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Beginning in 1936, the Associated Press ranked the nation’s top twenty football teams and awarded a national championship at the end of the regular season. Although bowl games (usually somewhere between five and seven) existed in these early days, the bowls were not taken into account when determining the national champion. There were several reasons the bowls were not included, including maintaining the amateur emphasis of college football, the fact the bowls were exhibitions, and the fact that most schools or conferences attempted to share the wealth by forbidding teams from attending the same bowl game in consecutive years.
When Bill Battle was hired to replace Mal Moore as athletic director, a column appeared in this space outlining some of the decisions that would immediately face him, and speculated what his choices would mean for his eventual legacy.Continue reading …