College football in America is big and for a good reason. This is where future NFL stars are born. It ranks as the nation’s second most popular sport. In 2018 for instance, 47 million fans attended games. Little wonder then it appears that betting on NCAAF is growing in popularity amongst Americans.
Many fans also love NCAAF sport for the drama and inspiring stories around the players and their teams. These are the stories that find their way into Hollywood to make awesome college movies. While the league provides great sporting action, finding good college football films is harder than you might imagine.
This post scours the archives to list some of the best college football movies every fan should see.
We Are Marshall
Matthew McConaughey, Matthew Fox and David Strathairn starred in this tear-jerking college football movie. Based on a true story, it tells the tragic story of Marshall University Thundering Herd football team.
In 1970, a plane crashed with 75 people on board including 37 football players, five coaches, two athletic trainers, the athletic director, 25 boosters, and a crew of five.McConaughey is phenomenal as Jack Lengyel as head coach in rebuilding the football program and the healing that the community undergoes. It is a must-watch.
When Rudy came out in 1993, it was billed as “without doubt one of the finest sports movies ever made.” In 2005, ESPN ranked Rudy among the best 25 sports movies of the previous 25 years in two polls. The classic football movie tells the story of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger.
The young boy had dreams of playing football at the University Of Notre Dame despite the odds. It is the story of an underdog overcoming obstacles and who doesn’t love such a story.
It might not be a movie but this is one of the most important productions on college football you’ll find out there. ESPN’s “30 for 30” production The U chronicles the story of the University of Miami football program under Jimmy Johnson. It was in the 80’s and 90’s and this culture changed the face of college football.
The Junction Boys were the “survivors” of coach Paul “Bear” Bryant’s first summer camp. Bear was then the Texas A & M Aggies football coach and had organized the 10-day summer camp in Junction, Texas from September 1, 1954. Well, the methods by the coach were tough but those who survived rose to the pinnacle of football.
Rob Brown helps tell the story of Syracuse University football player Ernie Davis, the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy. It’s a sentimental film touching on civil rights topics, such as racism, discrimination and athletics.
It’s not all gloom in college football as the Necessary Roughness proves. This is a formulaic comedy featuring Jason Bateman and Sinbad. The story follows the worst team (Texas State University Fightin’ Armadillos) in college football in their attempt to survive their first season.
The Program is a 1993 football-based movie starring James Caan, Halle Berry, Joey Lauren Adams, Omar Epps, Craig Sheffer and Kristy Swanson. It tells a story of football players from different backgrounds joining forces to play at a major university.
The ESU Timberwolves struggle with alcohol and anabolic steroid abuse, improper benefits, love and betrayal and overall college life.
Adam Sandler stars in the Waterboy and that’s the best hint you need to know this is slapstick comedy. Sandler is Bobby Boucher, a “special” waterboy who transformed into the best defensive player in college football. A story of a waterboy turned 5-star linebacker might never happen but this movie is fun to watch from start to finish.
Something for Joey
Released in 1977, Something for Joey tells the story of college football player John Cappelletti (Marc Singer), and his younger brother Joey (Jeff Lynas). This made-for-television sport drama film focuses on the relationship between John Cappelletti, a top football player at Penn State and his brother Joey who was diagnosed with Leukemia. Joey inspires John to push on eventually winning the Heisman Trophy in 1973.
The Blind Side
Well, this doesn’t qualify as a college football movie but it would be unfair to leave out this mercurial performance by Sandra Bullock and Quinton Aaron as Michael Oher.
You see the story of Oher to stardom started early and it’s important for football fans to watch this depiction of his tough journey to the top. What’s more, the film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture and that tells you how good it was.
Of course many other great college football films deserve mention. From Knute Rockne, Code Breakers, All American, Pony Excess,Game of Honor, Roll Tide/War Eagle to Breaking the Huddle, these are great stories you’ve to watch.