Sun block? Check. Autograph book and pen? Roger that. Fervor for football? That’s been packed in the car and raring to go since February.

It’s only a matter now of choosing which oversized novelty foam finger you’re going to strap to your hand today: an SEC or NFL one?

Fans of the collegiate ranks and its professional counterpart are split down the aisle as to which is the better form of preseason football. Both come with a degree of hope and anticipation. But college football, particularly the SEC, hold the edge over the NFL when it comes to geeking up its fan base for the upcoming season.

Here are a few (lighthearted) arenas where college football’s fall camps trump the NFL preseason.


College football gets it correct when it comes to preseason games by not playing host to any. The NFL debate rears its head every August about the need to decrease its amount of exhibition games. What Roger Goodell and the league need to do is eliminate them altogether. Sitting and watching preseason NFL football is the equivalent of watching paint dry — body paint on the back of a hairy Cleveland Browns fan. It’s awful and simply looks painful.

Casting aside the fact that watching a game that no one cares who wins (including those playing in it), the biggest flaw of preseason games is that it almost always claims the seasons of several players before they even hit the field in Week 1. The list of NFL players that have been badly injured in preseason games is an unsettling trend and one that probably needs to be addressed.

Yes, injuries happen on the college level during the preparation for the coming year. But at least they’re fewer and none of them occur while playing in a senseless preseason game.


Before the SEC takes the field for camp, the conference’s coaches and players take to the podium for SEC Media Days. The annual week-long event is a big draw and offers plenty in the form of information and entertainment. You don’t have that in the NFL. You never hear about Bill Belichick lashing out at someone at AFC East Media days, because the event simply doesn’t exist. The SEC knows how to feed the beast. Think of how much press Super Bowl Media Day generates. The NFL can replicate that circus on eight smaller levels by playing host to division media days.


Let’s be honest, college football gets it right by hitting the field earlier than the NFL. While both leagues begin camp at roughly the same time, the college game hits the gridiron with meaningful games earlier than the NFL — which in turn, calms our football withdrawal shakes faster.


This is even worse than an exhibition game, as far as fans go — although it could be an alternative to playing preseason games. Combine heat with the exuberance of a football-starved crowd, and the cauldron is bound to bubble over. Joint practices are gaining in popularity in the NFL and have led to some crazy episodes as tempers flare and players and fans alike get involved in the mayhem. You won’t find joint practices in the SEC, which is a good thing. Lest we see more incidents such as this one from a joint practice in 2014 between the Oakland Raiders and Dallas Cowboys. What would happen in a joint practice between, say, Florida and Georgia or Ole Miss and Mississippi State?


He might have mastered a different sport, but basketball superstar Allen Iverson was on to something when he infamously bemoaned workouts. You know what we’re talking about. We’re talking about practice. Why would anyone want to watch practice? The searing summer heat alone should be enough of a dissuasion to standing five-deep behind some ropes or burning your rump on a scalding-hot set of metal bleachers.

While SEC fans can attend some practices, depending on the school, almost all of the conference’s teams throw a special fan appreciation day. The NFL should stick with one fan outing a summer and save the headache of strangers traipsing all over their facility.


Mark Stoops is said to have delivered an impassioned speech to kick off Kentucky’s fall camp. The address was so powerful, it left many, including offensive coordinator Eddie Gran, with the hairs on their neck standing at attention. Unfortunately, it took place behind closed doors and no video is available, so we have to take Gran’s word for it.

Meanwhile, over in Georgia, the Atlanta Falcons recently welcomed wrestling legend Ric Flair to fire up their team during workouts.

OK, the NFL might have the edge in this one. That is, until Bret Bielema invites Flair to Arkansas’ fall camp so they can each bellow their notorious “wooooo (pig).”