With the 150th anniversary of college football arriving in 2019, ESPN is embarking on a year-long, multi-platform storytelling experience called College Football 150.
As part of the initiative, two weekly documentary series will be launched, with both capturing the pageantry and passion of a sport that is an American institution. ESPN will have weekly themes serving as a guide for its College Football 150 content for 11 weeks during the 2019 season. The themes are: Culture, College-Pro relationship, Evolution of the Game, "Game of the Century" concept, Heisman, Determining a Champion, Integration, Notre Dame, Recruiting, Rivalries and Television.
The American Game
"The American Game" is an 11-episode documentary series that will focus on college football's extraordinary narrative by exploring themes that have made the sport an integral component of the American landscape. Collectively, "The American Game" will be a definitive look at the history of college football as not just a sport, but as a cultural phenomenon as well. "The American Game" will air on Tuesdays, beginning on September 17.
Ranking the all-time best uniforms, rivalry games, voices, and "What Ifs?" among other subjects, "The Greatest" is an 11-episode series that will feature a wide range of Top 11 lists spanning the history of the sport. However, "The Greatest" is about more than rankings, with each episode's countdown serving as the foundation for storytelling focused on the memories, breakthroughs, and personalities that have defined college football's remarkable history. Making the choices for each list is an 11-member ESPN jury, who will debate and discuss the candidates before revealing their verdict. "The Greatest" will air on Thursdays, beginning on September 19.
Football is US
"Football is US" will be two documentaries directed by Jon Hock exploring the evolution of the sport. "Football Is US: The College Game" begins with Rutgers vs. Princeton in 1869, college football's first game, then continues to the present day, profiling what has become an American institution. Debuting in August, the film will chronicle the innovators who moved the game forward, the university programs that led the sport from the so-called "Rag Days" of the 1800s through today, and the most pivotal on-field moments in college football history. From the ideals of amateurism and loyalty, to the pageantry and tradition, to the narratives of American history woven so deeply into the annals of the game itself, the film will seek to explore a seminal question: What sets college football apart from every other sport?
"Football is US: The College Player" will focus on the evolution of the young student-athletes who've played the game over its long and storied history. As much as any other facet of the sport, the backgrounds, identities, priorities, and collegiate experiences of its players have all been transformed over the last 150 years. Those changes are a reflection of fundamental changes in America and the massive growth of the game. From recollections of the all-time greats to explorations of the lives of the players today, this film debuting in January 2020 will be a reminder that the story of the game is their story. After all, more than anyone else, it's the players on the field who've created the unforgettable moments and fueled college football's unabated rise in popularity.
All-Time All-America Team
College football's All-Time All-America Team will be announced in January 2020 and recognized around the College Football Playoff National Championship in New Orleans, providing a grand finale to ESPN's College Football 150 initiative. The All-Time All-America Team will feature 25 players: 11 on offense, 11 on defense, a kicker, punter, and return specialist. The team will be voted on by a select 150-member panel from across college football, made up of former coaches and players as well as media members, administrators, and additional key figures in and around the sport.
The 150 Greatest Coaches, Games, Players and Teams
Let the debates begin. College football's all-time best coaches, games, players and teams will be determined by the same select 150-member panel from across the sport that will do the voting for the All-Time All America Team. All divisions and eras will be considered by the panel.
The greatest teams will be unveiled around the launch of 150 consecutive days of original content in August. The greatest games will be revealed on November 6, 2019, the 150th anniversary of the first college football game, followed by the announcement of the greatest coaches during Heisman week in December. Finally, the greatest players will precede the All-Time All-America Team announcement in January 2020.
My Story: 150 Personal Testimonials
Threading throughout the 150 consecutive days of original content, the "My Story" series of one-minute testimonials from all parts of the college football tapestry -- current and former players, coaches, administrators, media, and fans -- will offer memories of the game through engaging tales and some of the best untold stories, breathing new life into the history of the sport. For one minute, every day, for 150 days, these stories will capture the very essence of college football and be featured across multiple ESPN platforms.
Saturdays in the South: A History of SEC Football
SEC Network will debut "Saturdays in the South: A History of SEC Football" over the course of eight consecutive Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET, beginning September 3, 2019. The eight-part, 12-hour documentary directed by award-winning filmmaker Fritz Mitchell will showcase the defining storylines and figures within the SEC from its very beginnings to its powerful present.