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College Football Season Explained: An Inside Look At College Football’s Scheduling

College Football Season Explained: An Inside Look At College Football's Scheduling
College Football Season Explained: An Inside Look At College Football’s Scheduling

College football might be one of America’s most-watched sports. While there are other important and famous leagues that Americans love watching, such as the NBA and NFL, College football is still a favorite.

The American Football sports (college football and the NFL) differ on their various levels. There are many differences between the rules, scheduling, and other aspects.

Differences Between College Football and the NFL

Even though the fans’ love for the game remains constant, college football may be confusing for an average football or NFL fan. This can be in the form of understanding the various college football elements. 

Some elements of college football from the NFL can be seen in how the national champion is determined, the importance placed in finishing the top 4, the big 12 and 10,  various conferences, unique playing kits, and others. 

Some of these differences are discussed further below:

Number of Played Conferences

There are 32 NFL league teams, while the FBS Division 1 has 124 teams. American college football is split into 3 divisions, each of which is further divided into conferences. The top hierarchy is Division 1 (which attracts most NCAAF betting lovers), with ten conferences. 

Even though the prominence and size of each participating college matters,  conferences are determined by the location of the college in question. Also, there are independent colleges that play without belonging to any conference.

Mostly, independent college teams get to participate in Division 1 (the top division)in college football. Below are the list of conferences and their headquarters in the United States:

American Athletic Conference Irving, Texas
Atlantic Coast ConferenceGreensboro, North Carolina
Big 10 ConferenceRosemont, Illinois
Big 12 ConferenceIrving, Texas
Conference USAIrving, Texas
Mid-American ConferenceCleveland, Ohio 
Mountain West ConferenceColorado Springs, Colorado
PAC 12 conferenceSan Francisco, California
Southeastern ConferenceBirmingham, Alabama
Sun Belt ConferenceNew Orleans, Louisiana

There are five major conferences from the above that attract top talent from the US.

College Football Game Schedules 

College football has two types of matches– conference and non-conference matches. Conference matches are played between two teams from the same conference, while non-conference, as expected, are between two teams from different conferences.  

The number of games for most conference leagues are not fixed. Some conferences play 8 home and away games (4 home and 4 away games). College teams from PAC 12 mostly play 9 conference matches. However, they sometimes play 4 or 5 matches at home.  

For the non-conference matches, the colleges schedule the matches. Non-conference matches are intended to make money and gain exposure, so participating teams decide on their non-conference games. 

College Football Postseason Games

The goal for each college team is to win their own conference. For the schools and coaches, participating in a bowl game would be an honor that affords them the potential to take home a sizable cash award.

Each FBS club with six victories could qualify to play in a bowl game. For the most prestigious college bowl games, BCS National Championship is one of the most prestigious of all 35 bowl games. Its semifinals include four elite teams, and the winner advances to the BCS Championship Game to be proclaimed the champion.

The Big 12 and the SEC conference’s champions compete in the Sugar Bowl. The other bowl games are chosen by the same committee that ranks the teams.

There are about 30 bowl games played in December and January following the regular season.


These are what you should know about the college football season schedule ahead of every new season. Of course, things might change, which will be updated. What team are you looking forward to watching in college football? We would love to know your preference.

Damond Talbot

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at

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