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USA Today College Football Encyclopedia

September 22, 2008

A few weeks ago I got an e-mail requesting that I would post a review on the blog about USA Today’s College Football Encyclopedia. They were kind enough to send me a free copy, so here I am (finally) holding up my end of the bargain by posting a review:

The first thing that struck me when I got the book in the mail was that it is huge! It is 1,335 pages! So it’s definitely thorough in its research and the information it provides. There is a year by year summary of college football since 1953, including the top 20 teams in the AP Poll at the end of each year, summaries of the top games in that year, and the draft picks of every single NFL team.

There are also hundreds of pages of team profiles (for the most prominent 70 programs). For each team there is a ton of information presented; this includes a list of team record holders, 55 greatest players, profile of the team’s greatest coach, the score of each game since 1953 in a season-by-season profile, and profile of the school’s greatest team since 1953. Probably the biggest problem is that it’s depressing when I look at my Gamecocks’ year by year records to see decades of underachieving.

The book has so much information in one place that I’ve never seen before in one place, and makes arguing with friends much easier (as well as checking their facts). It’s not very flashy, but the purpose of the book is to provide solid information about the history of college football since 1953, and it certainly does that. The price is very reasonable at $14.52 on Amazon right now. So it’s a good, cheap resource for someone who’s a diehard college football fan.

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