|1924 college football season|
|Number of bowls||3|
|Bowl games||January 1, 1925|
|Champion(s)|| Notre Dame |
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.
Red Grange's Illinois team upset Michigan. The Illini were upset by Minnesota, which in turn was upset by Vanderbilt. Fred Russell's Fifty Years of Vanderbilt Football dubs 1924 "the most eventful season in the history of Vanderbilt football." Centre claimed a southern title in its last season of national relevance, upsetting Wallace Wade's first SoCon champion Alabama team. Alabama would not lose another game until 1927.
|School||1923 Conference||1924 Conference|
|Ball Teachers Hoosieroons||Program established||Independent|
|College of Charleston Cougars||Independent||Dropped Program|
|Georgia Normal Eagles||Program established||Independent|
September 27 California with a 13–7 win over Santa Clara. Dartmouth beat Norwich College 40–0. Southern Methodist University (SMU) beat North Texas 7–0, and Alabama opened with a 55–0 win over Union College of Tennessee.
October 4 Missouri opened its season with a 3–0 win at Chicago, the Maroons' only loss of the season. Notre Dame opened its season with a 40–0 win over Lombard College. Stanford beat Occidental College 20–6, and California beat St. Mary's 17–7. Army beat St. Louis 17–0, Yale beat North Carolina 27–0, and Dartmouth beat Montreal's McGill University 52–0. Alabama won at Furman 20–0. SMU beat Trinity College 14–3
October 11 Notre Dame beat Wabash 34–0. Stanford beat the Olympic Club 7–0 and California defeated Pomona College, 28–0. Army beat Detroit's Mercy College, 20–0 and Dartmouth beat Vermont 38–0. In a battle of Bulldogs, Yale beat Georgia 7–6. Missouri defeated Missouri Wesleyan College 14–0 (MWC was closed in 1930). Chicago beat visiting Brown, 19–7. Alabama beat Mississippi College 51–0. In a Friday game, SMU beat Austin College 7–0
October 18 At the Polo Grounds in New York, Notre Dame beat Army 13–7, the Cadets' only loss for the season. In his column the next day, sportswriter Grantland Rice dubbed the Notre Dame backfield (Harry Stuhldreher, Don Miller, Jim Crowley, and Elmer Layden) in his column of October 20, writing "Outlined against a blue-gray October sky, the Four Horsemen rode again. In dramatic lore they are known as famine, pestilence, destruction and death. These are only aliases. Their real names are: Stuhldreher, Miller, Crowley and Layden. They formed the crest of the South Bend cyclone before which another fighting Army team was swept over the precipice at the Polo Grounds this afternoon as 55,000 spectators peered down upon the bewildering panorama spread out upon the green plain below."
In other games, Yale and Dartmouth played to a 14–14 tie. Stanford defeated Oregon 28–13, while California beat the Olympic Club 9–3. In Birmingham, Alabama beat Sewanee 14–0. SMU beat Texas 10–6. Missouri won at Iowa State 7–0, and Chicago defeated Indiana 23–0.
October 25 Notre Dame beat Princeton 12–0. In Columbus, Chicago and Ohio State played to a 3–3 tie. At Portland, Oregon, Stanford had a more difficult time than expected in defeating Idaho, 3–0, while California beat Washington State 20–7. Army beat Boston University 20–0, Dartmouth beat Harvard 6–0, and Yale defeated Brown 13–3. At Atlanta, Alabama recorded another shutout, beating Georgia Tech 14–0. SMU and Texas A & M played to a 7–7 tie in Dallas. Missouri beat Kansas State 14–7.
November 1 California and USC, both unbeaten and untied with records of 5–0–0, met at Berkeley, with California handing the Trojans their first defeat, 7–0. Notre Dame beat visiting Georgia Tech 34–3 Stanford beat Santa Clara 20–0 and California beat visiting USC 7–0 Army and Yale played to a 7–7 tie. Dartmouth defeated Brown 10–3. SMU stayed unbeaten with a 6–0 win at TCU. Missouri suffered its first defeat, a 14–6 loss at Nebraska. Chicago beat Purdue 19–6.
Alabama registered its 8th shutout in a 61–0 win over Ole Miss at Montgomery. To that point, the Crimson Tide had outscored its opposition 215–0.
November 8 Notre Dame won at Wisconsin 38–3 In a game at Berkeley, Stanford beat Utah 30–0, while in Seattle, California was tied by Washington. Army beat visiting Florida 14–7, Dartmouth beat Boston University 38–0, and Yale beat Maryland 47–0 SMU was tied at Arkansas 14–14. Alabama gave up its first points in a 42–7 win over visiting Kentucky. Missouri won at Oklahoma 10–0. Chicago and Illinois played to a 21–21 tie.
November 15 Notre Dame beat Nebraska 34–6 Stanford beat Montana 41–3 and California beat Nevada 27–0 Army and Columbia played to a 14–14 tie, and Yale beat Princeton 10–0. In New York, Dartmouth closed its season unbeaten with a 27–14 win over Cornell. Alabama was defeated by Centre College, 17–0, in a game at Birmingham. SMU and Baylor played to a 7–7 tie in Dallas. Missouri beat Washington University (of St. Louis) 35–0. Chicago beat Northwestern 3–0.
November 22 In Chicago, Notre Dame beat Northwestern 13–6 Stanford (7–0–0) and California (7–0–1) were both unbeaten going into the final game of the season, played at Berkeley. The teams played to a 20–20 tie, with Stanford getting the bid to the Rose Bowl; California hosted a postseason game against Penn for New Year's Day Yale closed its season unbeaten with a 19–6 win over Harvard. Chicago and Wisconsin played to a scoreless tie.
On Thanksgiving Day, November 27 Alabama beat Georgia 33–0 in Birmingham. Missouri beat Kansas 14–0, and received an invitation to play USC at the Los Angeles Christmas Festival (where it would lose, 20–7)
Notre Dame closed its season in Pittsburgh on Friday, November 28, with a 40–19 win over Carnegie Tech. In the Army–Navy Game, held in Baltimore, Army won 12–0 On November 29 SMU and Oklahoma State played to a 13–13 tie, giving the Mustangs a season record of 5 wins, no losses and four ties.
Notre Dame had the Four Horsemen; Stanford had Ernie Nevers. Neither team had lost a game in 1924 and they met in Pasadena before a crowd of 52,000. The Stanford Indians took a 3–0 lead in the first quarter after Murray Cuddeback's field goal. In the second quarter, Elmer Layden ran for one touchdown, then scored another after picking off an Ernie Nevers pass and returning the interception to give the Irish a 13–3 lead at halftime. Stanford closed the gap to 13–10 in the third quarter with a pass from Ed Walker to Ted Shipkey, but lineman Ed Hunsinger scooped up a fumble from an attempted Stanford punt return to give Notre Dame its third touchdown. In the last quarter, Stanford was stopped eight inches from the goal line. Layden picked off another Nevers pass and returned it 70 yards for the final score, with Notre Dame winning 27–10.
|California Coast Conference||Chico State Teachers||2–0|
|Central Intercollegiate Athletics Association||Lincoln (PA)||7–0–1|
|Inter-Normal Athletic Conference of Wisconsin||River Falls Normal||4–0|
|Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference||Simpson||7–0–1|
|Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference||Kansas State Normal–Pittsburg||5–0–1|
|Louisiana Intercollegiate Athletic Association||Southwestern Louisiana||3–0|
|Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association||Hillsdale||5–0|
|Midwest Collegiate Athletic Conference|| Cornell College |
|Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference||Carleton||4–0|
|Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association||Northeast Missouri State Teachers||2–0–2|
|Nebraska Intercollegiate Conference||Nebraska State Teachers–Peru||6–0|
|North Central Intercollegiate Conference||South Dakota State College||5–0|
|Ohio Athletic Conference||Oberlin||8–0|
|Oklahoma Intercollegiate Conference||Central State Teachers||—|
|South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference||Columbus College||6–0|
|Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference||Pomona||5–0|
|Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference||Tuskegee||—|
|Southwestern Athletic Conference||Paul Quinn||3–0|
|Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association||Howard Payne||5–0|
|Tri-Normal League||State Normal–Bellingham||2–0|
The consensus All-America team included:
|QB||Harry Stuhldreher||5'7"||151||Sr.||Massillon, Ohio||Notre Dame|
|HB||Red Grange||5'11"||175||Jr.||Wheaton, Illinois||Illinois|
|HB||Jim Crowley||5'11"||162||Sr.||Green Bay, Wisconsin||Notre Dame|
|FB||Elmer Layden||6'0"||162||Sr.||Davenport, Iowa||Notre Dame|
|E||Jim Lawson||5'11"||190||Sr.||Long Beach, California||Stanford|
|E||Hek Wakefield||5'10"||180||Sr.||Petersburg, Tennessee||Vanderbilt|
|T||Ed Weir||6'0"||190||Jr.||Superior, Nebraska||Nebraska|
|G||Carl Diehl||6'1"||205||Jr.||Chicago, Illinois||Dartmouth|
|C||Edwin C. Horrell||6'2"||185||Sr.||Pasadena, California||California|
|T||Ed McGinley||5'11"||185||Sr.||Swarthmore, Pennsylvania||Penn|
|E||Richard Luman||Sr.||Pinedale, Wyoming||Yale|
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 1929 college football season saw a number of unbeaten and untied teams. Purdue, Tulane, Notre Dame and Pittsburgh all finished the regular season with wins over all their opponents. Notre Dame was recognized as national champion under the Dickinson System and by a United Press writer while Pitt was considered a national champion by several others due to Pitt possessing a greater scoring differential over the two teams' only common regular season opponent. Following the season, Pitt traveled to Pasadena to meet USC in the Rose Bowl, at that time the only postseason college football game and held between the perceived best teams of east and west. Despite Pitt's losing 47–14 to the Trojans, as bowls were still considered exhibitions by many, college football historian Parke H. Davis, whose national championship selections are recognized by the official NCAA records book, named the Panthers as that season's national champion while several other retroactive selectors recognized by the NCAA records book have selected Notre Dame. Both Notre Dame and Pitt claim a national championship for the 1929 season and both are recognized in the NCAA Records Book and by College Football Data Warehouse.
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 1932 college football season saw the Michigan Wolverines win the Knute Rockne Memorial Trophy as national champion under the Dickinson System. Because the "Big Nine" conference didn't permit its teams to play in the postseason, however, the Wolverines were not able to accept a bid to the Rose Bowl. As such, the Pasadena game matched the No. 2 and No. 3 teams, USC and Pittsburgh, with the USC Trojans winning the East-West matchup 35–0.
The 1933 college football season saw the Michigan Wolverines repeat as winners of the Knute Rockne Memorial Trophy as national champion under the Dickinson System.
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.
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.
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 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.
The 1949 college football season finished with four teams that were unbeaten and untied-- Notre Dame, Oklahoma, California, and Army had won all their games at season's end. Notre Dame, however, was the overwhelming choice for national champion in the AP Poll, with 172 of 208 first place votes. The Fighting Irish did not participate in the New Year's Day bowl games, which were played on January 2, 1950.
The 1948 college football season finished with two unbeaten and untied teams; Michigan and Clemson. Michigan was the first place choice for the majority voters in the AP Poll, but didn't play in the postseason because of a no-repeat rule for Big Nine schools. Notre Dame, second in the AP Poll, tied USC 14–14 at the end of the regular season, but did not participate in any bowl per university policy at the time. Northwestern beat California 20–14 in the Rose Bowl, and Clemson defeated Missouri by a point in the Gator Bowl.
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 1938 college football season ended with the Horned Frogs of Texas Christian University (TCU) being named the nation's No. 1 team by 55 of the 77 voters in the final Associated Press writers' poll in early December. Tennessee is also recognized as a national champion; both teams won every game.
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 1940 college football season ended with the Gophers of the University of Minnesota being named the nation's No. 1 team and national champion by the AP Poll, and the Stanford University Indians in second, with the two teams receiving 65 and 44 first place votes respectively. 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. Minnesota, Stanford, Boston College, and Tennessee all claim 1940 as a national championship season.
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.
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.