College Football is the name given to American Football that is played by the student athletes in the colleges, universities and the military of United States. College football is an immensely popular among the American students and alumni throughout the nation.
College football was first played between two American colleges, the Rutgers College (presently known as the Rutgers University) and the College of New Jersey (presently known as the Princeton University) on the 6th of November 1869.
However, the game was played under different rules which closely resembled the rules in rugby. This game is very important in the history of College Football since it was the first game documented as being football between two colleges in the United States.
The man who revolutionised American Football into a unique sport was known as Walter Camp. Popularly known as the "Father of American Football", Camp opened up the play from scrimmage, the present elements of scoring, the team consisting of 11 men and the traditional configuration of the seven-man line and the backfield consisting of 4 players. Camp also contributed in popularising the sport. He publicized the sport by circulating a number of articles in famous publications like the Harper's Weekly and Collier's Weekly and he selected the first ever College Football All-America Team.
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College Football starts off around two to three weeks prior to the NFL around August end. The season continues till the beginning of December and finishes with a yearly Army-Navy game as well as a number of conference championship games.
A number of bowl games take place in the post season where the top college teams compete. From 1998, the National Championship has been decided by the Bowl Championship Series. This formula is aided by a number of human polls and rankings to decide the top two teams of the nation. The season ends in January with a succession of all-star bowl games including the Grid ion Classic, the East-West Shrine Game, the Hula Bowl, the Senior Bowl and the most recently introduced Texas vs. The Nation Game.
The duration of the season, had slowly increased throughout the game's history. In the spring of 2005, the NCAA declared that the football teams can now calendar a twelve-game regular season. However, this decision of the NCAA was subjected to some criticism by some people who asserted that an extended season would fatigue the athletes.
The Bowl Championship Series, otherwise known as the BCS has been structured to bring together the two top college football teams against one another for a National Championship. This system picks the fixtures for the other prominent BSC bowl games as well. Ten teams are selected out of which six are the conference champions from the six BCS conferences and the rest four are taken from "at-large" selections. Only the highest and the second highest ranked teams are put in the BCS National Championship Game to decide the champion. However, the champion team needs to be voted the number one by the panel of Coaches known as the "coaches poll" which have been active since the 1998 season.
The rules for football are more or less the same for high school, college and the NFL games. However there are slight differences. For example in the Bowl and Championship Subdivisions, a pass is considered to be complete provided that the recipient's feet is inbounds while catching while in NFL, both the feet should be inbounds. In Bowl, a player is ruled down when a part of the player's body except for the hands or feet comes in contact with the ground as a result of a tackle while in NFL a player is considered active till the moment he is forced down by a tackle by a member of the opposition. There are a number of other differences as well but apart from that, the Division 1 uses the NCAA rules.