BMW M6, Cowboys Stadium, Dallas Cowboys, iPhone, NFL draft, NFL free agency, NFL is better than college football, NFL trades, NFL vs College Football, NFL vs College Football parity, NFL vs NCAA, NFL vs NCAA footbal revenue
We are less than 2 months away from football. I can almost feel it, can you?
American’s are obsessed with football. All levels of it too. From the NFL all the way down to Pop Warner. We. Can’t. Get. Enough.
But all levels of football are not equal. In fact, NFL football is objectively superior to it’s amateur counterparts—specifically NCAA football.
Whoa, whoa! Calm down there college football fans. Seriously put down the pitchforks. I know them’s fightin’ words, but hear me out.
It’s true. NFL football is objectively superior to NCAA football. Notice I said objectively superior. I didn’t say I “like” it better (although I do) for that would mean subjectively superior. If I was to say I “like” the NFL better, well then the truth of that statement is solely and completely determined by my preferences. The same goes for you, if you “like” NCAA football better, then there is no argument between us.
People like what they like and that’s ok. To argue that one should like something better than the other is as equally absurd as trying to convince them their favorite color really is blue, rather that pink.
[There is great confusion on the nature of subjective and objective truth claims in our culture today—especially on the subject of religion. Read here for some clear thinking on that subject.]
Therefore, what I want to argue is that the NFL has objective reasons why it’s a superior product to its NCAA counterpart.
This would be similar to arguing a 2013 BMW M6 is a superior product to a 2013 Hyundai Elantra.
Or arguing the iPhone 4s is a superior product to the LG Accolade flip phone.
It’s safe to say that most people consider both the M6 / iPhone to be superior products to the Elantra / LG flip phone, respectively. Why is this? Normally people observe the features, abilities, popularity, aesthetics, reliability, durability and potential that the products in question have. We do this every day.
I’m not arguing about value. Value is relative worth or merit. The Elantra / flip phone could be the better value than the M6 / iPhone, but that is different question (and a subjective one at that). What Bill Gates considers a value is different the typical middle class American. This is because value is determined by the subject (Bill Gates), not simply on the objective merit of the products (M6 / Elantra).
So what needs to be remembered here is this: you may “like” to drive an Elantra while talking on your LG flip phone. And that’s fine. You like what you like, but that does not mean it is not an objectively substandard product.
So what types of superior objective features / abilities does NFL football possess over NCAA football? Here are just a few:
- The NFL has players with superior talent and skill as compared to NCAA players
- The NFL’s regular season schedule is more fair and objective
- The NFL structure allows for superior parity among all teams
- The NFL has free agency and trades
- The NFL has an objective and fair draft
- The NFL has an objective and fair system for determining its champion
- The NFL has less roster turnover
- The NFL is consumed more than NCAA football
- The NFL has more games to enjoy
- The NFL has more luxurious confines to watch its product
Before I go on to explain these 10 features, we need to remember that the above are objective statements. I’m not saying I “like” more talented and skilled players, I’m arguing that this is a true statement, regardless how one feels about it.
1. The NFL has players with superior talent and skill as compared to NCAA players
Having the best talent in the world makes the game more competitive, crisp, precise and less sloppy. Across the board the NFL has bigger, faster and stronger players that are the best football players in the world. The talent in the NFL is objectively superior to than of the NCAA.
2. The NFL’s regular season schedule is more fair and objective
In 2010, the University of Nebraska—who is in the FBS (formerly Div. I-A)—played 2 of its 12 regular season scheduled games against teams from a lower subdivision; the FCS (formerly Div. I-AA). This does not include playing the perennial powerhouse (sarcasm) the University of Idaho. Being able to arbitrarily select 1/4th of your schedule against an inferior opponent seems a bit odd, especially when these games count at the end of the season to determine who goes to the new 4-team playoff.
The NFL has an objective structure which is much more consistent. Both conferences are broken up into 4 divisions. Each team plays their division opponents twice. Then you play two other divisions that rotate so you play every team every 4 years. Then you play two non-division, conference games based on your final record from the previous year.
It’s not possible for the Cowboys to select 4 of their 16 games to play the 4 teams of the UFL to boost their playoff chances (because we all know they need it).
At the end of the season when determining post-season berths, the NFL is far superior to the NCAA.
3. The NFL structure allows for superior parity among all teams
Given the objective structure of the NFL’s regular season schedule, the salary cap, free agency, the draft and an the objective system for determining the champion; the NFL allows for superior parity when compared to NCAA football. Each year—at least in principle—every NFL team has a chance to win the championship. This is one of the best things about the NFL. The Texans, Lions and Bengals—although historically have left their fans lacking—have a fair system which allows them to win enough games to make the playoffs and subsequently compete for a championship.
There is a glass ceiling in college football. Even now with the new “playoff,” some teams—at least in principle—do not have a fair shot. Although the scholarships are equal, some teams have a clear and obvious advantage. Alabama is part of a better conference, which gives them more visibility, more money, better facilities, etc which all lead to landing better recruits. It’s just a simple fact that the same teams get all the good players each year.
This means that Alabama, Nebraska and Ohio St. have a clear advantage over Wyoming, Boise St., Idaho and Houston. This advantage leads to an unequal playing field in which all teams can compete.
4. The NFL has free agency and trades
This is a feature that the NCAA cannot reproduce. Free agency and trades have helped level the playing field, making the game enjoy more parity. Also it provides for excitement during the off-season. Sure NCAA players can transfer schools, but it’s not the same thing.
The Elantra can park, but the M6 can park itself.
5. This NFL has an objective and fair draft
This is another feature that NCAA cannot reproduce. NCAA has recruiting, but again the system is set up to favor the same teams every year. The same 10-15 schools always have the best recruiting classes. With the NFL, the worst team gets the first pick and it goes on from there. Each team has the same number of picks (unless they trade them).
6. The NFL has an objective and fair system for determining its champion
Stop it. Just stop it. I know what you’re thinking: “The NCAA now has a playoff.” While this will be an improvement, the proposed system is still not an objective way to determine a champion. The top 4-teams are determined by, that’s right, a selection committee. This committee will select the 4 teams they “deem worthy.” What happens if you have LSU & Houston who are undefeated and then 6 one-loss teams? The selection committee is going to have to subjectively pick who they think is the best. How could one determine this by objective standards? This is not fair nor objective.
In the NFL you don’t have this problem. It’s completely based on clear standards. You win your division and you are in the playoffs. You have one of the two best conferences records without winning your division, you’re in the playoffs. There is no arguing that “so and so had an easier schedule” or “so and so didn’t win by enough.” The NFL schedule clear and fair, which provides for a clear standard of who obtains a playoff berth and subsequently a champion.
7. The NFL has less roster turnover
Each year both the NFL and NCAA have turnover on their roster. However, the NFL is superior because it can—in principle—keep a roster together for longer. The NCAA must, by rule, have a new roster every 5 or so years. Worse yet, these days players are staying for only 3 or sometimes 2 years. There is no possibility for a 15-year career like Emmitt Smith or 20 years for Brett Favre. This is just something the NCAA cannot do with players.
If a product has a valuable feature, which it’s competitor cannot produce, the product is considered superior. The iPhone can browse the internet, the LG flip phone can’t.
8. The NFL is consumed more than NCAA football
There is no arguing with the facts on this one: The 32 NFL teams had a total revenue of $8.3 billion last year. The top 45 college football programs of last year only generated $1.5 billion. People consume the NFL more than they do the NCAA.
The NFL draws national attention. Anyone who really follows sports could name at least one player from each NFL team. The NCAA is regional. Can you name a player from Boston College last year? What about Rutgers? Or Iowa? Probably not.
9. The NFL has more games to enjoy
Every NFL fan is assured 4 preseason games, plus 16 regular season games for a totally of 20. But wait, should your team make the playoffs and the Super Bowl, then you could potentially enjoy 24 games! In the NCAA the consumer gets only 13 to 14 games, maximum.
Sure the Elanta provides you with 148 horsepower, but with the M6 you get a whopping 560 horsepower!
10. The NFL has more luxurious confines to watch its product
Buy in large, when you compare the NFL stadium to the NCAA stadium, the NFL stadium is newer, more luxurious and provides an overall more comfortable experience.
Don’t get me wrong, riding in an Elantra isn’t bad, but the M6 is simply a better ride.