The Pros & Cons of the Pros & College

I tend to write more about the Seahawks than I do about the Huskies for one simple reason:  I know more about the Seahawks than I do the Huskies.

A few years ago, if you would’ve asked me which team I liked better, I would’ve said, “Hands down, the Seahawks.”  In fact – I’ve mentioned this before – I wasn’t even a fan of the Huskies at all before I went to school at the University of Washington.  But, over the years, the gap is certainly closing.  The Husky tailgates help.  The fact that I’ve gone to way more Husky games than Seahawks games also contributes.  And, let’s face it, that’s my school.  I was a part of that place for four years.  So, there’s the “We” factor, in that I can say “We” and refer to the Huskies without it being too much of a stretch (vs. saying “We” when talking about the Seahawks; even though, let’s face it, I use “We” for both).

However, I don’t know if the Husky football team will ever overtake the Seahawks when it comes to rabid fandom, for one simple reason:  turnover.  In any given 4-5 year period, the entire Husky team will be brand new; whereas, if things are going reasonably well, there should be a decent percentage of Seahawks still on the roster.

Aside from that, there’s better name recognition in the NFL.  I’ve seen every Husky game this season and I bet I still couldn’t name 90% of the team.  I’ve also seen every Seahawks game this year, but I bet there’s only 10% of that team I couldn’t name (and the bulk of that 10% is probably on the practice squad).  Since the players are more likely to stick around, I think there’s a bigger attachment to them.  Knowing that they’re not going to up and graduate on me; if they’re good and the right fit for the team, then the team in all likelihood will take care of them with a contract extension.  Obviously, you’re not getting that in college.

There’s also something to be said for the Hope factor.  It’s certainly more reasonable as an NFL fan to hope that your team could win a Super Bowl than it is for a college fan to hope that your team could win the BCS National Championship.  There are too many damned variables in play!  You’ve got to be in a major conference (check).  You’ve got to have a tough strength of schedule (mostly check).  You’ve got to start out ranked pretty high to begin the season ( … ).  AND you’ve got to win all your games, or at the most lose just 1 ( … … ).

What does it take to win the Super Bowl?  Yeah, you still need a good team, but even then all you REALLY need is to get hot when the playoffs come around.  Win your division, shoot for getting a bye in the first round, then win 3-4 games. 

Even though it feels like the same teams make the Super Bowl time and time again, there have been 7 different champions in the last 10 years.  Teams from out of nowhere make the leap at any given time!

Now, if they had the playoff system in college, maybe I wouldn’t be as jaded.  Because I know, as a Husky fan, that in Marques Tuiasosopo’s last season, we would’ve ran the table in ANY playoff system.  We were that good, and we only got better as the season went along.  To be robbed of a national championship opportunity because the NCAA is so stupid they can’t see that a playoff system would be good for everyone – even those who are all about making money – means I just can’t buy into college football as much as the NFL.

It’ll be a great day when the NCAA pulls its head out of its ass.  A great day.

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