|1929 college football season|
|Number of bowls||1|
|Bowl games||January 1, 1930|
|Champion(s)|| Notre Dame |
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 writerwhile 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.
A major change in the rules for 1929 was that a fumbled ball was dead as soon as it struck the ground. Previously, a defending player could run with a recovered fumble, as in the case of Roy Riegels in the 1929 Rose Bowl.
|School||1928 Conference||1929 Conference|
|Duke Blue Devils||Independent||Southern|
September 21 In Dallas, Southern Methodist University (SMU) opened its season with a 13–3 win over North Texas State.
SMU and Howard Payne College played to a 13–13 tie, and TCU rolled over visiting Daniel Baker College, 61–0. In Los Angeles, USC opened its season against crosstown rival UCLA, rolling over the Bruins 76–0. Pittsburgh beat Waynesburg State, 53–0 California beat Santa Clara 27–6 Pennsylvania beat Franklin & Marshall 14–7 Tulane opened with a win over Northwestern State, 40–6
SMU and Nebraska played to a 0–0 tie in Nebraska. Notre Dame opened its season with a 14–0 win at Indiana TCU beat Hardin Simmons, 20–0 Illinois beat Kansas 25–0, and Purdue beat Kansas State, 26–14 Pittsburgh won at Duke, 52–7 USC beat Oregon State 21–7 Pennsylvania defeated Swarthmore 20–6 California and St. Mary's played to a 0–0 tie. Tulane beat Texas A&M, 13–10
In Baltimore, Notre Dame defeated Navy, 14–7. SMU beat Austin College, 16–0 In Shreveport, TCU registered another shutout, beating Centenary College 28–0 Nebraska won at Syracuse, 13–6 USC won at Washington, 48–0, and California beat visiting Washington State, 14–0. Purdue beat Michigan 30–16 and Illinois beat Bradley 45–0 Pittsburgh beat West Virginia 27–7 Pennsylvania beat Virginia Tech, 14–8 Tulane beat Mississippi State, 34–0
Pittsburgh handed Nebraska its first loss, 12–7; TCU surrendered its first points, but beat Texas A&M, 13–7. Illinois and Iowa played to a 7–7 tie. Purdue beat DePauw 26–7 Tulane beat Lafayette College of Louisiana, 60–0 USC scored big again, with a 64–0 win over Occidental. At 4–0–0, the Trojans had outscored their opponents 209–7. In Chicago, Notre Dame defeated Wisconsin 19–0
In Philadelphia, (1–0–1) California and (3–0) Pennsylvania played, with California winning 12–7
October 26 During the weekend between October 24 and October 29, 1929 (see Wall Street Crash of 1929), SMU beat visiting Ole Miss, 52–0 and TCU, with a 131–7 aggregate lead over its opponents, won its fifth straight, a 22–0 win over Texas Tech. In Pittsburgh, the Pitt Panthers beat Allegheny 40–0 and Notre Dame defeated Carnegie Tech 7–0. Illinois beat visiting Michigan 14–0, and Purdue won at Chicago 26–0 The USC offense was held to single digits at Stanford, winning 7–0. California defeated the non-college Olympic Club, 21–19. Pennsylvania beat Lehigh 10–7 and in New Orleans, Tulane beat Georgia Tech, 20–14. Nebraska and Missouri played to a 7–7 tie.
November 2 In Los Angeles, USC (5–0–0) hosted California (4–0–1). California handed the Trojans their first loss, 15–7 In Dallas, unbeaten (3–0–2) SMU and unbeaten and untied Texas (5–0–0) both stayed unbeaten, playing to 0–0 tie. Notre Dame beat visiting Georgia Tech 26–6 In Columbus, Georgia, Tulane beat Georgia, 21–15
TCU beat North Texas State, 25–0 Nebraska beat Kansas, 12–6 Purdue won at Wisconsin 13–0, but Illinois lost at Northwestern, 7–0, Pittsburgh beat Ohio State, 18–2 Pennsylvania defeated Navy, 7–2
SMU won at Texas A&M 12–7 and TCU beat Rice, 24–0 Illinois beat Army, 17–7 and Purdue beat Ole Miss 27–7 Pittsburgh beat Washington & Jefferson 21–0 Notre Dame defeated Drake University Tulane beat Auburn, 52–0 USC beat visiting Nevada, 66–0 and California beat Montana 53–18
At Philadelphia, (5–1–0) Penn State defeated (5–1–0) Pennsylvania, 19–7
In Chicago, a record crowd of 123,000 turned out at Soldier Field to watch Notre Dame (6–0–0) and USC (6–1–0). Knute Rockne, who had been hospitalized with an infected leg, guided his team from a cot set behind the Notre Dame bench. In the third quarter, the Irish took a 13–6 lead, on—Savoldi's plunge and Frank Carideo's extra point. On the ensuing kickoff, -- Saunders ran the ball back 95 yards for a touchdown, but the point after failed, and Notre Dame held on to win 13–12.
Nebraska and visiting Oklahoma played to a 13–13 draw; at (2–1–3), the Cornhuskers had tied more games than they had won or lost. SMU beat Baylor, 25–6. TCU was (7–0–0) and had outscored its opposition 193–7; Texas (5–0–2) had an aggregate 120–0 lead on its opponents, though its last two games had been scoreless ties. When they met at Austin, Texas scored first, but Cy Leland returned the kickoff 90 yards for a TCU score. At halftime, TCU led 13–12 on the only extra point scored that day, and finished 15–12Illinois defeated Chicago 20–6 and Purdue beat Iowa 7–0 Pittsburgh beat Carnegie Tech, 34–13 Pennsylvania visited Columbia and won 20–0 California beat Washington 7–0
Tulane defeated Sewanee 18–0
November 23 Nebraska won at Kansas State, 10–6 SMU beat Rice, 34–0 TCU beat Baylor, 34–7 Illinois beat Ohio State, 27–0, and Purdue won at Indiana 32–0 to finish its season unbeaten. Notre Dame won at Northwestern 26–6. USC beat visiting Idaho, 72–0 Stanford (7–2–0) and California met in Palo Alto, with Stanford winning 21–6.
November 28, Thanksgiving Day; Pittsburgh beat Penn State 20–7 Pennsylvania beat Cornell 17–7 Nebraska closed its season with a 31–12 win over Iowa State, to finish at 4–1–3.
November 30 In a season-ending matchup of the Southwest Conference's two best teams at Fort Worth, Texas Christian (9–0–0) hosted Southern Methodist (6–0–3). Although SMU took a 7–0 lead in the third quarter, and held the Frogs once at the goal line, TCU reached the one on its next possession, and scored on third down. Hawks Green's kick staved off an upset, tied the Mustangs 7–7, and gave TCU the conference title.
Notre Dame (8–0–0) closed its season at Yankee Stadium in New York, where it faced Army (6–2–1). The Fighting Irish won 7–0. USC beat Washington State, 27–7 Tulane closed its season with a 21–0 win at LSU, to finish unbeaten at 9–0–0
On December 14, USC defeated Carnegie Tech, 45–13.
USC had been beaten earlier in the year, at Chicago, by Notre Dame. The Trojans and the Fighting Irish were not able to agree on a rematch, and USC was given the right to invite another eastern powerhouse—the unbeaten (9–0–0) Pittsburgh Panthers. Pitt's bid for a claim to the national championship started on the first play of the game, as Toby Uansa ran 68 yards before being tackled at the 11, but the Panthers failed to reach the end zone. Six minutes into the game, Russ Saunders and --- Edelson connected on a 56-yard pass play for USC's first touchdown. By halftime, USC led 26–0. Pitt finally scored in the third quarter to trail 33–7. After seven USC touchdowns, the final score was USC 47, Pitt 14.
|Big Four Conference||Tulsa||4–0–1|
|Central Intercollegiate Athletics Association||Virginia State College||6–0|
|Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference||Kansas State Teachers||5–1|
|Far Western Conference||Northern Branch||2–0|
|Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference||Iowa Wesleyan||5–0|
|Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference||Kansas Wesleyan||4–0–1|
|Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association||Alma||5–0|
|Midwest Collegiate Athletic Conference|| Coe |
|Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference||Saint Thomas (MN)||3–1|
|Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association||Northeast Missouri State Teachers||3–0|
|Nebraska College Athletic Conference||Cotner||5–0|
|Nebraska Intercollegiate Athletic Association||Nebraska State Teachers–Peru||—|
|North Central Intercollegiate Conference||North Dakota||4–0|
|Ohio Athletic Conference||Muskingum||5–0|
|Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference||Central State Teachers (OK)||5–0|
|Pacific Northwest Conference||Willamette||4–0|
|South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference|| Black Hills Teachers |
|Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference||Occidental||4–0|
|Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference||Tuskegee||5–0–0|
|Southwestern Athletic Conference||Wiley (TX)||3–0–1|
|Texas Collegiate Athletic Conference||Howard Payne||5–0|
|Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association||Southwest Texas State Normal||4–2|
|Tri-Normal League||State Normal–Ellensburg||2–0|
|Wisconsin State Teachers College Conference||Milwaukee State Teachers||3–0–1|
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.
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.
Notre Dame and Pittsburgh, both with nine wins and no losses or ties (9–0) were ranked first and second by Dickinson, with the Irish getting the higher rating based on their opposition.As Grantland Rice noted in his column, "There is no questioning the fact that among the unbeaten teams who were not even tied, Notre Dame fought its way through the hardest field. But when it comes to saying that Notre Dame could beat Pittsburgh or that Notre Dame could beat Purdue or that Pittsburgh could beat Purdue -- that is something else again,"
The consensus All-America team included:
|QB||Frank Carideo||5'7"||175||Jr.||Mount Vernon, New York||Notre Dame|
|HB||Chris Cagle||5'10"||174||Sr.||De Ridder, Louisiana||Army|
|HB||Gene McEver||5'10"||185||Jr.||Bristol, Virginia||Tennessee|
|FB||Ralph Welch||6'1"||200||Sr.||Sherman, Texas||Purdue|
|E||Joe Donchess||6'0"||175||Sr.||Kingston, Pennsylvania||Pittsburgh|
|T||Bronko Nagurski||6'2"||217||Sr.||International Falls, Minnesota||Minnesota|
|G||Jack Cannon||5'11"||193||Sr.||Columbus, Ohio||Notre Dame|
|C||Ben Ticknor||6'2"||193||Jr.||Canton, Massachusetts||Harvard|
|G||Ray Montgomery||6'1"||188||Sr.||Wheeling, West Virginia||Pittsburgh|
|T||Elmer Sleight||6'2"||193||Sr.||Sisseton, South Dakota||Purdue|
|E||Wes Fesler||6'0"||185||Jr.||Youngstown, Ohio||Ohio State|
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 1963 NCAA University Division football season was played by American football teams representing 120 colleges and universities recognized the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) as major programs. The remaining 299 colleges and universities that were NCAA members and fielded football teams competed in the 1963 NCAA College Division football season.
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 NCAA did recognize a national champion based upon the final results of "wire service" polls. The "writers' poll" by Associated Press (AP) was the most popular, followed by the "coaches' poll" by United Press International) (UPI). Prior to 1965, both services issued their final polls at the close of the regular season, but before teams competed in bowl games. For the 1965 season, the AP took its final poll after the postseason games, an arrangement made permanent in 1968. The Associated Press presented the "AP Trophy" to the winner.
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 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 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 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 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 1936 college football season was the first in which the Associated Press writers' poll selected a national champion. The first AP poll, taken of 35 writers, was released on October 20, 1936. 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. In the first poll, Minnesota received 32 first place votes, and 3 votes for an additional 25 points, for a total of 345 altogether.
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 1953 college football season finished with the Maryland Terrapins capturing the AP, INS, and UPI national championship after Notre Dame held the top spot for the first nine weeks. The No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners defeated Maryland in the Orange Bowl, but there was no further polling after the November 30 results were released. However, Notre Dame was selected as the National Champions by 10 other polls and the Oklahoma Sooners received first in two polls. However, despite the team receiving National Championship rings, the University of Notre Dame does not recognize this title due to their policy of only recognizing AP or coaches' poll titles during the polling era (1936–present). Maryland was also the first champion of the Atlantic Coast Conference, which had been formed earlier in 1953 by seven colleges formerly with the Southern Conference. The year 1953 also saw the Michigan State Spartans, previously an independent, join the Big Nine Conference, which then became the Big Ten; MSU won the conference title in that first year and was the conference representative to the Rose Bowl, which it won 28–20 over UCLA.
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 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 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.