The Next Football Bowl: College Team vs. NFL

Help settle an argument.

I think it would be interesting if one of the following were done: (1)The Powers That Be started a new “Junior-Senior Bowl” tradition. That is, each year, the national college football champions were pitted against, say, some NFL division leader, or the pro team with the worst record that year. Whatever. OR: (2)A college All-Star team would play an NFL team.

Yes, an NFL team is comprised of the best college players. But what do you think would happen if, say, Florida State or Nebraska or Penn State during their best years were to face an average NFL team?

Also this follow-up question: one often hears some announcer say about a NFL rookie quarterback, “he has a lot of learning to do about the complex NFL offense…”

My question is: If the NFL offensive and defensive systems are so superior to what is found at the college level, why doesn’t a shrewd college coach adopt a genuine NFL system and kick butt?

What you propose is NOT a new idea. Far from it. Exhibition games between pros and college all-stars went on for decades. As recently as the mid 70s, it was an annual event, and I remember seeing such games on TV, as a kid.

These exhibition games were done away with for several reasons:

  1. Fans just weren’t all that interested.
  2. Pro players are NEVER eager to take part in meaningless exhibition games (why do you think they all fake injuries when it’s Pro Bowl time?).
  3. The pros almost always won, with minimal effort.

Oddly enough, when these games were first sponsored, back in the 1920s and 1930s, it was the PRO players who had the most to prove. College football was MUCH more popular than pro football then, and the NFL had more to gain from the exposure these exhibitions provided than the top college teams.

COULD such an exhibition game work today? Probably not. MAYBE if some network offered tons of money, they might be able to get pro players interested in participating, but I don’t foresee anyone putting up enough money to make it worth any star’s time. I mean, if YOU were Marshall Faulk or Randy Moss, would you really be interested in playing a meaningless game against collegians?

Regardless, there is NO doubt that the worst team in the NFL (the Browns? the Bengals?) would slaughter Florida State or Nebraska, without working up a sweat, if they really cared enough to try.

I agree with astorian. The worst NL team wouldn’t have a very tough time with even the best college team. Don’t forget, for as good as you need to be to play Division I football, very few of them are good enough to play in the NFL.

This is also why you seldom see college coaches implementing pro schemes. The talent just isn’t there to do it. Once in a while, you will see a pro-type offense (the University of Houston ran the run-and-shoot in the '80s), but I’ve never seen one work as well as the well-oiled offenses of the NFL.