They’re ranked one, two, and three in the nation right now, in the most popular spectator sport in the country.
But turning college football and its athletes into big-money, big-time media gladiators is not without its serious critics.
Some say young players are getting chewed up, with sports spending outstripping classroom advances, linebacker positions getting endowed like academic chairs, and coaches making as much as $4 million a year.
This Hour, On Point: going over the edge with college football.
Michael Oriard, author of "Bowled Over: Big Time College Football from the Sixties to the BCS Era." A former offensive captain and second team All-American at the University of Notre Dame, he played four seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs. He's now a professor of American literature and culture at Oregon State University and is the author of six other books, including "Brand NFL: Making and Selling America's Favorite Sport."
Andy Staples, staff writer at Sports Illustrated covering college football.
Joseph Aoun, president of Northeastern University, which recently announced that it will end its football program.
This program aired on November 30, 2009.