Sunday, December 7, 2008

Review - The Maisel Report

Ivan Maisel has covered college football for many years, most recently for He's written a book, modestly titled The Maisel Report: College Football's Most Overrated & Underrated (2008). And it's a good book, well-researched and fairly interesting. But it's a niche book, one that reads like a bunch of columns put between hard covers; whether it's worth $24.95 is a real question.

Maisel goes through such topics as conferences, Heisman winners, coaches, and players, and gives his opinions as to which are the most overrated and underrated (as you might expect from the title). Some of these views are counter-intuitive, and thus interesting (that he considers Michigan Stadium to be the most overrated, given the raving we've heard from the television guys over the years, is interesting; he lays out his reasoning, and you'll understand where he's coming from whether you agree or disagree).

There are limitations to this book. There's very little here that doesn't come from Maisel's own experience, that is, the last 20 years in major conferences. You won't read anything about Division III football, and there are only a smattering of items that come from the long pre-1980s history of the game. This is understandable given that these are one writer's opinions, and keeping in mind the probable interest of the intended audience.

This review comes off as lukewarm, I can see, and I don't mean it that way. It's interesting and well-done, but requires the background of a pretty ardent fan in order to get the most out of it. If you're a casual college football fan, you won't have enough base to evaluate Maisel's opinions, and it just won't be as enjoyable to you.

No comments:

Clicky Web Analytics