Now, football is a great sport, probably the one I enjoy watching more than any other (baseball too slow, hockey too fast, basketball too repetitive). And at the school level, I can certainly understand the pride in having your students best another school's students in the sport (certainly helps when your recognize your classmates and have friends on the team).
It gets a little murkier in college, though--the players are a special elite, carefully recruited and coddled, given free rides and separated from the rest of us (unless your school has a weak program, in which case they are more likely to treat the players like regular students). It's less clear as to why the rank and file students at such schools get excited for the team that is basically sponsored by them--at least when "Joe's Pizza" sponsors a Little League team the players have to go eat the pizza their sponsor provides after the game (and maybe sneak a bit of beer as well--oops!). Why go nuts because you attend Altoona State, and Altoona State has a group of "students" who you never get to see and they go and win games? Simply because you get a discount on seeing those games, maybe?
So the confusion hits a level of disgust when we see the Penn State Football mess. Longtime and legendary coach Joe Paterno has been ousted as a result of his alleged coverup of a child sex scandal involving one of his former assistant coaches, as the school of course wants to be as far from this scandal as Rick Perry wants to be from a debate question. So after all this, the intelligent, thoughtful and well-bred students of Penn State did the natural thing--they expressed mournful shame and disappointment that their hero coach allowed and enabled such a foul occurrence by one of his assitant coaches, and applauded the school administration for handling this promptly.
Oh, wait no, they rioted because Paterno could do no wrong. Way to prove that all that education was wasted on you, dumbassses. (The extra "s" is for "sstupid". The second extra "s" was a typo).