|1927 college football season|
|Number of bowls||1|
|Bowl games||January 1, 1928|
|Champion(s)|| Illinois |
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.
Until the final week, when the team was upset by Georgia Tech, Georgia's "Dream and Wonder team" was ranked No. 1.[ citation needed ][ by whom? ] Georgia had upset Eastern power Yale 14–10. Though most selectors have either Illinois or Georgia as the 1927 national champion, Dana X. Bible's Texas Aggies were retroactively named as the national champion by one selector, Jeff Sagarin.
In the Rose Bowl, the Pittsburgh Panthers (8–0–1) were invited to play against the Pacific Coast Conference champion. Though USC and Stanford had identical records in conference play, Stanford was given a chance to "avenge" its 7–7 tie against Alabama in the previous years Rose Bowl. Stanford won 7–6. Although an Illinois vs. USC matchup would have been equally plausible for the 1928 Rose Bowl, their Pasadena meeting would have to wait 80 years—until 2008.
The major rules change in 1927 was the moving of the goal posts from the goal line, to the end of the end zone, where they have been ever since. The move was for both safety reasons and to de-emphasize the kicking game
September 17 Washington defeated Willamette 32–6. September 24 USC beat Occidental 33–0; Army beat Boston University, 13–0; Pittsburgh beat Thiel College 42–0. Texas A&M shut out Trinity 45–0.
October 1 USC beat Santa Clara 52–12. Notre Dame beat Iowa's Coe College 28–7; Army beat Detroit Mercy 6–0. Yale beat Bowdoin 41–0;
The Western Conference (later the Big Ten) teams opened their seasons. Minnesota beat North Dakota, 57–10, Michigan beat Ohio Wesleyan, 33–0, and Illinois beat Bradley, 19–0. Pittsburgh beat Grove City College, 33–0; Nebraska beat Iowa State, 6–0; Georgia beat Virginia, 32–0; and Texas A&M beat Southwest Texas 31–0.
October 8 USC edged Oregon State 13–12; Detroit Mercy, fresh from its 6–0 loss at West Point, played at Notre Dame and lost 20–0; Army beat Marquette 21–12; In a battle of Bulldogs, Georgia beat Yale 14–10 in New Haven. Pittsburgh won another shutout, over West Virginia, 49–0;
Minnesota beat Oklahoma State, 40–0, Michigan beat Michigan State, 21–0, and Illinois beat Butler 58–0. At Columbia, Missouri, Missouri beat Nebraska, 7–6, and Texas A&M recorded its third shutout, an 18–0 win over Sewanee.
October 15 USC played at Stanford University in Palo Alto, to a 13–13 tie. Notre Dame and Navy played at Baltimore, with the Irish winning 19–6. Army beat Davis & Elkins College, 27–6 Yale beat Brown 19–0; In Western Conference play, Minnesota and Indiana played to a 14–14 tie Michigan won at Wisconsin, 14–0, Illinois and Iowa State played to a 12–12 tie, Pittsburgh beat Drake 32–0; Nebraska beat Grinnell College 58–0 Furman v. Georgia took place in Athens, Ga., as the University of Georgia hosted the Paladins of Furman University and won, 32–0. Texas A&M surrendered its first points in a 40–6 win over Arkansas.
October 22 USC beat Caltech 51–0 ; Notre Dame beat Indiana 19–6 (4–0) Army and (2–1) Yale met at New Haven, with Yale winning 10–6 Minnesota beat Iowa, 38–0 Michigan beat Ohio State, 21–0, Brown was upset by Lebanon Valley, 13–12 Illinois edged Northwestern, 7–6 Pittsburgh beat crosstown team Carnegie Tech, but not in a shutout (23–7). Nebraska was idle; Georgia beat Auburn, 33–3 Texas A&M played at Texas Christian, and was tied, 0–0.
October 29 Michigan (4–0–0) and Illinois (3–0–1) faced off at Champaign, Ill. The Illini won 14–0.
USC beat California, 13–0 Notre Dame beat Georgia Tech, 26–7 Army beat Bucknell 34–0; Yale beat Dartmouth, 19–0; Minnesota beat Wisconsin, 13–7; Pittsburgh beat Allegheny 62–0; Nebraska beat visiting Syracuse, 21–0; Georgia beat Tulane, 31–0 Texas A&M had beaten Texas Tech, 47–6, in a Friday game.
November 5 USC was idle, while (5–1–1) Stanford and (7–0–0) Washington met in Seattle for a conference game, with Stanford winning 13–7.
In a meeting of unbeatens, (5–0–0) Notre Dame hosted (4–0–1) Minnesota. The teams played to a 7–7 tie.
Army beat Franklin & Marshall, 45–0; Yale beat Maryland 30–6 Michigan won at Chicago, 14–0 and Illinois beat Iowa 14–0 Pittsburgh and Washington & Jefferson, both (6–0–0), played to a 0–0 tie Nebraska beat Kansas, 47–13; Georgia defeated Florida at Jacksonville, 28–0; Texas A&M beat SMU, 39–13
On Armistice Day, November 11, Texas A&M defeated Rice University in Houston, 14–0.
November 12 USC beat Colorado 46–7; (6–1–0) Army faced off against (5–0–1) Notre Dame at Yankee Stadium. The Cadets handed Rockne's team its first defeat, 18–0
Yale beat Princeton 14–6; Minnesota beat Drake 27–6; Michigan beat Navy 27–12; Illinois beat Chicago 15–6; Georgia beat Clemson, 32–0 (6–0–1) Pittsburgh and (4–1–0) Nebraska faced off in Pittsburgh, with the Panthers winning 21–13
November 19 USC defeated Washington State, 27–0, while Stanford beat visiting California, 13–6 to close their season at 8–2–1. Though USC, at 8–1–1, had the better overall record, Stanford's two losses at been outside the conference, to St. Mary's and to Santa Clara, and they had tied USC. In PCC play, Stanford and USC both finished 4–0–1, and either could have been invited to play in the 1928 Rose Bowl. The Rose Bowl committee went with Stanford, which had been tied by Alabama in the 1927 New Year's Day game.
Notre Dame beat Drake University in Des Moines, 32–0. Drake, which played against Navy, Pitt, Minnesota, Notre Dame and UCLA, would finish at 3–6–0 Army beat Ursinus College 13–0; Yale closed its season hosting Harvard, and won 14–0; Illinois defeated Ohio State, 13–0 At Ann Arbor, (5–0–2) Minnesota visited (6–1–0) Michigan. The Gophers beat the Wolverines 13–7 to close their seasons. Nebraska won at Kansas State, 33–0 Georgia beat Mercer, 26–7
November 24 On Thanksgiving Day, Pittsburgh beat Penn State, 30–0. Pitt, with a record of 8–0–1, had outscored its opponents 283 to 20, with seven shutouts, and was selected to meet Stanford in the Rose Bowl.
Nebraska beat visiting New York University, 27–18; Texas A&M closed its season with a 28–7 win over Texas.
November 26 Notre Dame (6–1–1) and USC (7–0–1) played before an estimated record crowd of 123,000(Reported as 117,000 in the Chicago Tribune) at Soldier Field in Chicago, with Notre Dame winning 7–6 (on the strength of a blocked extra point attempt) to hand the Trojans their first loss.
In the Army–Navy Game, played before a crowd of 70,000 at the Polo Grounds in New York, Army came back from 9–0 at halftime to win 14–9.In Birmingham, Georgia beat Alabama, 20–6.
In the Army–Navy Game, played before a crowd of 70,000 at the Polo Grounds in New York, Army came back from 9–0 at halftime to win 14–9.In Birmingham, Georgia beat Alabama, 20–6.
(9–0–0) Georgia faced off against (7–1–1) Georgia Tech in Atlanta to close the season. The Yellow Jackets undid the Bulldogs' hopes for a perfect season, winning 12–0
As the only post-season college football game, the Rose Bowl sought an East-West matchup between the best available eastern team and the PCC champion. In 1927, the Pitt Panthers had finished the season at 8–0–1, with seven shutouts against various levels of opposition, while Stanford had won the Pacific Coast Conference going 8–2–1. Since January 1, 1928, fell on a Sunday, the game was played on Monday, January 2. Stanford Punter Frankie Wilton had been the "goat" of the 1927 Rose Bowl, after an Alabama defender broke through the line, blocked his kick, and set up the Tide's tying touchdown. Wilton lost the ball after being hit on his own 20 yard line, and Pitt's Jimmy Hagan ran the fumble in for a touchdown. Walter Heinecke of Stanford blocked the point attempt, holding Pitt's lead to 6–0. Wilton's chance at redemption came later, when his teammate Spud Lewis fumbled a yard from goal. Wilton scooped up the ball and crashed through for the tying touchdown. The Stanford kick was good, and the Indians held on for a 7–6 win.
Starting with the 2012 football season, Texas A&M began claiming the 1927 national championship.Georgia's "Dream and Wonder team" was also chosen a national champion. They defeated Yale, another choice for national champion.
|Central Intercollegiate Athletics Association||North Carolina A&T||6–0–1|
|Far Western Conference||Saint Mary's (CA)||3–0|
|Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference||Iowa State Teachers||6–0|
|Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference|| Baker (KS) |
College of Emporia
Kansas State Normal
|Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association||Alma||5–0|
|Midwest Collegiate Athletic Conference||Cornell College||6–0|
|Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference||Gustavus Adolphus||5–0|
|Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association||Northeast Missouri State Teachers||4–0|
|Nebraska College Athletic Conference||Nebraska State Teachers–Peru||6–0|
|North Central Intercollegiate Conference|| Creighton |
|Ohio Athletic Conference|| Miami (OH) |
|Oklahoma Intercollegiate Conference|| Oklahoma Baptist |
|Pacific Northwest Conference||College of Idaho||5–0|
|Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference||Pomona||6–0–1|
|South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference||Columbus College||5–0|
|Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference||Tuskegee||7–0–1|
|Southwestern Athletic Conference||Wiley (TX)||4–0–1|
|Texas Collegiate Athletic Conference||Southwestern||2–1–1|
|Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association||McMurry (TX)||3–0–2|
|Tri-Normal League||State Normal–Ellensburg||2–0|
|Wisconsin State Teachers College Conference||La Crosse State Teachers||4–0–1|
The AP sportswriters' poll would not begin continuously until 1936.(although, the first time was a one instance publishing in 1934 ) Frank G. Dickinson, an economics professor at the University of Illinois, had invented the Dickinson System to rank colleges based upon their records and the strength of their opposition. The system was originally designed to rank teams in the Big Nine (later the Big Ten) conference. Chicago clothing manufacturer Jack Rissman then persuaded Dickinson to rank the nation's teams under the system, and awarded the Rissman Trophy to the winning university.
Although Dickinson retroactively applied the system to the 1924 and 1925 seasons, the year 1926 was the first in which the trophy was awarded at season's end. The system awarded 30 points for a win over a "strong team", and 20 for a win over a "weak team". Losses were awarded points (15 for loss to a strong team, 10 for loss to a weak team). Ties were treated as half a win and half a loss (22.5 for a tie with a strong team, 15 for a tie with a weak team). An average was then derived by dividing the points by games played.
The consensus All-America team included:
|QB||Morley Drury||6'0"||185||Sr.||Long Beach, California||USC|
|HB||Gibby Welch||5'11"||170||Sr.||Parkersburg, West Virginia||Pittsburgh|
|HB||Chris Cagle||5'9"||167||So.||De Ridder, Louisiana||Army|
|FB||Herb Joesting||6'1"||192||Sr.||Owatonna, Minnesota||Minnesota|
|E||Bennie Oosterbaan||6'0"||180||Sr.||Muskegon, Michigan||Michigan|
|T||Jesse Hibbs||6'0"||195||Jr.||Normal, Illinois||USC|
|G||Bill Webster||6'0"||200||Sr.||Lakeville, Connecticut||Yale|
|C||Larry Bettencourt||5'11"||195||Sr.||Newark, California||Saint Mary's|
|C||John Charlesworth||5'11"||198||Sr.||Clarksburg, Massachusetts||Yale|
|G||John "Clipper" Smith||5'9"||164||Sr.||Hartford, Connecticut||Notre Dame|
|T||Ed Hake||6'0"||190||Sr.||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||Penn|
|E||Tom Nash||6'3"||200||Sr.||Washington, Georgia||Georgia|
The 1926 college football season was the first in which an attempt was made to recognize a national champion after the season.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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 1947 college football season finished with Notre Dame, Michigan and Penn State all unbeaten and untied, but the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame were the first place choice for 107 of the 142 voters in the AP Poll, and repeated as national champions. Michigan went on to meet USC in the Rose Bowl and won 49–0, while Penn State was tied 13–13 by SMU in the Cotton Bowl Classic, and Notre Dame didn't participate in the postseason. An unofficial post bowl AP poll was conducted with Michigan and Notre Dame as the only options and Michigan won by a vote of 226 to 119.
The 1946 college football season finished with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish crowned as the national champion in the AP Poll, the Georgia Bulldogs recognized as national champion by the Williamson poll and United States Military Academy named as national champion in various other polls and rankings. The Delaware Fightin' Blue Hens were recognized by the AP as the small college national champion. Notre Dame and Army both won all of their games, with the exception of their November 9 meeting at New York's Yankee Stadium, where they had played to a 0–0 tie in a No. 1 vs No. 2 matchup regarded as a "Game of the Century". Neither team played in bowl game that season.
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 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.