1951 college football season

Last updated

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 (139 to 104). 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.

Contents

During the 20th century, the NCAA had no playoff for the college football teams that would later be described as "Division I-A". The NCAA did recognize a national champion based upon the final results of "wire service" (AP and UPI) 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 1951 consisted of the votes of as many as 307 sportswriters. [2]

Though not all writers voted in every poll, each 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 20. Generally, the top teams played on New Year's Day in the four major postseason bowl games: the Rose Bowl (near Los Angeles at Pasadena), the Sugar Bowl (New Orleans), the Orange Bowl (Miami), and the Cotton Bowl (Dallas).

Conference and program changes

Conference changes

Membership changes

School1950 Conference1951 Conference
High Point Panthers IndependentDropped Program
Houston Cougars Gulf Coast Missouri Valley
Kent State Golden Flashes Independent MAC
Montana Grizzlies Independent Skyline (Mountain States)
New Mexico Lobos Border Skyline (Mountain States)
Niagara Purple Eagles Western New York Little Three Dropped Program

September

In the preseason poll released on September 24, 1951, Tennessee and Michigan State were ranked first and second, with Tennessee having 60 of the 115 first place votes. MSU had opened its season on the 22nd with a 6–0 win over Oregon State. They were followed by No. 3 Ohio State, defending champion No. 4 Oklahoma, and No. 5 California (which had won its opener against Santa Clara, 34–0). As the regular season progressed, a new poll would be issued on the Monday following the weekend's games.

On September 14, the Central Missouri Jules played the Southwestern Moundbuilders in the rejected touchdown game where Southwestern's head coach Harold Hunt "rejected" a touchdown awarded by officials because his player stepped out of bounds. [3]

On September 29 No. 1 Tennessee beat Mississippi State 14–0. No. 2 Michigan State won at Michigan, 25–0, to take the top spot from the Vols. No. 3 Ohio State beat visiting SMU 7–0 in a win not deemed good enough to stay in the top five. No. 4 Oklahoma beat William & Mary 49–7. No. 5 California won in Philadelphia against Penn, 35–0, and rose to second in the next poll. The game was broadcast in New York in a test for color television [4] Notre Dame, which had beaten Indiana 48–6, rose to fifth. The poll: 1.Michigan State 2.California 3.Tennessee 4.Oklahoma 5.Notre Dame

October

October 6 No. 1 Michigan State won at Ohio State, 24–20. No. 2 California beat Minnesota, 55–14. No. 3 Tennessee beat Duke 26–0. No. 4 Oklahoma lost at No. 10 Texas A&M, 14–7 and fell out of the top bracket, and the Aggies took their place. No. 5 Notre Dame had beaten Mercy College of Detroit, 40–6, the night before. The poll: 1.Michigan State 2.California 3.Tennessee 4.Texas A&M 5.Notre Dame

October 13 No. 1 Michigan State had trouble in defeating Marquette 20–14. No. 2 California beat Washington State 42–35 and took over the top spot from the Spartans in the next poll. No. 3 Tennessee beat the University of Chattanooga (now UT Chattanooga, but athletically branded simply as "Chattanooga") 42–13. No. 4 Texas A&M beat Trinity College 53–14 and fell from the top five. No. 5 Notre Dame lost to visiting SMU, 27–20. Taking the places of the Aggies and the Irish were No. 6 Texas (which had beaten Oklahoma in Dallas, 9–7) and No. 8 Georgia Tech (which had beaten LSU 25–7). The poll: 1.California 2.Tennessee 3.Michigan State 4.Texas 5.Georgia Tech

October 20 In Los Angeles, No. 1 California and USC, both unbeaten at 4–0–0, faced off, and the Golden Bears lost the game, along with the top spot in the poll, 21–14. Earlier, in Birmingham, No. 2 Tennessee defeated Alabama 27–13. No. 3 Michigan State won at Penn State, 32–21. No. 4 Texas lost at Arkansas, 16–14. No. 5 Georgia Tech defeated Auburn 27–7. Appearing in the top five were No. 8 Illinois (which had a 27–20 win over Washington) and No. 7 Maryland (which had beaten North Carolina 14–7). The poll: 1.Tennessee 2.Michigan State 3.Georgia Tech 4.Illinois 5.Maryland

Another significant game on this date, though for a far different reason, was the DrakeOklahoma A&M matchup. Then-unbeaten Drake was led by quarterback Johnny Bright, who was leading the nation in total offense at the time and had been touted as a Heisman Trophy candidate. Two years earlier, he had been the first black player to appear in a game at A&M's home field, without incident. The same could not be said about this game. Bright was forced to leave the game in the first quarter after suffering three concussions and a broken jaw as the result of a racially motivated attack by white A&M player Wilbanks Smith, and A&M ultimately won 27–14. The attack was immortalized in a photo sequence in the Des Moines Register that won the photographers a Pulitzer Prize. It also had an enduring legacy on the sport:

October 27 No. 1 Tennessee beat Tennessee Tech 68–0. No. 3 Michigan State beat visiting Pitt, 53–26. No. 3 Georgia Tech won narrowly at Vanderbilt, 8–7. No. 4 Illinois won at Indiana, 21–0. Unbeaten (4–0–0) and No. 5 Maryland visited once-beaten (4–1–0) LSU, and won convincingly, 27–0. With all five teams staying unbeaten, the poll changed slightly: 1.Tennessee 2.Michigan State 3.Illinois 4.Maryland 5.Georgia Tech

November

November 3 No. 1 Tennessee won at North Carolina, 27–0 for its fourth shutout. In six games, the Vols had outscored their opponents, 207–14. No. 2 Michigan State was idle and dropped to fifth in the next poll. No. 3 Illinois beat Michigan 7–0. No. 4 Maryland shut out Missouri 35–0. No. 5 Georgia Tech was tied by Duke, 14–14. No. 6 Princeton, which rose to 5–0–0 after a 12–0 win over Brown, gave an Ivy League addition to the Top Five. Michigan State came back to the five after a 53–26 win over Pitt. The poll: 1.Tennessee 2.Illinois 3.Maryland 4.Princeton 5.Michigan State.

November 10 No. 1 Tennessee beat Washington & Lee, 60–14. No. 2 Illinois beat Iowa 40–13. In Baltimore, No. 3 Maryland beat Navy, 40–21. No. 4 Princeton won at Harvard, 54–13, and left the top five. No. 5 Michigan State (6–0–0) hosted Notre Dame (5–1–0) and shut out the Irish, 35–0, and returned to No. 1 spot in the poll. In Los Angeles, two unbeaten and untied (7–0–0) powers faced off, as No. 7 Stanford and USC met. The Stanford Indians (they would later be called the Cardinal) beat the Trojans 27–20. The poll: 1.Michigan State 2.Tennessee 3.Illinois 4.Stanford 5.Maryland

November 17 No. 1 Michigan State won at Indiana, 30–26. No. 2 Tennessee won at Mississippi, 46–21. No. 3 Illinois got a blemish on its record with a 0–0 tie at Ohio State. No. 4 Stanford beat Oregon State 35–14. No. 5 Maryland overwhelmed N.C. State 53–0. Princeton, which had shut out Yale 27–0, came back to the top five. The poll: 1.Tennessee 2.Michigan State 3.Stanford 4.Maryland 5.Princeton

November 24 No. 1 Tennessee beat Kentucky 28–0. No. 2 Michigan State beat Colorado 45–7 to finish its season at 9–0–0. No. 3 Stanford suffered its first defeat, falling to California, 20–7. No. 4 Maryland stayed unbeaten, over West Virginia 54–7. No. 5 Princeton closed its season with a 13–0 win over Dartmouth. Illinois, which won at Northwestern 3–0, returned to the top five. The penultimate poll: 1.Tennessee 2.Michigan State 3.Maryland 4.Illinois 5.Princeton. On December 1 No. 1 Tennessee closed its season unbeaten with a 35–27 win over Vanderbilt.

The University of San Francisco Dons closed their season—and their football program—with a perfect record of 9 wins, 0 losses and 0 ties. After their November 24 game against in-state Jesuit rival Loyola University (since merged into Loyola Marymount University), a 20–2 win, USF stopped playing football.

Conference standings

Major conference standings

1951 Big Seven Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 10 Oklahoma $600  820
Colorado 510  730
Kansas 420  820
Iowa State 240  441
Nebraska 240  280
Missouri 150  370
Kansas State 060  090
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1951 Big Ten Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 4 Illinois $501  901
Purdue 410  540
No. 8 Wisconsin 511  711
Michigan 420  450
Ohio State 222  432
Northwestern 240  540
Minnesota 141  261
Indiana 150  270
Iowa 051  252
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1951 Border Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Texas Tech $400  740
Arizona State 410  631
Hardin–Simmons 410  660
Arizona 330  650
Texas Western 240  370
New Mexico A&M 140  190
West Texas State 150  270
Arizona State–Flagstaff 010  170
  • $ Conference champion
1951 Middle Three Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Lehigh $200  720
Rutgers 110  440
Lafayette 020  170
  • $ Conference champion
1951 Missouri Valley Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Tulsa $400  920
Drake 310  720
Oklahoma A&M 320  370
Houston 220  650
Detroit 240  470
Wichita 240  270
Bradley 030  450
  • $ Conference champion
1951 Pacific Coast Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 7 Stanford $610  920
No. 17 UCLA 411  531
No. 12 California 520  820
USC 420  730
No. 18 Washington State 430  730
Oregon State 350  460
Washington 151  361
Oregon 160  280
Idaho 030  270
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1951 Rocky Mountain Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Colorado Mines $400  720
Colorado College 320  450
Idaho State 320  540
Colorado State–Greeley 230  430
Western State (CO) 230  350
Montana State 040  070
  • $ Conference champion
1951 Skyline Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Utah $410  740
Wyoming 511  721
Denver 430  640
Colorado A&M 331  541
BYU 231  631
Utah State 241  351
New Mexico 240  470
Montana 140  270
  • $ Conference champion
1951 Southeastern Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 5 Georgia Tech +700  1101
No. 1 Tennessee +500  1010
LSU 421  731
Ole Miss 421  631
No. 15 Kentucky 330  840
Auburn 340  550
Vanderbilt 350  650
Alabama 350  560
Florida 240  550
Georgia 240  550
Mississippi State 250  450
Tulane 150  460
  • + Conference co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll
1951 Southern Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 3 Maryland +500  1000
VMI +500  730
Washington and Lee 510  640
William & Mary 510  730
No. 19 Clemson 310  730
Duke 420  541
South Carolina 530  640
Wake Forest 530  640
George Washington 231  261
North Carolina 230  280
West Virginia 230  550
NC State 260  370
Richmond 260  380
The Citadel 130  460
Furman 141  361
Davidson 150  180
VPI 170  280
  • + Conference co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll
1951 Southwest Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 11 TCU $510  650
No. 9 Baylor 411  821
Texas 330  730
Rice 330  550
Texas A&M 132  532
Arkansas 240  550
SMU 141  361
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

Independents

1951 Eastern college football independents records
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Bucknell     900
No. 6 Princeton     900
Northeastern     601
No. 19 Holy Cross     820
Carnegie Tech     620
Hofstra     621
Cornell     630
No. 16 Boston University     640
Temple     640
Columbia     530
Villanova     530
Fordham     540
Franklin & Marshall     540
Penn     540
Penn State     540
Syracuse     540
Buffalo     440
Colgate     450
Dartmouth     450
Drexel     340
Harvard     351
Boston College     360
Yale     252
Pittsburgh     370
Army     270
Brown     270
NYU     170
Tufts     072
Rankings from AP Poll
1951 Midwestern college football independents records
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 2 Michigan State     900
Xavier     901
Wabash     701
No. 13 Notre Dame     721
Dayton     730
Toledo     640
Washington University     540
Wayne     540
Bowling Green     441
Marquette     461
Baldwin–Wallace     350
John Carroll     360
Rose Poly     250
Youngstown     261
Rankings from AP Poll
1951 Southern college football independents records
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Western Maryland     800
Maryland State     810
No. 13 Virginia     810
Florida State     620
Miami (FL)     830
Tampa     731
Delaware     530
Sewanee     530
Louisville     540
Chattanooga     650
Grambling     351
Navy     261
Rankings from AP Poll
1951 Western college football independents records
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 14 San Francisco     900
La Verne     530
Pacific (CA)     650
Santa Clara     351
Hawaii     470
Loyola (CA)     360
San Jose State     271
Cal Poly San Dimas     160
Rankings from AP Poll

Minor conferences

ConferenceChampion(s)Record
California Collegiate Athletic Association San Diego State 4–0
Central Church College Conference Concordia (NE) 3–0
Central Intercollegiate Athletics Association West Virginia State 5–0–1
Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Kansas State Teachers
Pittsburg State
4–1
College Conference of Illinois Illinois Wesleyan 5–0
Evergreen Conference Pacific Lutheran
Puget Sound
Western Washington College
4–1
Far Western Conference NBCA 3–1
Gulf Coast Conference North Texas State 2–0
Indiana Collegiate Conference Valparaiso 4–0
Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Saint Ambrose 5–0
Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference College of Emporia 6–0
Lone Star Conference East Texas State Teachers 5–0
Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Alma
Hope
4–1
Mid-American Conference Cincinnati 3–0
Midwest Collegiate Athletic Conference Lawrence 7–0
Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Gustavus Adolphus 6–0
Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association Northeast Missouri State
Southwest Missouri State
4–0–1
Nebraska College Conference Doane
Peru State
6–1
New Mexico Intercollegiate Conference Eastern New Mexico 5–0
North Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference South Dakota 6–0
North Dakota College Athletic Conference Dickinson State
Valley City State
4–0
Ohio Athletic Conference Ohio Wesleyan 6–0
Ohio Valley Conference Murray State College 5–1
Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference Northeastern State College (OK) 5–0
Oregon Collegiate Conference Oregon College
Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Bloomsburg State Teachers 7–0
Pacific Northwest Conference Lewis & Clark
Pacific (OR)
4–1
Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Colorado Mines 4–0
South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference South Dakota Mines 6–0
Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Occidental 4–0
Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Morris Brown 8–0
Southwestern Athletic Conference Prairie View A&M College 6–1
State Teacher's College Conference of Minnesota St. Cloud State Teachers 4–0
Texas Collegiate Athletic Conference Abilene Christian
Howard Payne
Texas A&I
3–1
Wisconsin State Teachers College Conference La Crosse State Teachers 6–0

Minor conference standings

1951 Badger-Illini Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Northwestern (WI) $601  601
Milton 510  510
St. Procopius 312  322
Concordia (IL) 221  231
Mission House 240  240
Wisconsin–Extension 240  240
Wisconsin Tech 240  240
Aurora 060  070
  • $ Conference champion
1951 California Collegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
San Diego State $400  1001
Cal Poly 211  541
Pepperdine 211  541
Santa Barbara 130  540
Los Angeles State 040  170
  • $ Conference champion
1951 Central Church College Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Concordia (NE) $300  810
York (NE) 210  530
Tarkio 120  170
Dana 030  260
  • $ Conference champion
1951 Central Intercollegiate Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Pittsburg State +410  730
Emporia State +410  531
Washburn 320  630
Fort Hays State 230  540
St. Benedict's 230  450
Southwestern (KS) 050  171
  • + Conference co-champions
1951 College Conference of Illinois football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Illinois Wesleyan $500  800
Wheaton (IL) 310  620
Lake Forest 320  341
Millikin 320  340
Illinois College 330  440
Augustana (IL) 230  341
North Central (IL) 230  350
Elmhurst 130  440
Carthage 050  090
  • $ Conference champion
1951 Evergreen Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Western Washington +410  810
Puget Sound +410  710
Pacific Lutheran +410  430
Whitworth 140  431
Eastern Washington 140  260
Central Washington 140  160
  • + Conference co-champions
1951 Far Western Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Cal Aggies $310  540
San Francisco State 200  820
Humboldt State 210  431
Southern Oregon 120  180
Chico State 040  070
  • $ Conference champion
1951 Gulf Coast Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
North Texas State $200  840
Midwestern State 011  541
Trinity (TX) 011  451
  • $ Conference champion
1951 Gulf States Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Mississippi Southern $500  650
Southeastern Louisiana 410  730
Southwestern Louisiana 320  640
Louisiana Tech 230  450
Louisiana College 140  560
Northwestern State 050  180
  • $ Conference champion
1951 Hoosier Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Hanover $600  630
Indiana Central 420  530
Earlham 330  440
Manchester (IN) 330  440
Taylor 330  350
Franklin (IN) 150  260
Anderson (IN) 150  170
  • $ Conference champion
1951 Indiana Collegiate Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Valparaiso $400  900
Saint Joseph's (IN) 310  440
Butler 320  441
Evansville 110  550
Indiana State 031  061
Ball State 041  061
  • $ Conference champion
1951 Interstate Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Northern Illinois State 600  900
Western Illinois 411  711
Central Michigan 420  530
Eastern Illinois 222  422
Michigan State Normal 240  450
Illinois State 141  351
Southern Illinois 060  090
  • $ Conference champion
1951 Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
College of Emporia $600  800
McPherson 510  720
Ottawa 420  630
Kansas Wesleyan 330  540
Bethany (KS) 240  450
Baker 150  270
Bethel (KS) 060  180
  • $ Conference champion
1951 Lone Star Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
East Texas State $500  920
Southwest Texas State 221  631
Sam Houston State 221  441
Stephen F. Austin 230  441
Lamar Tech 230  460
Sul Ross 140  370
  • $ Conference champion
1951 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Alma +410  720
Hope +410  540
Albion 320  620
Hillsdale 230  260
Kalamazoo 230  260
Adrian 050  060
  • + Conference co-champions
1951 Mid-American Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Cincinnati $300  1010
Miami (OH) 310  730
Kent State 210  432
Ohio 220  541
Western Reserve 130  261
Western Michigan 040  440
  • $ Conference champion
1951 Mid-Ohio League football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Bluffton +410  620
Findlay +410  520
Ohio Northern 320  450
Cedarville 230  ???
Ashland 230  251
Defiance 050  060
  • + Conference co-champions
1951 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Gustavus Adolphus $600  801
Minnesota–Duluth 510  521
St. Thomas (MN) 510  620
Saint John's (MN) 410  430
St. Olaf 320  340
Hamline 330  330
Concordia (MN) 240  440
Saint Mary's (MN) 150  160
Macalester 060  270
Augsburg 060  070
  • $ Conference champion
1951 Missouri College Athletic Union football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Missouri Valley $400  1010
William Jewell 310  830
Culver–Stockton 220  340
Central Methodist 130  180
Tarkio 040  170
  • $ Conference champion
1951 Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Kirksville State +401  711
SW Missouri State +401  631
Missouri Mines 320  350
NW Missouri State 230  261
SE Missouri State 041  251
Central Missouri State 041  072
  • $ Conference champion
1951 Nebraska College Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Peru State +610  820
Doane +610  720
Wayne State (NE) 520  630
Kearney State 430  530
Hastings 430  540
Nebraska Wesleyan 250  280
Chadron State 160  180
Midland 070  170
  • + Conference co-champions
1951 New Mexico Intercollegiate Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Eastern New Mexico $500  810
New Mexico Western 311  621
Adams State 320  360
Panhandle A&M 230  640
New Mexico Highlands 131  341
New Mexico Military 050  260
  • $ Conference champion
1951 North Central Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
South Dakota $600  710
South Dakota State 411  811
Iowa State Teachers 330  340
North Dakota 230  240
Morningside 240  351
North Dakota State 141  151
Augustana (SD) 140  350
  • $ Conference champion
1951 North State Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Lenoir–Rhyne $600  1010
Elon 420  630
Catawba 320  550
Appalachian State 330  630
East Carolina 140  460
Western Carolina 140  360
Guilford 140  170
  • $ Conference champion
1951 Ohio Valley football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Murray State $510  810
Eastern Kentucky 420  730
Marshall 420  551
Evansville 330  550
Tennessee Tech 330  551
Western Kentucky 240  450
Morehead State 060  170
  • $ Conference champion
1951 Oklahoma Collegiate Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Northeastern State $500  910
SW Oklahoma State 320  460
SE Oklahoma State 320  360
Central State (OK) 230  270
NW Oklahoma State 131  441
East Central 041  161
  • $ Conference champion
1951 Oregon Collegiate Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Oregon College $300  601
Oregon Tech 210  230
Vanport 120  350
Eastern Oregon 030  360
  • $ Conference champion
1951 Smoky Mountain Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Emory and Henry $200  901
East Tennessee State 110  450
Carson–Newman 020  460
  • $ Conference champion
1951 South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
South Dakota Mines $600  800
Southern State 610  611
Black Hills 310  620
Northern State 320  440
Huron 330  530
Yankton 330  340
General Beadle 140  150
Sioux Falls 050  070
Dakota Wesleyan 060  060
  • $ Conference champion
1951 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Occidental $400  620
Redlands 220  350
Whittier 220  270
Caltech 130  250
Pomona 130  170
  • $ Conference champion
1951 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Morris Brown $800  1010
Xavier (LA) 510  810
Florida A&M 410  711
Fisk 520  620
South Carolina State 420  520
Bethune–Cookman 420  720
Benedict 530  730
Tuskegee 530  630
Alabama A&M 330  350
Lane 220  340
Morehouse 230  340
Clark (GA) 350  350
Allen 150  370
Knoxville 050  081
Alabama State 060  080
Fort Valley State 000  180
  • $ Conference champion
1951 Southwestern Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Prairie View A&M $610  910
Texas College 412  522
Southern 412  542
Arkansas AM&N 421  531
Langston 430  450
Wiley 241  351
Samuel Huston 160  180
Bishop 070  090
  • $ Conference champion
1951 Texas Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Abilene Christian +310  640
Texas A&I +130  540
Howard Payne +310  360
McMurry 130  370
Austin 040  270
  • + Conference co-champions
1951 Yankee Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Maine $301  601
UMass 200  341
Connecticut 210  440
New Hampshire 121  521
Rhode Island 130  350
Vermont 030  070
  • $ Conference champion

Rankings

Bowl games

All six games played were on Tuesday, January 1, 1952.

Bowl gameWinning teamLosing team
Cotton Bowl Classic No. 15 Kentucky 20No. 11 TCU 7
Sugar Bowl No. 3 Maryland 28No. 1 Tennessee 13
Rose Bowl No. 4 Illinois 40No. 7 Stanford 7
Orange Bowl No. 5 Georgia Tech 17No. 9 Baylor 14
Gator Bowl Miami (FL) 14No. 20 Clemson 0
Sun Bowl Texas Tech 25 Pacific (CA) 14

See also

Related Research Articles

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 1966 University Division football season was marked by some controversy as the year of "The Tie", a famous 10–10 game between the two top-ranked teams, Michigan State and Notre Dame on November 19. Both teams were crowned national champions by various organizations after the regular season concluded, and neither participated in bowl game. Alabama finished the regular season undefeated and was third in the AP poll, while Georgia was fourth. Alabama went on to win the Sugar Bowl in dominant fashion. During the 20th century, the NCAA had no playoff for the major college football teams in the University Division, later known as Division I-A.

In the 1968 NCAA University Division football season, the system of "polls and bowls" changed. The Associated Press returned to its pre-1961 system of ranking the Top 20 rather than the Top 10, and voted on the national champion after the bowl games, rather than before. 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 1969 college football season was celebrated as the centennial of college football.

The 1957 NCAA University Division football season saw two different national champions. Auburn was ranked first in the AP writers' poll taken at season's end, while Ohio State was first in the UPI coaches' poll. Auburn was ineligible for a bowl game, however, having been placed on probation indefinitely by the Southeastern Conference, after having paid two high school players $500 apiece.

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.

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.

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 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 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 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 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 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 its 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 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 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.

References

  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-02-29. Retrieved 2009-01-18.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. appollarchive.com/football/ap
  3. McDermott, William F (December 9, 1951). "Football's Man of the Year". Los Angeles Times . p. H10. Retrieved October 3, 2013.
  4. "Once Over Lightly", The Independent (Long Beach, California), Oct 8, 1951, p18