In the NFL, each hash mark is 70’ 9” from the closest sideline. That makes the two rows of hash marks 18’ 6” apart.
In college, the hash marks are closer to the sidelines. The hash marks are 60 feet from the nearest sideline, making the two rows of hash marks 40 feet apart.
How does that affect the game? For one, college place-kickers (if they’re kicking from a hash mark), have a tougher angle (and kick) than a pro kicker. And when the ball is marked on a hash mark in college, the offensive team has less in-bounds territory on one side.
In the pros, the closer hash marks give a team more field to work with. And, as it turns out, the left and right hash marks in pro football line up with the uprights on the goalposts.
Speaking of goalposts, they’re the same width in college and the pros: 18’ 6”.
4. Overtime play.
College football has a much different approach to overtime than the pro game, which is more traditional but can lead to a game ending in a tie.
There aren’t any tie games in college.
Here’s an explanation of how overtime works at both levels.
Overtime in college.
There’s no kickoff in college overtime. The team that wins the coin toss gets the ball 25 yards from the end zone and tries to score a touchdown…or at least a field goal. When their possession is over (whether they score or not), the other team gets the ball at the 25-yard line. Their objective to win the game or at least tie it, based on what the other team did on its possession. If the score is tied after the first overtime, then there’s a second overtime. Each “round” (where both teams get a chance to score) is called an overtime.
If there’s a third overtime, any team that scores a touchdown must attempt a 2-point conversion. Games can’t end in a tie, so they keep playing until one team wins. In 2003, a game between Arkansas and Kentucky went into seven overtimes before there was a winner. Arkansas won 71-63.
Here’s a funny tidbit about college “overtime.” There is no clock in the extra periods.