College Football Picks

College Football is one of the most popular sports in the United States of America. College football is American Football played by teams of student athletes from a variety of universities in America. 
College football is very competitive and organised and universities scout for top high school players from all over the United States and try to bring them to their schools and be part of their own college team. The College League is so popular that the matches attract capacity crowds of even up to 90,000 which shows just how popular this league is. There is a lot of money involved in the College Football.
American College Football is regulated by the NCAA, National College Athletic Association which is an association of most of the colleges in the United States. The association has a set of rules and regulations which are useful to avoid ineligible players from participating in the league thereby keeping the rules fair between the schools. Initially there was a large number of ineligible players in the College League but the NCCA has put in place rules to stop this and level the playing field. The NCCA consists of four divisions but the top division is the FBS which is top level of college football in the United States. 

What is the FBS Division?

The FBS consists of 124 teams which are divided into 11 conferences where six of those conferences are BCS Automatic Qualifying conferences and most conferences are aligned by roughly geographical boundaries, with neighboring conferences overlapping. The six teams are the Southeastern Conference, the Big XII, the Big 10, the Pac-12, the Big East, and the Atlantic Coast Conference. From the 124 FBS teams, Notre Dame, Brigham Young University, Army and Navy are not affiliated with a conference because they have other ways of generating revenue instead of getting a guaranteed share of television and bowl revenues from the conferences. The top schools from the conferences generate several millions of dollars in yearly revenue which makes this league very lucrative. Below is a list of the 11 conferences and the regions they cover:

The Northeast Conference Boston College
(Rutgers, North Carolina, Duke, Maryland, Navy, Massachusetts, North Carolina State, East Carolina, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Wake Forest)
The Eastern Conference
(Cincinnati, UConn, Army, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, West Virginia, Penn State, Ohio, Marshall, Miami U, Temple)
The Great Lakes Conference
(Michigan, Michigan State, Western Michigan, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, Purdue, Notre Dame)
The Midwest Conference
(Northwestern, Ball State, Northern Illinois, Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, Toledo, Akron, Kent State, Buffalo, Bowling Green)
The Southern Coastal Conference
(Florida, Florida State, Miami, Central Florida, Florida International, South Florida, Florida Atlantic, Georgia, Georgia Tech, South Carolina, Clemson)
The Gulf Coast Conference
(LSU, Tulane, Louisiana Tech, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, Arkansas, Arkansas State, Mississippi State, Mississippi, Southern Mississippi, Troy)
The Dixieland Conference
(Alabama, Auburn, UAB, South Alabama, Kentucky, Western Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Missouri, Middle Tennessee State, Memphis)
The Lone Star Conference
(Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, North Texas, TCU, Texas State, Texas-San Antonio, Rice, Houston, SMU, Baylor)
The Great Plains Conference
(Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Tulsa, Nebraska, Kansas, Kansas State, UTEP, New Mexico, New Mexico State, Air Force, Colorado, Colorado State)
The Northwest Conference
(Idaho, Boise State, Washington, Washington State, Oregon, Oregon State, Utah, Utah State, Nevada, UNLV, Wyoming, BYU)
The Southwest Conference
(California, Stanford, San Jose State, San Diego State, USC, UCLA, Fresno State, Hawai’i, Arizona, Arizona State)

How do schools retain their FBS status?

The FBS produces quality players who are eventually picked in the NFL Draft. FBS schools are expected to have a maximum of 85 football players who will receive financial assistance. There are certain requirement which must be met for a team to retain their FBS membership,firstly, schools must have an average home attendance of at least 15,000 over a two year period. Secondly an FBS school must also sponsor a minimum of 16 varsity intercollegiate teams and lastly FBS football teams must provide at least 90% of the maximum number of football scholarships.

How Long is an FBS season?

An FBS season takes about 5 months beginning in late August up to January the following year, there are fears however that the 2020 season will either be delayed or cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic. In an FBS season, most FBS teams play a minimum of 12 regular season games per year but it is important to note that these matches are not only played between conference teams, between 8-9 of the matches will be against conference teams, whilst other matches could be between non-conference teams. A top FBS team will participate in many matches including matches like a conference championship game, and one bowl game and this means that a top team will play way more matches than average teams.
All the FBS conferences will at the end of the College Football league hold a conference championship game which is played to determine the winner of each conference. Conference regular season matches are scheduled but non-conference regular season games are scheduled between FBS teams even if they are from different conferences. An FBS team is expected to schedule a total of five home games per year.
College Football is one of the popular sport in the United States and is responsible for supplying the NFL with a host of players who will go on to have successful careers in the NFL.

Let’s look at the factors which distinguish American football from college football. The main distinguishing factors are highlighted below:

  • College football as many can probably deduce from the title is a game of football which is played by student athletes. These student athletes may either be from American universities, colleges or military academies
  • College football when it comes to game rules as well as overall gameplay is similar to American football. In fact, it was college football which first emerged and American football as we know it today is an offspring of college football
  • College football is not a professional sport. As the contestants are all student athletes, college football is not classified as a professional sport
  • Though not a professional sport, college football is generally referred to as the second tier of American football. This necessitated by the fact that there are no minor league farm organizations which exist in American football. College football thus lies in-between high school football and professional football
  • College football athletes only become professional players when they are drafted into the NFL. The NFL draft is held every spring and a total of 256 college players are drafted. However, some can still enter into professional American football as undrafted free agents 
  • In college football, a pass is considered complete if one of the receiver’s feet is inbound at the time of the catch while in American football, a pass is only considered complete when both feet are inbound

Format of the NCAA season

College football games are played in coherence to the NCAA divisional system. The NCAA divisional system consists of three divisions. These divisions are as follows:

  • Division 1: Major collegiate athletic powers with larger budgets, more elaborate facilities and more athletic scholarships. Teams that form division 1 are further classified into the Bowl subdivision and the Championship subdivision. The Bowl subdivision consists of the largest programs while the Championship subdivision consists of lesser programs. Teams that are classified under the Bowl subdivision can field teams both in the NCAA as well as the club or sprint club. Bowl subdivision institutions have the prerogative to field their teams outside of the jurisdiction of the NCAA. These institutions can field their teams in the following student leagues:
  • The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics – mostly located in the Midwest and consists of over 80 college football teams
  • The National Junior College Athletic Association – has jurisdiction over two-year institutions with the exception of California
  • The California Community College Athletic Association – two year institutions compete for CCCAA membership
  • Club football – student clubs run teams instead of institutions such as universities and colleges. Gaming action overseen by the National Club Football Association and the Intercollegiate Club Football Federation
  • The Collegiate Sprint Football League – runs in the Northwest and its primary restriction is that all players must weigh less than the average college student
  • Division 2: Consists of smaller public and private institutions that offer fewer scholarships
  • Division 3: Consists of institutions that field student teams but do not offer any scholarships

NCAA Brackets

When it comes to Division 1, eligible teams will compete in the College Football National Championships. The Championships will determine the champions of the highest level of college football. The second highest level I teams are drawn from the NCAA Division I Football Championship.

When it comes to Division 2, eligible teams will compete in the NCAA Division II Football Championship to determine the third highest level teams in college football.

When it comes to Division 3, eligible teams will compete in the NCAA Division III Football Championship to determine the fourth highest level teams in college football.

Playoffs are conducted for each of the divisions highlighted above so as to determine the overall national champions.

Top Teams in the NCAA

The top 25 college football teams in 2020 are as follows:

  • Clemson
  • Alabama
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Notre Dame
  • Ohio State
  • Auburn
  • Miami
  • Texas
  • Penn State
  • UCF
  • North Carolina
  • Texas A&M
  • Oregon
  • Cincinnati
  • Mississippi State
  • Oklahoma State
  • Wisconsin
  • LSU
  • Tennessee
  • Brigham Young
  • Michigan
  • Pittsburgh
  • Memphis