—Bruce Feldman, author of Meat Market and senior writer for ESPN the Magazine
"Stewart Mandel writes about college football's major controversies with a wit and depth of knowledge that will impress even the most obsessed fans. And because he's both fair and objective, there is something in this book to infuriate nearly everyone."
—Warren St. John, author of the bestselling Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer: A Road Trip into the Heart of Fan Mania
From the Inside Flap
"Why is college football the lone remaining sport on the planet without a playoff? And while we're at it, why the need for thirty-two bowl games? Why does the Big Ten have eleven teams? Why is it that a team like undefeated Boise State does not even get the chance to play for the national championship? And, oh yeahtell me again why we don't have a playoff?"
Whether it's from his seat in the press box at games every Saturday or his seat at his computer reading the thousands of messages on his college football blog and sent to his "College Football Mailbag" each week, Sport Illustrated columnist Stewart Mandel has a unique perspective on college football. He votes in the AP poll. He's a member of the Heisman electorate. He knows how the ballots are cast and how the game is playedon and off the field.
In Bowls, Polls, and Tattered Souls, Mandel gives you in-depth insight into issues that frustrate and perplex even the most passionate fans. He examines the conspiracy theories behind everything from who gets the Heisman to major schools setting up their archrivals for NCAA investigation. He explores the influence of television and the "ESPN Factor" on the college football landscape. He recounts how fickle the college coaching world can be, with fans posting "For Sale" signs in a coach's yard after an embarrassing loss or posting rants on message boards. He addresses recent scandals at schools like Alabama, Colorado, and Ohio State. He probes common violations, from players having phony jobs or getting academic favors to players facing criminal charges or major recruiting abuses with big money involved. He examines the role and powers (or lack of them) of the NCAA. And he tackles the top issue in the game today: the BCS, exploring its evolution and whether there should be a playoff instead.
No matter what team you root for, Bowls, Polls, and Tattered Souls provides you with a virtual insider's playbook on the game todayan insightful, entertaining, and essential read.