It couldn't have taken long to put together the Illinois football schedule in 1983. A day or two. Tops.
The Big Ten helped with most of it, filling nine of the available 11 spots. The other two games were home-and-home series with Missouri and Stanford. Ahh, those were the days.
He's been out of football since 2005 and misses it every day. But Kurt Kittner, 27, hasn't totally let the sport go. He works for one of the best quarterbacks ever, Roger Staubauch, whose commercial real estate business has grown to 60 branches. He tutors Chicago-area high school quarterbacks during the summer. He sheepishly admits to owning his first fantasy team. And on Saturday the former Illini will make his Illini Radio Network debut as analyst. Sports editor Jim Rossow caught up to Kittner this week as he was sweating over the idea of pronouncing Hoomanawanui on live radio:
The Boise States, Rutgers and Louisvilles of college football never might have happened without a simple rule change: scholarship reductions.
When Gerry DiNardo was playing at Notre Dame, schools could have 120 players on scholarship. Today, the number has been reduced 29 percent, down to 85.
Want to know which of Saturday's games are worth your time? Here's the scoop from sports editor Jim Rossow:
Every year it changes. Sort of.
Oh, sure, there are some usual suspects. Southern Cal. Texas. Michigan. Ohio State. Florida. They usually wind up somewhere in your Top 10.
Papa John's Cardinal Stadium in Louisville, Ky., represents the best college football has to offer when it comes to 21st-century showcases.
The 42,000-seat facility is smaller than most, but that adds to the intimacy. There's a club level that features a ring of suites more than 100 yards long. There are more than 7,000 parking spaces in the immediate area. Every seat in the building is a chair-back seat.
You don't have to tell Joel Maturi that head coaching salaries are zooming upward. The Minnesota athletic director was just in the market for leaders in football and men's basketball.
He actually got a bargain in football, hiring first-time head coach Tim Brewster for $1 million a year, $200,000 of it in deferred compensation. That's less than the school paid former coach Glen Mason. Of course, Brewster has a chance to earn $700,000 more a year in performance bonuses for athletic and academic success.
Longtime college football fans can remember the days of the "tearaway" jersey, when running backs like Oklahoma's Billy Sims would sport a half-torn shirt.
That notable fashion element made it difficult for defenders to wrap up a player just by tugging on his jersey. The fabric would simply rip apart when a defender grabbed it, and the running back would hardly be slowed.
Single Wing. T formation. Veer. Wishbone. West Coast.
They've all had their moments. They've all been the "hot" offense in college football.
Used to be, a backflip and a really high-pitched "Go Illini!" fit the bill for a cheerleader's repertoire.
That won't even get you through tryouts anymore.