From the Publisher
"There is no passion in the world quite like the passion that the people of the South have for college football. In Southern Fried Football, Tony Barnhart not only captures the history of our great game, he taps into the color and the emotion that make college football a way of life. I've always said that during football season there is no place like a Saturday in the South. Tony's book explains why."
--Vince Dooley, former head coach and athletics director at University of Georgia "I played at Tennessee, and trust me when I tell you that Southern Fried Football is not just a title, it's a way of life, and Tony Barnhart captures the passion of the game better than anyone. Appalachian State's upset win at Michigan at the beginning of the 2007 season? In our part or the world it was just another helping of Southern Fried Football! Enjoy!"
--Charles Davis, lead BCS analyst, Fox Sports
"Tony Barnhart and Southern college football go together like shrimp and grits. Southern Fried Football captures the passion and excitement of college football in the South from its earliest days through the 2007 season, which coincided with the SEC's 75th anniversary. It is a must-read for every college football fan"
--Mike Slive, Commissioner, Southeastern Conference
"People know that I have strong opinions about college football, but at the end of the day I check to find out what Tony Barnhart thinks as well. Nobody knows the sport better. I consider Tony to be the final word on Southern college football, and that's why this book is a must-read for fans everywhere."
--Tim Brando, host of College Football Today on CBS
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From the Inside Flap
2007 was the best and most exciting year ever for Southern college football. There were more upsets, more great players, and more unforgettable moments than in any past season, and Tony Barnhart chronicles it all with unrelenting detail in this revised and expanded edition of Southern Fried Football.
Before the season even started, the stage was set for unpredictability and the air was charged with excitement when Nick Saban signed an unprecedented eight-year, $32 million contract to be Alabama's head coach. Several months later, the season began with tiny Appalachian State posting a 34-32 victory over Michigan, one of the biggest upsets in college football history. But wild finishes would become commonplace in 2007 as LSU rallied from a 17-7 halftime deficit to beat Florida 28-24; Kentucky defeated No. 1 LSU 43-37 in triple overtime; and Tennessee came back from a 24-9 fourth-quarter deficit to beat Vanderbilt 25-24. But the games themselves weren't the defining moments that made 2007 so unforgettable. It was the nuances, the little changes, that combined to form the larger picture of a truly dynamic game at the most interesting point in its storied history. During the 2007 season Georgia took the field in black jerseys for the first time in team history, several coaches--Chan Gailey and Ed Orgeron included--were fired in the wake of poor performances, and Florida's Tim Tebow became the first sophomore in history to win the Heisman Trophy.
It was a season marked with change and evolution, and as with all such entities, it was touched by sorrow and tragedy. The entire nation mourned when a shooter killed 32 people and wounded many more on Virginia Tech's campus. Football seemed an unlikely remedy for a tragedy of that magnitude, but football played a huge role in the rebuilding of the minds and spirits of the residents of Virginia.
Aside from 2007, the greatest year for college football to date, what about the other years since Southern Fried Football was first published in 2000? A lot has happened in Southern college football during that period as well. Steve Spurrier left college football for the NFL and then came back as the head coach at South Carolina; Georgia hired Mark Richt as its new head coach in December 2000, and subsequently the Bulldogs have enjoyed their most successful run since the glory days of Vince Dooley; Miami, Virginia Tech, and Boston College officially joined the ACC; and Hurricane Katrina ravaged Louisiana, causing Tulane to be displaced for an entire season. These events represent just the tip of the iceberg, though, when looking at the action Southern college football has seen over the past eight years.
In this fun and easy-to-use volume, Tony Barnhart has compiled everything one would want to know about Southern college football. Read about the players, the coaches, the teams, the traditions, and the rivalries that make Southern college football so great. In addition, there is a complete chronology of Southern football from 1880 to 2007 and a list of Southern football terms that any true fan simply must know. Whether you are a die-hard Southern college football fan or a more casual fan, you will not want to miss this multifaceted look at how Southern Fried Football is so much more than just a game.
The 2008 college football season will be Tony Barnhart's 32nd as a reporter for newspapers, television, and radio, including 10 seasons with ESPN and 25 years with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He has received countless accolades and awards during his career, including Georgia Sportswriter of the Year in 1999, the Jake Wade Award in 2006, and the Fred Russell Award in 2007. Barnhart is currently a regular contributor to the College Football Today show on CBS and lives with his wife, Maria, in Atlanta, Georgia.
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