College football is the highest level of American football in the United States second only to the National Football League (NFL). It has historically been an amateur competition. Universities and colleges in the U.S. field teams and compete nationally under very similar rules to NFL football, with a few notable differences.
College football is best known for its bowl season, importance of every game, great traditions from school-to-school, and rowdy stadium environments.
College football is rapidly professionalizing. Its amateur status has been effectively removed by the United States Supreme Court. While players are not paid directly by their schools (yet), they can earn money based on their “name, image, and likeness.” College football players also often receive full scholarships to their schools, free dining, and other benefits.
College football is made up of various conferences. Schools have self-organized over time into these conferences. Conferences are based on geographic proximity and academic prestige.
The transfer portal is the system that allows college football players to change schools. It is a database that lists all players who intend to transfer, signaling to other schools that they can reach out to those players. It is the medium by which college football players transfer from one school to another.Read more
Major Conferences in College Football:
The Southeastern Conference (SEC) is arguably the most competitive conference in college football. Read more about the SEC here.
The Atlantic Coastal Conference (ACC) is a highly competitive conference on the Eastern seaboard of the United States. Learn more about the ACC.
The Big 12 (which has 10 teams) is going through a period of significant change. Its two flagship schools, Oklahoma and Texas, are slated to leave for the SEC; it’s expecting to add four new schools, however. Click here to learn more about the Big 12.
The Pacific-12 Conference is the primary conference on the west coast of the United States. Its schools span from Washington state, Oregon, California, Arizona, Colorado, and beyond. Learn more about the Pac-12 by clicking here.
The College Football Playoff
The College Football Playoff is the pinnacle postseason event in college football. It pits the top 4 teams in the country against each other in a 4-team tournament, with the semifinal and title games played at the most prestigious bowl game sites in the history of the sport. Read more here about the CFP!