1939 college football season

Last updated

The 1939 college football season concluded with the Aggies of The Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (Texas A&M) being named as the national champions by the voters in the Associated Press writers' poll.

Contents

The Volunteers of the University of Tennessee were unbeaten and untied, and unscored upon, shutting out all of their opponents in ten games; but for the second straight year, they finished second in the poll. The final AP Poll in this era came out before postseason bowl games and, in the 1940 Rose Bowl, the Volunteers were unable to hold everyone scoreless, with the University of Southern California registering two touchdowns and beating them 14–0. As a consequence, the Dickinson System named USC, which had been ranked No. 3 in the final AP Poll before the bowl games, the national champion. As a result, the USC Trojans now claim a share of the 1939 title. [2] However, USC did not begin recognizing 1939 as a national championship until 2004. [3]

The first AP Poll of the season was taken after four weeks of play, starting with October 16. 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.

Conference and program changes

Conferences

Programs

School1938 Conference1939 Conference
DePaul Blue Demons IndependentDropped Program
Grinnell Pioneers Independent Missouri Valley

September

September 30 Defending champion TCU lost at UCLA, 62, on 9/29, and finished 370. Tennessee won at N.C. State, 130. Duke beat Davidson 266. Oklahoma and SMU played to a 77 tie. Notre Dame beat Purdue 30. Tulane edged Clemson 76. Fordham defeated Waynesburg 347 in the first-ever televised football game.

October

October 7 Tennessee beat Sewanee 40–0. Duke defeated Colgate 37–0. Notre Dame beat Georgia Tech 17–14. Tulane beat Auburn 12–0. Oklahoma won at Northwestern, 23–0.

October 14 Pittsburgh beat Duke 14–13. Tennessee won at Chattanooga, 28–0. Notre Dame edged SMU, 20–19. Tulane beat Fordham 7–0. Oklahoma beat Texas 24–12.

October 21 No. 1 Pittsburgh lost to cross-town rival Duquesne, 21–13. In Cleveland, No. 2 Notre Dame defeated Navy, 14–7. No. 3 Oklahoma beat Kansas 27–7. No. 4 Tulane and visiting No. 14 North Carolina played to a 14–14 tie. No. 5 Tennessee continued shutting out its opponents, beating No. 8 Alabama 21–0, and was voted No. 1 in the next poll. No. 6 Michigan visited the Windy City and handed the University of Chicago an 85–0 defeat. No. 9 Texas A&M reached 5–0–0 with a 20–6 win over TCU, and rose to fifth in the next poll. No. 10 Ohio State won at Minnesota, 23–20.

October 28 No. 1 Tennessee defeated Mercer, 17–0. In Pittsburgh, No. 2 Notre Dame edged Carnegie Tech, 7–6. No. 3 Michigan beat Yale 27–7. No. 4 Ohio State lost to No. 7 Cornell, 23–14. No. 5 Texas A&M beat Baylor 20–0. Nebraska defeated Kansas State in the second televised football game 259.

November

November 4 No. 1 Tennessee won at No. 18 LSU, 20–0. No. 2 Michigan lost at unranked Illinois, 16–7. No. 3 Cornell beat Columbia 13–7. At Yankee Stadium, No. 4 Notre Dame beat Army 14–0. No. 5 Texas A&M won at Arkansas 27–0. No. 7 USC beat No. 11 Oregon State 19–7 in Portland.

November 11 No. 1 Tennessee shut out the Citadel, 34–0 No. 2 Texas A&M defeated No. 13 SMU 6–2. No. 3 Notre Dame, victor by one point in previous games, lost at unranked Iowa, 7–6. No. 4 USC beat Stanford 20–12. No. 5 Cornell narrowly beat Colgate 14–12. No. 6 Oklahoma won at Kansas State 13–10.

November 18 No. 1 Tennessee extended its shutout streak, beating Vanderbilt 13–0. Having outscored its opposition, 186–0, Tennessee had a record of 8–0–0, but fell to second in the poll that followed. No. 2 Texas A&M won at Rice 19–0, and was No. 1 in the next poll. No. 3 USC was idle. No. 4 Cornell won at No. 20 Dartmouth, 35–6, to stay unbeaten. No. 5 Oklahoma lost at No. 12 Missouri, 7–6. No. 6 Tulane beat Columbia 25–0.

In the next poll, Texas A&M-- which had gotten none of the first place votes the week before—was first, with 38 votes. Tennessee, which had had 66 of the 85 No. 1 votes the week before, had 33 on the new round of ballots, and finished second. There were 20 for Cornell, and 11 for USC.

November 25 No. 1 Texas A&M and No. 2 Tennessee were idle. In Philadelphia, No. 3 Cornell closed its season with a 26–0 over Penn, to finish unbeaten and untied at 8–0–0. No. 4 USC won at No. 7 Notre Dame, 20–12. No. 5 Tulane beat Sewanee 52–0. In the next round of voting, Texas A&M tied for first place, with 939 points apiece. A&M had more first place votes (27 to 25), but Cornell, with 34 votes, had more. Cornell had 909 points overall.

On Thanksgiving Day , which fell on November 30 in 1939, No. 1 Texas A&M beat Texas 20–0, to complete a 10–0–0 season, and No. 4 Tennessee won at Kentucky, 19–0. Two days later, December 2, No. 1 USC beat Washington 9–7. No. 5 Tulane beat LSU 33–20.

December 9 No. 1 Texas A&M had finished its season and accepted a bid to the Sugar Bowl. No. 2 Tennessee beat Auburn 7–0. No. 3 USC and No. 9 UCLA played to a 0–0 tie. No. 4 Cornell and No. 5 Tulane had both completed their seasons.

Conference standings

Major conference standings

1939 Big Six Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 6 Missouri $500  820
No. 18 Nebraska 410  711
No. 19 Oklahoma 320  621
Kansas 140  260
Iowa State 140  270
Kansas State 140  450
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1939 Big Ten Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 15 Ohio State $510  620
No. 9 Iowa 411  611
No. 20 Michigan 320  620
Purdue 212  332
Northwestern 321  341
Illinois 330  341
Minnesota 231  341
Indiana 230  242
Wisconsin 051  161
Chicago 030  260
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1939 Border Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Arizona State $400  821
New Mexico 420  820
Texas Tech 210  551
Texas Mines 320  540
Arizona 120  640
New Mexico A&M 140  360
Arizona State–Flagstaff 040  161
  • $ Conference champion
1939 Middle Three Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Rutgers $200  711
Lafayette 110  450
Lehigh 020  360
  • $ Conference champion
1939 Missouri Valley Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Washington University $410  631
Oklahoma A&M 310  541
Tulsa 211  451
Drake 230  550
Saint Louis 121  532
Creighton 240  450
Washburn 130  640
  • $ Conference champion
1939 Mountain States Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Colorado $510  530
Utah 411  612
Denver 321  531
BYU 222  522
Utah State 231  341
Colorado A&M 240  270
Wyoming 051  071
  • $ Conference champion
1939 Pacific Coast Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 3 USC $502  802
No. 7 UCLA 503  604
Oregon State 611  911
Washington 440  451
Oregon 331  341
Washington State 350  450
Montana 120  360
California 250  370
Stanford 061  171
Idaho 030  260
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1939 Rocky Mountain Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Colorado Mines $400  800
Colorado State–Greeley 310  440
Western State (CO) 120  251
Montana State 020  270
Colorado College 030  251
  • $ Conference champion
1939 Southeastern Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 2 Tennessee +600  1010
No. 16 Georgia Tech +600  820
No. 5 Tulane +500  811
Mississippi State 320  820
Ole Miss 220  720
Kentucky 221  621
Auburn 331  551
Alabama 231  531
Georgia 130  560
LSU 150  450
Vanderbilt 160  271
Florida 031  551
Sewanee 030  350
  • + Conference co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll
1939 Southern Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 8 Duke $500  810
No. 12 Clemson 400  910
William & Mary 201  621
North Carolina 510  811
VMI 311  631
Richmond 311  712
Furman 330  540
Wake Forest 330  730
NC State 240  280
Washington and Lee 120  341
South Carolina 130  361
VPI 141  451
Davidson 170  270
Maryland 010  270
The Citadel 040  380
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1939 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Louisiana Normal $700  1100
Tennessee Tech 400  631
Mississippi College 300  611
Miami (FL) 200  550
Rollins 510  1010
Western Kentucky 511  711
Mississippi State Teachers 410  423
Murray State 411  441
Newberry 311  414
Presbyterian 312  432
Georgetown (KY) 211  441
Eastern Kentucky 320  630
Union (TN) 320  720
Morehead State 220  620
Louisville 111  521
Union (KY) 111  331
Oglethorpe 331  341
Centre 111  152
Centenary 110  291
Louisiana Tech 340  560
West Tennessee State 340  380
Troy State 230  740
SW Louisiana 230  351
Stetson 242  352
Louisiana College 250  461
Middle Tennessee 151  161
Erskine 150  190
Delta State 160  190
Wofford 023  153
Tampa 031  271
Jacksonville State 031  082
Transylvania 070  180
Emory and Henry 000  720
  • $ Conference champion
1939 Southwest Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 1 Texas A&M $600  1100
Baylor 420  730
SMU 420  631
Texas 330  540
Arkansas 231  451
TCU 150  370
Rice 051  191
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

Independents

1939 Eastern college football independents records
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 4 Cornell     800
No. 10 Duquesne     801
Scranton     702
Princeton     710
La Salle     611
Penn State     512
No. 11 Boston College     920
No. 17 Fordham     620
Villanova     620
Boston University     530
Brown     531
Dartmouth     531
Hofstra     430
NYU     540
Pittsburgh     540
Harvard     440
Manhattan     440
Penn     440
Syracuse     332
Vermont     332
Tufts     341
Yale     341
Army     342
Bucknell     350
Carnegie Tech     350
Columbia     242
Massachusetts State     252
Colgate     251
Temple     270
Buffalo     070
Rankings from AP Poll
1939 Midwestern college football independents records
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Central Michigan     810
No. 13 Notre Dame     720
Ohio     630
Detroit     531
Akron     540
Cincinnati     432
Ohio Wesleyan     541
Marquette     440
Michigan State     441
Dayton     441
Michigan State Normal     331
Wayne     450
Xavier     351
Western State (MI)     261
Miami (OH)     171
Rankings from AP Poll
1939 Southern college football independents records
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Georgetown     701
Catholic University     811
Hardin–Simmons     711
Marshall     920
George Washington     530
Virginia     540
Georgia Teachers     550
Oklahoma City     442
Delaware State     220
Navy     351
West Virginia     261
Western Maryland     160
Delaware     170
East Carolina     080
William & Mary Norfolk Division       
1939 Western college football independents records
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Gonzaga     620
Humboldt State     520
Idaho Southern Branch     520
No. T–14 Santa Clara     513
Cal Poly     441
San Francisco     433
La Verne     330
Saint Mary's     341
Hawaii     360
Loyola (CA)     261
San Francisco State     242
Portland     151
Rankings from AP Poll

Minor conferences

ConferenceChampion(s)Record
Alamo Conference Texas A&I
West Texas State Teachers
1–0–1
California Collegiate Athletic Association San Jose State 3–0
Central Intercollegiate Athletics Association Virginia State College 7–0–1
Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Wichita 4–0–1
Far Western Conference Nevada 3–0
Indiana Intercollegiate Conference Butler 4–0
Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Central (IA)
Upper Iowa
5–2
Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Ottawa (KS) 5–0–1
Lone Star Conference North Texas State Teachers 4–0
Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Albion 6–0
Midwest Collegiate Athletic Conference Knox
Ripon
3–1–1
Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Saint Thomas (MN) 4–0–1
Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association Northwest Missouri State Teachers 5–0
Nebraska College Athletic Conference Hastings 3–0–1
Nebraska Intercollegiate Athletic Association Nebraska State Normal 3–0
North Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference North Dakota
South Dakota
South Dakota State College
4–1
North Dakota College Athletic Conference North Dakota Science 6–0
Northern Teachers Athletic Conference Winona State Teachers 4–0
Ohio Athletic Conference Muskingum 6–0
Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference Central State Teachers (OK) 5–1
Pacific Northwest Conference Pacific (OR) 3–0–2
Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Slippery Rock State Teachers 5–0
South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference Northern State Teachers 3–1–1
Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Whittier 3–0–1
Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Alabama State College 5–1–2
Southwestern Athletic Conference Langston 5–0–1
Texas Conference Abilene Christian
St. Edward's (TX)
5–1
Washington Intercollegiate Conference Eastern Washington College
Pacific Lutheran
2–0–1
Wisconsin State Teachers College Conference North: La Crosse Teachers
South: Milwaukee State Teachers
3–1
4–0

Minor conference standings

1939 Alamo Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Texas A&I +201  613
West Texas State +201  531
St. Mary's (TX) 120  542
Sul Ross 030  071
  • + Conference co-champions
1939 California Collegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
San Jose State $300  1300
Fresno State 110  1010
Santa Barbara State 120  541
San Diego State 020  270
  • $ Conference champion
1939 Central Intercollegiate Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Wichita $401  532
Emporia State 320  630
St. Benedict's 320  530
Pittsburg State 212  342
Fort Hays State 131  252
Southwestern (KS) 050  180
  • $ Conference champion
1939 Colored Intercollegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Virginia State $701  711
Bluefield State 413  414
Johnson C. Smith 420  720
Lincoln (PA) 411  611
North Carolina A&T 322  423
North Carolina College 430  540
Hampton 331  331
Morgan State 232  332
Virginia Union 340  540
Shaw 350  350
Saint Paul's (VA) 260  260
Howard 060  160
St. Augustine's 030  131
  • $ Conference champion
1939 Dixie Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Southwestern (TN) $200  351
Loyola (LA) 310  550
Mississippi College 311  611
Chattanooga 211  521
Millsaps 211  432
Birmingham–Southern 231  351
Howard (AL) 231  361
Mercer 130  370
Spring Hill 041  171
  • $ Conference champion
1939 Eastern Pennsylvania Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Gettysburg $301  621
Muhlenberg 210  640
Franklin & Marshall 111  531
Drexel 011  351
Ursinus 031  251
  • $ Conference champion
1939 Far Western Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Nevada $300  540
Pacific (CA) 210  661
Chico State 120  242
Cal Aggies 030  440
  • $ Conference champion
1939 Illinois College Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Illinois Wesleyan $200  440
Knox (IL) 201  611
Monmouth (IL) 101  622
Illinois College 101  611
Wheaton (IL) 101  242
Bradley 210  612
Lake Forest 220  520
Augustana (IL) 220  440
North Central 030  241
Millikin 050  260
  • $ Conference champion
1939 Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Western Illinois $301  511
Illinois State 302  423
Northern Illinois State 310  521
Carthage 210  261
Eastern Illinois 221  431
Elmhurst 140  161
Eureka 020  070
Southern Illinois 040  080
  • $ Conference champion
1939 Indiana Intercollegiate Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Butler $400  701
Ball State 510  620
Manchester 410  710
Rose Poly 311  531
Earlham 520  520
Saint Joseph's (IN) 210  430
DePauw 321  431
Hanover 330  440
Wabash 231  351
Central Normal 130  240
Valparaiso 130  260
Franklin (IN) 170  170
Evansville 041  161
Indiana State 030  260
  • $ Conference champion
1939 Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Central (IA) +520  720
Upper Iowa +520  520
St. Ambrose 200  611
Dubuque 420  440
Iowa Wesleyan 321  531
Parsons 321  531
Loras 430  450
Western Union 220  621
Penn (IA) 222  332
Luther 230  350
Simpson 150  180
Buena Vista 041  151
Wartburg 041  051
  • + Conference co-champions
1939 Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Ottawa $501  611
Bethany (KS) 321  351
Baker 222  342
Kansas Wesleyan 222  234
College of Emporia 231  252
McPherson 132  432
Bethel (KS) 141  351
  • $ Conference champion
1939 Lone Star Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
North Texas State $400  610
Sam Houston State 211  622
East Texas State 220  730
Stephen F. Austin 130  342
Southwest Texas State 031  352
  • $ Conference champion
1939 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Albion $600  710
Hillsdale 510  610
Hope 321  422
Kalamazoo 330  350
Alma 231  251
Adrian 150  260
Olivet 060  170
  • $ Conference champion
1939 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
St. Thomas (MN) $401  611
Saint Mary's (MN) 410  520
Macalester 213  413
Gustavus Adolphus 320  620
Saint John's (MN) 320  520
St. Olaf 131  241
Concordia (MN) 032  242
Hamline 051  151
  • $ Conference champion
1939 Missouri College Athletic Union football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Missouri Valley +310  710
Culver–Stockton +310  440
William Jewell 220  350
Central Methodist 130  251
Tarkio 130  170
  • + Conference co-champions
1939 Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
NW Missouri State $500  900
SW Missouri State 311  711
Missouri Mines 320  540
Central Missouri State 122  333
SE Missouri State 131  531
Kirksville State 050  260
  • $ Conference champion
1939 Nebraska College Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Hastings *301  631
Midland 202  414
Doane 220  440
Nebraska Wesleyan 130  270
York (NE) 031  243
  • * The conference title was declared vacant after the season because Hastings used an ineligible player.
1939 Nebraska Intercollegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Peru State $300  711
Chadron State 210  431
Wayne State (NE) 120  351
Kearney State 030  360
  • $ Conference champion
1939 New England Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Maine $300  520
Connecticut 110  530
New Hampshire 110  350
Rhode Island State 120  341
Northeastern 020  061
  • $ Conference champion
1939 North Central Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
South Dakota State +410  720
North Dakota +410  530
South Dakota +410  450
Iowa State Teachers 310  531
Omaha 130  350
Morningside 150  260
North Dakota Agricultural 050  161
  • + Conference co-champions
1939 North State Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Appalachian State +301  712
Lenoir–Rhyne +402  613
Elon 420  550
Catawba 211  622
High Point 240  460
Western Carolina 041  161
Guilford 041  171
  • + Conference co-champions
1939 Smoky Mountain Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Carson–Newman $412  432
Milligan 420  630
East Tennessee State 420  530
Maryville 231  451
Cumberland (TN) 150  270
Tusculum 050  071
Appalachian State *200  712
King *321  731
  • $ Conference champion
  • * Appalachian State and King were ruled ineligible for conference competition.
1939 South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Augustana (SD) $500  620
Northern State 311  511
Yankton 311  431
Huron 330  440
South Dakota Mines 220  340
Dakota Wesleyan 230  250
Sioux Falls 230  260
Spearfish 130  340
Southern Normal 140  250
Eastern Normal 020  041
  • $ Conference champion
1939 Southern California Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Whittier $301  821
Pomona 211  431
Occidental 220  350
Redlands 220  370
Caltech 040  260
  • $ Conference champion
1939 Southwestern Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Langston $      
  • $ Conference champion
1939 Texas Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Abilene Christian +510  621
St. Edward's +510  630
Trinity (TX) 412  632
Howard Payne 421  541
Texas Wesleyan 221  452
Southwestern (TX) 330  350
Daniel Baker 340  460
McMurry 160  160
Austin 070  0100
  • + Conference co-champions

Rankings

Bowl games

Bowl gameWinning teamLosing team
Rose Bowl No. 3 USC 14No. 2 Tennessee 0
Sugar Bowl No. 1 Texas A&M 14No. 5 Tulane 13
Orange Bowl No. 16 Georgia Tech 21No. 6 Missouri 7
Cotton Bowl Classic No. 12 Clemson 6No. 11 Boston College 3
Sun Bowl Arizona State 0 Catholic University 0

See also

Related Research Articles

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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 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 1974 NCAA Division I football season finished with two national champions. The Associated Press (AP) writers' poll ranked the University of Oklahoma, which was on probation and barred by the NCAA from postseason play, No. 1 at season's end. The United Press International (UPI) coaches' poll did not rank teams on probation, by unanimous agreement of the 25 member coaches' board. The UPI trophy went to the University of Southern California (USC).

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 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 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 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 1951 college football season finished with seven unbeaten major college teams, of which five were unbeaten and untied. Ultimately, the Tennessee Volunteers were voted the best team by the Associated Press, followed by the Michigan State Spartans, with the Vols having a plurality of first place votes. Tennessee lost in the Sugar Bowl to the equally undefeated and untied No. 3 Maryland Terrapins, but the postseason games were not taken into account by the major polls. Tennessee, Michigan State, and Illinois all claim national championships for 1951.

The 1950 college football season finished with the unbeaten and untied Oklahoma Sooners (9–0) being the consensus choice for national champion. On New Year's Day, however, the Sooners were upset by the Kentucky Wildcats in the Sugar Bowl. The Army Cadets, ranked No. 2 in the AP Poll, had been defeated in their final regular season game by 2–6 Navy, 14–2. However, the final poll had been issued on November 27, and the bowl games had no effect on Oklahoma's status as the No. 1 team.

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 1946 college football season finished with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish crowned as the national champion in the AP Poll, the Georgia Bulldogs recognized as national champion by the Williamson poll and United States Military Academy named as national champion in various other polls and rankings. The Delaware Fightin' Blue Hens were recognized by the AP as the small college national champion. Notre Dame and Army both won all of their games, with the exception of their November 9 meeting at New York's Yankee Stadium, where they had played to a 0–0 tie in a No. 1 vs No. 2 matchup regarded as a "Game of the Century". Neither team played in bowl game that season.

The 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.

References

  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-02-29. Retrieved 2009-01-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. This Just In: USC Also Is a 1939 Champion, Washington Post, July 28, 2004, Accessed October 16, 2008.
  3. USC Now Will Recognize Its 1939 Football Team As A National Champion. Trojan have 10 national champs in the sport [ permanent dead link ], USC Trojans Athletic Department, July 24, 2004, Accessed October 16, 2008.