Christopher Walsh breaks down a century of college football by classifying programs as perennial powers, contenders, and former greats, while also delving into such hot-button topics as determining the greatest program in college football history and discussing a number of disputed titles. Walsh's book, thus, provides readers with a slightly less impartial, and thus slightly more interesting, account of college football history.
On a similar time scale but with a slightly less controversial bent, Pigskin Warriors: Years of College Football's Greatest Traditions, Games, and Stars chronicles the game of college football in a much broader context. Steven Travers places the game within a discussion of American society as a whole, providing a fascinating run-down of the interplay between football, pop culture, and history, thereby bringing an intellectual flavor to a game of brawn.
No program has as close a connection to the history of college football than Notre Dame, and no book describes the history of the program with quite as much honesty and irreverence as Steven Delsohn's Talking Irish: The Oral History of Notre Dame Football. Through a series of first-person accounts from the likes of Ara Parseghian, Johnny Lujack and Tim Brown, among others, this book documents the history of the Fighting Irish football team from the s onward, shedding light on a program that, as it turns out, wasn't quite as holy and wholesome as it was purported to have been.
In this book, sports reporters Ken Rappoport and Barry Wilner break down the top 25 rivalries in college football, ranking them according to such criteria as tradition, intensity and familiarity. In Big Games: College Football's Greatest Rivalries , Michael Bradley takes the analysis of the sport's most celebrated rivalries to the next level, narrowing the focus from 25 to Bradley devotes an entire chapter to each of the 10 chosen rivalries, with an in-depth historical study of each, including the biggest games and most important players, coaches and moments that have defined how schools like Michigan and Ohio State, Notre Dame and USC, and Cal and Stanford have come to hate each other with such passion and fervor.
In the book, Rosenberg discusses how the historical hot bed of the late s and s impacted the football programs at Michigan and Ohio State, with Ann Arbor being an epicenter of anti-war and anti-government protest while Columbus served as something of a bastion of college football. A great piece of historical literature for those interested in the complex relationship between sports and society. Kurt Edward Kemper keenly connects college football to the anxieties of the Cold War era, examining the social, political, psychological and anthropological implications of a game that came to symbolize American ideals of hard work and cooperation in the face of existential uncertainty stemming from the rise of Soviet Russia.
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That being said, Boyles' book is nonetheless a work of art, filled with an absolute abundance of statistics, stories, game recaps and player profiles from to , thereby providing a wealth of information essential to the work of any historian of modern college football. If you're looking for a much more technical account of modern college football, look no further than Winning Football With the Air Option Passing Game.
Steve Moore and Homer Rice do a superior job of diagramming the technicalities of the modern game in a way that is accessible to casual fans and full-time coaches alike. As Bruce Feldman so cleverly chronicles in Meat Market: Inside the Smash-Mouth World of College Football Recruiting , the underbelly of recruiting in the college football can be an interesting place, both hilarious and horrifying for everyone involved.
Feldman, a columnist for ESPN, goes into incredible detail in his documentation of the day-to-day goings-on along the proverbial recruiting trail, from scouting and evaluations to official and in-home visits. David Claerbaut uses the story of James and his step-dad Dave to illuminate the ins and outs, triumphs and pitfalls, of the entire process while maintaining a focus on the heartwarming story of how the cabal of recruitment forges and strengthens the bonds between two family members.
For a slightly less sentimental account of the dirty business of college football, look no further than Scoreboard, Baby: A Story of College Football, Crime, and Complicity. Ken Armstrong and Nick Perry pull back the curtain on the Washington Huskies football team, which saw two dozen players arrested or charged with crimes and none of them serve any time whatsoever. This acutely investigative piece sheds a fresh light on the "win at all costs" mentality that has become the overwhelming norm in the world of big-time college football.
Armstrong and Perry's book would fit quite well into the greater historical context created by John Sayles Watterson in College Football: History, Spectacle, Controversy. From its humble beginnings as a rough rugby knock-off to its current state as a big business built on the backs of amateurs, Watterson brings his keen sense of history to the game of college football and the ever-increasing rash of scandal that has befallen the sport as it has become bigger. Feldman examines the good, the bad and the ugly of the Miami Hurricanes' recent year dynasty, masterfully recounting the story of a program that seemingly could do nothing but win on the field while getting into all manner of trouble off of it.
This book gives a rather dichotomous account of the two programs, as the 'Canes and the Irish faced each other five times over a six-year span, several times with national title implications. For those who fondly recall the good ol' days of "Catholics vs. Steve Smith shows readers what it's like to be an absolute fanatic, using his own experience as a long-time Nebraska Cornhusker enthusiast to immerse the casual fan in a mindset that is at once completely insane and totally entertaining.
From one legend to another, Dr. Eddie Anderson. Kevin Carroll carefully depicts the lasting influence that Dr. Anderson had on coaches, players, fans and the game as a whole over the course of his year career, thereby providing a rather intriguing account of a man who was essentially the game's predecessor to the likes of Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno. Then again, no coach's tenure at any particular institution can hold a candle to that of Eddie Robinson at Grambling State, which the legend himself dissects in Never Before, Never Again: The Autobiography of Eddie Robinson.
With victories in 57 seasons as a black coach in the Deep South, Robinson gives an honest portrayal of the trials and tribulations of black athletes through the years, all the while maintaining a key focus on the interplay between sport and society of which he was such an integral part. For those interested in more about Alabama football and the type of intense fandom that it implies, look no further than Warren St.
John's book comes from the particular perspective of those obsessed Alabama Crimson Tide fans who roam the country from week to week in the fall by way of a caravan of RV's, spending long weekends on the road and staking the claim to prime tailgate real estate, while providing social scientists with the perfect case study for how and why people go so nuts for their favorite teams.
By closely tracking the likes of Colorado State, Florida State and Boston College, among others, throughout the season, Curtis gains a greater understanding of what it means to be part of the world of major college football while giving readers unfettered access to the pressures and triumphs associated with it.
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Throughout the book, Jack Clary shows the reading public how the values of football and the military overlap, and how one sphere led to the tremendous success of the other in the case of these brave and highly decorated men. Using criteria like fan participation, quality of the marching band and the structures themselves, this book is a fantastic fit for any coffee table or for those fans who wish to be instantly transported to college football's most hallowed grounds.
Thanks to Jason and Stephanie Wolfe, anyone can bring the experience of every major college football stadium in the country home to their coffee table. The book serves both as an autobiography of Dietzel's career in college football as well as a relevant discussion of the similarities and differences between the modern game and its midth century predecessor, all the while incorporating a wealth of anecdotes from the life of the first man to bring a national championship to LSU. Paul Dietzel would likely endorse the philosophical underpinnings of Saturday Rules: Why College Football Outpasses, Outclasses, and Flat-Out Surpasses the NFL , which, as the title suggests, gives a subjective and biased but nonetheless entertaining account of why college football is far more enjoyable than its professional counterpart.
There's a lot of dirt in the recruiting game, especially at the highest levels in basketball. To get to the bottom of it, we spoke to 25 seniors in the ESPNU under the condition of anonymity to get the real story. Here's what they had to say about illegal benefits, coaches lying and why they really commit to schools.
The number next to each multiple choice selection indicates how many players selected that answer. The quotes are from the players themselves. People and schools are interetested in trying to get you to a better place in life. That's fun and exciting to me. That's the challenge of the process, weeding out those who tell you what you want to hear and those who tell you what you need to hear. Sometimes you have homework or you're tired, but they'll keep calling and want to talk. A mid-major with lots of tourney success, like Butler: 10 School in big-time conference with little tourney success: 13 Depends on where I could play right away: 2.
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