The Traditional Football
The college football is the older, more traditional ball. Back in the mid-1920s, every football was made with white stripes. Then, in 1941, the NFL switched the color of the ball to white with black stripes for visibility during night games, according to Rick Walls, an Eastern Region Coordinator for the National Football Foundation, in an ESPN Magazine publication. As stadium lighting improved, the NFL began to seek alternative football colors, notes Walls. Wilson, the company that supplies the NFL and most colleges with their footballs, then made a prototype without stripes. Since night-game visibility wasn't an issue, the NFL chose to use the stripe-less ball to distinguish itself from the business of NCAA football.