There are no real story lines that intrigue me right now. As a fan, I will enthusiastically wait to see how a couple teams fare this season, most notably the Bucs and the Lions, but I do not need to actually watch the games to get all I need out of it. I am just fine watching highlights and perusing the stat sheet on Mondays.
At any rate, here is a list of things that I HATE about the NFL right now but make me love the college game even more:
- Too Many Flags! - For as long as I can remember, even as far back as my high school playing days (Go Canes Go!), I hated it when guys would bitch and moan about "no-calls". There is nothing worse than a game decided by the refs. Although some of the most high-profile college teams have been aided by penalties at key moments in the past (see '03 Buckeyes), the sheer number of penalties thrown in any given game, as well as the amount of yards a team can rack up do to them, pales in comparison to the NFL. Coincidentally, the Super Bowl-winning Seattle Seahawks were the most penalized team in the league last year, with nearly eight (7.9 to be exact) per game. That equates to one flag being thrown on them for every 7:30 that ticks off the game clock. If the 'Hawks were playing the Bucs (7.6 penalties per game in 2013) you would be seeing a flag every four minutes or less, or about 15-17 flags per game. Simply un-watchable! No top 25 college team in 2013 had more than 6.9 per game, and the ACC Champ and current BCS Title-Holding Florida State Seminoles only accumulated 5.7, as did Big Ten and Rose Bowl Champion Michigan State Spartans. So in effect, you are seeing nearly five less flags being thrown per game at the college level, as opposed to the NFL. By the way, Navy was the best in the country with only 2.8 flags per game! See Team Rankings
- Too Many Commercials! - I don't think I need to explain myself on this one. If you don't understand what I am talking about, try watching an NFL game with somebody from Europe. They just can't believe the number of ads that get played throughout the course of a game. If the league really wants to expand into Europe they might have to find a way to shorten the length of the broadcast and the amount of air-time that is taken up by commercials. I, as a natural-born U.S. citizen, believe it is a problem and truly help make Sunday games un-watchable. And let's not even get into the Super Bowl -Commerical Shit Show! Yes, college games do have commercials too, but there are not as frequent as they are in the NFL.
- Lack of Loyalty - In the age of free agency you don't see much team loyalty among the players any more. I understand why and I am really not complaining here. It just makes me want to root more for those guys that do stick it out for the majority of their career with a franchise, whether it's for better or for the worse. You just don't see as much transferring in college and the roots and blood-lines of the fans run much deeper than they do in the NFL, where you will find a higher percentage of fair-weather fans. Hell, I didn't even go to school in Ann Arbor, but I freaking love those Wolverines!
- Outdated Policies - I definitely believe there needs to be a line that players shouldn't cross in terms of conduct as a representative of their respective schools or franchise, but there seems to be a lot of inconsistencies as far as rule enforcement and penalties go at both the college and pro levels. At the very least, they both have their problems with being more progressive and forward-thinking, particularly when it comes to the interest of the players. Things are changing slowly. I would just like to see more administrators and owners thinking outside of their respective boxes. Let's stop taking advantage of these kids less, and start paying more attention to the long-term health of the individuals.
Am I making any sense here?