1941 college football season

Last updated

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.

Contents

The top five teams in the final AP Poll were as follows:

  1. Minnesota, under head coach Bernie Bierman, compiled a perfect 8–0 record, won the Big Ten championship, and was ranked No. 1. It was Minnesota's fifth national championship in eight years.
  2. Duke compiled a 9–0 record in the regular season, won the Southern Conference championship, and was ranked No. 2.
  3. Notre Dame, led by head coach Frank Leahy, compiled an 8–0–1 record and was ranked No. 3.
  4. Texas, led by head coach Dana X. Bible, compiled an 8–1–1 record and was ranked No. 4. Texas was recognized as national champion by Berryman QPRS, James Howell, and the Williamson System. [2]
  5. Michigan, led by head coach Fritz Crisler, compiled a 6–1–1 record and was ranked No. 5.

In the four major bowl games, No. 2 Duke lost to PCC champion Oregon State in the Rose Bowl, No. 6 Fordham defeated No. 7 Missouri in the Sugar Bowl, No. 14 Georgia defeated unranked TCU in the Orange Bowl, and No. 20 Alabama defeated No. 9 Texas A&M Aggies in the Cotton Bowl. The Rose Bowl was moved from Pasadena, California, to Durham, North Carolina, due to security concerns on the West Coast following the December 7 attack on Pearl Harbor.

Minnesota halfback Bruce Smith won the 1941 Heisman Trophy. Players recognized as consensus picks on the 1941 All-America team included Harvard guard Endicott Peabody (selected unanimously by all nine official selectors), Michigan fullback Bob Westfall (8/9), Minnesota tackle Dick Wildung (8/9), Stanford quarterback Frankie Albert (7/9), Bruce Smith (7/9), Alabama end Holt Rast (6/9), Missouri center Darold Jenkins (6/9), Virginia halfback Bill Dudley (5/9), Georgia halfback Frank Sinkwich (5/9), and Notre Dame end Bob Dove (5/9).

Conference and program changes

School1940 Conference1941 Conference
Hardin–Simmons Cowboys Independent Border
Long Island Blackbirds IndependentDropped Program
Sewanee Tigers SEC Independent
Washburn Ichabods Missouri Valley Independent
West Texas State Buffaloes Alamo Border

September

September 20 Tennessee beat Furman 32–6 and Boston College beat St. Anselm, 78–0.

September 27 In Seattle, defending champion Minnesota beat Washington 14–6, while in New Orleans, Boston College fell to Tulane, 21–7. Stanford beat Oregon 19–15, Michigan beat Michigan State 19–7, Texas won at Colorado, 34–6 and Duke beat Wake Forest 43–14. Tennessee was idle

October

October 4 Minnesota was idle. Tennessee lost at Duke, 19–0. In New York, Fordham beat SMU 16–10. Elsewhere, it was Stanford over UCLA 33–0, Michigan over Iowa 6–0, Northwestern beating Kansas State 51–3 and Texas defeating LSU 34–0.

October 11 Minnesota beat Illinois 34–6, Northwestern beat Wisconsin 41–14, and Michigan beat Pittsburgh 40–0. In Baltimore, Duke beat Maryland 50–0, while in Dallas, Texas beat Oklahoma 40–7. Fordham won at North Carolina 27–14. Stanford lost at Oregon State 10–0. In the poll that followed, Minnesota was ranked No. 1, followed by Texas, Duke, Fordham, Northwestern and Michigan.

October 16 the penalty flag is used for the first time in the 1941 Oklahoma City vs. Youngstown football game in Youngstown, Ohio.

October 18 No. 1 Minnesota beat Pittsburgh 39–0. No. 2 Texas defeated Arkansas 48–14. No. 3 Duke beat visiting Colgate 27–14, and No. 4 Fordham beat West Virginia 27–0. In Ann Arbor, No. 6 Michigan beat visiting No. 5 Northwestern 14–7. No. 7 Navy beat Cornell 14–0 in Baltimore. In the next poll, Michigan and Navy moved up while Fordham and Northwestern dropped out of the top five.

October 25 The biggest game of the year[ according to whom? ] took place in Ann Arbor, Michigan, as No. 1 Minnesota defeated No. 3 Michigan, 7–0. No. 2 Texas beat Rice 40–0. No. 4 Duke won at Pittsburgh 27–7. No. 5 Navy and Harvard played to a 0–0 tie. No. 6 Fordham beat TCU 28–14, while No. 9 Texas A&M won at Baylor 48–0, to reach 5–0–0. In the vote that followed, Minnesota received 60 first place votes, and Texas received 53. When the points were tallied, they both had 1,161 points and were tied for No. 1.

November

November 1 In Dallas, No. 1 Texas beat SMU 34–0, while in Minneapolis, the other No. 1, Minnesota, edged No. 9 Northwestern 8–7. In New York, No. 3 Fordham defeated Purdue 17–0, and in Atlanta, No. 4 Duke won at Georgia Tech 14–0. In Little Rock, No. 5 Texas A&M beat Arkansas 7–0. Texas was the new No. 1 the following week, followed by Minnesota, Fordham, Duke and Texas A&M, all unbeaten and untied.

November 8 No. 1 Texas and Baylor played to a 7–7 tie. No. 2 Minnesota beat Nebraska 9–0. No. 3 Fordham lost at Pittsburgh 13–0. No. 4 Duke won at Davidson 56–0. No. 5 Texas A&M beat SMU 21–10. No. 7 Notre Dame beat Navy 20–13 in Baltimore and moved into the Top Five as Fordham dropped out.

November 15 No. 1 Minnesota won at Iowa 34–13. No. 2 Texas lost to Texas Christian (TCU) 14–7. No. 3 Duke beat North Carolina 20–0. In Houston, No. 4 Texas A&M beat Rice 19–6. No. 5 Notre Dame won at No. 8 Northwestern 7–6. No. 7 Michigan, which beat Columbia, 28–0, moved up as Texas dropped out.

November 22 No. 1 Minnesota closed its season with a 41–6 win over Wisconsin in Minneapolis. No. 2 Texas A&M was idle as it prepared for its Thanksgiving game. No. 3 Duke won its season closer at N.C. State 55–6 to get a bid to Pasadena’s Rose Bowl. Fifteen days later, the bombing of Pearl Harbor called into question whether Southern California would be safe from a Japanese attack on New Year's Day. On December 15, bowl officials and U.S. Army officers met in San Francisco and decided to hold the game at Duke's stadium in Durham, North Carolina. [3]

No. 4 Notre Dame beat USC 20–18. No. 5 Michigan closed its season with a 20–20 tie No. 14 against Ohio State. The Top four remained the same, but No. 6 Duquesne (which had finished its season at 8–0–0) replaced Michigan at No. 5. On Thanksgiving Day No. 2 Texas A&M lost to Texas 23–0.

Conference standings

Major conference standings

1941 Big Six Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 7 Missouri $500  820
Nebraska 320  450
Oklahoma 320  630
Kansas 230  360
Kansas State 131  252
Iowa State 041  261
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1941 Big Ten football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 1 Minnesota $500  800
No. 5 Michigan 311  611
No. 13 Ohio State 311  611
No. 11 Northwestern 420  530
Wisconsin 330  350
Iowa 240  350
Purdue 130  251
Indiana 130  260
Illinois 050  260
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1941 Border Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Arizona $500  730
Texas Tech 200  920
West Texas State 410  820
Hardin–Simmons 310  731
New Mexico 321  541
Texas Mines 340  451
Arizona State 241  511
Arizona State–Flagstaff 150  350
New Mexico A&M 060  270
  • $ Conference champion
1941 Middle Three Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Lafayette $200  540
Rutgers 110  720
Lehigh 020  063
  • $ Conference champion
1941 Missouri Valley Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Tulsa $400  820
Oklahoma A&M 310  540
Creighton 320  550
Saint Louis 131  451
Washington University 130  450
Drake 031  451
  • $ Conference champion
1941 Mountain States Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Utah $402  602
BYU 312  432
Denver 312  432
Colorado A&M 321  421
Colorado 321  341
Wyoming 150  271
Utah State 060  080
  • $ Conference champion
1941 Pacific Coast Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 12 Oregon State $720  820
Washington 530  540
No. 19 Washington State 530  640
Stanford 430  630
Oregon 440  550
UCLA 341  551
California 340  450
USC 241  261
Montana 130  630
Idaho 040  450
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1941 Rocky Mountain Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Colorado College $400  620
Colorado State–Greeley 310  350
Colorado Mines 121  242
Montana State 121  142
Western State (CO) 040  070
  • $ Conference champion
1941 Southeastern Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 16 Mississippi State $401  811
No. 18 Tennessee 310  820
No. 20 Alabama 520  920
No. 14 Georgia 311  911
No. 17 Ole Miss 211  621
Vanderbilt 320  820
LSU 222  442
Tulane 230  540
Georgia Tech 240  360
Florida 130  460
Kentucky 040  540
Auburn 041  451
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1941 Southern Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 2 Duke $500  910
South Carolina 401  441
Clemson 510  720
William & Mary 410  820
VMI 420  460
VPI 420  640
Wake Forest 421  551
NC State 342  452
Furman 232  342
Washington and Lee 122  162
North Carolina 240  370
Maryland 120  351
Davidson 152  163
The Citadel 021  431
George Washington 041  171
Richmond 060  270
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1941 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Presbyterian $500  630
Miami (FL) 200  820
Centre 200  340
Mississippi Southern 601  901
Louisiana Tech 510  541
Eastern Kentucky 310  710
SW Louisiana 311  621
Union (TN) 311  531
Tennessee Tech 310  540
Western Kentucky 311  451
Georgetown (KY) 210  720
Wofford 210  460
West Tennessee State 320  630
Rollins 220  521
Louisiana Normal 331  431
Murray State 332  432
Tampa 220  540
Louisville 110  440
Middle Tennessee 231  431
Newberry 230  560
Mississippi College 120  530
SE Louisiana 240  360
Oglethorpe 130  440
Transylvania 130  350
Troy State 140  540
Louisiana College 150  470
Delta State 171  181
Union (KY) 010  050
Centenary 021  082
Morehead State 030  340
Erskine 040  250
  • $ Conference champion
1941 Southwest Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 9 Texas A&M $510  920
No. 4 Texas 411  811
TCU 411  731
Rice 321  631
SMU 240  550
Baylor 141  361
Arkansas 060  370
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

Independents

1941 Eastern college football independents records
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 8 Duquesne     800
No. 6 Fordham     810
No. 15 Penn     710
Franklin & Marshall     511
Penn State     720
Temple     720
Hofstra     520
Boston College     730
Harvard     521
Syracuse     521
Bucknell     630
Drexel Tech     421
Boston University     530
Cornell     530
Tufts     530
Army     531
Brown     540
Dartmouth     540
Villanova     440
Manhattan     441
Holy Cross     442
Colgate     332
Buffalo     341
Massachusetts State     341
Columbia     350
Pittsburgh     360
Princeton     260
Vermont     260
NYU     270
Carnegie Tech     170
Yale     170
Rankings from AP Poll
1941 Midwestern college football independents records
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Western Michigan     800
No. 3 Notre Dame     801
Youngstown     701
Xavier     910
Detroit     720
Ohio     521
Dayton     730
Cincinnati     630
Akron     531
Michigan State     531
Central Michigan     430
Ohio Wesleyan     540
Marquette     450
Carthage     152
Wayne     260
Miami (OH)     270
Wichita     161
Michigan State Normal     052
Detroit Tech     061
1941 Southern college football independents records
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
East Carolina     700
Delaware     701
Virginia     810
Marshall     710
No. 10 Navy     711
Georgetown     540
Western Maryland     341
West Virginia     460
Sewanee     250
Georgia Teachers     280
Rankings from AP Poll
1941 Western college football independents records
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Hawaii     810
Santa Clara     630
San Francisco     640
Idaho Southern Branch     512
Cal Poly     531
Saint Mary's     540
Loyola (CA)     550
Nevada     351
Portland     350
Gonzaga     370
San Francisco State     241
Humboldt State     251
La Verne     060

Minor conferences

ConferenceChampion(s)Record
California Collegiate Athletic Association Fresno State
San Jose State
2–0–1
Central Intercollegiate Athletics Association Morgan State College 6–1
Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Pittsburg State 3–1
Far Western Conference Pacific (CA) 3–0
Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Luther 4–0–1
Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Baker 5–1
Lone Star Conference North Texas State Teachers 4–0
Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Alma 4–0–1
Midwest Collegiate Athletic Conference Ripon 5–0–1
Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Saint Thomas (MN) 5–0
Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association Missouri School of Mines
Northwest Missouri State Teachers
3–1–1
Nebraska College Athletic Conference Midland Lutheran 4–0
Nebraska Intercollegiate Athletic Association Nebraska State Teachers (UN–Kearney)3–0
New Mexico Intercollegiate Conference New Mexico Military Institute 4–0
North Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Iowa State Teachers (Northern Iowa)5–0
North Dakota College Athletic Conference Jamestown College 5–0
Northern Teachers Athletic Conference St. Cloud State Teachers 4–0
Ohio Athletic Conference Case 4–0
Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference Central State College (OK) 6–0
Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Millersville State Teachers
West Chester State Teachers
3–0
Pacific Northwest Conference Willamette 5–0
Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Colorado College 4–0
South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference Augustana (SD)
Northern State Teachers
3–0
4–0
Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Whittier 3–0–1
Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Morris Brown 5–0
Texas Collegiate Athletic Conference Howard Payne 6–0
Washington Intercollegiate Conference Pacific Lutheran 4–0–1
Southwestern Athletic Conference No champion
Wisconsin State Teachers College Conference Co-North: La Crosse Teachers
Co-North: Stout State Teachers
Co-South: Milwaukee State Teachers
Co-South: Platteville State Teachers
3–1–0
3–1–0
3–0–1
3–0–1

Minor conference standings

1941 California Collegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
San Jose State +201  533
Fresno State +201  432
Santa Barbara State 120  351
San Diego State 030  640
  • + Conference co-champions
1941 Central Intercollegiate Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Pittsburg State $310  523
St. Benedict's 211  521
Emporia State 211  432
Southwestern (KS) 220  931
Fort Hays State 040  162
  • $ Conference champion
1941 Colored Intercollegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Morgan State $610  610
Johnson C. Smith 411  712
Virginia State 421  422
Bluefield State 430  530
Hampton 620  620
Shaw 521  521
Virginia Union 240  440
North Carolina College 151  261
North Carolina A&T 250  360
Saint Paul's (VA) 110  231
Lincoln (PA) 230  430
Howard 130  330
  • $ Conference champion
1941 Dixie Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Chattanooga $401  711
Howard (AL) 201  451
Mississippi College 310  530
Millsaps 110  450
Southwestern (TN) 010  441
Mercer 030  360
Spring Hill 040  260
  • $ Conference champion
1941 Far Western Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Pacific (CA) $300  470
Cal Aggies 210  224
Chico State 120  152
Humboldt State 030  251
  • $ Conference champion
1941 Illinois College Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Millikin $600  800
Bradley *100  810
North Central (IL) 311  511
Lake Forest 211  512
Monmouth (IL) 210  521
Knox (IL) 120  341
Augustana (IL) 140  260
Wheaton (IL) 021  352
Illinois Wesleyan 021  252
Illinois College 032  342
  • $ Conference champion
  • * ineligible for league title
1941 Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Northern Illinois State +310  711
Illinois State +310  341
Southern Illinois 211  521
Western Illinois 121  341
Eastern Illinois 040  070
Eureka 000  331
  • + Conference co-champions
1941 Indiana Intercollegiate Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Rose Poly +400  700
Saint Joseph's (IN) +300  801
Ball State 311  322
Butler 310  540
Wabash 420  531
DePauw 320  620
Indiana State 211  521
Evansville 211  351
Manchester 211  222
Franklin (IN) 241  251
Hanover 130  170
Central Normal 140  250
Earlham 050  250
Valparaiso 050  080
  • + Conference co-champions
1941 Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Baker $510  720
Bethel (KS) 411  611
Ottawa 411  611
Kansas Wesleyan 420  430
Bethany (KS) 150  170
College of Emporia 150  180
McPherson 150  180
  • $ Conference champion
1941 Lone Star Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
North Texas State $400  710
Southwest Texas State 310  440
East Texas State 220  621
Sam Houston State 130  271
Stephen F. Austin 040  161
  • $ Conference champion
1941 Louisiana Intercollegiate Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Louisiana Tech $500  541
Southwestern Louisiana 310  621
Louisiana Normal 221  431
Southeastern Louisiana 130  450
Centenary 011  082
Louisiana College 040  470
  • $ Conference champion
1941 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
St. Thomas (MN) $500  710
Macalester 420  530
Concordia (MN) 320  520
Saint Mary's (MN) 320  430
Hamline 230  430
St. Olaf 230  241
Saint John's (MN) 130  340
Augsburg 050  160
  • $ Conference champion
1941 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Alma $401  601
Albion 311  341
Hope 212  323
Kalamazoo 221  521
Hillsdale 131  341
Adrian 050  260
  • $ Conference champion
1941 Missouri College Athletic Union football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Missouri Valley $300  720
William Jewell 310  440
Culver–Stockton 220  350
Central Methodist 120  152
Tarkio 040  061
  • $ Conference champion
1941 Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
NW Missouri State +311  621
Missouri Mines +311  432
Central Missouri State 212  323
SW Missouri State 320  830
Kirksville State 131  441
SE Missouri State 041  441
  • + Conference co-champions
  • Tie games did not count in standings.
1941 Nebraska College Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Midland $400  900
Doane 211  521
Nebraska Wesleyan 220  261
Hastings 121  161
York (NE) 040  170
  • $ Conference champion
1941 Nebraska Intercollegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Kearney State $300  800
Wayne State (NE) 111  422
Peru State 111  431
Chadron State 030  340
  • $ Conference champion
1941 New England Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Rhode Island State $200  521
Maine 211  322
New Hampshire 001  431
Northeastern 010  430
Connecticut 020  260
  • $ Conference champion
1941 North Central Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Iowa State Teachers $500  530
South Dakota 410  620
North Dakota 310  450
Omaha 230  341
North Dakota Agricultural 240  270
Morningside 140  350
South Dakota State 150  250
  • $ Conference champion
1941 North State Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Elon $600  810
Catawba 410  830
Lenoir–Rhyne 330  460
Western Carolina 220  350
Appalachian State 230  450
High Point 150  270
Guilford 040  070
  • $ Conference champion
1941 Oklahoma Collegiate Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Central State (OK) $600  620
SW Oklahoma State 510  920
Northeastern State 330  531
Oklahoma City 230  570
East Central 230  460
NW Oklahoma State 030  551
SE Oklahoma State 050  180
  • $ Conference champion
1941 Smoky Mountain Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
King $101  531
Milligan 210  520
Carson–Newman 111  351
East Tennessee State 020  250
  • $ Conference champion
1941 South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Black Hills 210  620
South Dakota Mines 210  421
Southern Normal 120  240
Eastern Normal 120  140
1941 Southern California Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Whittier $301  431
Occidental 310  521
Redlands 211  341
Caltech 130  250
Pomona 040  250
  • $ Conference champion
1941 Texas Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Howard Payne $600  811
Abilene Christian 510  630
Texas Wesleyan 510  530
Southwestern (TX) 331  431
McMurry 241  441
Austin 240  260
Trinity (TX) 150  170
Daniel Baker 060  070
  • $ Conference champion

Rankings

Bowl games

Bowl gameWinning teamLosing team
Rose Bowl No. 12 Oregon State 20No. 2 Duke 16
Sugar Bowl No. 6 Fordham 2No. 7 Missouri 0
Orange Bowl No. 14 Georgia 40 TCU 7
Cotton Bowl Classic No. 20 Alabama 29No. 9 Texas A&M 21
Sun Bowl Tulsa 6 Texas Tech 0

See also

Related Research Articles

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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.

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 1955 college football season saw the Oklahoma Sooners win the national championship after going 10–0–0. Although the final poll was taken before the postseason bowl games, Oklahoma played against the nation's other unbeaten and untied (10–0–0) team, the Maryland Terrapins, at the Orange Bowl in Miami, and won 20–6.

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 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 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 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.

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.

References

  1. "www.appollarchive.com". www.appollarchive.com. Archived from the original on 2012-02-29. Retrieved 2011-11-02.
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-12-02. Retrieved 2015-12-07.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. "Rose Bowl Grid Game is Transferred To Durham, N.C. By Duke, Beavers," Fresno Bee, Dec. 15, 1941, p2-B