|1928 college football season|
|Number of bowls||1|
|Bowl games||January 1, 1929|
|Champion(s)|| Georgia Tech |
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.[ citation needed ][ by whom? ] 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 Florida Gators led the nation in scoring as a team, led by its "Phantom Four" backfield, with 336 points. They were remembered by many sports commentators as the best Florida football team until at least the 1960s. NYU halfback Ken Strong led the nation in scoring as an individual, with 162 points, and tallied some 3,000 total yards from scrimmage.
|School||1927 Conference||1928 Conference|
|Appalachian State Mountaineers||Program Established||Independent|
|Creighton Bluejays||Independent||Missouri Valley|
|Drake Bulldogs||MVIAA||Missouri Valley|
|Iowa State Cyclones||MVIAA||Big Six (MVIAA)|
|Grinnell Pioneers||MVIAA||Missouri Valley|
|Kansas Jayhawks||MVIAA||Big Six (MVIAA)|
|Kansas State Wildcats||MVIAA||Big Six (MVIAA)|
|Missouri Tigers||MVIAA||Big Six (MVIAA)|
|Nebraska Cornhuskers||MVIAA||Big Six (MVIAA)|
|Oklahoma Sooners||MVIAA||Big Six (MVIAA)|
|Oklahoma A&M Cowboys||MVIAA||Missouri Valley|
|UCLA Bruins||SCIAC||Pacific Coast|
|Washington (MO) Bears||MVIAA||Missouri Valley|
Army beat Boston University 35–0. New York University (NYU) beat Niagara College 21–0. Pennsylvania def Ursinus 34–0. California beat Santa Clara 22–0 and USC beat Utah State, 40–12. Texas beat its crosstown neighbor, Austin's St. Edward's College, 32–0.
Nebraska opened its season with a 12–0 win at Iowa State. Army narrowly beat the visiting SMU Mustangs, 14–13. NYU beat West Virginia Wesleyan, 26–7. Pennsylvania def. Franklin & Marshall 46–0. Texas beat Texas Tech 12–0. After losing 2 games out of 3 to non-college opponents, Stanford won at Oregon 26–12; USC beat visiting Oregon State 19–0. California beat St. Mary's, 7–0 Wisconsin beat visiting Notre Dame, 22–6. Georgia Tech beat VMI, 13–0. Illinois beat Bradley, 33–6. Iowa played a Sunday game against Monmouth College, winning 26–0.
Stanford beat visiting UCLA 45–7, and California beat Washington State, 13–3. USC defeated St. Mary's, 19–6.
In New Orleans, Georgia Tech beat Tulane, 12–0, and in Dallas, Texas narrowly lost to Vanderbilt, 13–12. Pennsylvania shut out Swarthmore 67–0. NYU defeated Fordham* 34–7. Army shut out Providence 44–0. Nebraska beat Montana State, 26–6. Iowa won at Chicago, 13–0, while Illinois hosted Iowa's Coe College, winning 31–0 Wisconsin hosted Cornell College of Iowa, and North Dakota State University, with the varsity winning the first game 49–0, and the reserves beating the Dakotans 13–7.
In Berkeley, California and USC played to a 0–0 tie. With the exception of this game, USC played all of its other contests at home in Los Angeles in 1928.
Georgia Tech shut out Notre Dame at home, 13–0. Army won at Harvard 15–0. NYU beat Rutgers* 48–0. Pennsylvania recorded its fourth shutout, beating Penn State 14–0. In San Francisco, Stanford beat Idaho, 47–0. Wisconsin and Purdue tied 19–19, and Illinois beat Indiana 13–7. Iowa beat Ripon College, 61–6. Nebraska edged visiting Syracuse, 7–6. Texas beat Arkansas, 20–7. After its first two wins over Ashland College (65–0) and Thiel (38–13), Carnegie Tech beat Washington & Jefferson, 19–0.
Army won at Yale, 18–6. NYU beat Colgate 47–6. Pennsylvania (4–0–0) was upset by (1–3–0) Navy, 6–0. Prior to that, Penn had outscored its opponents 161–0. USC beat Occidental 19–0. Stanford beat Fresno State, 47–0. Wisconsin won at Michigan, 7–0, and Iowa beat Minnesota, 7–6, while Illinois beat Northwestern 6–0. Carnegie Tech beat Pittsburgh, 6–0. Georgia Tech yielded its first points, winning at North Carolina, 20–7. Nebraska shut out Missouri, 24–0, and Texas won at Rice, 13–6. California lost to the Olympic Club of San Francisco, 12–0. Olympic, nominally an amateur team of former college players, had beaten Stanford 12–6 earlier.
In Los Angeles, USC (4–0–1) and Stanford (5–2–0) met, with the Trojans winning 10–0. Wisconsin beat visiting Alabama, 15–0, while 4–0–0 Illinois suffered its first loss, at Michigan, 3–0. California beat Oregon, 13–0. Nebraska won at Kansas, 20–0. Texas lost to visiting SMU, 6–2. Pennsylvania won at Chicago, 20–13. NYU and Georgetown University, both 5–0–0, with the Hoyas winning 7–2. Army beat Indiana's DePauw College, 38–12. Iowa defeated visiting South Dakota, 19–0. Carnegie Tech extended its streak, with a 32–0 win over Westminster College of Pennsylvania, and Georgia Tech beat visiting Oglethorpe College 32–7.
Army (6–0–0) hosted Notre Dame(4–2–0). A crowd of 90,000 packed the stands while 5,000 others in the Bronx watched from roofs and fire escapes within view of Yankee Stadium. Though the Fighting Irish weren't having a good year, the score was 0–0 when Knute Rockne inspired his team at halftime by relating George Gipp's deathbed wish ("When the team's up against it, when things are wrong and the breaks are beating the boys—tell them to go in there with all they've got and win just one for the Gipper"). Though Army scored a touchdown in the third quarter, touchdowns by Jack Chevigny and Johnny O'Brien gave the Irish a 12–6 lead. In the final minute, Army drove to within one foot of the goal line, but the whistle sounded before the Cadets could snap the ball.
In the New York Daily News the following Monday, reporter Francis Wallace first related the story in an article entitled, "Gipp's Ghost Beat Army."
The big game in the South was in Atlanta, where Vanderbilt (6–0–0) visited Georgia Tech (5–0–0), and the home team won 19–7. Texas won at Baylor, 6–0.
Wisconsin defeated Chicago, 25–0, and Iowa won at Ohio State, 14–7. In Indianapolis, Illinois beat Butler, 14–0.
Pennsylvania won at Harvard, 7–0 NYU beat Alfred University, 71–0. USC beat Arizona, 78–7, Stanford beat Santa Clara 31–0, and California won at Washington, 6–0. Carnegie Tech won at Georgetown, 13–7.
Nebraska, which had not played Oklahoma during the last two seasons, renewed a rivalry that became one of the most notable in college football. Playing at Oklahoma, the Cornhuskers won 44–6.
Iowa (6–0–0) hosted Wisconsin (6–0–1) in a meeting of unbeatens, with the visitors handing the Hawkeyes their first loss, 13–0. Illinois won at Chicago, 40–0. Georgia Tech beat Alabama at home, 33–13. Nebraska (6–0–0) hosted the (5–2–0) Pitt Panthers, and were tied, 0–0. Pennsylvania beat Columbia 34–7 NYU beat Missouri, 27–6. Army beat Carleton, 32–7. Texas beat a strong TCU team, 6–0. USC won again, defeating Washington State, 27–13, while Stanford beat Washington, 12–0, California rolled over visiting Nevada, 60–0. (6–0–0) Carnegie Tech won at (5–2–0) Notre Dame, 27–7.
Carnegie Tech (7–0–0) and NYU (7–1–0) met at Pittsburgh. The Violets handed Tech its first defeat, 27–13. Ken Strong gained widespread fame. He threw two long touchdown passes, rushed for two touchdowns, and kicked three extra points, leading Grantland Rice to write:
This attack was led by a runaway buffalo, using the speed of a deer, and his name was Ken Strong. He ran all over a big, powerful team, smashed its line, ran its ends, kicked 50 and 55 yards, threw passes and tackled all over the lot. Today he was George Gipp, Red Grange and Chris Cagle rolled into one human form and there was nothing Carnegie Tech had that could stop his march.
Carnegie Tech coach Walter Steffen said of Strong's performance: "This is the first time in my career that one man was good enough to run over and completely wreck an exceptionally good team. I can tell you he is better than Heston or Thorpe."
Georgia Tech crushed visiting Auburn, 51–0. Auburn won only 1 of its 9 games, and scored in only two of those contests.
Army (7–1–0) and Nebraska (6–0–1) met at West Point, with the Cadets beating the visiting Cornhuskers, 13–3. Stanford and California tied at Berkeley, 13–13. USC beat Idaho, 28–7.
On Thanksgiving Day, Pennsylvania beat Cornell 49–0. Overall, the Penn Quakers had outscored their opponents 271 to 26, and finished 8–1–0. NYU closed its season with a 25–13 loss to visiting Oregon State, and finished 8–2–0. Wisconsin hosted Minnesota, and suffered its first loss, a 6–0 defeat, to close at 7–1–1. After starting the season 6–0, Iowa closed with a second loss, at Michigan, 10–7, to finish 6–2–0. Illinois closed at 7–1–0 after beating visiting Ohio State, 8–0. Nebraska closed its season with an 8–0 win over Kansas State, and Texas wrapped with a 19–0 win over Texas A&M.
Army and Stanford met at Yankee Stadium, with Stanford shutting the Cadets out, 26–0. In Los Angeles, USC hosted Notre Dame, winning 27–14, to close its season at 9–0–1.
Georgia Tech hosted Georgia and won 20–6, closing regular play at 9–0, before the Yellow Jackets' trip to the Rose Bowl. The Jackets finished 7–0 in Southern Conference play, assuring themselves of at least a share of the conference title.
In one of the final games of the 1928 season, once-tied Tennessee hosted unbeaten Florida in Knoxville. For coach Charlie Bachman's Florida Gators, a share of the Southern Conference title was at stake; coach Robert Neyland's Tennessee Volunteers were playing for pride. Tennessee edged Florida, 13–12. Florida finished 8–1, Tennessee 9–0–1, and unbeaten and untied Georgia Tech won the conference championship outright.
As the lone post-season college football game, the Rose Bowl matched the California Golden Bears, co-champions (with USC) of the Pacific Coast Conference, against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, nicknamed the "Golden Tornado" as well as the "champions of the South". In the second quarter, the Jackets were on their own 25 yard line, when Warner Mizell fumbled the football. Playing linebacker, California center Roy Riegels scooped up the fumble at the 34 and dashed, unimpeded, toward the end zone. Unfortunately, Riegels had gotten turned around and ran downfield toward the California goal. Though Riegels was not tackled in his own end zone, California chose to punt from there on first down, and Benny Lom's kick was blocked by Tech's Tom Jones, and Cal's Stan Barr fell on the ball for the safety. Georgia Tech's 2–0 lead at halftime was extended to 8–0 after Stumpy Thomason ran for 15 yards for a score, and the conversion failed. Lom's pass to Irv Phillips, and Barr's extra point, made it 8–7 with a minute left. An onside kick attempt failed, and Georgia Tech ran out the clock to win the other national championship.
|Central Intercollegiate Athletics Association||Hampton Institute||7–0|
|Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference||College of Emporia||6–0|
|Far Western Conference||Saint Mary's (CA)||2–0|
|Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference||Baker||5–0–2|
|Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference||Iowa State Teachers||4–0–2|
|Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association||Albion||5–0|
|Midwest Collegiate Athletic Conference|| Coe |
|Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference|| Augsburg |
|Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association|| Northeast Missouri State Teachers |
Southwest Missouri State Teachers
|Nebraska College Athletic Conference||Hastings||5–0–1|
|Nebraska Intercollegiate Athletic Association||Nebraska State Teachers–Peru||—|
|North Central Intercollegiate Conference||North Dakota||4–0|
|Ohio Athletic Conference||Heidelberg||6–0–1|
|Oklahoma Intercollegiate Conference||Phillips||5–1–1|
|Pacific Northwest Conference||Whitman||4–0|
|Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference||Occidental||5–1|
|South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference||Black Hills Teachers||5–0|
|Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference|| Clark College |
|Southwestern Athletic Conference||Wiley (TX)||5–0|
|Texas Collegiate Athletic Conference||Howard Payne||5–0|
|Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association||Daniel Baker||4–0|
|Tri-Normal League||State Normal–Ellensburg||2–0|
|Wisconsin State Teachers College Conference|| Oshkosh State Teachers |
Stevens Point State Teachers
Superior State Teachers
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.
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.
Professor Dickinson concluded that the University of Southern California Trojans were "the national football champions of America for 1928". Unbeaten and untied Georgia Tech was ranked third because, Dickinson said, "its schedule was easier than the other contenders".On January 4, 1929, the Jack F. Rissman national intercollegiate trophy was presented by Professor Dickinson to the USC football squad, and Coach Howard Jones, at a student rally on the Los Angeles campus. For the benefit of the crowd, Dickinson added "that even had he taken into consideration the victory of Georgia Tech over California on New Year's Day that the University of Southern California would have still be rated at the top," though Georgia Tech would have ranked second instead of third after its Rose Bowl win
|6 (t)||Carnegie Tech||7–1||18.33|
The consensus All-America team included:
|QB||Howard Harpster||6'1"||160||Sr.||Salem, Ohio||Carnegie Tech|
|HB||Chris Cagle||5'9"||167||Jr.||De Ridder, Louisiana||Army|
|HB||Chuck Carroll||6'0"||190||Sr.||Seattle, Washington||Washington|
|HB||Paul Scull||5'8"||185||Sr.||Lower Merion, Pennsylvania||Penn|
|FB||Ken Strong||6'1"||201||Sr.||West Haven, Connecticut||NYU|
|E||Irvine Phillips||6'1"||188||Sr.||Salinas, California||California|
|T||Otto Pommerening||5'11"||178||Sr.||Ann Arbor, Michigan||Michigan|
|G||Seraphim Post||6'0"||190||Jr.||Berkeley, California||Stanford|
|G||Don Robesky||5'11"||198||Sr.||Bakersfield, California||Stanford|
|C||Peter Pund||6'0"||182||Sr.||Augusta, Georgia||Georgia Tech|
|G||Edward Burke||6'0"||180||Sr.||Larksville, Pennsylvania||Navy|
|T||Mike Getto||6'2"||198||Sr.||Irwin, Pennsylvania||Pittsburgh|
|E||Wes Fesler||6'0"||185||So.||Youngstown, Ohio||Ohio State|
The 1970 NCAA University Division football season was marked by tragedy, due to two airplane crashes. On October 2, one of the planes carrying the Wichita State football team crashed on the way to a game against Utah State, killing 31 people on board, including 14 players. Then, on November 14, the charter for the Marshall Thundering Herd crashed on the way home from a game against East Carolina, killing all 75 persons.
The 1976 NCAA Division I football season ended with a championship for the Panthers of the University of Pittsburgh. Led by head coach Johnny Majors, the Pitt Panthers brought a college football championship to the home of the defending pro football champions, the Steelers. Pitt also had the Heisman Trophy winner, Tony Dorsett; the Panthers had been ranked ninth in the preseason AP poll.
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 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 1954 college football season saw three teams finish unbeaten and untied, with Ohio State Buckeyes and the UCLA Bruins sharing the national championship as the No. 1 picks of the AP Poll and the UPI Poll, respectively. Although the winners of the Big Ten and the Pacific conferences normally met in the Rose Bowl, a "no repeat" prevented the two champions from meeting. UCLA, which had been in the Rose Bowl earlier in the year, was replaced by conference runner-up USC.
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 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 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.