1922 college football season

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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. [1] California, Cornell, and Princeton were all picked by multiple selectors.


Andy Smith's Pacific Coast Conference champion "Wonder Team" at California continued on its streak since 1920. Eastern power Cornell was coached by Gil Dobie and led by one of the sport's great backfields with George Pfann, Eddie Kaw, Floyd Ramsey, and Charles E. Cassidy. Bill Roper's Princeton team was dubbed the "team of destiny" by Grantland Rice after defeating Chicago 21–18 in the first game nationally broadcast on radio. [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] Today, college football on radio is common for nearly every game in every division. On the same day, Cal defeated USC at the dedication of Rose Bowl Stadium.

The Southern Conference would begin its first season of football in 1922. Vanderbilt tied with North Carolina and Georgia Tech for the conference championship. The Commodores tied Michigan 00 on October 14 at the dedication of Dudley Field, the South's first permanent college football stadium. On the same day, Big Ten champion Iowa upset Yale.

The 1923 Rose Bowl at season's end was the first called the "Rose Bowl" [7] and was held in the newly constructed stadium. In the first bowl appearance for either team, USC beat Penn State 143.

The West Virginia Mountaineers played the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the only other bowl game this season, the San Diego East-West Christmas Classic. WVU won 21–13.

Rule changes

The 1922 season included the new "try for a point" rule. [8] One was allowed to either kick an extra point after a touchdown as usual, or to place the ball anywhere beyond the five yard line and try to score either by touchdown or by a kick, and receive the one point if successful. On the "try for a point," any foul by the defense awarded the offense the point, and any foul by the offense made the try no good

Conference and program changes

Conference establishments

Membership changes

School1921 Conference1922 Conference
Alabama Crimson Tide SIAA SoCon
Auburn Tigers SIAA SoCon
Brigham Young Cougars New Program Rocky Mountain
Clemson Tigers SIAA SoCon
Florida Gators SIAA SoCon
Georgia Buldogs SIAA SoCon
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets SIAA SoCon
Idaho Vandals Independent Pacific Coast
Kentucky Wildcats SIAA SoCon
LSU Tigers SIAA SoCon
Maryland Terrapins SAIAA SoCon
Mississippi Rebels SIAA SoCon
Mississippi A&M Bulldogs SIAA SoCon
North Carolina Tar Heels SAIAA SoCon
NC State Wolfpack SAIAA SoCon
South Carolina Gamecocks SIAA SoCon
Southern California Trojans Independent Pacific Coast
Tennessee Volunteers SIAA SoCon
Tulane Green Wave SIAA SoCon
Virginia Cavaliers SAIAA SoCon
VPI Fighting Gobblers SAIAA SoCon
Vanderbilt Commodores SIAA SIAA/SoCon
Washington and Lee Generals SAIAA SoCon


September 30 Harvard beat Middlebury 20–0, Princeton beat Johns Hopkins 30–0, and Cornell beat St. Bonaventure 55–6. Vanderbilt opened its season with a 38–0 win over Middle Tennessee Normal (now MTSU). Baylor beat North Texas 55–0 California beat Santa Clara 45–14.


October 7 Princeton defeated Virginia 5–0, Harvard beat Holy Cross 20–0, and Cornell beat Niagara 66–0 Vanderbilt beat Henderson-Brown College 33–0 North Carolina lost to Yale at New Haven, 18–0. Iowa beat Knox College 61–0, and Michigan defeated Case 48–0. Chicago beat Georgia 200 Drake opened its season with a win over Cornell College of Iowa, 16–0 Baylor beat Hardin-Simmons 42–0 In a meeting with the visiting Mare Island Marines service team, California routed them 80–0.

Dudley Field Dudley22.jpg
Dudley Field

October 14 Princeton beat Colgate 10–0, Harvard defeated Bowdoin 15–0, and Cornell beat New Hampshire 68–7 At New Haven, Iowa defeated Yale 6–0. In the first game between Eastern and Western teams of the college football season, Iowa dominated Yale. Yale lost to a Western team for the first time ever.

In Nashville, Michigan and Vanderbilt played to a 0–0 tie at the inaugural game for Dudley Field, the first dedicated football-only stadium in the South in the style of the Eastern schools. After beating Duke 20–0 in a Thursday game, North Carolina beat South Carolina, 10–7. Centre gave VPI its only loss of the season. Drake defeated Kansas 6–0. California beat St. Mary's 41–0.

October 21 Harvard had been shocked the year before in a 6–0 upset by the "Prayin' Colonels" of Centre College of Danville, Kentucky. In the rematch, the Crimson beat Centre 24–10. Princeton recorded another shutout, blanking Maryland 26–0. Cornell defeated Colgate 14–0.

In Dallas, Vanderbilt and Texas, both unbeaten, met at the State Fair, with the Commodores winning 20–10. In Houston, Baylor defeated Rice 31–0. North Carolina won at NC State, 14–9. Georgia beat Tennessee 73.

Iowa won at Illinois 8–7, and Michigan won at Ohio State 19–0; In St. Louis, Drake beat Washington University, 31–7 Baylor beat Arkansas 60–13 California shut out the Olympic Club team, 25–0.

October 28 In the first football game ever broadcast nationally on the radio Princeton (4–0–0) traveled to the University of Chicago (3–0–0) for a rematch of Chicago's 1921 win. The game was witnessed by 32,000 fans, and listened to on New York's WEAF radio station. [9] John Thomas ran for three touchdowns and Chicago's Maroons led 18–7 as the fourth quarter began, but a 40–yard fumble return closed the gap. In the closing minutes, Princeton back Harry Crum was buried under a pile of players as he plunged toward the goal line, and when the mass was untangled, it was a touchdown. With the help of a superior kicking game, Princeton won 21–18. [10]

Harvard defeated Dartmouth 12–3. Iowa beat Purdue 56–0, and Michigan beat Illinois 24–0 Baylor beat Mississippi College 40–7

Vanderbilt beat Mercer 25–0 North Carolina defeated Maryland 27–3

California was 4–0–0, and USC was 5–0–0, when the teams met in Pasadena. Cal had a 2–0 lead at halftime, and held off USC on two goal line stands, before scoring a touchdown and a field goal to win 12–0. [11]


November 4 Princeton beat Swarthmore, 22–13. Cornell (5–0–0) trounced Columbia, which had been 4–1–0, by a score of 56–0. Harvard beat the visiting Florida Gators 24–0. In the Gators' first ever game against a traditional northeastern college football power, the Gators stopped in Washington, D. C. and were greeted by President Warren Harding. [12] The 1922 Spalding's Football Guide ranked Florida as the best forward passing team in the country. [13] The 1922 Florida freshmen won the southern crown for freshmen squads. [14]

The Alabama Crimson Tide had its first intersectional victory, 96 over John Heisman's Penn. Alabama coach Xen C. Scott resigned due to cancer at year's end. Vanderbilt won at Tennessee, 14–6. In New Orleans, North Carolina defeated Tulane 19–12.

Michigan beat Michigan State 63–0, having outscored its opponents 154–0 in its first five games. Drake defeated Iowa State 14–7

Baylor beat Texas A&M 13–7. California defeated Washington State, 61–0.

November 11 Princeton and Harvard were both unbeaten(6–0–0) when the Tigers travelled to Cambridge to face the Crimson. Princeton had not won on Harvard's home field since 1896, and 54,000 turned out to watch. Although both teams were unbeaten, Harvard was heavily favored to overcome the young Tiger team, and led 3–0 early in the game. On the 18 yard line, though, the Tigers outsmarted Harvard with a triple pass that set up Harry Crum's touchdown run, and went on to win 10–3. Grantland Rice wrote the next day, "Crimson shadows around Cambridge way were thicker tonight than the Chinese wall and as deep as the darkness of Stygia itself..." [15]

At the Polo Grounds, Cornell beat Dartmouth, with the Big Red overcoming the Big Green, 23–0. In Boston, Baylor lost to Boston College, 33–0.

In Seattle, California (7–0–0) faced Washington (5–0–0) in a battle of unbeatens, and handed the Huskies their first defeat, 45–7.

Iowa beat Minnesota 28–14, and Michigan beat Wisconsin 13–6; Drake beat Colorado State, 19–6 Vanderbilt beat Kentucky 9–0 North Carolina beat VMI 9–7 at Richmond.

November 18 Princeton beat Yale, 3–0, to close a perfect season. Cornell beat Albright, 48–14 Harvard lost its second straight game, falling 3–0 to Brown Iowa won at Ohio State 12–9 to stay unbeaten. Drake defeated Grinnell College. 21–0 Baylor beat Oklahoma State, 10–0 Vanderbilt won at Georgia 12–0. Auburn upset Centre 60. The 1922 Tigers are considered one of Auburn's greatest football teams. [16] At Charlotte, NC, North Carolina defeated Davidson 20–6. California defeated Nevada, 61–13.

November 25 Harvard won at Yale, 10–3. California closed its season with a 28–0 win at Stanford. Iowa closed its season at 7–0–0 with a win over Northwestern 37–3, Michigan won at Minnesota 16–7; Drake won at Mississippi State in Starkville, 48–6

November 30 was Thanksgiving Day in 1922. In Philadelphia, Cornell defeated Penn 6–3. In Dallas, Baylor defeated SMU, 24–0, to win the Southwest Conference title. The following week, Baylor lost to the Haskell Indians team, 21–20. North Carolina closed its season with a 10–7 win at Virginia, to finish at 9–1–0. Vanderbilt beat Sewanee, 26–0, to close at 8–0–1.

Bowl games

In the 1923 Rose Bowl, USC defeated Penn State, 14–3. Though USC had an overall record of 9–1 coming into the game, the Trojans finished fourth place in Pacific Coast Conference (PCC) play, behind California, Oregon, and Washington, having been defeated by PCC champion California. Penn State won its first five games, then only one of the next five, and had a 6–4–1 record at season's end.

The 1922 San Diego East-West Christmas Classic was played on December 25 at Balboa Stadiumin San Diego, California. The West Virginia the Gonzaga, 21–13, to finish the season undefeated at 10–0—1 record.

National championship

Three different "retro polls", taken years later and based on opinions drawn from historical research, reached different conclusions. The Helms Athletic Foundation, founded in 1936, declared retroactively that Cornell (8–0) was the best, while the College Football Researchers Association (CFRA) recognized shared between Drake (7–0) and Princeton (8–0); and the National Championship Foundation (NCF) cited California (9–0) as best. [17] The Princeton team was dubbed the "team of destiny" by Grantland Rice after defeating Chicago in the first game nationally broadcast on radio. [18] Today, college football on radio is common for nearly every game in every division.

The other unbeaten and untied team was the Iowa (7–0), which canceled its game with unbeaten Drake that year. Other teams that had no defeats in 1922 were West Virginia (10–0–1), Vanderbilt (8–0–1), the Michigan (6–0–1), and Army (8–0–2). Clyde Berryman retroactively selected Vanderbilt as a national champion, which tied Michigan. [19]

Conference standings

Major conference standings

1922 Big Ten Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Iowa +500  700
Michigan +400  601
Chicago +401  511
Wisconsin 221  421
Minnesota 231  331
Illinois 240  250
Northwestern 131  331
Ohio State 140  340
Indiana 021  142
Purdue 031  151
  • + Conference co-champions
1922 Missouri Valley football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Nebraska +500  710
Drake +400  700
Kansas State 312  512
Missouri 430  530
Iowa State 240  260
Oklahoma 122  233
Grinnell 130  341
Kansas 131  331
Washington University 051  151
  • + Conference co-champions
1922 Pacific Coast Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
California $400  900
Oregon 301  611
Washington 411  611
USC^310  1010
Oregon Agricultural 130  340
Stanford 130  450
Washington State 150  250
Idaho 040  350
  • $ Conference champion
  • ^ Selected as Rose Bowl representative
1922 Rocky Mountain Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Utah $500  710
Colorado Agricultural 511  521
Denver 311  611
Colorado Mines 320  421
Utah Agricultural 330  540
Colorado College 221  331
Colorado 230  440
BYU 140  150
Wyoming 160  080
Montana State 010  440
  • $ Conference champion
1922 Southern Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
North Carolina +500  910
Georgia Tech +400  720
Vanderbilt * +300  801
VPI 300  811
Florida 200  720
Auburn 210  820
Tennessee 320  820
Alabama 321  631
Virginia 111  441
Mississippi A&M 230  342
Kentucky 120  630
Clemson 120  540
Washington and Lee 120  531
Maryland 120  451
LSU 120  370
Georgia 131  541
Tulane 140  440
South Carolina 020  540
Ole Miss 020  451
NC State 050  460
  • + Conference co-champions
  • * – co-member of SIAA
1922 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Furman $300  830
Vanderbilt*200  801
Presbyterian 200  621
Mississippi College 200  630
Centre 100  820
Georgetown (KY) 100  110
Chattanooga 310  621
Western Kentucky 110  910
Sewanee 110  341
Millsaps 110  110
Mercer 120  460
Transylvania 010  010
The Citadel 020  350
Howard (AL) 020  262
Louisville 020  270
Wofford 020  270
Oglethorpe 040  190
  • $ Conference champion
  • * co-member of SoCon
1922 Southwest Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Baylor $500  830
Texas 210  720
SMU 220  631
Texas A&M 220  541
Oklahoma A&M 230  441
Arkansas 130  450
Rice 140  440
  • $ Conference champion


1922 Eastern college football independents records
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Cornell     800
Princeton     800
Army     802
Syracuse     612
Franklin & Marshall     820
Pittsburgh     820
Holy Cross     721
Harvard     720
Lafayette     720
Boston College     621
Brown     621
Colgate     630
Dartmouth     630
Penn     630
Vermont     630
Yale     631
Bucknell     740
Penn State     641
Carnegie Tech     531
Villanova     531
Columbia     540
Rutgers     540
Tufts     540
Rhode Island State     440
NYU     450
Fordham     352
Geneva     460
Lehigh     351
New Hampshire     351
Drexel     240
Temple     141
Duquesne     080
1922 Midwestern college football independents records
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Western State (MI)     600
Bradley     901
Marquette     801
Notre Dame     811
Butler     820
Haskell     820
Detroit     721
Wabash     730
St. Ignatius (OH)     413
Dayton     630
Saint Louis     631
Valparaiso     322
Baldwin–Wallace     431
Michigan Agricultural     352
Earlham     260
Kent State     070
1922 Southern college football independents records
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
West Virginia     1001
Tennessee Docs     701
Trinity     721
Presbyterian     621
Richmond     621
Navy     520
Delaware     630
William & Mary     630
Georgetown     631
East Tennessee     540
Marshall     540
Texas Mines     540
Loyola (LA)     431
Spring Hill     440
Wake Forest     352
Davidson     262
Catholic University     260
George Washington     260
Middle Tennessee     260
Mississippi Normal     260
Louisville     270
Erskine     080
1922 Western college football independents records
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
La Verne     622
New Mexico A&M     620
Arizona     630
Hawaii     511
Nevada     531
Santa Clara     441
Cal Aggies     342
Montana     340
New Mexico     340
Saint Mary's     360

Minor conferences

California Coast Conference Fresno State Normal 2–0–1
Central Intercollegiate Athletics Association Hampton Institute 4–1
Inter-Normal Athletic Conference of Wisconsin Eau Claire Normal
Whitewater Normal
Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Baker (KS)
Louisiana Intercollegiate Athletic Association Centenary (LA) 3–0
Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Albion 4–0–1
Midwest Collegiate Athletic Conference Coe
Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference St. Olaf
St. Thomas
Nebraska Intercollegiate Conference Unknown
North Central Intercollegiate Conference South Dakota State College 4–1–1
Ohio Athletic Conference Ohio Wesleyan 7–0
Oklahoma Intercollegiate Conference Tulsa 4–0
South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference Dakota Wesleyan
Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Pomona 5–0
Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Morehouse
Southwestern Athletic Conference Paul Quinn

Minor conference standings

1922 California Coast Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Fresno State $201  712
Pacific (CA) 300  610
Chico State 210  530
Modesto JC 221  234
Loyola (CA) 110     
Sacramento JC 010     
Cal Poly 020  130
San Jose State 030  251
  • $ Conference champion
1922 Colored Intercollegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Hampton $410  610
Virginia Union 310  421
Shaw 110  521
Howard 220  420
Virginia Normal 230  440
Lincoln (PA) 120  630
Virginia Seminary 030  150
  • $ Conference champion
1922 Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Lombard +300  702
Eastern Illinois 302  402
Shurtleff 411  411
Illinois Wesleyan 620  630
Northern Illinois State 311  541
Western Illinois 210  530
Eureka 430  530
Carthage 220  540
Lake Forest 001  432
McKendree 111  112
Mount Morris 110  330
Millikin 221  342
Monmouth (IL) 240  260
Knox (IL) 130  270
Illinois State 133  143
Lincoln (IL) 130  150
Augustana (IL) 150  180
St. Viator 010  341
Wheaton (IL) 030  250
Southern Illinois 030  160
Illinois College  ? ? ?  540
Blackburn  ? ? ?  141
  • $ Conference champion
1922 Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Baker $710  810
Kansas State Normal 610  620
College of Emporia 512  612
Friends 520  520
Southwestern (KS) 522  532
Bethany (KS) 530  530
McPherson 540  540
Sterling 440  440
St. Mary's (KS) 330  440
Pittsburg Teachers 340  450
Fairmount 351  361
Hays Teachers 241  241
Kansas Wesleyan 270  270
Washburn 150  170
Bethel (KS) 030  030
Ottawa 070  080
  • $ Conference champion
1922 Midwest Collegiate Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Coe +200  700
Lawrence +201  601
Millikin +100  342
Hamline 210  421
Carleton 110  430
Knox (IL) 130  270
Beloit 011  331
Cornell (IA) 030  350
  • + Conference co-champions
1922 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
St. Olaf +401  501
St. Thomas (MN) +400  810
Hamline 310  421
Carleton 220  610
Macalester 231  231
Concordia (MN) 010  140
Saint John's (MN) 040  150
Gustavus Adolphus 040  041
  • + Conference co-champions
1922 Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Springfield (MO) $700  700
Kirksville 602  602
William Jewell 502  512
Central Methodist 321  441
Cape Girardeau 110  521
Missouri Valley 220  420
Missouri Wesleyan 440  640
Maryville (MO) 331  441
Drury 231  241
Missouri Mines 120  161
Warrensburg 260  360
Tarkio 140  440
Culver–Stockton 022  142
Westminster (MO) 042  042
Central Wesleyan 041  161
  • $ Conference champion
1922 Nebraska Intercollegiate Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Midland $701  711
Peru Normal 510  610
Nebraska Wesleyan 410  441
Chadron Normal 210  421
Kearney Normal 521  521
Grand Island 421   ? ? ?
Hastings 421   ? ? ?
Doane 331  431
Cotner 241  080
Nebraska Central 250   ? ? ?
Wayne Normal 140  160
York (NE) 060  060
  • $ Conference champion
1922 North Central Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
South Dakota State $411  541
Creighton 310  721
North Dakota 310  330
St. Thomas (MN) 110  810
North Dakota Agricultural 120  620
Des Moines 011  421
Morningside 022  142
South Dakota 021  361
Nebraska Wesleyan 021  441
  • $ Conference champion
1922 Northwest Ohio League football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Bowling Green $201  421
Toledo     223
  • $ Conference champion
1922 Ohio Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Ohio Wesleyan $700  810
Oberlin 500  610
St. Xavier 200  720
Wooster 710  810
Ohio 310  530
Mount Union 520  621
Wittenberg 521  621
Akron 530  530
Denison 430  630
Miami (OH) 430  431
Kenyon 240  350
Western Reserve 360  370
Cincinnati 131  171
Ohio Northern 250  450
Otterbein 260  260
Case 270  280
Muskingum 140  450
Hiram 160  270
Heidelberg 160  170
  • $ Conference champion
1922 Oklahoma Intercollegiate Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Phillips +500  710
Tulsa +400  800
Southeastern Oklahoma State +310  711
Oklahoma A&M 200  441
Central State (OK) 530  740
Southwestern State 430  540
East Central 230  531
Northwestern Oklahoma State 141  341
Oklahoma Baptist 161  271
Oklahoma City 070  090
  • $ Conference champion
1922 South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Dakota Wesleyan $400  520
Spearfish 301  321
Yankton 410  620
South Dakota Mines 311  521
Columbus (SD) 110  250
Augustana (SD) 120  340
Northern Normal 130  330
Huron 040  050
Sioux Falls 050  060
  • $ Conference champion
1922 Southern California Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Pomona $500  530
Occidental 410  530
Caltech 320  330
Whittier 131  331
Southern Branch 131  231
Redlands 050  250
  • $ Conference champion
1922 Southwestern Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Paul Quinn $      
  • $ Conference champion
1922 Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Austin $510  620
North Texas State 300  521
Rice 100  440
Simmons (TX) 411  531
Howard Payne 421  621
Trinity (TX) 222  323
Southwestern (TX) 230  460
Daniel Baker 240  260
East Texas State 020  450
West Texas State 020  280
Southwest Texas State 030  330
TCU 032  253
  • $ Conference champion

Awards and honors


The consensus All-America team included:

PositionNameHeightWeight (lbs.)ClassHometownTeam
QB Gordon Locke 5'10"165Jr. Denison, Iowa Iowa
HB Harry Kipke 5'11"155Jr. Lansing, Michigan Michigan
HB Eddie Kaw 5'10"168Sr. Houston, Texas Cornell
FB John Webster Thomas Jr. Ocheyedan, Iowa Chicago
E Harold Muller 6'0"180Sr. Dunsmuir, California California
T John Thurman 6'1"225Sr. Penn
G Charles Hubbard Jr. Harvard
C Edgar Garbisch 6'0"185So. Washington, Pennsylvania Army
G Frank Schwab 5'11"195Sr. Saltsburg, Pennsylvania Lafayette
T Herb Treat 6'0"190 Somerville, Massachusetts Princeton
E Wendell Taylor Sr. Navy

Statistical leaders

Related Research Articles

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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.

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1932 college football season

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The 1935 college football season was the last one before the Associated Press writers' poll was used in selecting the national champion. The Williamson System, calculated by Paul O. Williamson out of New Orleans, deemed Texas Christian University (TCU) as the best in the nation. The Dickinson System, consisting of the calculations of University of Illinois Professor Frank Dickinson, crowned Southern Methodist University (SMU) as the best in the nation. A poll of newspaper writers, taken at year's end—by United Press rather than the AP—concluded that Minnesota was the best in the nation.

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

1912 college football season

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

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.

The 1952 college football season ended with the unbeaten Michigan State Spartans (9–0) and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (12–0) each claiming a national championship from different polls. Michigan State finished first according to two of the "wire service" polls, which both placed Georgia Tech second. Georgia Tech was first in the International News Service poll. UP and INS merged in 1958 to form UPI. Although the Spartans became members of the Big Ten Conference in 1950, full participation did not come until 1953, and under the terms of their entry into the conference, they were not allowed to participate in postseason play. Georgia Tech won the Sugar Bowl on New Year's Day in New Orleans.

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.

The 1941 college football regular season was the 73rd season of intercollegiate football in the United States. Competition included schools from the Big Ten Conference, the Pacific Coast Conference (PCC), the Southeastern Conference (SEC), the Big Six Conference, the Southern Conference, the Southwestern Conference, and numerous smaller conferences and independent programs.

The 1943 college football season concluded with the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame crowned as the nation's No. 1 team by a majority of the voters in the AP Poll, followed by the Iowa Pre-Flight Seahawks as the runner-up. For the third time in the history of the AP Poll, a team that had lost a game was named mythical national champion;. Notre Dame lost its final game of the season, a Chicago contest against the Great Lakes Naval Training Center. Along the way, however, the Fighting Irish had played one of the toughest college schedules ever, beating two No. 2 ranked teams and two No. 3 ranked teams. Purdue University would seemingly have a claim on the 1943 Championship as well as the only undefeated team playing a full schedule, but the Purdue athletic department has never pursued the claim.

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.


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  2. Jon Blackwell. "1922: The team of destiny".
  3. History.com staff (October 28, 2009). "Princeton-Chicago football game is broadcast across the country". History.com. A+E Networks. Retrieved April 20, 2015.
  4. "Tigers Humble Chicago, 21–18, By Long Passes". Chicago Daily Tribune. October 29, 1922. p. 2. Retrieved April 21, 2015 via Newspapers.com. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  5. "October 28, 1922: The First National Radio Broadcast of College Football".
  6. Chuck Sudo. "89 Years Ago Today, College Football Entered the Radio Age". Archived from the original on 2017-11-05.
  7. HUGE FLAGSTAFF FOR PASADENA. Enormous Steel Pole 122 and ½ Feet Long Will Stand in Rose Bowl. Los Angeles Times, December 10, 1922. MONDAY afternoon at 2 o'clock the new flagstaff of the Tournament of Roses stadium, now called the Rose Bowl, will be put in place with suitable ceremony under auspices of the Pasadena Lions Club, donor of the pole.
  8. "New Rule." Appleton Post Crescent [Appleton, Wisconsin] 23 Sept. 1922: 9.
  9. Michael Oriard, King Football: Sport and Spectacle (UNC Press 2004), p41
  10. "Princeton Gets Revenge Defeating Chicago, 21–18," Decatur (Ill.) Daily Review, Oct. 29, 1922, p6.
  11. "Bears Tear Through Trojan Defense in the Final Quarter," Oakland Tribune, Oct. 29, 1922, p. 1-D
  12. "Harvard Is Held To 24 Points Only Ten After First Quarter". Florida Alligator. November 5, 1922.
  13. Newton, Virgil M. (September 19, 1923). "'Ark' Newton Ready To Go". St. Petersburg Times.
  14. Associated Press (December 1, 1922). "Florida Freshmen Claim The Crown". p. 6. Retrieved February 5, 2016 via Newspapers.com. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  15. Grantland Rice, "Tiger Gets Good Grip on John Harvard's Flanks and Wins 10–3," Syracuse Herald, Nov. 12, 1922, p13
  16. "Auburn's Gator Bowl Champs Rated Among Top Tiger Teams". Ocala Star-Banner. January 16, 1955.
  17. The 2001 ESPN Information Please Sports Almanac (Hyperion ESPN Books, 2000), p153
  18. Jon Blackwell. "1922: The team of destiny".
  19. "QPRS National Champions Since 1920" (PDF).