Traditionally, university or college was meant to be primarily about studying, furthering your education so that you would be in a better place to have a successful career down the line. Over time, mixing with other people and having some independence became an equally important part of the university experience, as teenagers looked forward to the social side of things more than the educational side.
In the United States of America, sport is also a hugely important section of the university experience. In fact, if you don’t take part in some form of sport, it is almost frowned upon. All the top U.S. sports such as baseball, basketball, soccer and American football are taken very seriously, as professional teams will recruit directly from colleges. This means that those players who make it into the top university or college sides will be focusing solely on their sport, instead of their academic studies.
Because this means that the likes of college football are extremely competitive, therefore the attendances are absolutely enormous. In fact, many of the college stadiums are larger than their NFL counterparts. Looking down the list of stadiums with the highest capacity in the U.S, the first MetLife Stadium is the first one where NFL teams (the New York Giants and New York Jets) actually play, with 15 college stadiums able to fit in more people. The largest of them all is the Michigan Stadium, home of the Michigan Wolverines, which maxes out at 107,000 people.
The 2021/22 college football season is underway, with most sides having played four or five fixtures so far. Already, there are some teams that fans will have surely been searching for the betting odds on their games, as they have started the season on fire. Let’s have a look at some of the standout performances across some of the NCAA conferences.
Cougars lighting up the American Athletic Conference
The Houston Cougars are one of the more successful college programmes from the southwest of the United States. To date, they have won 11 Conference titles and 6 Division titles. Not only that, but they have had numerous players elected into the College Football Hall of Fame, and in Andre Ware, the 1989 Heisman Trophy winner.
This season they have been in formidable form, having won four of their five games. The standout result from this strong start would have to be against the Grambling State Tigers, where the Cougars ran out 45-0 winners. Quarterback Ike Ogbogu threw 2 touchdown passes, and made 14-for-22, while Alton McCaskill rushed 114 yards, and scored two touchdowns. Next up for the Cougars is the Tulane Green Wave, which should be an easy win for Houston.
Two Oklahoma sides dominating the Big 12
In the Big 12 Conference, two sides out of Oklahoma are clear at the top of the standings, having both won all five of their opening fixtures. The Oklahoma State Cowboys, who play their games at the Boone Pickens Stadium, had an incredibly close game against the Boise State Broncos, in a game that ended up 21-20 to the Cowboys. Down the road at the Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, the Oklahoma Sooners absolutely trashed the Western Carolina Catamounts 76-0, with Spencer Rattler throwing five touchdown passes. There is a big rivalry between the two sides, known as the Bedlam series. The rivalry will be reignited on the 27th of November when the two sides meet.
The Wolverines tearing up the Big 10 East
Given the Michigan Stadium is known as ‘The Big House’, the enormous complex clearly is working as an intimidating factor, given how well the Michigan Wolverines have played there recently. The standout performance came on the 18th of September, where they took on the Northern Illinois Huskies. By half time it was 35-3, with the full time score ending up 63-10 to the home side. We expect the Wolverines to keep on achieving these big wins throughout the season.
Bulldogs barking loudest in the Southeastern
Down in Georgia, the Bulldogs have had a tremendous start to their season, as they are another side who are currently 5-0, and are second in the AP college football rankings. Their most impressive result actually came away from home, where they played against the Vanderbilt Commodores.
In the first quarter alone the score was 35-0. Vanderbilt did not earn a single point in the whole match, and would go on to be humiliated 62-0 by the time the game was brought to a close. The touchdowns were spread nice and evenly amongst the offensive line for the Bulldogs, with Zamir White, Dijun Edwards, Kenny McIntosh, Ladd McConkey and Brock Bowers all scoring one for Georgia.
Can Georgia achieve another standout performance like this? Which other sides will pull off impressive results? We can’t wait to find out in the remaining games of the season.