.
A college football game lasts even longer than three and a half hours if a person is watching it on the television broadcast. The reason for this is that the television broadcasts have an additional five-minute introduction usually, and also there may be a certain amount of time which is dedicated to the after-game interviews of the players or the coach. Thus an average expected time for a television broadcast college football match is slightly over three and a half hours. Even some games may last up to four hours in length.
Now talking about the half time which is incorporated between the second and the third quarter lasts for 20 minutes. The half times have been a point of focus to not exceed as it may result in increasing the overall length of the college football match which is quite lengthy.
College football games are the longest of any major sport. College football games also have much lengthier overtime. There are no foreseen rule changes taking place except cutting down the TV commercial durations in a broadcast and also reducing the half-time duration of a college football game to that of an NFL game which is 12 minutes long.
The major reasons why does a college football game lasts longer than an NFL game are as below :
- Half-time duration
The half-time duration of a college football game is 20 minutes which is quite long as compared to that of an NFL game which is 12 minutes long.
- The added scoring
College football games produce a lot more points than an NFL game. More scores lead to more extra points and more commercial breaks which in turn increases the game length.