IDIOMS

old college try

(idiomatic) A vigorous, committed attempt or effort.

Example: 1929, Munsey's Magazine, vol. 96, no. 3, p. 355:
  Those who have seen Ruth make the "old college try" understand that some professionals play with a spiritual fervor which is supposed to be the amateur's prerogative.
1980, T. E. Kalem, "Happy Hangover" (theatre review of Fifth of July), Time, 17 Nov.:
  Reeve gives his role the old college try—fervent amateurism.
2003, Keith Parsons, "Janzen takes two-shot lead in BellSouth Classic," USA Today, 6 April (retrieved 16 Aug. 2009):
  "You know, all I can do is go out there and give it the old college try and play my hardest."
2012, Daragh Burns, Serial counter-pointer, confidence trickster and fake ticket enthusiast, "Yes he's linked in," Corporate Business Baking Competition, 27 March:
  "All I can do is give it the old college try."