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Old 10.12.2010, 12:12 PM
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Default New To College Football

I think this is the right place to start this thread, if not, I apologise.

I'm a long-time fan of the NFL but being resident in the UK have never had a chance to check out College football. However, the magic of the internet means that I can now catch a college game now and again.

I'd like to watch more college football but don't know how the league is structured. I also don't know how the season/playoffs/bowls are structured (what the heck are all the bowls about!). Is there a good site to get all the basic info? Maybe one of you guys can outline it really simply (e.g. 2 conferences, 4 divisions in each, 16 game season, 12 in playoffs, Superbowl)?

Anything else a noob might want to know (Rivalries, best/worst teams, interesting facts, etc.)?

Cheers!
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Old 10.12.2010, 12:50 PM
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There's a hell of a lot to know! I'll give it a go, get things started and then people can add to it as they see fit...

College football is split into the FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) and FCS (Football Conference Subdivision) mainly (as well as Division II and Division III), with the FBS the area that most people pay attention to as that is the highest standard. In the FBS there are 120 colleges, who play in 11 conferences:

The Big 10 (which will have 12 teams from next year!)
The Big 12 (which will have 10 teams fro next year)
The Pac-10 (which will become the Pac-12)
The Big East
The South-Eastern Conference
The Atlantic Coast Conference

Those are the main 6, which all have automatic BCS (Bowl Championship Series) bids- more on that later, and there are also five other, smaller conferences:

The Mountain West Conference
The Western Athletic Conference
The Sun-Belt Conference
The Mid-American Conference
Conference-USA

The number of teams in each varies, but 10 to 12 is the norm. There are also teams such as Army, Navy and Notre Dame who are not a part of any conference.

The Bowl Championship Series is the system for determining a national champion, as well as for putting teams into other prestigious bowls. The BCS bowls are:

The Rose Bowl
The Fiesta Bowl
The Sugar Bowl
The Orange Bowl
The National Championship Game

Which teams get into these Bowl games are determined by which teams win the 6 BCS conferences, who each get a bowl berth, as well as 6 other teams, with a maximum of two per conference. The other determinant is the BCS ranking of each team. The BCS rankings are determined by a poll of coaches as well as computer rankings and another poll.

The top two teams in the BCS rankings go into the National Championship Game, and the other bowls select their participants from the rest of the teams who are eligible. Some bowls have ties to certain conferences, so the winner of a conference will go to a certain bowl game. Teams from non-BCS conferences can qualify if they win their conference and finish in the top 12 in the BCS rankings. For one of these see TCU going into the Rose Bowl this year.

The rest of the bowl games are traditional end of season games, which have ties to certain conferences or teams, and provide teams who finish with a record better than .500 a big day out.

Before the BCS came in in the 1990s, the national champion was the team who finished top of the polls- with the Associated Press poll tending to carry the most weight. The AP poll is no longer a part of the BCS rankings as they refuse to name the BCS national champion as their number one automatically.

There's a lot to learn, but you'll get there in the end. I've probably just confused you even more, so if you have any more questions then stick them down here and I or others will answer them for you. There are a lot of knowledgeable people on this part of the forum, and all of them tend to be friendly and welcoming, so people will always try to answer any questions you have.

Also, as a niner fan, you might want to check out Stanford as your team if you want to stick in the area.
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Old 10.12.2010, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mde203 View Post
There's a hell of a lot to know! I'll give it a go, get things started and then people can add to it as they see fit...
mde203 You are my new hero! Thanks for this info, exactly what I was after.

Now, to reading...

(ed.) Wow, that really is a fantastic overview. I just found the BCS site and the rankings, already this is making sense. I see all the Bowls are played early in January ending with the National Championship on the 10th. That's whole lot more football to look forward to!

So, after the National Championship it's the offseason...when does the College season begin?

As for MY team, I'll check out Stanford but I'm tempted to look beyond the West Coast so that I increase my chances of catching a game when visiting the states. I watched two Oregon teams go at it the other day, hmmm... now, where the hell is Oregon...?

Last edited by njwheelbarrow; 10.12.2010 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 10.12.2010, 01:19 PM
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College Football.... the greatest sporting events ever, love College over NFL all day long.

Most of these kids will never play ball in the Pros, so they are playing for their school, their education and to keep playing football, rather than $$$$$! How often do you get up to 115,000 people screaming for their College team, doesnt get better than that!

Youtube is a great source for videos and highlights, plenty of teams in the California area if you keeping it local to your NFL team!

Only problem with College Ball (well all Football for that) is the short season, 1 more month and then its over. But you do still have national signing day (where all the top high school recruits sign letters of intent) to join the college of their choice in Feb and off course the NFL draft in April. Its much more fun watching the draft when you have followed players from a team (or just players in general) throughout their career and then seeing them go pro!
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Old 10.12.2010, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njwheelbarrow View Post
mde203 You are my new hero! Thanks for this info, exactly what I was after.

Now, to reading...
No problem mate! If you want current news ESPN is the place to go, and anything else just whack it into google and you'll find lots and lots of things.

Like I say, anything else you want to know then stick a question down on here and someone will have an answer for you.
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Old 10.12.2010, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njwheelbarrow View Post
So, after the National Championship it's the offseason...when does the College season begin?
Usually the first Thursday of September, a week before the NFL.
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Old 10.12.2010, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njwheelbarrow View Post
I'm tempted to look beyond the West Coast ... where the hell is Oregon...?
West Coast...
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Old 10.12.2010, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njwheelbarrow View Post

As for MY team, I'll check out Stanford but I'm tempted to look beyond the West Coast so that I increase my chances of catching a game when visiting the states. I watched two Oregon teams go at it the other day, hmmm... now, where the hell is Oregon...?
About 500 miles North of SF!
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Old 10.12.2010, 01:41 PM
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You guys are the BUSINESS!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Red View Post
Its much more fun watching the draft when you have followed players from a team (or just players in general) throughout their career and then seeing them go pro!
This is one of the main reasons I'm getting interested. I know the players that I watch each week in the NFL have played a heck of a lot of football before reach my radar, I'd like to now watch some of it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mde203 View Post
Like I say, anything else you want to know then stick a question down on here and someone will have an answer for you.
Cheers! Much appreciated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Statto00 View Post
Usually the first Thursday of September, a week before the NFL.
That's quite a short season without any playoffs!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Statto00 View Post
West Coast...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Red View Post
About 500 miles North of SF!
Balls. Guess I'll have to pick from one of the other 118 teams then.

Thanks for all the info! I'll be around these boards so I'll let you know how I get on. Out of interest, which college teams do you support?
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  #10  
Old 10.12.2010, 01:44 PM
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Just ashame college football is so corrupt and like the WWE. The BCS should be scrapped and the Ncaa should stop caring about making millions of dollars. Through stupid bowl games.

People are getting increasingly tired with system and would love a playoff system, 32 team system could easily be introduced with byes etc.
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