Reviews for Bowl Games : College Football's Greatest Tradition

Choice Reviews 2005 April
This work comes quickly on the heels of James Quirk's The Ultimate Guide to College Football (2000) and is one of many recent books on various college football topics. Still, it is the first work to focus solely and comprehensively on the history of college bowl games, so it is worthy of mention. Organized chronologically, the book presents information in both chapter and tabular format, which gives the reader the choice of perusing game summaries and historical developments or taking advantage of the quick access that tables afford. The author writes well but his prose is heavy with dates, names, facts, and game summaries; thus reading can become monotonous. The tabular data is easy to follow and contains the teams, records, results, and attendance for each bowl contest from 1902 to 2004. Also included are lists of overall team bowl records, bowl game performance records, and other useful data. The index is incomplete but it includes most of the major topics. This is a book for comprehensive sports reference collections. Summing Up: Optional. General readers. Copyright 2005 American Library Association.

Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews
In the same way that NFL games have come to represent one aspect of the traditional Thanksgiving experience, various college football bowl games have, for some decades, dominated New Year's Day (sports-wise, at least). College football junkie Ours (College Football Encyclopedia; College Football Almanac) intends to illustrate how the 102-year bowl history is "largely a history of college football itself." Alas, like a sluggish game, his book suffers from a plodding pace, monotonous delivery of facts and scattershot prose. Some early chapters are interesting, as they chart the development of postseason games in the late 19th century, focusing especially on Pasadena. Readers may also perk up when coming across details about ill-fated bowl games, such as the Gotham and Aviation bowls. Ultimately, though, Ours is less interested in discussing bowl games in their sum than he is in taking readers year by year through their entire history. He introduces most years by offering a canned, often inappropriate historical fragment (e.g., "Just as bowl bids were being considered following the 1963 regular season, America underwent a national trauma with the assassination of President Kennedy") before getting back to the task at hand: a dry recitation of games, players and statistics without drama or context. This work will likely be of great interest to true enthusiasts, but a deadly chore for most others. (Sept.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.