1938 college football season

Last updated

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.

Contents

Conference and program changes

Conference changes

Membership changes

School1937 Conference1938 Conference
BYU Cougars Rocky Mountain Mountain States (Big Seven)
Colorado Buffaloes Rocky Mountain Mountain States (Big Seven)
Colorado A&M Rams Rocky Mountain Mountain States (Big Seven)
Denver Pioneers Rocky Mountain Mountain States (Big Seven)
Utah Utes Rocky Mountain Mountain States (Big Seven)
Utah State Aggies Rocky Mountain Mountain States (Big Seven)
Wyoming Cowboys Rocky Mountain Mountain States (Big Seven)

September

September 24 Defending champion Pittsburgh beat West Virginia, 19–0. California defeated St. Mary's 12–7. In Los Angeles, Alabama beat USC 19–7. Minnesota defeated Washington 15–0, and Dartmouth beat Bates 46–0.

October

October 1 Alabama defeated Samford 34–0, Fordham beat Upsala 47–0, Dartmouth beat St Lawrence 51–0, and Notre Dame beat Kansas 52–0. Pitt defeated Temple 28–6, California beat Washington State 27–3, and Minnesota beat Nebraska 16–7.

October 8 Minnesota defeated Purdue 7–0. Alabama beat North Carolina State 14–0. Dartmouth stayed unscored upon, winning at Princeton 22–0. Pittsburgh beat cross-town rival Duquesne 27–0. Fordham beat Waynesburg College 53–0. California played a double-header for the fans, with the reserves beating the California Agricultural school (lager UC-Davis) 48–0, and the varsity and reserves beating College of the Pacific 39–0. In Atlanta, Notre Dame beat Georgia Tech 14–6

October 15 Pittsburgh won at Wisconsin 26–6. California defeated UCLA 20–7. Dartmouth beat Brown 34–13, and Notre Dame beat Illinois 14–6. Minnesota edged Michigan, 7–6. Fordham was tied by Purdue 6–6, and in Birmingham, Alabama was shut out by Tennessee, 13–0. When the first round of balloting was finished, the defending champion Panthers were again No. 1, followed by Minnesota, California, Dartmouth and Notre Dame.

October 22 No. 1 Pittsburgh beat SMU 34–7. No. 2 Minnesota was idle. No. 3 California won at Seattle over Washington 14–7. No. 4 Dartmouth won at Harvard 13–7. No. 5 Notre Dame beat No. 13 Carnegie Tech 7–0. In San Francisco, No. 6 Santa Clara beat Arkansas 21–6 in San Francisco, while in Milwaukee, No. 7 TCU beat Marquette 21–0, and the two winners replaced Dartmouth and Notre Dame in the Top Five: 1.Pittsburgh 2.Minnesota 3.California 4.TCU 5. Santa Clara.

October 29 No. 1 Pittsburgh beat No. 9 Fordham, 24–13. No. 2 Minnesota fell to No. 12 Northwestern, 6–3. No. 3 California beat Oregon State 13–7. No. 4 TCU beat Baylor 39–7, and No. 5 Santa Clara won at Michigan State 7–6. No. 6 Dartmouth won at Yale 24–6 and No. 7 Notre Dame beat Army in Yankee Stadium, 19–7, and both returned to the Top Five: 1.Pittsburgh 2.TCU 3.California 4.Notre Dame 5.Dartmouth

November

November 5 In Pittsburgh, the No. 1 Panthers lost to No. 19 Carnegie Tech, 20–10. No. 2 TCU won at Tulsa 21–0. No. 3 California lost at No. 13, USC 13–7. In Baltimore, No. 4 Notre Dame beat Navy 15–0. No. 5 Dartmouth beat Dickinson College, 44–6. No. 6 Tennessee beat Chattanooga 45–0 to extend its record to 7–0–0. The Horned Frogs of TCU leaped into the top spot: 1.TCU 2.Notre Dame 3.Pittsburgh 4.Tennessee 5.Dartmouth

November 12 No. 1 TCU beat Texas 28–6. No. 2 Notre Dame beat No. 12 Minnesota 19–0. No. 3 Pittsburgh beat Nebraska 19–0. No. 4 Tennessee won at Vanderbilt 14–0. No. 5 Dartmouth lost at No. 20 Cornell 14–7. No. 7 Duke remained unbeaten (7–0–0), untied, and unscored upon with a 21–0 win at Syracuse. In the next poll, the Irish moved up to the top rung: 1.Notre Dame 2.TCU 3.Tennessee 4.Duke 5.Pittsburgh

November 19 No. 1 Notre Dame won at No. 16 Northwestern 9–7. No. 2 TCU won at Rice 29–7. No. 3 Tennessee was idle as it prepared for a holiday game. No. 4 Duke beat N.C. State, 7–0. No. 5 Pittsburgh beat Penn State 26–0. The rankings shuffled to 1.Notre Dame 2.TCU 3.Duke 4.Pittsburgh 5.Tennessee.

On Thanksgiving Day No. 5 Tennessee beat Kentucky 46–0, while No. 6 Oklahoma beat OK State. Two days later, November 26, No. 1 Notre Dame remained idle. No. 2 TCU beat SMU in Dallas, 20–7. No. 3 Duke and No. 4 Pittsburgh met at Durham, with the hosts winning 7–0. With a record of 9–0–0, Duke had outscored its opponents 114–0, but stayed in third in the final rankings: 1.Notre Dame 2.TCU 3.Duke 4.Pittsburgh 5.Tennessee.

On December 3, No. 1 Notre Dame lost in Los Angeles to No. 7 USC, 13–0, and fell from grace to fifth place. No. 2 TCU received 55 first place votes and, as national champion, accepted a bid to the Sugar Bowl. No. 4 Tennessee beat Ole Miss 47–0 in Memphis, and moved up to second place. Though the SEC champion would be Sugar Bowl bound in later years, a No. 1 vs. No. 2 match was not to be had, as Tennessee instead took a bid for the Orange Bowl. No. 3 Duke stayed in third place, despite having never been scored upon in 1938, and accepted an invitation to the Rose Bowl. No. 5 Oklahoma, which beat Washington State 28–0, and moved up to fourth place. Both unbeaten and untied at 10–0–0, Tennessee and Oklahoma would meet in Miami, but the title had been awarded to 10–0–0 TCU.

Conference standings

Major conference standings

1938 Big Six Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 4 Oklahoma $500  1010
Iowa State 311  711
Missouri 230  630
Nebraska 230  351
Kansas State 131  441
Kansas 140  360
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1938 Big Ten Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 10 Minnesota $410  620
No. 16 Michigan 311  611
Purdue 311  512
No. 17 Northwestern 212  422
Wisconsin 320  530
Ohio State 321  431
Illinois 230  350
Iowa 131  161
Indiana 140  161
Chicago 040  161
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1938 Border Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
New Mexico A&M +410  720
New Mexico +420  830
No. 11 Texas Tech 200  1010
Texas Mines 320  630
Arizona State–Flagstaff 120  261
Arizona 030  360
Arizona State 040  360
  • + Conference co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll
1938 Middle Three Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Rutgers $200  710
Lafayette 110  530
Lehigh 020  252
  • $ Conference champion
1938 Missouri Valley Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Washburn *200  630
Creighton *101  611
Tulsa $310  451
Washington University 211  631
Drake 211  541
Saint Louis 111  352
Grinnell 030  350
Oklahoma A&M 040  280
  • $ Conference champion
  • * ineligible for championship because of insufficient games
1938 Mountain States Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Utah $402  712
BYU 321  431
Denver 321  441
Colorado 321  341
Utah State 330  440
Wyoming 141  251
Colorado A&M 042  152
  • $ Conference champion
1938 Pacific Coast Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 7 USC +610  920
No. 14 California +610  1010
UCLA 431  741
Oregon State 431  531
Oregon 440  450
Washington 341  351
Idaho 231  631
Stanford 250  360
Washington State 170  280
Montana 010  531
  • + Conference co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll
1938 Rocky Mountain Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Montana State $101  351
Colorado Mines 210  430
Colorado State–Greeley 111  341
Colorado College 110  160
Western State (CO) 130  350
  • $ Conference champion
1938 Southeastern Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 2 Tennessee $700  1100
No. 13 Alabama 411  711
No. 19 Tulane 411  721
Ole Miss 320  920
Georgia Tech 213  343
Vanderbilt 430  630
Florida 221  461
Auburn 331  451
Georgia 121  541
LSU 240  640
Mississippi State 140  460
Kentucky 040  270
Sewanee 060  180
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1938 Southern Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 3 Duke $500  910
Clemson 301  711
VMI 403  614
North Carolina 410  621
Richmond 321  631
Washington and Lee 220  441
NC State 331  371
South Carolina 220  641
Wake Forest 341  451
VPI 232  352
The Citadel 230  650
Maryland 120  270
Davidson 260  460
Furman 041  271
William & Mary 040  370
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1938 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
West Tennessee State $700  1000
Centre 400  720
Miami (FL) 300  820
Centenary 200  740
Mississippi State Teachers 610  720
Presbyterian 610  640
Mississippi College 510  720
Western Kentucky 410  720
SW Louisiana 411  821
Murray State 410  621
Tennessee Tech 410  630
Eastern Kentucky 311  611
Morehead State 211  511
Stetson 421  621
Newberry 420  550
Rollins 321  621
Louisiana Normal 330  550
Georgetown (KY) 230  440
Union (TN) 230  460
Louisiana College 241  441
Union (KY) 120  440
Transylvania 240  350
Louisiana Tech 240  371
Delta State 250  270
Oglethorpe 250  290
Middle Tennessee 150  260
Howard (AL) 020  250
Emory and Henry 020  162
Troy State 031  441
Louisville 030  260
Jacksonville State 031  161
Erskine 031  172
Tampa 040  370
Wofford 041  081
Millsaps 070  1100
  • $ Conference champion
1938 Southwest Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 1 TCU $600  1100
SMU 420  640
Baylor 321  721
Rice 330  460
Texas A&M 231  441
Arkansas 150  271
Texas 150  180
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

Independents

1938 Eastern college football independents records
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 18 Villanova     801
No. 9 Holy Cross     810
Boston College     612
No. 15 Fordham     612
No. 12 Cornell     511
Army     820
No. 8 Pittsburgh     820
No. 6 Carnegie Tech     720
No. 20 Dartmouth     720
Vermont     421
Brown     530
Bucknell     530
Syracuse     530
Penn     323
Manhattan     540
Harvard     440
La Salle     440
NYU     440
Boston University     341
Penn State     341
Princeton     341
Hofstra     231
Duquesne     460
Temple     361
Columbia     360
Massachusetts State     360
Colgate     250
Buffalo     260
Yale     260
Tufts     161
Rankings from AP Poll
1938 Midwestern college football independents records
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 5 Notre Dame     810
Central Michigan     710
Michigan State Normal     611
Xavier     720
Akron     630
Michigan State     630
Detroit     640
Western State (MI)     430
Cincinnati     450
Wayne     260
DePaul     270
Marquette     170
Rankings from AP poll
1938 Southern college football independents records
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Georgetown     800
Hardin–Simmons     820
Western Maryland     521
Catholic University     530
George Washington     540
Navy     432
Virginia     441
West Virginia     451
Loyola (LA)     450
South Georgia Teachers     351
William & Mary Norfolk Division     351
Delaware     350
Delaware State     120
Oklahoma City     280
East Carolina     161
1938 Western college football independents records
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
San Jose State     1110
Cal Poly     720
Santa Clara     620
Saint Mary's     620
San Francisco     521
Humboldt State     420
Idaho Southern Branch     430
Portland     530
Hawaii     440
Loyola (CA)     450
San Francisco State     250
La Verne     140
Santa Barbara State     280
Gonzaga     170

Minor conferences

ConferenceChampion(s)Record
Alamo Conference Texas A&I
Central Intercollegiate Athletics Association Virginia State College 6–0–1
Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Wichita 4–0
Far Western Conference Pacific (CA) 4–0
Indiana Intercollegiate Conference Manchester College 6–1
Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Luther 4–0–1
Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Ottawa (KS) 5–0
Lone Star Conference East Texas State Teachers 4–0
Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Hillsdale 4–0
Midwest Collegiate Athletic Conference Lawrence 5–0
Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Saint John's 5–0
Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association Northwest Missouri State Teachers 5–0
Nebraska College Athletic Conference Doane
Midland Lutheran
3–1
Nebraska Intercollegiate Athletic Association Nebraska State Teachers
State Normal and Teachers (NE)
2–0–1
North Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference South Dakota 5–0
North Dakota College Athletic Conference North Dakota Science 5–0
Northern Teachers Athletic Conference Duluth State Teachers
Mankato State Teachers
3–0
Ohio Athletic Conference John Carroll 4–0–1
Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference Central State Teachers (OK) 6–0
Pacific Northwest Conference Pacific (OR)
Willamette
4–1
Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Mansfield State Teachers 5–0
South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference Yankton 5–1
Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Pomona 4–0–1
Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Florida A&M College 6–0
Southwestern Athletic Conference Langston
Southern
2–0–3
4–1–1
Texas Collegiate Athletic Conference Howard Payne 6–0–1
Washington Intercollegiate Conference Western Washington College 2–0
Wisconsin State Teachers College Conference North: River Falls State Teachers
Co-South: Milwaukee State Teachers
Co-South: Platteville State Teachers
4–0
3–1
3–1

Minor conference standings

1938 Alamo Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Texas A&I $200  630
Sul Ross 110  431
St. Mary's (TX) 020  690
  • $ Conference champion
1938 Buckeye Athletic Association football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Dayton +310  720
Ohio +310  720
Marshall 220  540
Miami (OH) 130  630
Ohio Wesleyan 130  190
  • + Conference co-champions
1938 Central Intercollegiate Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Wichita $400  721
Fort Hays State 310  720
Pittsburg State 220  442
Emporia State 130  360
Southwestern (KS) 040  180
  • $ Conference champion
1938 Colored Intercollegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Virginia State $601  701
Morgan 511  511
Shaw 412  412
Virginia Union 422  522
Bluefield State 332  432
Hampton 331  431
Johnson C. Smith 221  521
North Carolina A&T 331  351
North Carolina College 241  251
Howard 240  450
Lincoln (PA) 240  450
Saint Paul's (VA) 250  250
St. Augustine's 040  040
  • $ Conference champion
1938 Dixie Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Southwestern (TN) $400  711
Mississippi College 410  720
Loyola (LA) 210  450
Howard (AL) 210  250
Chattanooga 320  450
Birmingham–Southern 430  450
Spring Hill 140  360
Mercer 030  360
Millsaps 050  1100
  • $ Conference champion
1938 Eastern Pennsylvania Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Franklin & Marshall +310  620
Gettysburg +310  620
Muhlenberg +310  730
Drexel 130  431
Ursinus 040  0 ?1
  • + Conference co-champions
1938 Far Western Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Pacific (CA) $400  730
Fresno State 210  730
Nevada 120  231
Chico State 021  251
Cal Aggies 021  261
  • $ Conference champion
1938 Illinois College Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Bradley +400  701
Lake Forest +400  520
Illinois College 210  440
Wheaton (IL) 210  330
Illinois Wesleyan 210  341
Knox (IL) 121  341
Monmouth (IL) 120  550
North Central 130  340
Augustana (IL) 130  341
Millikin 051  251
  • + Conference co-champions
1938 Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Northern Illinois State $400  611
Carthage 300  611
Illinois State 410  541
Western Illinois 220  431
Eastern Illinois 130  530
Elmhurst 130  250
Eureka 020  160
Southern Illinois 040  270
1938 Indiana Intercollegiate Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Butler $300  440
Manchester 610  710
Ball State 611  611
Hanover 420  520
DePauw 420  530
Rose Poly 210  530
Evansville 431  441
Valparaiso 221  241
Saint Joseph's (IN) 121  241
Franklin (IN) 250  260
Indiana State 140  170
Earlham 151  161
Wabash 151  161
Central Normal 040  070
  • $ Conference champion
1938 Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Luther $401  521
St. Ambrose 300  701
Upper Iowa 511  511
Dubuque 410  512
Penn (IA) 221  331
Buena Vista 220  340
Iowa Wesleyan 222  242
Parsons 231  242
Western Union 120  530
Central (IA) 240  260
Columbia (IA) 240  260
Simpson 140  180
Wartburg 050  060
  • $ Conference champion
1938 Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Ottawa $500  800
Bethany (KS) 320  440
College of Emporia 320  441
McPherson 230  351
Kansas Wesleyan 140  261
Baker 140  270
  • $ Conference champion
1938 Lone Star Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
East Texas State $400  810
Sam Houston State 310  820
North Texas State 220  740
Stephen F. Austin 130  351
Southwest Texas State 040  080
  • $ Conference champion
1938 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Hillsdale $400  800
Albion 211  521
Kalamazoo 121  341
Alma 121  351
Hope 031  431
  • $ Conference champion
1938 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Saint John's (MN) $500  620
Gustavus Adolphus 410  510
St. Thomas (MN) 410  620
St. Olaf 320  520
Hamline 230  240
Macalester 230  430
Concordia (MN) 050  261
Saint Mary's (MN) 050  070
  • $ Conference champion
1938 Missouri College Athletic Union football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
William Jewell $400  520
Central Methodist 112  242
Missouri Valley 121  531
Culver–Stockton 120  260
Tarkio 021  431
  • $ Conference champion
1938 Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
NW Missouri State $500  900
Missouri–Rolla 320  440
SW Missouri State 221  522
Kirksville State 230  350
Central Missouri State 131  251
SE Missouri State 140  350
  • $ Conference champion
1938 Nebraska College Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Midland +310  630
Doane +310  530
Hastings 211  532
Nebraska Wesleyan 121  441
York (NE) 040  260
  • + Conference co-champions
1938 Nebraska Intercollegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Kearney State +201  441
Wayne State (NE) +201  351
Chadron State 020  260
Peru State 020  170
  • + Conference co-champions
1938 New England Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Rhode Island State $200  440
Maine 210  340
New Hampshire 110  360
Northeastern 000  331
Connecticut State 030  430
  • $ Conference champion
1938 North State Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Catawba +410  721
Elon +410  630
Appalachian State 310  910
Lenoir–Rhyne 420  432
Guilford 031  152
High Point 041  241
Western Carolina 030  071
  • + Conference co-champions
1938 Ohio Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
John Carroll $401  621
Wooster 402  503
Ohio Northern 611  611
Capital 511  611
Muskingum 411  531
Mount Union 420  530
Baldwin–Wallace 210  350
Kent State 320  620
Wittenberg 320  440
Toledo 001  631
Bowling Green 222  323
Case 221  242
Oberlin 130  341
Kenyon 130  150
Marietta 130  160
Findlay 140  350
Otterbein 160  260
Heidelberg 160  180
Ashland 070  070
  • $ Conference champion
1938 Oklahoma Collegiate Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Central State (OK) $600  630
Oklahoma Baptist 510  730
SE Oklahoma State 420  730
NW Oklahoma State 330  351
SW Oklahoma State 240  351
East Central 150  261
Northeastern State 060  063
  • $ Conference champion
1938 Smoky Mountain Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
East Tennessee State $510  620
Appalachian State 300  910
King 311  513
Carson–Newman 331  541
Maryville 330  451
Milligan 122  532
Cumberland (TN) 140  280
Tusculum 050  081
  • $ Conference champion
1938 South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
South Dakota Mines $500  800
Dakota Wesleyan 410  530
Yankton 420  530
Southern Normal 320  420
Augustana (SD) 221  521
Huron 330  530
Northern State 231  242
Sioux Falls 140  170
Eastern Normal 030  160
Spearfish 040  340
  • $ Conference champion
  • Yankton initially won the conference title with a 5–1 mark, but later forfeited and their win over South Dakota Mines and the title because of an ineligible player.
1938 Southern California Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Pomona $401  601
Whittier 202  712
San Diego State 211  521
Redlands 230  350
Occidental 140  350
Caltech 030  170
  • $ Conference champion
1938 Southwestern Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Southern +      
Langston +      
  • + Conference co-champions
1938 Texas Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Howard Payne $601  731
St. Edward's 420  730
Southwestern (TX) 420  640
Trinity (TX) 420  460
Abilene Christian 321  621
Texas Wesleyan 230  341
Austin 250  280
Daniel Baker 150  190
McMurry 160  180
  • $ Conference champion

Rankings

Bowl games

Bowl gameWinning teamLosing team
Cotton Bowl Classic Saint Mary's 20No. 11 Texas Tech 13
Orange Bowl No. 2 Tennessee 17No. 4 Oklahoma 0
Rose Bowl No. 7 USC 7No. 3 Duke 3
Sugar Bowl No. 1 TCU 15No. 6 Carnegie Tech 7
Sun Bowl Utah 26 New Mexico 0

See also

Related Research Articles

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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.

1932 college football season

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 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.

1925 college football season

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.

1924 college football season

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.

1923 college football season

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 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 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 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.

In 1942, Ohio State and Georgia were crowned national champions. Georgia defeated UCLA in the Rose Bowl on January 1, 1943. Nine ranking authorities listed in the NCAA record books listed the Bulldogs as No. 1. Ohio State was crowned No. 1 in the final AP Poll at the end of November and did not make a bowl appearance. At the time, the AP poll did not put out a post-bowl poll.

The 1943 college football season concluded with the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame crowned as the nation's No. 1 team by a majority of the voters in the AP Poll, followed by the Iowa Pre-Flight Seahawks as the runner-up. For the third time in the history of the AP Poll, a team that had lost a game was named mythical national champion;. Notre Dame lost its final game of the season, a Chicago contest against the Great Lakes Naval Training Center. Along the way, however, the Fighting Irish had played one of the toughest college schedules ever, beating two No. 2 ranked teams and two No. 3 ranked teams. Purdue University would seemingly have a claim on the 1943 Championship as well as the only undefeated team playing a full schedule, but the Purdue athletic department has never pursued the claim.

The 1945 college football season finished with the undefeated United States Military Academy, more popularly known as "Army", being the unanimous choice for the nation's number one team by the 116 voters in the Associated Press writers' poll. The runner up was the undefeated Alabama Crimson Tide, followed by the United States Naval Academy, more popularly known as "Navy". In 2016, the American Football Coaches Association retroactively named the Oklahoma A&M Cowboys national champion for 1945.

References

  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-02-29. Retrieved 2009-01-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)