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* The most interesting, innovative, and important, anyway.
610 backers pledged $25,140 to help bring this project to life.

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College football's history is strange, sordid, storied ... and not that well-shared.

We know some of the national champions and title controversies, and we know a lot of the Heisman winners. We know the dynasties and the great coaches, and we remember some of the particularly important bowls. But my history is not your history, and yours isn't that person's over there.

Creating a list of the top 50 college football teams of all-time would certainly be an exercise in debate and argument. But instead, let's do something more enjoyable. Let's create a list of 50 of the most fun, interesting, tragic, and/or most historically important teams. Some examples:

The 1941 Northwestern team that featured both Otto Graham and the top recruit in the country (and went 5-3).

The 1959 Ole Miss and Syracuse teams, two nearly perfect squads on opposite sides of the segregation line.

The 1968 Texas team that created the Wishbone out of sheer necessity.

The 1970 Alabama team that transitioned the Tide into a decade of dominance.

The 1988 Miami team that was maybe the best Hurricanes squad of the era but didn't take home the national title.

The 1990 Virginia team that went to No. 1, then crumbled to the ground.

The 2007 Oregon team that redefined everything we knew about the spread offense, then burned out like a supernova.

Et cetera. Greatness denied, greatness out of nowhere, greatness on the horizon, necessity turning into invention. I want to tell college football's story by telling the stories of its most interesting teams, not necessarily its champions (though a few champs made it through the cracks). The list of candidates was immense, but I've narrowed it to 49. And now I need your help.

* I want to hire a research assistant to build background on these teams that goes beyond what I could compile myself. (This project will be done on the side, not replacing any of my day-to-day SB Nation work.) That means having someone to help with in-depth research (especially on the older teams), communication, transcription, etc.

* I want to self-publish, which costs a little bit of money.

* I want your help picking the 50th team. You'll find voting rights among the reward tiers. At a later date, I will provide a list of candidates (with a write-in option).

Thanks for any support you can give. Hopefully this is as interesting an idea to others as it is to me.

---

Teams unveiled so far:
1. 1906 Chicago (4-1)
2. 1917 Georgia Tech (9-0)
3. 1923 Illinois (8-0)
4. 1924 Notre Dame (10-0)
5. 1925 Alabama (10-0)
6. 1930 Utah (8-0)
7. 1931 USC (10-1)
8. 1938 Tennessee (11-0)
9. 1938 TCU (11-0)
10. 1940 Minnesota (8-0)
11. 1941 Northwestern (5-3)
12. 1943 Iowa Pre-Flight (9-1)
13. 1945 Army (9-0)
14. 1947 Notre Dame (9-0)
15. 1951 Michigan State (9-0)
16. 1955 Oklahoma (11-0)
17. 1957 Auburn (10-0)
18. 1959 Ole Miss (10-1)
19. 1959 Syracuse (11-0)
20. 1960 Iowa (8-1)
21. 1962 Nebraska (9-2)
22. 1965 UCLA (8-2-1)
23. 1968 Texas (9-1-1)
24. 1968 Purdue (8-2)
25. 1970 Alabama (6-5-1)
26. 1970 Dartmouth (9-0)
27. 1972 Tampa (10-2)
28. 1973 Michigan (10-0-1)
29. 1974 Miami-Ohio (10-0-1)
30. 1978 Missouri (8-4)
31. 1980 Georgia (12-0)
32. 1981 Florida State (6-5)
33. 1982 Pittsburgh (9-3)
34. 1984 Boston College (10-2)
35. 1985 Oklahoma (11-1)
36. 1988 Miami (11-1)
37. 1990 Virginia (8-4)
38. 1991 Washington (12-0)
39. 1991 Florida (10-2)
40. 1993 Wisconsin (10-1-1)
41. 1993 Texas A&M (10-2)
42. 1994 Nebraska (13-0)
43. 1998 Ohio State (11-1)
44. 2002 USC (11-2)
45. 2004 Texas (11-1)
46. 2007 Oregon (9-4)
47. 2010 Boise State (12-1)
48. 2011 LSU (13-1)
49. 2013 Auburn (12-2)

Risks and challenges

Time and logistics will always be issues for me when taking on something like this. My day job entails writing about 1.5 million words per year, and I don't plan on taking anything off the table anytime soon. But my ambition goes beyond the day job, and I'm going to write books one way or another.

Still, any date estimate involved here is rough. I am tentatively aiming to have this book published this coming fall, but it could be August, and it could be next April. I will not rush it, and it might take longer than I originally thought.

If I raise more than $22,000, I will put it to good use. It will go toward future writing projects, unique historical data and content for Football Study Hall, and perhaps further hiring.

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    1. An eReader copy, delivered before official publication and release.

    2. A signed paperback version of the book, delivered upon release.

    3. A signed paperback version of my first book, Study Hall: College Football, its Stats and Its Stories.

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    1. An eReader copy, delivered before official publication and release.

    2. A signed paperback version of the book, delivered upon release.

    3. A signed paperback version of my first book, Study Hall: College Football, its Stats and Its Stories.

    4. Vote on the 50th and final team included in this book from a list of candidates.

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    1. An eReader copy, delivered before official publication and release.

    2. A signed paperback version of the book, delivered upon release.

    3. A signed paperback version of my first book, Study Hall: College Football, its Stats and Its Stories.

    4. Vote on the 50th and final team included in this book from a list of candidates.

    5. Get your name listed in the acknowledgments section.

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    1. PODCAST TIME! Chat with Steven Godfrey and me for 10-15 on a special spring edition of Podcast Ain't Played Nobody.

    2. An eReader copy, delivered before official publication and release.

    3. A signed paperback version of the book, delivered upon release.

    4. A signed paperback version of my first book, Study Hall: College Football, its Stats and Its Stories.

    5. Vote on the 50th and final team included in this book from a list of candidates.

    6. Get your name listed in the acknowledgments section.

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    1. An eReader copy, delivered before official publication and release.

    2. A signed paperback version of the book, delivered upon release.

    3. A signed paperback version of my first book, Study Hall: College Football, its Stats and Its Stories.

    4. Vote on the 50th and final team included in this book from a list of candidates.

    5. Get your name listed in the acknowledgments section.

    6. A 30-minute phone call with the topics of your choice -- the book, college football analytics, getting into writing/blogging, etc. This can be a workshop of sorts or a fun chat. Your call.

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    1. PERSONALIZED PODCAST! Choose the topic(s) for an entire episode of Podcast Ain't Played Nobody and appear in the episode (if you want to).

    2. An eReader copy, delivered before official publication and release.

    3. A signed paperback version of the book, delivered upon release.

    4. A signed paperback version of my first book, Study Hall: College Football, its Stats and Its Stories.

    5. Vote on the 50th and final team included in this book from a list of candidates.

    6. Get your name listed in the acknowledgments section.

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    1. Book club! Eight signed paperback copies or eReader copies and a 30- to 60-minute video chat.

    2. Vote on the 50th and final team included in this book from a list of candidates.

    3. Get your name listed in the acknowledgments section.

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    1. Gameday! Come and partake in a Mizzou home game (either vs. Eastern Michigan on 9/10 or Delaware State on 9/24) with me. I'll cover the ticket and food (but sadly, not the travel/lodging).

    2. An eReader copy, delivered before official publication and release.

    3. A signed paperback version of the book, delivered upon release.

    4. A signed paperback version of my first book, Study Hall: College Football, its Stats and Its Stories.

    5. Vote on the 50th and final team included in this book from a list of candidates.

    6. Get your name listed in the acknowledgments section.

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    1. SEC Gameday! Come and partake in a Mizzou home game (either vs. Kentucky on 10/29 or Vanderbilt on 11/12) and tailgate with me. I'll cover the ticket and food (but sadly, not the travel/lodging).

    2. An eReader copy, delivered before official publication and release.

    3. A signed paperback version of the book, delivered upon release.

    4. A signed paperback version of my first book, Study Hall: College Football, its Stats and Its Stories.

    5. Vote on the 50th and final team included in this book from a list of candidates.

    6. Get your name listed in the acknowledgments section.

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    1. SEC Gameday! Come and partake in Missouri's home game against Arkansas on Nov. 26 and tailgate with me. I'll cover the ticket and food (but sadly, not the travel/lodging).

    2. An eReader copy, delivered before official publication and release.

    3. A signed paperback version of the book, delivered upon release.

    4. A signed paperback version of my first book, Study Hall: College Football, its Stats and Its Stories.

    5. Vote on the 50th and final team included in this book from a list of candidates.

    6. Get your name listed in the acknowledgments section.

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Funding period

- (30 days)