In 2015, when Ohio State took on the University of Oregon in the first College Football Playoff championship game, millions of sports fans tuned in. But back in 1869, when Rutgers University and Princeton University played the first-ever college football game, no one predicted the national spectacle that a college football championship game would become. Author Matt Doeden takes readers on a journey from the disorganized games of the early years to the most recent playoffs to determine the best college team in the nation. Along the way, discover some of the most incredible moments, games, blunders, and statistics in the history of college football championships.
Matt Doeden was born in southern Minnesota and lived parts of his childhood in Golden Valley, Minnesota, and Madison, Minnesota. He studied journalism at Mankato State University, where he worked at the college newspaper for three years. In his senior year, he served as the paper's Sports Editor, which put him in charge of the entire sports section, the sports writers, and the photographers. He covered mostly college sports, but also the Minnesota Vikings, who held training camp at MSU.
His work allowed him to meet and interview people like Dennis Green, Cris Carter, Robert Smith, and more. Matt went on to work as a sports writer for the Mankato paper, and then he got a job as an editor with a small children's publisher called Capstone Press, and in 2003 he decided to start his own business as a freelance writer and editor.
Since then, Matt has written and edited hundreds of books. Lots of them are on high-interest topics like cars, sports, and airplanes. He also writes and edits on geography, science, and even math.
As long as there are fans, there will be unhappiness with the final rankings in football’s polls. But Doeden is certainly right on two points: the Bowl Championship Series was hopelessly flawed by positive point differentials, and the new College Football Playoff looks likely to crown a single, undisputed champ each season. Yet the top spot still doesn’t guarantee a great game, just as many Super Bowls have been duds. Doeden senses this, and so his book wanders about somewhat, hitting on great title games but also taking a look into the evolution of the game including safety concerns, then and now and the building of dynasties, such as the strings put together by Alabama and Notre Dame. Doeden has fun with celebrated plays, highlighting perhaps the most famous of all Roy Wrong Way Riegels’ dash to the wrong end zone, incurring a two-point safety that proved to be the losing margin in the 1929 Rose Bowl. Doeden ends on two critical issues, both altogether unrelated to championships: the concern about brain injuries and the rules regarding player compensation. As Doeden notes football is headed for some big changes.