For some sports fans, fall is the season when baseball finally gets interesting. But for countless other maniacs, autumn is about one thing: football. College football. It doesn't really matter whether a school is in the SEC or the Big Ten; the Ivy League or Big Sky; Division I, II or III: when summer's over, every Saturday is football Saturday, and every game — especially the clashes of ancient rivals, like Army-Navy, Cal-Stanford, Oberlin-Kenyon — feels like a matter of life and death.
(Above: Syracuse vs. Texas, 1960 Cotton Bowl. Syracuse beat Texas 23-14 behind a great performance by Ernie Davis — the first African American to win the Heisman.)
Ben Cosgrove (not pictured) is the editor of LIFE.com. Picture This is his weekly, and occasionally more frequent, feature for The Stacks.
Photos: Top: Robert W. Kelley—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images; left: Grey Villet—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images