|1925 college football season|
|Number of bowls||1|
|Bowl games||January 1, 1926|
|Champion(s)|| Alabama |
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.
Dartmouth, led by halfback Andy Oberlander, compiled an 8–0 record and outscored its opponents by a total of 340 to 29. Having defeated Harvard, Cornell, and Chicago, Dartmouth was retroactively declared the national champion by the Dickinson System and Parke H. Davis.
Alabama compiled a 10–0 record and has been recognized as national champion by the Billingsley Report, Boand System, College Football Researchers Association, Helms Athletic Foundation, and others. In an intersectional game between undefeated teams, Alabama defeated Pacific Coast Conference champion Washington by a 20–19 score in the 1926 Rose Bowl; that game has been called "the game that changed the South."
Michigan shut out seven of eight opponents, outscored all opponents by a total of 227 to 3, and was retroactively named a co-national champion by Jeff Sagarin. The team featured two consensus All-Americans in quarterback Benny Friedman and end Bennie Oosterbaan, a passing combination that became known as the "Benny to Bennie Show". Michigan coach Fielding H. Yost called his 1925 squad "the greatest football team I ever saw in action."
Tulane also went undefeated at 9–0–1. Tulane halfback Peggy Flournoy led the nation in scoring with 128 points.
Colgate, Louisville, Michigan State Normal, Hawaii, Nebraska Wesleyan, and Oberlin also had undefeated teams in 1925.
|School||1924 Conference||1925 Conference|
|Oklahoma A&M Cowboys||Southwest||Missouri Valley|
|Texas Tech Matadors||Program established||Independent|
|Western State (CO) Mountaineers||Independent||Rocky Mountain|
The 1926 Rose Bowl pairing of Alabama and Washington later became the subject of a television documentary, Roses of Crimson, and hailed as "the football game that changed the South".Alabama was the first Southern football team to be invited to play in the Rose Bowl, and proved that the Southern teams could compete with those from the East, the Midwest, and the West Coast. George Wilson helped the Huskies take a 12–0 lead at halftime, but both extra point attempts failed, and Wilson was injured. In the third quarter, Alabama exploded for three touchdowns, starting with quarterback Pooley Hubert's run to make the score 12–7. Washington lost the ball on its 35-yard line, and Johnny Mack Brown carried the ball over to make the score 14–12 in favor of Alabama. A 61-yard pass from Hubert to Brown set up Alabama's third score for a 20–12 lead. George Wilson returned in the fourth quarter, and the Huskies scored a touchdown and the point after to close the score to 20–19, but the missed conversion attempts from the first half cost them the game. The victory for Coach Wallace Wade established Alabama as a football powerhouse.
|Central Intercollegiate Athletics Association||Hampton Institute||3–2–1|
|Far Western Conference||Saint Mary's (CA)||3–0|
|Inter-Normal Athletic Conference of Wisconsin||River Falls Normal||4–0|
|Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference|| Simpson |
|Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference|| Bethany |
College of Emporia
|Louisiana Intercollegiate Athletic Association||Southwestern Louisiana||5–0|
|Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association||Michigan State Normal||5–0|
|Midwest Collegiate Athletic Conference|| Beloit |
|Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference||Macalester||3–0|
|Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association||Northwest Missouri State Teachers||3–0–1|
|North Central Intercollegiate Conference|| Creighton |
North Dakota Agricultural
|Nebraska Intercollegiate Conference||Nebraska State Teachers–Chadron||6–0|
|Ohio Athletic Conference||Ohio Wesleyan||7–0|
|Oklahoma Intercollegiate Conference||Tulsa||4–0|
|South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference|| Northern Normal and Industrial |
|Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference||Occidental||5–0|
|Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference||Tuskegee||—|
|Southwestern Athletic Conference||Bishop (TX)||4–1|
|Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association||Southwestern||4–0–1|
|Tri-Normal League||State Normal–Cheney||5–0|
The consensus All-America team included:
|QB||Benny Friedman||5'8"||172||Jr.||Cleveland, Ohio||Michigan|
|HB||Andy Oberlander||6'0"||197||Sr.||Chelsea, Massachusetts||Dartmouth|
|HB||Red Grange||5'11"||175||Sr.||Wheaton, Illinois||Illinois|
|HB||Wildcat Wilson||5'11"||185||Sr.||Everett, Washington||Washington|
|FB||Ernie Nevers||6'0"||200||Sr.||Superior, Wisconsin||Stanford|
|E||Bennie Oosterbaan||6'0"||180||So.||Muskegon, Michigan||Michigan|
|T||Ed Weir||6'0"||190||Sr.||Superior, Nebraska||Nebraska|
|G||Carl Diehl||6'1"||205||Sr.||Chicago, Illinois||Dartmouth|
|C||Ed McMillan||6'0"||208||Sr.||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania||Princeton|
|G||Ed Hess||6'1"||190||Jr.||Chardon, Ohio||Ohio State|
|T||Ralph Chase||6'3"||202||Sr.||Easton, Pennsylvania||Pittsburgh|
|E||George Tully||5'10"||180||Sr.||Orange, New Jersey||Dartmouth|
The NCAA was without a playoff for the major college football teams in the University Division, later known as Division I-A, during the 20th century. The NCAA recognizes Division I-A national champions based on the final results of polls including the "wire service", FWAA and NFF. The 1964 AP poll continued to rank only ten teams, compiling the votes of 55 sportswriters, each of whom would give their opinion of the ten best. Under a point system of 10 points for first place, 9 for second, etc., the "overall" ranking was determined.
The 1966 University Division football season was marked by some controversy as the year of "The Tie", a famous 10–10 game between the two top-ranked teams, Michigan State and Notre Dame on November 19. Both teams were crowned national champions by various organizations after the regular season concluded, and neither participated in a bowl game. Alabama finished the regular season undefeated and was third in the AP poll, while Georgia was fourth. Alabama went on to win the Sugar Bowl in dominant fashion. 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.
The 1973 NCAA Division I football season was the first for the NCAA's current three-division structure. Effective with the 1973–74 academic year, schools formerly in the NCAA "University Division" were classified as Division I. Schools in the former "College Division" were classified into Division II, which allowed fewer athletic scholarships than Division I, and Division III, in which athletic scholarships were prohibited.
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 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.
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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.
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