One of the great debates between football fans hinges around the competition between college football and the NFL for viewer dollars. Sure, many of us watch both brands of football, but at this point, the NFL reigns supreme. A big facet of that dominance may come from the way the NFL ends its season versus the way college football rounds out a year.
The biggest difference between college football and professional football, aside from the obvious difference in the level of play, is the NFL's reliance on a playoff system to determine its champion. The NCAA, by contrast, relies on a slate of college football bowl games (click to view) to qualify its version of a postseason, and that's a big reason people flock to the NFL at the end of the year.
It's true, every game counts in college football, but the same is true in the NFL. In college football, a big conference school can usually get into the championship game with an undefeated record, and occasionally with a one loss record. Anyone losing more than that is probably on the outside looking in. The argument from BCS lovers, if they still exist, is that this ensures that every game is meaningful, but my counter to that is simple. Every year, teams get left out of the NFL playoffs by one game. Every game counts in the NFL too.
It's at this time of the year that I'm glad to be in love with professional football and indifferent towards college ball. The NFL's season leads up to its final few weeks, and once those are over, it's four weeks rounds of do or die football. It doesn't get much better than that.
The NFL and college football have always competed for ratings and viewer dollars. As the NFL's season winds down college football goes through the motions of bowl season, you tell me which games garner your attention. My guess is, unless it's the BCS title game, you'll be a lot more interested in what's happening on the NFL side of things.