The act of driving is not inherently dangerous - the danger lies in the possibility of accidents. Whereas the routine actions in football are dangerous. The research is slim (and the Big10 is actually leading the way with this research), but early evidence suggests significant brain damage can occur even from non-"knock-out" blows.
For me, that is already enough to not allow my future kids to play football. Unless things drastically change, there is no way I would let them risk their life simply for a game.
As for College Football, I think Malcolm Gladwell might be right about a big lawsuit coming the NCAA's way. These players are semi-professionals, risking their lives and are not paid compensatory to the risk. I think NCAA Football is going to drastically change within the next decade. Should be interesting to see how this works out.