|1936 college football season|
|First AP No. 1 of season||Minnesota|
|Number of bowls||6|
|Champion(s)|| Minnesota (AP)|
|Heisman||Larry Kelley (end, Yale)|
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 1936 season also saw the addition of another major New Year's Day bowl game, as Dallas hosted the first Cotton Bowl Classic.
|School||1935 Conference||1936 Conference|
|The Citadel Bulldogs||SIAA||Southern|
|George Washington Colonials||Independent||Southern|
|St. Francis (NY) Terriers||Independent||Dropped Program|
|Wake Forest Demon Deacons||Independent||Southern|
|William & Mary Indians||Virginia||Southern|
September 19 TCU opened with a 6–0 win at Howard Payne College at Brownwood, Texas.
September 26 In Seattle, Minnesota opened its season with a 14–7 win over Washington.
Defending champ (under the Dickinson ratings) SMU had a tough time in beating North Texas, 6–0, and Rose Bowl winner Stanford lost its opener to visiting Santa Clara 13–0. Sugar Bowl winner TCU lost at Texas Tech 7–0. LSU beat visiting Rice 20–7. Alabama beat Samford 34–0 and Pittsburgh beat Ohio Wesleyan 53–0.
October 3 Santa Clara beat Loyola Marymount 13–6 LSU and Texas played to a 6–6 tie. Alabama defeated Clemson 32–0 Northwestern opened with an 18–7 win over Iowa. Pittsburgh beat West Virginia 34–0
October 10 Minnesota beat visiting Nebraska 7–0. Pittsburgh won at Ohio State 6–0 Washington won at UCLA 14–0 Santa Clara beat San Francisco 15–7. Alabama beat Mississippi State 7–0. Northwestern beat North Dakota State 40–7.
October 17 Minnesota defeated Michigan 26–0. Santa Clara won at San Jose State 20–0 In Birmingham, Alabama and Tennessee played to a 0–0 tie. Northwestern edged Ohio State 14–13. In a meeting between Pittsburgh's two unbeaten (3–0–0) and untied schools, Pittsburgh was beaten by Duquesne, 7–0. Washington beat Oregon State 19–7.
The first AP Poll was released on October 20, with Minnesota being the majority favorite, with 32 of 35 first place votes, and 345 out of 350 points. The Gophers were followed by 2.Duke 3.Army 4.Northwestern and 5.Purdue. USC, ranked No. 6, received one first place vote.
October 24 No. 1 Minnesota hosted No. 5 Purdue, in a meeting of unbeaten (3–0–0) schools. Minnesota proved the AP voters right by winning 33–0. No. 2 Duke (5–0–0) lost to (1–2–1) Tennessee, 15–13. No. 3 Army beat Springfield College 33–0. No. 4 Northwestern won at Illinois 13–2. No. 8 Washington beat California 13–0. No. 9 Pittsburgh beat visiting, and previously unbeaten, No. 7 Notre Dame 26–0. No. 16 Fordham edged visiting No. 12 St. Mary's 7–6. The next top five was 1.Minnesota 2.Pitt 3.Northwestern 4. Washington 5.Fordham
October 31 In a Friday night game, No. 1 Minnesota and No. 3 Northwestern, both unbeaten (4–0–0), met in a Big Ten conference game at Evanston. The Gophers had not lost a game in more than three years, and the game was scoreless after three quarters, until Northwestern's line "ripped a gaping hole in the Gophers' forward wall" and Steve Toth drove across the goal line. With five minutes left, Minnesota's Rudy Gmitro was in the clear for a touchdown before being brought down by Fred Vanzon, and Northwestern held on for the 6–0 win.
At the Polo Grounds in New York, No. 2 Pittsburgh and No. 5 Fordham played to a 0–0 tie. In Portland, No. 4 Washington beat Oregon 7–0, but dropped to 6th. No. 10 Marquette beat visiting No. 20 St. Mary's 20–6 and rose to 4th place (the Warriors would give up football after 1960). The next top five was 1.Northwestern 2.Minnesota 3.Fordham 4.Marquette 5.Pitt.
November 7 No. 1 Northwestern beat Wisconsin 26–18. No. 2 Minnesota beat Iowa 52–0 No. 3 Fordham defeated visiting Purdue 15–0. No. 4 Marquette narrowly won in Omaha against Creighton, 7–6. No. 5 Pittsburgh beat Penn State 34–7.
No. 14 Alabama and No. 10 Tulane, both 5–0–1, met at Tuscaloosa. Alabama's 34–7 win was followed by its rise to 4th place in the poll.
November 14 No. 1 Northwestern won 9–0 at Michigan to clinch the Big Ten title, while No. 2 Minnesota beat Texas 47–19. No. 3 Fordham was idle. No. 4 Alabama beat Georgia Tech in Atlanta, 20–16. No. 5 Pittsburgh won at Nebraska 19–6 In Birmingham, No. 7 LSU beat Auburn 19–6 to extend its record to 7–0–1.
November 21 No. 1 Northwestern lost at No. 11 Notre Dame, 26–6, while No. 2 Minnesota won at Wisconsin 24–0 No. 3 Fordham and visiting Georgia played to a 7–7 tie. No. 4 Pittsburgh was idle. No. 5 LSU beat Lafayette College of Louisiana 93–0. No. 9 Santa Clara won in San Francisco at St. Mary's, 19–0. In the poll that followed, Northwestern—which had been one game away from a perfect season—fell to seventh place and Minnesota regained the top spot: 1.Minnesota 2.LSU 3.Alabama 4.Pitt 5.Santa Clara.
On November 26, Thanksgiving Day, No. 3 Alabama beat Vanderbilt 14–6 in Birmingham. No. 4 Pittsburgh beat its other crosstown rival, Carnegie Tech, 31–14. No. 6 Washington beat No. 20 Washington State 40–0. At Yankee Stadium Fordham, which had fallen to 8th, (5–0–2) lost to NYU, 7–6.
November 28 No. 2 LSU clinched the SEC title with a 33–0 win over No. 19 Tulane. No. 5 Santa Clara lost to No. 18 TCU, 9–0.
|Alamo Conference||Texas A&I||1–1|
|Central Intercollegiate Athletics Association||Virginia State College||6–0–2|
|Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference||Kansas State Teachers–Hays||4–0|
|Far Western Conference||Pacific||6–0|
|Indiana Intercollegiate Conference||Wabash||7–0|
|Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference||Parsons||6–0|
|Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference||Kansas Wesleyan||4–0–1|
|Lone Star Conference||North Texas State Teachers||4–0|
|Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association||Kalamazoo||7–0–1|
|Midwest Collegiate Athletic Conference|| Carleton |
|Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference|| Gustavus Adolphus |
Saint John's (MN)
|Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association||Northeast Missouri State Teachers||5–0|
|Nebraska College Athletic Conference||Hastings||4–0|
|Nebraska Intercollegiate Athletic Association||Nebraska State Teachers||3–0|
|North Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference||North Dakota||4–0|
|North Dakota College Athletic Conference||North Dakota Science||6–0–0|
|Northern Teachers Athletic Conference||St. Cloud State Teachers||4–0|
|Ohio Athletic Conference||Marietta||8–0|
|Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference||Central State Teachers (OK)||6–0|
|Pacific Northwest Conference||Willamette||6–0|
|Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference||Lock Haven State Teachers||6–0–2|
|South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference||Augustana (SD)||4–0|
|Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference||San Diego State||5–0|
|Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference||Tuskegee||—|
|Southwestern Athletic Conference|| Langston |
|Texas Collegiate Athletic Conference||Howard Payne||5–0–1|
|Tri-Normal League||State Normal–Cheney||2–0|
|Wisconsin State Teachers College Conference||North: Superior State Teachers |
South: Stevens Point State Teachers
|Bowl game||Winning team||Losing team|
|Rose Bowl||No. 3 Pittsburgh||21||No. 5 Washington||0|
|Sugar Bowl||No. 6 Santa Clara||21||No. 2 LSU||14|
|Orange Bowl||No. 14 Duquesne||13||Mississippi State||12|
|Cotton Bowl Classic||No. 16 TCU||16||No. 20 Marquette||6|
|Sun Bowl||Hardin–Simmons||34||Texas Mines||6|
"There is no longer any blot left on Pittsburgh's Rose Bowl escutcheon", wrote Grantland Rice. "Here was a Panther who belonged to the jungle and not to the zoo-- a fast, hard driving slashing Panther who put both fang and claw to work in beating Washington's Huskies 21 to 0 before 87,200 chilly witnesses.".
Pittsburgh had been ranked No. 3 by the AP, behind No. 2 LSU, which met Santa Clara in the Sugar Bowl. No. 1 ranked Minnesota, like other Big Ten Conference teams, was not allowed to play postseason. LSU had lost the previous Sugar Bowl to TCU, by a 3–2 score. A crowd of 41,000 turned out in New Orleans to see the Tigers lose again. The Santa Clara Broncos took a 14–0 lead in the first quarter and won 21–14.
A crowd of 17,000 turned out in Dallasto watch the first Cotton Bowl. Sammy Baugh of TCU completed only 5 of 13 pass attempts, but had 110 yards and a touchdown as TCU beat Marquette, 16–6.
In the first annualOrange Bowl, 12,000 filled the stands in Miami to see the Duquesne beat the Mississippi State, 13–12. Boyd Brumbaugh scored Duquesne's first touchdown and made the only extra point by either side.
Villanova tied Auburn, 7–7, in the Bacardi Bowl, played before 6,000 spectators in Havana, Cuba, Tuskegee beat Prairie View State, 6–0, in Houston before 3,000, and Hardin–Simmons beat Texas Mines, 34–6, at the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas.
1935 had been the first year that the Heisman Trophy was ever awarded, although it was named differently in the first year. It was known simply as the "DAC Trophy" for its inaugural year. In 1936, John Heisman died and the trophy that is awarded to the best college football player in the US was renamed in his honor. Larry Kelley, the second winner of the award was the first man to win it officially named as the "Heisman Trophy."
Due to the confusion and controversy associated with who should be crowned the 1936 national champion, a number of sportswriters across the country jokingly nominated several small colleges based on a sort of backtracking arithmetic, where the small college would have beaten team B, which defeated team C, which upset team D, which defeated one or several of the real national championship contenders. These were Minnesota (consensus), Pitt (BS, CFRA, HS), Duke (SR, WS), or LSU (BQPRS). The most well prominent and well known claim for the national championship via transitive property, was tiny Slippery Rock college, who made its case by beating Westminster, which defeated West Virginia Wesleyan, which beat No. 14 Duquesne, which upset No. 3 Pitt, which beat former No. 1 Notre Dame, which upset former No. 1 Northwestern, which defeated AP national champion Minnesota. The claim gave Slippery Rock College wide notoriety throughout the country, and is one of the reasons why certain football teams, most notably Michigan and Texas, broadcast the Slippery Rock score during halftime of their football games.
Other claims to the 1936 national championship via transitive property were St. Vincent college of Latrobe, PA, which followed much of Slippery Rock's line of successive wins, beating West Virginia Wesleyan 6 to 0 early in the 1936 season. A case was made for Indiana State Teachers college, which tied Lock Haven, who beat West Chester, which defeated Waynesburg, which connected to the Slippery Rock and St. Vincent's claims by defeated West Virginia Wesyleyan 14 to 7.A week before Thanksgiving, St. Thomas college of Pennsylvania was given national championship recognition after defeating St. Vincent 13 to 6.
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 1962 NCAA University Division football season was played by American football teams representing 140 colleges and universities recognized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) as major programs. The remaining 370 colleges and universities that were NCAA members and fielded football teams competed in the 1962 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.
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 extent of that recognition came in the form of acknowledgment in the annual 'NCAA Football Guide of the "unofficial" national champions. The AP poll in 1961 consisted of the votes of 45 sportswriters, each of whom would give their opinion of the ten best teams. Under a point system of 10 points for first place, 9 for second, etc., the "overall" ranking was determined. Although the rankings were based on the collective opinion of the representative sportswriters, the teams that remained "unbeaten and untied" were generally ranked higher than those that had not. A defeat, even against a strong opponent, tended to cause a team to drop in the rankings, and a team with two or more defeats was unlikely to remain in the Top 10. The top teams played on New Year's Day in the four major postseason bowl games: the Rose, Sugar, Orange (Miami) and Cotton (Dallas).
The 1960 NCAA University Division football season marked the last time that the University of Minnesota was a national champion on the gridiron. Murray Warmath's Minnesota Gophers were not in the Top 20 in preseason polling, but received the AP Trophy at the end of the regular season while Ole Miss received the FWAA trophy.
The 1959 NCAA University Division football season saw Syracuse University crowned as the national champion by both final polls, the AP writers poll and the UPI coaches polls.
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 1975 NCAA Division I football season saw University of Oklahoma repeat as national champion in the Associated Press (AP) writers' poll, and were ranked No. 1 in the United Press International (UPI) coaches' poll, just ahead of runner up Arizona State, runner-up in both final polls, despite having an undefeated 12–0 season and a win over Nebraska in the Fiesta Bowl.
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 1977 NCAA Division I football season was one in which the top five teams finished with 11–1 records. Notre Dame, which beat top-ranked and undefeated Texas in the Cotton Bowl, became the national champion.
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 1956 NCAA University Division football season saw the University of Oklahoma Sooners finish a third consecutive season unbeaten and untied to again win the national championship.
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 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 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.