Now that the college football offseason is in full effect, it's time to catch up on all of those things you've been neglecting for five months. However, rather than clean the bathroom, take out the trash, or perform any other menial task your spouse or partner may be asking you to do, why not pick up a great book instead? I recently purchased these three books, two of which are long overdue on my reading list, and would recommend that you do the same. If you've got another book to recommend, we'd love to hear about it in the comments.â†µ
Death to the BCS: The Definitive Case Against the Bowl Championship Series by Dan Wetzel, Josh Peter, and Jeff Passan. The moneymaking, title-awarding, moderately unfair beast that everyone loves to hate gets its comeuppance in this book by three Yahoo! Sports writers. I am an advocate of a playoff system, though I haven't done enough research to decide whether that should mean a "plus one" format or some larger type of tournament. Either way, and without even having read a single page yet, I already agree with the authors, based solely on the title of the book. The four-star rating on Amazon doesn't hurt.
Meat Market: Inside the Smash-Mouth World of College Football Recruiting by Bruce Feldman. This book has been out since 2007, but I'm just now getting around to reading it (or ordering it and waiting for its delivery). Anyone who has ever heard of Cam Newton, Terrelle Pryor, or Jadeveon Clowney, or who has seen the great ESPN documentary "The Best That Never Was" knows what to expect out of this book. College football recruiting is shady at best, and Feldman follows around one of the shadiest in the country, Ed Orgeron, in this book. Amazon readers have given this read four stars, as well.â†µ
Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played and Games Are Won by Tobias Moskowitz and L. Jon Wertheim. I was tipped off to this book by SBN blog Team Speed Kills. "Scorecasting" appears to be a book about all sports, not just college football. As TSK states in their pseudo-book report:â†µ
Formula-wise, it's almost exactly the same as Freakonomics: a University of Chicago economics professor (Moskowitz/Levitt) teams up with an author (Wertheim/Stephen Dubner) to apply mathematical analysis to commonly held wisdom. Scorecasting covers a wide variety of topics, like referee error, whether defense wins championships, why home field advantage exists, if icing a player works, and if players can really summon a hot streak when needed. It also covers issues such as the demographics of PED use in baseball, the number of black coaches in the NFL, and when to be careful about statistics that announcers and sportswriters use.â†µ
If you were as big a fan of Freakonomics as I was, you'll most certainly enjoy this book. Out today, the few reviews that are in on Amazon already rate this book 4.5 stars.