The Rise and Fall of College Football in One Trophy

Since most every move it makes turns into a ham-fisted mess, the administration of the Big Ten Conference could not have realized they were making one of the most ironic statements on the rise and fall of college football in America when they decided to call the winner's trophy for the inaugural championship game in Indianapolis later this year the Stagg-Paterno Trophy. Named for the recently dismissed Penn State coach of whom you may have heard and the late University of Chicago head coach Amos Alonzo Stagg, the trophy neatly bookends things. Some may remember that the University of Chicago was a charter member of the Western Conference, which evolved into the powerful Big Ten. When Chicago was founded in 1890 its first president, William Rainey Harper, thought that one way to announce the school's arrival was to become a player in the fledging world of major college football. Harper offered Stagg, who was a member of the first all-America team at Yale, the head-coaching job. In a...(Read Full Article)