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College football is American football played by teams of student athletes fielded by American universities, colleges, and military academies, or Canadian football played by teams of student athletes fielded by Canadian universities. It was through college football play that American football rules first gained popularity in the United States.

Unlike most other sports in North America, no minor league farm organizations exist in American or Canadian football. Therefore, college football is generally considered to be the second tier of American football in the United States and Canadian football in Canada; one step ahead of high school competition, and one step below professional competition. However, in some areas of the country, college football is more popular than professional football, and for much of the early 20th century, college football was seen as more prestigious than professional football.

It is in college football where a player's performance directly impacts his chances of playing professional football. The best collegiate players will typically declare for the professional draft after three to four years of collegiate competition, with the NFL holding its annual draft every spring in which 256 players are selected annually. Those not selected can still attempt to land an NFL roster spot as an undrafted free agent.

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The 1986 Peach Bowl was a post-season American college football bowl game at Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia between the Virginia Tech Hokies and the Wolfpack from North Carolina State University on December 31, 1986. The game was the final contest of the 1986 NCAA Division I-A football season for both teams, and ended in a 25–24 victory for Virginia Tech, the first bowl victory in school history.

Virginia Tech came into the game with a 9–1–1 record that included an unusual win over the Temple Owls, who were forced to forfeit a victory to Virginia Tech after using an ineligible player. Facing the Hokies in the Peach Bowl were the 18th-ranked Wolfpack from North Carolina State University. N.C. State was led by head coach Dick Sheridan and had a regular-season record of 8–2–1 that included five wins over Atlantic Coast Conference teams.

The 1986 Peach Bowl kicked off five years minus one day since Virginia Tech had last played in Atlanta—during the 1981 Peach Bowl. Virginia Tech scored first in the game, but NC State's Bulluck blocked a Tech punt in the Tech end zone and recovered it for a tying touchdown. Virginia Tech kicked a field goal at the end of the quarter to take a 10–7 lead, but NC State fought back, scoring 14 unanswered points in the second quarter to take a 21–10 lead by halftime. In the third quarter, the game turned into a defensive battle. Neither side scored until late in the third quarter, when Tech took advantage of a State fumble to score the first touchdown of the second half. Tech failed to convert a two-point conversion, but NC State fumbled again on the ensuing possession, and Tech was able to drive for another touchdown. Leading 22–21, Tech attempted another two-point conversion, which also failed.

NC State, needing to score, drove down the field and kicked a go-ahead 33-yard field goal with 7:12 remaining in the game. After a failed possession, Tech was forced to punt the ball, allowing NC State to run down the clock. The Virginia Tech defense eventually forced a stop, giving the Tech offense one final chance to win the game. With 1:53 on the clock and beginning from their own 20-yard line, the Hokies drove 57 yards to the NC State 23-yard line. There, kicker Craig Kinzer successfully kicked a 40-yard field goal as time expired to give Virginia Tech the win.

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Aerial view of Harvard Stadium in Boston, in the form of a letter U with a capital H in the center of the field and the words Harvard and Crimson at either end

Yale's original mascot, Handsome Dan

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