1912 college football season

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The 1912 college football season was the first of the modern era, as the NCAA implemented changes to increase scoring:



Conference and program changes

Conference changes

Membership changes

School1911 Conference1912 Conference
Florida Gators Independent SIAA
Georgetown Hoyas Independent SAIAA
Johns Hopkins Blue Jays Independent SAIAA
Maryland Terrapins Independent SAIAA
North Carolina Tar Heels Independent SAIAA
North Carolina A&M Aggies Independent SAIAA
Rice Owls Program EstablishedIndependent
Richmond Spiders Independent SAIAA
St. John's  ?Independent SAIAA
Mississippi Normal Golden Eagles Program EstablishedIndependent
Virginia Cavaliers Independent SAIAA
VPI Fighting Gobblers Independent SAIAA
Washington & Lee Generals Independent SAIAA
West Tennessee Normal Tigers Program EstablishedIndependent


September 21 The first six-point touchdowns were registered in Carlisle's 50–7 win over Albright College, and Rhode Island's 7–0 defeat of Massachusetts Agricultural (now U. Massachusetts-Amherst). [2]

On September 26, Cornell defeated Washington & Jefferson 3–0. Maine defeated Fort McKinley 38–0, Rhode Island State College beat Massachusetts Agricultural 7–0, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) beat Schenectady's Columbia College, 13–0 [3]

September 28 Harvard beat Maine 7–0 and Yale beat Holy Cross 7–0. Princeton beat Stevens 65–0 and three days later, beat Rutgers 41–6. Dartmouth won 26–0 over Bates College. After opening with a 33–0 Wednesday win over Albright, Lehigh beat Delaware 45–0. Swarthmore won at Johns Hopkins 40–6. Carlisle beat Dickinson 35–0, and followed on Wednesday with a 65–0 win over Villanova at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Vanderbilt opened with a 105–0 win over visiting Bethel College.


October 5 Harvard beat Holy Cross 19–0; Yale beat Syracuse, 21–0; Princeton defeated Lehigh 35–0; and Dartmouth beat Massachusetts 47–0. Carlisle and Washington & Jefferson played a scoreless tie. Penn State beat Carnegie Tech 41–0. Swarthmore won at Lafayette 22–0. Wisconsin opened with a 13–0 win over Lawrence College, Michigan beat Case 34–0, and Chicago beat Indiana 13–0. Texas defeated TCU 30–10. Vanderbilt scored in triple digits again, but was scored upon, in a 100–3 win over Maryville College. Georgia beat Chattanooga 33–0 and Auburn beat Mercer 56–0 in a game at Columbus, Georgia.

October 12 Harvard defeated Williams 26–3, Yale beat Lafayette 16–0, Princeton beat Virginia Tech 31–0, and Dartmouth defeated Vermont 55–0. Penn State beat Washington & Jefferson 30–0, Carlisle won at Syracuse 33–0, Lehigh won at Navy, 14–0 and Swarthmore won at Penn 6–3. Georgetown beat Washington & Lee, 20–0

Vanderbilt beat visiting Rose-Hulman Institute 54–0. Georgia beat The Citadel 33–0. Auburn beat visiting Florida 27–13. Wisconsin beat Northwestern 56–0 and Michigan defeated Michigan State 55–7.

October 19 Yale won at Army, 16–0, Dartmouth won at Williams 21–0, Harvard beat Amherst 46–0, and Princeton beat Syracuse 62–0 and as all four Ivy teams stayed unbeaten. Penn State won at Cornell 29–6, Carlisle won at Pittsburgh 45–8, and Swarthmore won at Annapolis, defeating Navy 21–6, to stay unbeaten. Georgetown won at North Carolina State, 48–0.

Vanderbilt and Georgia met in Atlanta. Vandy handed the Bulldogs their only loss in a 46–0 drubbing. Sewanee beat Chattanooga 27–0, and Auburn defeated Clemson 27–6. After warmup wins over Daniel Baker College and Trinity College, Texas A&M beat Arkansas 27–0 in a game at Dallas. In another game at Dallas, Texas lost to Oklahoma, 21–6. Wisconsin beat Purdue 41–0, Michigan won at Ohio State 14–0, and Chicago defeated Iowa 34–14.

October 26 Princeton (6–0–0) hosted Dartmouth (5–0–0) and won 22–7. Harvard defeated Brown 30–10 and Yale beat Washington & Jefferson, 13–3. Penn State beat visiting Gettysburg College 25–0 and Swarthmore beat Villanova 27–0.

In an intersectional game, Michigan lost at Syracuse 18–7. Vanderbilt beat Ole Miss 24–0 in Nashville, and Sewanee beat Tennessee 33–6 at Chattanooga. In Birmingham, Auburn defeated Mississippi State, 7–0.

Carlisle won at Georgetown, 34–20, followed two days later by a game in Toronto in a 49–7 win against the "Toronto All-Stars". At Philadelphia, Penn State beat Pennsylvania, 22–6. Chicago beat Purdue 7–0. In Columbus, Georgia, Georgia beat Alabama 13–9.


November 2 In a matchup of unbeatens, Harvard (5–0–0) hosted Princeton (6–0–0). Charles Brickley of Harvard intercepted two passes and kicked a 47–yard field goal and set up a touchdown for Harvard in its 16–6 win [4]

Carlisle won its 9th game, staying unbeaten with a 34–14 win over Lehigh. Yale defeated Brown 10–0 and Dartmouth beat Amherst 60–0.

Georgetown beat North Carolina 37–10 in a game played in Richmond, Virginia. Swarthmore beat Ursinus 22–0 Michigan narrowly beat visiting South Dakota, 7–6. In Philadelphia, Penn State beat Penn 14–0.

Wisconsin beat Chicago 30–12 and Purdue beat Northwestern 21–6. Georgia and Sewanee played to a 13–13 tie. Vanderbilt stayed unbeaten with a 13–0 win over Virginia. Auburn won at Georgia Tech 27–7. Texas won at Baylor 19–7.

November 9 In an intersectional meeting between the best teams of the East and the South, Harvard hosted Vanderbilt. Going into the contest, both teams had records of 6–0–0, and Vanderbilt had outscored its opponents 342–3. Harvard played all of its substitutes, and scored a touchdown and a field goal in a 9–3 game to give Vandy its only loss of the season. [5]

Carlisle visited West Point, beating Army 27–6, as Jim Thorpe scored three touchdowns and three extra points, and Alex Arcasa scored two more TDs. [6] Army halfback (and future American president) Dwight D. Eisenhower was injured while tackling Thorpe. Eisenhower, who was described in the press as someone "who hits the line harder than any other man on the Army team" [7] played his last game the following week against Tufts University.

Lehigh won at previously unbeaten (6–0–0) Swarthmore 3–0. Wisconsin beat visiting Arkansas 64–7, Michigan lost at Penn, 27–21, Chicago beat Northwestern 3–0, and Purdue and visiting Illinois played to a 9–9 tie.

Penn State beat Villanova 71–0, Princeton beat NYU 54–0, and Dartmouth beat Amherst 60–0. In Augusta, Georgia, Georgia beat Clemson 27–6 and in Atlanta, Sewanee beat Georgia Tech 7–0. Auburn defeated LSU 7–0 in a game played at Mobile. In a game at Houston, Texas A&M beat Oklahoma 28–6. Texas beat Ole Miss 53–14 in a Wednesday game at Houston.

November 16 Harvard beat Dartmouth at home, 3–0. Yale (7–0–0) traveled to Princeton (7–1–0) and the teams played to a 6–6 tie. In Philadelphia, Carlisle (10–0–1) suffered its first loss, falling to Penn, 34–26. Swarthmore narrowly beat Bucknell, 14–13. Penn State beat Ohio State in Columbus, 37–0. Michigan beat Cornell 20–7 to close its season at 5–2–0 Georgetown beat Virginia 16–13.

Wisconsin won at Minnesota 14–0 and Chicago won at Illinois 10–0. Vanderbilt beat Centre 23–0. Georgia beat Georgia Tech in Atlanta, 20–0 Sewanee and Alabama played to a 6–6 tie in Birmingham. Texas A&M beat Mississippi State 41–7 at Houston, and beat Tulane three days later, 41–0, to extend its record to 7–0–0.

November 23 At the Yale campus in New Haven, Harvard (8–0–0) faced Yale (7–0–1) to wrap up the season. Harvard's 20–0 win left it one of three teams that was unbeaten and untied. Wisconsin closed a perfect season with a 28–10 win at Iowa, to finish 7–0–0. Purdue beat Indiana 34–7 and Chicago won 7–0 over visiting Minnesota. Carlisle won at Springfield College, 30–24. Lehigh won at Lafayette 10–0 Swarthmore closed its season with a 0–0 tie at Dickinson. In Birmingham, Vanderbilt (7–1–0) and Auburn (6–0–0) played to a 7–7 tie. Texas A&M (7–0–0) beat Kansas State 13–10 and Texas defeated Southwestern 28–3.

November 28, Thanksgiving Day, Penn State closed its season with a 38–0 win at Pittsburgh, to finish 8–0–0. Vanderbilt (8–0–1) defeated visiting previously unbeaten Sewanee (5–0–2), winning 16–0. Georgia defeated previously unbeaten Auburn 12–6. Carlisle closed its season with a 32–0 win at Brown. Georgetown beat Virginia Tech 24–3 to close its season at 8–1–0. Texas A&M finished its season in Dallas with a 53–0 win over Baylor, and Texas closed its season with a 48–0 win over visiting Arkansas. Lehigh won at Franklin & Marshall, 29–0.

Conference standings

Major conference standings

1912 Missouri Valley football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Nebraska +200  810
Iowa State +200  620
Drake 220  530
Missouri 230  530
Kansas 120  440
Washington University 020  440
  • + Conference co-champions
1912 Rocky Mountain Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Colorado Mines $510  511
Utah 410  511
Colorado Agricultural 320  320
Colorado 220  630
Colorado College 240  540
Denver 130  261
Wyoming 050  270
  • $ Conference champion
1912 South Atlantic Intercollegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Georgetown $500  810
Washington and Lee 310  810
Virginia 110  630
VPI 120  540
Johns Hopkins 010  030
North Carolina A&M 020  430
North Carolina 040  341
  • $ Conference champion
1912 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Vanderbilt $301  811
Texas A&M 200  810
Kentucky State 100  720
Auburn 611  611
Georgia 511  611
Sewanee 212  512
Georgia Tech 530  531
Alabama 331  531
Tulane 330  530
Mississippi A&M 330  430
Clemson 330  440
Ole Miss 220  530
Mercer 231  531
LSU 230  430
Mississippi College 140  340
Florida 021  521
Centre 020  450
The Citadel 030  240
Tennessee 040  440
Howard (AL) 040  170
  • $ Conference champion
1912 Western Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Wisconsin $500  700
Chicago 610  610
Purdue 221  421
Minnesota 220  430
Northwestern 230  231
Illinois 131  331
Iowa 130  430
Indiana 050  250
  • $ Conference champion


1912 Eastern college football independents records
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Harvard     900
Penn State     800
Carlisle     1211
Princeton     711
Yale     711
Lehigh     920
Dartmouth     720
Wesleyan     720
Colgate     520
Wash. & Jeff.     831
Rhode Island State     630
Bucknell     631
Temple     320
Penn     740
Army     530
Brown     640
Franklin & Marshall     640
Holy Cross     431
Rutgers     540
Tufts     540
Fordham     440
Villanova     330
Morris Harvey     220
Lafayette     451
Syracuse     450
Carnegie Tech     341
Geneva     340
Vermont     350
Pittsburgh     360
Boston College     241
Cornell     370
NYU     260
1912 Midwestern college football independents records
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Notre Dame     700
Lake Forest     501
Michigan Agricultural     710
North Dakota Agricultural     510
South Dakota     510
Mount Union     920
Saint Louis     712
Michigan     520
Wabash     520
Buchtel     521
Detroit     521
Iowa State Teachers     521
St. Mary's (OH)     420
Michigan State Normal     421
Butler     530
Doane     530
Haskell     740
Western State (MI)     320
St. Viator     440
Fairmount     450
Marquette     340
Central Michigan     122
Baldwin–Wallace     010
Heidelberg     060
1912 Southern college football independents records
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Middle Tennessee     100
Texas     710
VMI     710
Maryland     611
Oklahoma A&M     620
Livingstone     311
Louisville     310
Mississippi Normal     210
South Carolina     521
Navy     630
West Virginia     630
Spring Hill     420
Oklahoma     540
Rice     320
Chattanooga     440
Southwest Texas     332
Davidson     340
Marshall     340
Arkansas     460
Baylor     350
Catholic University     350
Louisiana Industrial     121
Wake Forest     260
Kendall     140
Delaware     161
Richmond     170
Biddle     010
William & Mary     070
1912 Western college football independents records
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Washington     600
New Mexico A&M     510
Utah Agricultural     421
Arizona     210
Montana     430
Idaho     220
Oregon Agricultural     340
Washington State     230
Oregon     250
New Mexico     040

Minor conferences

Central Intercollegiate Athletics Association Howard 3–0
Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Kansas State Agricultural 5–0
Louisiana Intercollegiate Athletic Association Unknown
Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Alma 3–0
Ohio Athletic Conference Ohio State 5–0

Minor conference standings

1912 Colored Intercollegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Howard $300  500
Hampton 310  410
Virginia Union 010  210
Lincoln (PA) 020  020
Shaw 020  020
  • $ Conference champion
1912 Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Carthage 210  520
Southern Illinois     340
1912 Ohio Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Ohio State $500  630
Oberlin 510  710
Western Reserve 410  540
Denison 411  611
Miami (OH) 112  332
Case 330  450
Wittenberg 231  631
Kenyon 231  431
Ohio Wesleyan 250  360
Wooster 141  141
Cincinnati 031  341
Ohio 041  071
  • $ Conference champion

Awards and honors


The consensus All-America team included:

PositionNameHeightWeight (lbs.)ClassHometownTeam
QB George Crowther Sr. Fitchburg, Massachusetts Brown
HB Charles Brickley 5'10"181So. Everett, Massachusetts Harvard
HB Jim Thorpe 6'1"190Sr. Shawnee, Oklahoma Carlisle
FB Leroy Mercer 5'11"175Sr. Kennett Square, Pennsylvania Penn
E Doug Bomeisler 5'11"190Sr. Brooklyn, New York Yale
T Wesley Englehorn Sr. Spokane, Washington Dartmouth
G Stan Pennock 5'8"193So. Syracuse, New York Harvard
C Hank Ketcham 6'0"175Jr. Englewood, New Jersey Yale
G John Logan Sr.Brooklyn, New York Princeton
T Bob Butler 5'10"200Jr. Glen Ridge, New Jersey Wisconsin
E Sam Felton Sr. Harvard

Statistical leaders

Related Research Articles

In the 1968 NCAA University Division football season, the system of "polls and bowls" changed. The Associated Press returned to its pre-1961 system of ranking the Top 20 rather than the Top 10, and voted on the national champion after the bowl games, rather than before. During the 20th century, the NCAA had no playoff for the major college football teams in the University Division, later known as Division I-A.

1907 college football season

The 1907 college football season saw the increased use of the forward pass, which had been legalized the year before. Football remained a dangerous game, despite the "debrutalization" reforms, and an unprecedented eleven players were killed, while 98 others were seriously injured. However, there were no serious injuries reported among the major colleges. The Yale Bulldogs, unbeaten with a record of 10–0–1, had the best record. The Helms Athletic Foundation, founded in 1936, declared retroactively that Yale had been the best college football team of 1907. Yale and Penn both claim 1907 as a national championship season. Although Yale was named as champion by 6 different entities, Penn was not named champion by any. Penn's claim to the championship is only by the university itself.

The 1971 NCAA University Division football season saw Coach Bob Devaney's Nebraska Cornhuskers repeat as national champions. Ranked a close second behind Notre Dame in the preseason poll, Nebraska moved up to first place the following week, remained there for the rest of 1971, and convincingly won the Orange Bowl 38–6 in a No. 1 vs. No. 2 game against Alabama.

1906 college football season

The 1906 college football season was the first in which the forward pass was permitted. Although there was no clear cut national championship, there were two teams that had won all nine of their games as the 1906 season drew to a close, the Princeton Tigers and the Yale Bulldogs, and on November 17, 1906, they played to a 0–0 tie. St. Louis University finished at 11–0–0. The Helms Athletic Foundation, founded in 1936, declared retroactively that Princeton had been the best college football team of 1906. Other selectors recognized Yale as the national champions for 1906.

The 1926 college football season was the first in which an attempt was made to recognize a national champion after the season.

The 1927 college football season ended with the Illini of the University of Illinois (7–0–1) being recognized as champion under the Dickinson System. At season's end, the Rissler Cup was awarded to the team that finished first in the "Dickinson ratings", which considered strength of schedule, in that a win, loss or tie against a "strong" opponent was worth more than one against a lesser team, and the results were averaged.

The 1928 football season have both the USC Trojans and the Georgia Tech Golden Tornado claim national championships. USC was recognized as champions under the Dickinson System, but the Rose Bowl was contested between the No. 2 and No. 3 teams, California and Georgia Tech. The game was decided by a safety scored after Roy "Wrong Way" Riegels ran 65 yards in the wrong direction. Vance Maree blocked the ensuing punt which gave Georgia Tech a safety deciding the 8–7 win.

The 1930 college football season saw Notre Dame repeat as national champion under the Dickinson System, and a post-season Rose Bowl matchup between two unbeaten (9–0) teams, Washington State and Alabama, ranked No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. Alabama won the Pasadena contest, 24–0.

The 1931 college football season saw the USC Trojans win the Knute Rockne Memorial Trophy as national champion under the Dickinson System. Rockne, who had coached Notre Dame to a championship in 1930, had been killed in a plane crash on March 31, 1931. For the first time, the champion under the Dickinson system also played in a postseason game. The Rose Bowl, promoted as an unofficial championship matchup between the best teams of East and West, matched USC and Tulane, No. 1 and No. 2 in the Dickinson ratings. USC won, 21–12. Also for 1931, historian Parke Davis, through research, selected Pittsburgh and Purdue as National Champions and these selections, along with USC, are all recognized by the official NCAA records book. Both USC and Pitt claim national championships for 1931, and both are recognized by College Football Data Warehouse.

The 1934 college football season was the 66th season of college football in the United States. Two New Year's Day bowl games were initiated to rival the Rose Bowl Game. On February 15, Warren V. Miller and Joseph M. Cousins organized the New Orleans Mid-Winter Sports Association and by October, the group had enough funds to sponsor the Sugar Bowl. Meanwhile, W. Keith Phillips and the Greater Miami Athletic Club worked in November at a January 1 game for Florida, and the Orange Bowl was created.

1911 college football season

The 1911 college football season was the last one before major reforms were made to the American game in 1912. In 1911, touchdowns were worth five points, the field was 110 yards in length, and a team had three downs within which to advance the ball ten yards. The United States Naval Academy (Navy) finished with a record of 6 wins and 3 ties (6–0–3). Two of the ties were 0–0 games with the other major unbeaten teams, Penn State (8–0–1) and Princeton (8–0–2). Other teams that finished the season unbeaten were Minnesota (6–0–1) and Florida (5–0–1). The Helms Athletic Foundation, founded in 1936, declared retroactively that Princeton had been the best team of 1911

1925 college football season

The 1925 college football season ended with no clear national champion. At the close of the season, noted sports writer Billy Evans described the championship contest as "a dead heat" among Dartmouth, Tulane, Michigan, Washington, and Alabama.

1924 college football season

The 1924 college football season was the year of the Four Horsemen as the Notre Dame team, coached by Knute Rockne, won all of its games, including the Rose Bowl, to be acclaimed as the best team in the nation. Notre Dame and Stanford were both unbeaten at season's end, with the Fighting Irish winning the Rose Bowl contest 27–10. The Penn Quakers were retroactively awarded a national championship by Parke H. Davis.

1923 college football season

The 1923 college football season saw several teams finish their seasons unbeaten and untied. As such, numerous schools claim a national championship for the 1923 season. Illinois and Michigan, both members of what is now the Big Ten Conference, finished with records of 8–0 and were selected as national champion by multiple selectors. Illinois featured break-out star Red Grange. Ivy League teams Yale and Cornell also had undefeated seasons.

1922 college football season

The 1922 college football season had a number of unbeaten and untied teams, and no clear-cut champion, with the Official NCAA Division I Football Records Book listing California, Cornell, Iowa, Princeton, and Vanderbilt as national champions. California, Cornell, and Princeton were all picked by multiple selectors.

The 1951 college football season finished with seven unbeaten major college teams, of which five were unbeaten and untied. Ultimately, the Tennessee Volunteers were voted the best team by the Associated Press, followed by the Michigan State Spartans, with the Vols having a plurality of first place votes. Tennessee lost in the Sugar Bowl to the equally undefeated and untied No. 3 Maryland Terrapins, but the postseason games were not taken into account by the major polls. Tennessee, Michigan State, and Illinois all claim national championships for 1951.

1908 college football season

The 1908 college football season ran from Saturday, September 19, to November 28. The Penn Quakers and the Harvard Crimson both finished the season unbeaten, though each had been tied once during the season. The LSU Tigers went unbeaten and untied against a weaker opposition. All three teams were named national champions retroactively by various organizations. Only Pennsylvania officially claims a national championship for the 1908 season.

The 1937 college football season ended with the Panthers of the University of Pittsburgh being named the nation's No. 1 team by 30 of the 33 voters in the Associated Press writers' poll. The AP poll was in its second year, and seven votes were taken during the final weeks of the 1937 season, starting with October 18. Each writer listed his choice for the top ten teams, and points were tallied based on 10 for first place, 9 for second, etc., and the AP then ranked the twenty teams with the highest number of points. With 33 writers polled, Pitt received 30 first place votes and 3 second-place, for a total of 327 points.

The 1939 college football season concluded with the Aggies of The Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas being named as the national champions by the voters in the Associated Press writers' poll.

1909 college football season

The 1909 college football season was the first for the 3-point field goal, which had previously been worth 4 points. The season ran from Saturday, September 25, until Thanksgiving Day, November 25, although a few games were played on the week before.


  1. Danzig, Allison (1956). The History of American Football: Its Great Teams, Players, and Coaches . Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall. pp.  70–71.
  2. "Football Scores", Reading (PA) Eagle, September 22, 1912, p. 9
  3. "The Salt Lake Tribune", Sept. 22, 1912, Sports, p2
  4. "Harvard Beats Tigers, 16 to 6," Syracuse Herald, November 3, 1912, pS-2
  5. "Great Showing By Vandy Against Harvard Crimson," The Atlanta Constitution, Nov. 10, 1912, pS-1
  6. "Thorpe's Work Helps Carlisle Down Army," The Indianapolis Star, Nov. 10, 1912, p42
  7. "Army Eleven Active," Gazette And Bulletin (Williamsport, Pa.), Nov. 27, 1912, p6