College football

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College football
Navy fullback Adam Ballard (#22) rushes while being pursued by Army defenders Cason Shrode (#54) and Taylor Justice (#42) in the 2005 Army–Navy Game, a college football rivalry in the U.S.
Governing body
First played1869
Club competitions
Audience records
Single match156,990 (Tennessee 45–24 Virginia Tech at Bristol Motor Speedway), 10 Sep 2016[1]

College football refers to gridiron football that is played by teams of amateur student-athletes at universities and colleges. It was through collegiate competition that gridiron football first gained popularity in the United States.

Like gridiron football generally, college football is most popular in the United States and Canada. While no single governing body exists for college football in the United States, most schools, especially those at the highest levels of play, are members of the NCAA. In Canada, collegiate football competition is governed by U Sports for universities. The Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (for colleges) governs soccer and other sports but not gridiron football. Other countries, such as Mexico, Japan and South Korea, also host college football leagues with modest levels of support.

Unlike most other major sports in North America, no official minor league farm organizations exist for American football or Canadian football. Therefore, college football is generally considered to be the second tier of American and Canadian football; ahead of high school competition, but below professional competition. In some parts of the United States, especially the South and Midwest, college football is more popular than professional football.[2] For much of the 20th century, college football was generally considered to be more prestigious than professional football.[citation needed]

As the second highest tier of gridiron football competition in the United States, many college football players later play professionally in the

undrafted free agent. Despite these opportunities, only around 1.6% of NCAA college football players end up playing professionally in the NFL.[3]