The Ohio State football stadium in 1948, shown above, had a capacity of 66,210 people. Today the stadium holds 102,780 fans, due to an expansion that closed up the open end and cut off the magnificent vista captured by LIFE photographer Bernard Hoffman. This procession of fans from more than 70 years ago looks mystic and otherworldy, with the original architecture exposed and the fans walking across a field toward the open end in their formal attire. The expansion is an example of the nature of change. Something was gained—the chance for more fans to cheer on the Buckeyes in person. Something else is lost—the stadium being seen the way it was designed to be. This collection of images, both from on the field and from the world around it, captures a time when the game lived on a different scale than it does today.
Jim Brown and his Syracuse teammates hit the ropes to train for the 1956 season.
Speaking of Michigan State, Spartans star running back Billy Wells from that undefeated ’52 team showing off his agility while doing the Charleston at a sorority house. Wells would star in the 1954 Rose Bowl, play in the NFL for five seasons.