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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2005 11:24 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 10:44 am
Posts: 22
Location: Chicago
Two questions:

1. How would you define the modern era? I would use 1974 and introduction of unlimited substitution as the beginning.

2. I know that the college football data warehouse has quarter-century rankings and the colllege football resource center has all-time program rankings, but is there anywhere on the internet where you can plug in a custom timeframe (e.g., 1974-2004) and get a ranking of the programs over that time?

PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2005 3:24 pm 
Other candidates for modern era:

1983-4: The year the Big Sky, Atlantic 10, Yankee Conference, and Ivy League went Division 1AA, and the last year until recently that the Mid-America Conference's place in Division 1A was seriously challenged.

1989: Institution of the Bowl Alliance and the year Florida State and Miami commited to the ACC and Big East, respectively (even if they didn't start play in those comferences for another three years) ending the possiblity of Metro Conference football once and for all.

1995: Instituiton of the current Overtime system and the BCS.

2000: First year of Sun Belt Conference Football, the newest Division 1A conference.

PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2006 11:56 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2006 11:46 pm
Posts: 11
Good question. And I think the biggest factor is one you mentioned, unlimited substitution. Those rules were implemented gradually from 1954 until 1964. There are a lot of factors that favor the 60s for the beginning of the modern era.

1974 is of course, the year that the current Div I/II/II format was started.

One factor that favors the 80s or 90s-the end of the NCAA control over TV and the massive realignment of the early 90s. You could call 1996 the beginning of the hyper-modern era. But that doesn't give you much history.

I did an analysis of poll standings and chose 1968 as the beginning of the "modern era." The biggest reasons for choosing 1968 were not particularly strong-it was the year the AP consistently started ranking the top 20 instead of just the top 10 and it was the first season I clearly remember as I just started following college fb in 67. However, there are some good reasons:
1) 1967 IU, Purdue and Minnesota shared the Big 10. Purdue took over 30 years to win another B10. IU and Minnesota are still waiting. MI or Ohio St. (who last won B10 in 64 and 61 respectively) won at least a piece of the next 15 titles.
2) Texas A&M won the SWC for the first time since 56 and the 2nd time since 1941, following SMU in 66. Texas won the next 6 titles.
3) Integration was seriously under way in public schools, colleges and sports teams, helping SMU win the 66 SWC title. Texas in 69 was the last team w/o African Americans to win a national title.
4) Wyoming went to the Sugar Bowl following 1967.
5) Top 10 coaches poll in 67 included WY #5, IU #6, Oregon St. #8 and Purdue #9. Top 10 in 68 were Ohio St., USC, Penn St., Georgia, Texas, Kansas(the one outlier), Tennessee, Notre Dame, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Prior to 68 you see a lot more of old powers like Minnesota, Missouri and Mississippi.

Any year from 1961-1974 (not 1960 since MN won national title) would be a good pick. Some items of note:
Colts OT win in 58 NFL title game "made" the NFL
AFL founded in 1960
Navy was #2 in 1963
Joe Namath contract in 65 made the AFL and significantly raised the importance of pro careers to college fb players
Dartmouth actually managed to get ranked in 1970-last of the Ivy Leaguers
Miami was ranked #12 in 75, 6 MAC teams in 8 years ranked. There were none for 20 years.
1972 freshman eligibility restored
Vietnam and general increase in education dramatically grew the state universities
Private schools and schools in big cities start declining or dropping fb coincident with the rise of pro fb and increase in size of state universities-Its no coincidence Notre Dame started its streak over Navy in 1964, Texas over Rice in 1966 (until 1993) and Texas over TCU in 1968 (until 1992). The top 10 streaks against one opponent included 8 started from 1958-1969.

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2006 11:28 am 

Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2005 11:17 am
Posts: 147
I'd even say you could go 1998 as the first season of the BCS.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 11:45 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2005 11:17 am
Posts: 7
I've collected a list of "modern eras" I've seen mentioned over the years:

From 1900 – The century break seemed to be a good barrier, plus teams were just getting their legs back then, as widespread football started around 1890.

From 1906 – The forward pass was instituted

From 1920 – When scheduling rules first were instituted and quality opponents were required.

From 1936 – When the AP poll started.

From 1937 - The year NCAA records start. If there’s a year the NCAA says the modern era started, this would be it.

From 1941 – Unlimited substitution first allowed

From 1946 – First year after WWII, modern scholarships began to take shape.

From 1950 – Most media outlet seem to consider post 1950 the modern era. I don’t know the justification for this or where it came from, but they will slip it into their story like this. …the modern era (Post 1950). If I had to guess, the UPI poll started that year and triggered a new era of media influence over the sport, which is why the media is enamored with the year.

From 1965 – Unlimited substitution reinstated.

Late 60s, Early 70s – Integration

From 1973 – Three division split

From 1976 – Modern pass blocking rules.

From 1978 – Division I splits

Late 70s, 80s – Modern scholarship rules.

1998 - The BCS.

I wish I'd have kept which source I got each one from. Sufficed to say, when the "modern era" is is still up in the air.

As to the ranking system, what would you like to see?

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 11:47 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2005 11:17 am
Posts: 7
The first year that the AP started ranking the top 20 was 1936. They only ranked 10 a few years.

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