This thing is a behemoth. Over 1300 pages and a lot of it is in small type. So, what is 50 Years of College Football? Authors Bob Boyles have compiled something that has to be the most inclusive review of the last 50 years of college football available. It just as easily could have been called "The College Football Dictionary" as that's what it resembles.
It provides a review of 70 teams over the years 1953 to 2006. Each review contains basic school information, and career, season, and game statistical leaders - typical of stuff you'd find in a school's media guide. The reviews include won-loss records, coaching records, and bowl records, the scores of all games - stuff that isn't hard to find if you're a powerhouse school, but may be difficult if you're trying to find information on someone lesser known. The season's starting lineups and statistical leaders are also included - that is information that can be very hard to find, especially if you're interested in going back all the way to 1953.
The yearly reviews start with an entertaining and informative overview of each year, highlighting events on and off the field. As an example, the 1961 review relates how the Ohio State faculty voted down a Rose Bowl bid, resulting in the Columbus Dispatch printing each voting faculty member's name, address, and amount of reimbursed out-of-state travel they'd had over the past year. We're told that Woody Hayes was pivotal in quelling potential student riots. (Ah, the good old days!)
The preseason rankings are provided, and a recap of games played between ranked teams and many rivals are reviewed, which comes to more than 7,500 game recaps total. These don't include every game ever played, but obviously a huge number of them, including a "Game of the Year" for each season. .Each year concludes with a listing of conference standings, bowl game reviews, All-America teams, Heisman Trophy voting along with other major award winners. As if that weren't enough (but wait, there's more!), you also get the first eight rounds of each season's NFL draft.
There is a freakish amount of information in 50 Years of College Football, almost too much. At a cost under $20 (see the Amazon price above), it's pretty affordable as a historical reference. It's handy for bloggers like me to go back and find something interesting to write about and it should be in the hands of any college fans that likes to "one-up" their friends. Hmmmm.... wouldn't that be just about all of us?