A personal message from Richard Billingsley.........
College Football has been a driving force in my life since childhood. I’ve been asked many times during interviews to explain why this sport is so important to me, but I’ve never been truly successful in my attempts to answer that question. All I can say is that if anyone can be “born” a college football fan, I sure fit the mold. My parents, along with multitudes of other Oklahomans, were devout Sooner fans. There was not a lot else to be proud of in post dust bowl Oklahoma. My first memory of a college game was November 6, 1957, when at the age of 6, I witnessed my family’s shock as Notre Dame ended Oklahoma’s 47 game winning streak. It was several years later, in 1966, that I became a “devout” college fan. From that time on, college football became a priority in my life. I marveled at the rich tradition and history of the game, and found myself constantly searching for historical information. Unfortunately I consistently came up empty handed.To my astonishment, there were very few books in print on college football in the 1960’s.
The frustration I felt from a lack of available material planted the seed in my brain that someday I would create an encyclopedia. As I began keeping scrapbooks of major college schedules and scores in the 1960’s, that seed germinated, grew, and finally bloomed in 2004 when I collaborated with editor Michael MacCambridge to create ESPN’s College Football Encyclopedia. I’ve always considered my participation in that project one of my life’s greatest joys. But, there is only so much room on a printed page, and as proud as I am of that work, it left me yearning for more. I wanted to show game by game recaps of AP and Coaches polls side by side with my own, for every game ever played. I wanted fans to see opponents weekly won, lost, tied records, I wanted, I wanted, I wanted......I wanted “Billingsley’s complete works”. It took me several years, but I created it: Billingsley’s Online Encyclopedia of Major College Football”. What you see on these pages represent a lifetime’s dream come true for me. Although I’m sure you will not always agree with the ranking results, I hope you will have fun and spend countless hours pouring through the data of your favorite teams and all their opponents. 81 of the current 120 FBS teams are featured in this initial launch. Stay tuned, the others will follow, along with all-time conference standings, conference comparison’s and bowl games, as the spring and summer of 2012 unfolds.
April 21, 2012