1955 college football season

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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.

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 1955 consisted of the votes of as many as 391 sportswriters. [2] Though not all writers voted in every poll, each would give their opinion of the twenty best teams. Under a point system of 20 points for first place, 19 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

School1954 Conference1955 Conference
Western Reserve Red Cats MAC Presidents'

September

In the preseason poll released on September 12, 1955, the UCLA Bruins, 1954's co champions, received 33 first place votes, while Oklahoma had 32. Michigan had 34 votes, but the third most points overall. Other teams nominated for the top spot were defending champ Ohio State, Maryland, Notre Dame, Navy, Miami, Georgia Tech, Iowa, USC, Duke, West Virginia, and Purdue. [3] As the regular season progressed, a new poll would be issued on the Monday following the weekend's games. The preseason Top Five was 1.UCLA 2.Oklahoma 3.Michigan 4.Ohio State 5.Maryland.

On Friday, September 16, No. 1 UCLA opened in Los Angeles with a 21–0 win over visiting Texas A&M. September 17, Oklahoma, Michigan and Ohio State were idle, but No. 5 Maryland edged Missouri on the road, 13–12. No. 10 Georgia Tech, which had beaten No. 9 Miami 14–6 in Atlanta, rose to 2nd place in the next poll: 1.UCLA 2.Georgia Tech 3.Oklahoma 4.Michigan 5.Maryland.

On September 24, No. 1 UCLA and No. 5 Maryland met at College Park, before a record crowd. UCLA's Doug Peters plunged into the end zone in the first half, but fumbled the ball before crossing the goal line. In the second half, the home team Terrapins had the ball 17 yards from goal, on fourth down. Rather than kicking a field goal, Ed Vereb ran for the winning touchdown, giving Maryland a 7–0 win. [4]

No. 2 Georgia Tech won at No. 15 Florida, 14–7. No. 3 Oklahoma won at North Carolina 13–6. No. 4 Michigan beat Missouri 42–7. Maryland took over the top spot, while UCLA fell to 7th. No. 11 Notre Dame, which had beaten SMU 17–0, moved into the Top 5: 1.Maryland 2.Michigan 3. Georgia Tech 4.Notre Dame 5.Oklahoma.

October

October 1, No. 1 Maryland won 20–6 at No. 20 Baylor in Texas. No. 2 Michigan beat Michigan State 14–7 before a crowd of 97,239 at home in Ann Arbor. MSU had tied the score 7–7 after an errant punt by Michigan gave them the ball 39 yards from goal. Minutes later, Earl Morrall's punt was blocked to give Michigan the ball on the MSU 21, from which the winning score was made. No. 3 Georgia Tech beat SMU 20–7 in Atlanta. No. 4 Notre Dame defeated Indiana 19–0. No. 5 Oklahoma beat No. 12 Pittsburgh 26–14, marking its 21st consecutive win, and new record. The poll: 1.Maryland 2.Michigan 3.Oklahoma 4. Georgia Tech 5.Notre Dame

October 8 No. 1 Maryland beat Wake Forest 28–7, and No. 2 Michigan defeated visiting No. 6 Army, 26–2. Both stayed unbeaten, but Michigan took the top spot in the next poll. No. 3 Oklahoma defeated Texas 20–0 in Dallas. No. 4 Georgia Tech won 7–0 at LSU. No. 5 Notre Dame won 14–0 at No. 15 Miami, with both touchdowns coming on fourth down passes from Paul Hornung, before an Orange Bowl record crowd of 75,685. [5] In a game that would decide the Pac-8 title, UCLA beat Oregon State 38–0. The poll: 1.Michigan 2.Maryland 3.Oklahoma 4.Notre Dame 5.Georgia Tech

October 15 No. 1 Michigan defeated Northwestern, 14–2. No. 2 Maryland won at North Carolina, 25–7. No. 3 Oklahoma beat Kansas 44–6. However, No. 5 Georgia Tech lost to visiting No. 17 Auburn 14–12, and No. 4 Notre Dame lost 21–7 when it hosted No. 13 Michigan State. They dropped from the top five and were replaced by No. 8 Navy (which had won 34–14 at Penn State) and No. 11 Duke (which had won at No. 14 Ohio State, 20–14). The poll: 1.Michigan 2.Maryland 3.Oklahoma 4.Navy 5.Duke

October 22 In Minneapolis No. 1 Michigan faced a 1–3–0 Minnesota team, and was stunned when the Gophers racked up two touchdowns in the first quarter. Michigan's Terry Barr blocked the extra point attempt on the second touchdown, but the nation's No. 1 team was losing 13–0. Still down 13–7 at the half, the Wolverines fought back. Jim Van Pelt passed to Tom Maentz for a touchdown, and Van Pelt added the extra point to save Michigan, 14–13. [6] Minnesota would go on to a 3–6–0 finish. Meanwhile, No. 2 Maryland won more convincingly at Syracuse, 34–13, to regain the top spot. No. 3 Oklahoma beat No. 14 Colorado, 56–21. No. 4 Navy won at Penn, 33–0. No. 5 Duke lost to Pitt, 26–7, and was replaced in the top five by No. 6 Michigan State, which beat Illinois 21–7.

The poll: 1.Maryland 2.Oklahoma 3.Michigan 4.Navy 5.Michigan State

October 29 Back at the top, No. 1 Maryland beat South Carolina 27–0, while No. 2 Oklahoma won at Kansas State, 40–7. No. 3 Michigan beat Iowa 33–21. No. 4 Navy lost at No. 9 Notre Dame, 21–7. No. 5 Michigan State won at Wisconsin, 27–0. UCLA returned to the Top Five from No. 6 after a 47–0 win over California.

The poll: 1.Maryland 2.Oklahoma 3.Michigan 4.Michigan State 5.UCLA

November

November 5 As both stayed undefeated, No. 1 Maryland beat LSU 13–0 and No. 2 Oklahoma won at Missouri, 20–0. No. 3 Michigan lost at Illinois 25–6, while No. 4 Michigan State won at Purdue, 27–0. No. 5 UCLA won at Pacific, 34–0. No. 6 Notre Dame, which had won at Penn 46–14, returned to the top 5.

The poll: 1.Oklahoma 2.Maryland 3.Michigan State 4.UCLA 5.Notre Dame

November 12 Back at No. 1, Oklahoma beat Iowa State 52–0. No. 2 Maryland won at Clemson, 25–12. No. 3 Michigan State beat Minnesota 42–14. No. 4 UCLA was trailing Washington 17–16 in the closing seconds of a game, but Jim Decker kicked a field goal for a 19–17 victory. [7] No. 5 Notre Dame won at North Carolina, 27–7. The poll: 1.Oklahoma 2.Maryland 3.Michigan State 4.Notre Dame 5.UCLA

November 19 Although No. 1 Oklahoma was 8–0–0 and host Nebraska was 5–4–0, both had 5–0–0 records in Big 7 conference play when they met at Lincoln. The Sooners rolled, 41–0, to get the Orange Bowl bid. No. 2 Maryland closed its season with a 19–0 win over George Washington University and accepted the invitation to meet Oklahoma, but what would have been a No. 1 vs. No. 2 meeting changed when the Terrapins were rated third by the AP voters. No. 3 Michigan State, which had a 5–1 record in Big Ten play, beat Marquette 33–0 in a non-conference game; Michigan's 17–0 loss to Ohio State gave it a 5–2 mark. Ohio State had the better record in the Big Ten, 6–0 overall, but had gone to the Rose Bowl the year before, so MSU got the bid, where it would face No. 5 UCLA, which beat USC 17–7. No. 4 Notre Dame beat Iowa 17–14. Though Maryland, like Oklahoma, was unbeaten, the voters put once-beaten Michigan State in the second spot instead. The poll: 1.Oklahoma 2.Michigan State 3.Maryland 4.UCLA 5.Notre Dame. On November 26, No. 5 Notre Dame lost in Los Angeles to USC, 42–20, and dropped to 6th in the final AP poll, where it would be replaced by Ohio State. The other Top Five teams had finished their seasons.

Conference standings

Major conference standings

1955 Atlantic Coast Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 3 Maryland +400  1010
Duke +400  721
Clemson 310  730
Wake Forest 331  541
North Carolina 330  370
NC State 021  451
South Carolina 150  360
Virginia 040  190
  • + Conference co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll [8]
1955 Big Seven Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 1 Oklahoma $600  1100
Nebraska 510  550
Colorado 330  640
Kansas State 330  460
Kansas 141  361
Iowa State 141  171
Missouri 150  190
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1955 Big Ten Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 5 Ohio State $600  720
No. 2 Michigan State 510  910
No. 12 Michigan 520  720
Purdue 421  531
Illinois 331  531
Wisconsin 340  450
Iowa 231  351
Minnesota 250  360
Indiana 150  360
Northwestern 061  081
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1955 Border Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Texas Tech $301  731
Arizona State 410  821
Hardin–Simmons 320  550
Texas Western 321  622
Arizona 121  541
West Texas State 141  441
New Mexico A&M 040  370
  • $ Conference champion
1955 Middle Three Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Lafayette $200  620
Lehigh 110  450
Rutgers 020  350
  • $ Conference champion
1955 Missouri Valley Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Wichita +310  721
Detroit +310  531
Houston 220  640
Tulsa 130  271
Oklahoma A&M 130  280
  • + Conference co-champions
1955 Pacific Coast Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 4 UCLA $600  920
Oregon State 520  630
No. 16 Stanford 321  631
Oregon 430  640
Washington 431  541
No. 13 USC 330  640
California 151  271
Washington State 151  172
Idaho 040  270
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1955 Rocky Mountain Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Idaho State $600  810
Western State (CO) 620  730
Montana State 321  441
Colorado Mines 242  252
Colorado College 260  370
Colorado State–Greeley 161  171
  • $ Conference champion
1955 Skyline Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Colorado A&M $610  820
Utah 410  630
Denver 520  820
Wyoming 520  830
Utah State 340  460
Montana 240  370
New Mexico 150  280
BYU 070  190
  • $ Conference champion
1955 Southeastern Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 10 Ole Miss $510  1010
No. 8 Auburn 521  821
No. 7 Georgia Tech 411  911
Tennessee 321  631
Vanderbilt 430  830
Mississippi State 440  640
Kentucky 331  631
Tulane 331  541
LSU 231  352
Florida 350  460
Georgia 250  460
Alabama 070  0100
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1955 Southern Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 19 West Virginia $400  820
VPI 211  631
Davidson 320  540
George Washington 320  540
Richmond 322  432
The Citadel 220  540
Furman 110  190
William & Mary 131  171
VMI 160  190
Washington and Lee 010  070
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1955 Southwest Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 6 TCU $510  920
No. 17 Texas A&M 411  721
Texas 420  550
Arkansas 321  541
Baylor 240  550
SMU 240  460
Rice 060  271
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

Independents

1955 Eastern college football independents records
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Drexel     800
Carnegie Tech     511
Princeton     720
Yale     720
Tufts     520
Boston College     521
No. 20 Army     630
Colgate     630
No. 11 Pittsburgh     740
Holy Cross     640
Syracuse     530
Cornell     540
Penn State     540
Buffalo     441
Harvard     341
Dartmouth     360
Hofstra     360
Bucknell     261
Boston University     260
Franklin & Marshall     260
Brown     270
Columbia     180
Villanova     190
Temple     080
Penn     090
Rankings from AP Poll
1955 Midwestern college football independents records
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Ferris     610
No. 9 Notre Dame     820
Carthage     620
Wabash     531
Michigan Tech     430
Washington University     540
Youngstown     450
Dayton     360
Marquette     261
Baldwin–Wallace     260
Cincinnati     162
Rose Poly     161
Northern Michigan     070
Rankings from AP Poll
1955 Southern college football independents records
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Mississippi Southern     910
Delaware     810
Louisville     720
Tampa     720
No. 18 Navy     621
No. 14 Miami (FL)     630
Chattanooga     541
Florida State     550
Western Maryland     260
Sewanee     180
Rankings from AP Poll
1955 Western college football independents records
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Long Beach State     520
San Jose State     531
La Verne     540
Pacific (CA)     540
Hawaii     740
Cal Poly San Dimas     430
UC Riverside     131

Minor conferences

ConferenceChampion(s)Record
California Collegiate Athletic Association No champion
Central Church College Conference Concordia (NE) 3–0
Central Intercollegiate Athletics Association Maryland State 7–0
Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Pittsburg State 5–0
College Conference of Illinois Wheaton (IL) 5–0–1
Evergreen Conference Whitworth 6–0
Far Western Conference Chico State College 5–0
Frontier Conference (Montana and Idaho) Rocky Mountain 4–0
Gulf Coast Conference Abilene Christian
North Texas State
2–1
Frontier Conference (New Mexico) Adams State College
New Mexico Military Institute
4–1
Indiana Collegiate Conference St. Joseph's
Evansville
5–1
Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Parsons 6–0
Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference College of Emporia 7–0
Lone Star Conference East Texas State Teachers
Sam Houston State Teachers
Southwest Texas State Teachers
5–1
Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Hillsdale 6–0
Mid-American Conference Miami (OH) 5–0
Midwest Collegiate Athletic Conference Coe 7–0
Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Gustavus Adolphus 5–1
Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association Southeast Missouri State 5–0
Nebraska College Conference Nebraska State Teachers (UN–Kearney)7–0
North Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference South Dakota State College 5–0–1
North Dakota College Athletic Conference Jamestown College
Dickinson State College
5–1
Ohio Athletic Conference Muskingum 7–0
Ohio Valley Conference Tennessee Tech 5–0
Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference Central State College (OK)
Northeastern State Teachers (OK)
Southwestern State College (OK)
4–1
Oregon Collegiate Conference Unknown
Pacific Northwest Conference College of Idaho
Lewis & Clark
4–1
Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Bloomsburg State Teachers 3–0–1
Presidents' Athletic Conference Western Reserve 3–0
Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Idaho State College 6–0
Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Pomona-Pitzer 4–0
South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference Northern State Teachers 7–0
Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Florida A&M 6–0
Southwestern Athletic Conference Southern 6–1
State Teacher's College Conference of Minnesota St. Cloud State Teachers 4–0
Texas Collegiate Athletic Conference McMurry 2–0
Wisconsin State College Conference Wisconsin State–Stevens Point 6–0

Minor conference standings

1955 Badger-Illini Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Mission House +510  610
Northwestern (WI) +510  610
Milton 330  330
Wisconsin Tech 330  340
Wisconsin–Extension 240  340
St. Procopius 141  141
Concordia (IL) 141  151
  • + Conference co-champions
1955 California Collegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Fresno State 200  910
Cal Poly 210  730
Santa Barbara 110  360
Los Angeles State 010  360
San Diego State 020  280
  • No champion named for the 1955 season
1955 Central Church College Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Concordia (NE) $300  620
Tarkio 210  530
Westmar 120  170
Dana 030  160
  • $ Conference champion
1955 Central Intercollegiate Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Pittsburg State $500  730
Washburn 410  621
Fort Hays State 221  531
St. Benedict's 230  360
Southwestern (KS) 131  441
Emporia State 050  0100
  • $ Conference champion
1955 Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 2 Maryland State $700  900
No. 7 North Carolina A&T 412  413
No. 9 North Carolina College 312  412
No. 12 Delaware State 510  710
No. 13 Morgan State 511  620
No. 14 Virginia State 512  522
Winston-Salem 610  720
Shaw 422  432
Bluefield State 521  721
St. Augustine's 440  450
Virginia Union       
Hampton 460  460
Johnson C. Smith       
Howard 240  360
Lincoln (PA) 160  170
West Virginia State 060  170
Fayetteville State 080  090
Saint Paul's (VA)       
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from the Pittsburgh Courier . [9]
1955 College Conference of Illinois football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Wheaton (IL) $501  611
Illinois Wesleyan 510  630
Millikin 420  440
Lake Forest 321  332
Augustana (IL) 240  260
North Central (IL) 140  260
Elmhurst 060  080
  • $ Conference champion
1955 Evergreen Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Whitworth $600  900
Pacific Lutheran 510  530
Puget Sound 420  620
Eastern Washington 330  440
Central Washington 240  260
UBC 150   ? ? ?
Western Washington 060  170
  • $ Conference champion
1955 Far Western Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Chico State 500  720
Cal Aggies 311  531
San Francisco State 320  550
Humboldt State 221  731
Nevada 140  250
Sacramento State 050  160
  • * No conference champion was named for the 1955 season.
1955 Gulf Coast Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
North Texas State +210  541
Abilene Christian +210  352
Trinity (TX) 120  540
Midwestern State 030  280
  • + Conference co-champions
  • * – North Texas State's loss to Chattanooga and Abilene Christian's loss to Mississippi Southern counted in the conference standings.
1955 Gulf States Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Louisiana Tech $600  910
McNeese State 510  711
Southeastern Louisiana 420  550
Southwestern Louisiana 330  540
Northwestern State 240  450
Northeast Louisiana State 150  460
Louisiana College 060  280
  • $ Conference champion
1955 Hoosier Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Indiana Central $411  531
Franklin (IN) 420  630
Hanover 420  540
Anderson (IN) 330  450
Earlham 330  360
Manchester (IN) 141  261
Taylor 150  260
  • $ Conference champion
1955 Indiana Collegiate Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Evansville +510  620
Saint Joseph's (IN) +510  530
Valparaiso 420  530
Butler 330  350
DePauw 240  540
Ball State 150  350
Indiana State 150  260
  • + Conference co-champions
1955 Interstate Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Central Michigan +510  810
Michigan State Normal +510  720
Southern Illinois 411  442
Illinois State 231  342
Western Illinois 231  541
Eastern Illinois 150  360
Northern Illinois State 051  081
  • + Conference co-champions
1955 Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Parsons $600  800
Luther 501  901
Simpson 520  620
Buena Vista 321  531
Iowa Wesleyan 231  251
Dubuque 240  250
Upper Iowa 151  251
Central (IA) 150  350
Wartburg 150  260
  • $ Conference champion
1955 Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
College of Emporia $700  900
Kansas Wesleyan 520  630
McPherson 520  530
Baker 430  450
Bethel (KS) 430  450
Ottawa 250  360
Bethany (KS) 160  180
Friends 070  080
  • $ Conference champion
1955 Lone Star Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Sam Houston State +510  621
Southwest Texas State +510  621
East Texas State +510  540
Stephen F. Austin 240  540
Lamar Tech 240  460
Texas A&I 240  460
Sul Ross 060  280
  • + Conference co-champions
1955 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Hillsdale $600  900
Kalamazoo 420  530
Alma 330  540
Hope 330  450
Albion 330  350
Adrian 240  450
Olivet 060  180
  • $ Conference champion
1955 Mid-American Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 15 Miami (OH) $500  900
Bowling Green 411  711
Kent State 411  621
Ohio 330  540
Toledo 240  351
Marshall 150  360
Western Michigan 050  171
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1955 Mid-Ohio League football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Ashland $500  720
Findlay 410  620
Wilmington (OH) 221  531
Bluffton 230  360
Defiance 131  171
Ohio Northern 050  160
  • $ Conference champion
1955 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Gustavus Adolphus $510  530
Saint John's (MN) 420  720
Concordia (MN) 420  620
Macalester 420  431
Augsburg 330  440
St. Thomas (MN) 330  440
Minnesota–Duluth 150  350
Hamline 060  070
  • $ Conference champion
1955 Missouri College Athletic Union football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Missouri Valley $100  911
Tarkio 210  530
William Jewell 210  540
Culver–Stockton 110  243
Central Methodist 030  161
  • $ Conference champion
1955 Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
SE Missouri State $500  900
Central Missouri State 410  540
Missouri–Rolla 230  450
NW Missouri State 230  251
NE Missouri State 140  350
SW Missouri State 140  261
  • $ Conference champion
1955 Nebraska College Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Kearney State $610  820
Hastings 511  541
Peru State 520  720
Wayne State (NE) 430  441
Doane 340  341
Nebraska Wesleyan 241  271
Chadron State 250  350
Midland 070  080
  • $ Conference champion
1955 North Central Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
South Dakota State $501  621
Iowa State Teachers 510  810
Morningside 321  431
North Dakota 330  630
South Dakota 330  440
Augustana (SD) 150  261
North Dakota State 060  090
  • $ Conference champion
1955 North Dakota Intercollegiate Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Jamestown +510  610
Dickinson State +510  510
Wahpeton Science 420  420
Minot State 420  420
Mayville State 330  330
Ellendale 231  231
Bottineau 141  141
Valley City State 150  150
Bismarck JC 150  150
  • + Conference co-champions
1955 North State Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Lenoir–Rhyne $600  1000
Catawba *420  640
East Carolina 320  450
Appalachian State 330  360
Elon 240  370
Western Carolina *140  181
Guilford 040  071
  • $ Conference champion
  • * – Western Carolina forfeited a win over Catawba.
1955 New Mexico Intercollegiate Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
New Mexico Military +410  530
Adams State +410  640
Panhandle A&M 320  540
New Mexico Highlands 320  521
New Mexico Western 140  360
Arizona State–Flagstaff 050  090
  • + Conference co-champions
1955 Ohio Valley Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Tennessee Tech $500  730
Middle Tennessee 410  721
Eastern Kentucky 320  541
Murray State 230  640
Western Kentucky 140  360
Morehead State 050  090
  • $ Conference champion
1955 Oklahoma Collegiate Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Central State (OK) +410  810
Northeastern State +410  710
SW Oklahoma State +410  630
SE Oklahoma State 140  361
East Central 140  360
NW Oklahoma State 140  360
  • + Conference co-champions
1955 Oregon Collegiate Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Eastern Oregon +310  530
Oregon College +310  530
Southern Oregon +310  450
Portland State 130  260
Oregon Tech 040  050
  • + Conference co-champions
1955 Prairie College Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Illinois College +210  411
Principia +210  322
Eureka 120  161
Rose Poly 120  161
  • + Conference co-champions
1955 Presidents' Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Western Reserve $300  511
John Carroll 221  331
Case Tech 230  330
Wayne 131  151
  • $ Conference champion
1955 South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Northern State $700  910
Huron 511  521
Southern State 520  620
Dakota Wesleyan 322  432
Yankton 341  341
South Dakota Mines 232  242
Black Hills 132  142
General Beadle 160  160
Sioux Falls 060  070
  • $ Conference champion
1955 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Pomona-Claremont $400  710
Whittier 310  820
Occidental 220  620
Redlands 130  450
Caltech 040  160
  • $ Conference champion
1955 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Florida A&M $600  711
Morris Brown 510  630
Alabama State 620  720
Allen 420  620
Alabama A&M 421  521
Xavier (LA) 420  530
Bethune–Cookman 420  541
Knoxville 330  450
Lane 110  340
South Carolina State 330  360
Clark (GA) 251  251
Fort Valley State 260  360
Morehouse 141  341
Tuskegee 152  262
Benedict 151  261
Fisk 150  280
  • $ Conference champion
1955 Southwestern Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 5 Southern $610  721
No. 6 Langston 412  612
No. 8 Texas Southern 511  721
No. 10 Prairie View A&M 511  721
Texas College 250  360
Wiley 250  370
Arkansas AM&N 250  280
Bishop 070  0100
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from the Pittsburgh Courier . [10]
1955 Texas Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
McMurry $200  820
Howard Payne 110  622
Eastern New Mexico 020  540
  • $ Conference champion
1955 Yankee Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Rhode Island $401  612
Maine 211  511
Connecticut 220  440
New Hampshire 112  242
UMass 130  440
Vermont 030  331
  • $ Conference champion

Rankings

Final AP Poll

The final rankings were made on November 28, after the regular season and without consideration of the postseason bowl games:

1. Oklahoma(10–0–0)Big 7
2. Michigan State(8–1–0)Big 10
3. Maryland(10–0–0)ACC
4. UCLA(9–1–0)PCC
5. Ohio State(7–2–0)Big 10
6. TCU(9–1–0)SWC
7. Georgia Tech(8–1–1)SEC
8. Auburn(8–1–1)SEC
9. Notre Dame(8–2–0)Indep.
10. Mississippi(9–1–0)SEC
11. Pittsburgh(7–3–0)Indep.
12. Michigan(7–2–0)Big 10
13. USC(6–4–0)PCC
14. Miami (Florida)(6–3–0)Indep.
15. Miami (Ohio)(9–0–0)MAC
16. Stanford(6–3–1)PCC
17. Texas A&M(7–2–1)SWC
18. Navy(6–2–1)Indep.
19. West Virginia(8–2–0)Southern
20. Army(6–3–0)Indep.

Final Coaches Poll

RankingTeam
1Oklahoma
2Michigan State
3Maryland
4UCLA
5Ohio State
6Texas Christian
7Georgia Tech
8Auburn
9Mississippi
10Notre Dame
11Pittsburgh
12USC
13Michigan
14Texas A&M
15Army
16Duke
17West Virginia
18Miami (Fla.)
19Iowa
20 (t)Navy
20 (t)Stanford
20 (t)Miami (Ohio)

Other champions

Orange Blossom Classic

Prior to the integration of sports teams, Miami Orange Bowl stadium hosted the New Year's Day game of the same name, and a December game for historically black colleges, the Orange Blossom Classic. Grambling State (9–0–0) and Florida A & M University (8–0–1) met to determine the best Negro college football team in the nation, with Grambling winning 28–21.

Undefeated programs

Miami University (Ohio) finished 9–0–0, as did Southeast Missouri State University, Heidelberg College, Hillsdale College, College of Emporia, Maryland State College and Whitworth College. Northern State Teachers College* of South Dakota went 9–0–0, and then lost to Kearney Teachers College in the "Botany Bowl", 34–13, played in Shenandoah, Iowa, on Thanksgiving Day.

Colleges that went 8–0–0 were Alfred University, Drexel University, Albany State College, Centre College, Coe College, Parsons College, Juniata College, Muskingum College, Shepherd College, and Stevens Point College. (7). Trinity College (Connecticut) went 7–0–0. [11]

Bowl games

Major bowls

Monday, January 2, 1956

Bowl gameWinning teamLosing team
Orange Bowl No. 1 Oklahoma 20No. 3 Maryland 6
Rose Bowl No. 2 Michigan 17No. 4 UCLA 14
Cotton Bowl Classic No. 10 Ole Miss 14No. 6 TCU 13
Sugar Bowl No. 7 Georgia Tech 7No. 11 Pittsburgh 0

Other bowls

Bowl gameLocationDateWinning teamScoreLosing team
Gator Bowl Jacksonville, FLDecember 31 Vanderbilt 25–13No. 8 Auburn
Sun Bowl El Paso, TXJanuary 2 Wyoming 21–14 Texas Tech

Statistical leaders

See also

Related Research Articles

The 1980 NCAA Division I-A football season saw a university from the state of Georgia take its first national title since 1942.

The 1978 NCAA Division I-A football season was the first season of Division I-A college football; Division I-A was created in 1978 when Division I was subdivided into Division I-A and Division I-AA for football only. With the exception of seven teams from the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), Division I teams from the 1977 season played in Division I-A during the 1978 season. The SWAC teams, along with five conferences and five other teams formerly in Division II, played in Division I-AA.

During the 20th century, the NCAA had no playoff for the major college football teams in the University Division, later known as Division I-A. The NCAA did recognize a national champion based upon the final results of "wire service" polls. The "writers' poll" by Associated Press (AP) was the most popular, followed by the "coaches' poll" by United Press International) (UPI). Prior to 1965, both services issued their final polls at the close of the regular season, but before teams competed in bowl games. For the 1965 season, the AP took its final poll after the postseason games, an arrangement made permanent in 1968. The Associated Press presented the "AP Trophy" to the winner.

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.

The 1967 NCAA University Division football season was the last one in which college football's champion was crowned before the bowl games. 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 and now as the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).

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 1971 NCAA University Division football season saw Coach Bob Devaney's Nebraska Cornhuskers repeat as national champions. Ranked a close second behind Notre Dame in the preseason poll, Nebraska moved up to first place the following week, remained there for the rest of 1971, and convincingly won the Orange Bowl 38–6 in a No. 1 vs. No. 2 game against Alabama.

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 1976 NCAA Division I football season ended with a championship for the Panthers of the University of Pittsburgh. Led by head coach Johnny Majors, the Pitt Panthers brought a college football championship to the home of the defending pro football champions, the Steelers. Pitt also had the Heisman Trophy winner, Tony Dorsett; the Panthers had been ranked ninth in the preseason AP poll.

The 1977 NCAA Division I football season was one in which the top five teams finished with 11–1 records. Notre Dame, which beat top-ranked and undefeated Texas in the Cotton Bowl, became the national champion.

The 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 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 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 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 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.

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.

References

  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-02-17. Retrieved 2009-01-18.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. appollarchive.com/football/ap
  3. Id.
  4. Independent Press-Telegram, (Long Beach, CA), Sep. 25, 1955, pB-1
  5. Sports Illustrated, Oct. 17, 1955, p6
  6. "Michigan Fights Back to Nip Gophers, 14–13," San Antonio Light, Oct. 23, 1955, p5–D
  7. "Knox Hurt-- UCLA Barely Beats Huskies", Oakland Tribune, Nov. 13, 1955, pA-51. The game is referenced in Back to the Future Part II
  8. "1955 Atlantic Coast Conference Year Summary". sports-reference.com. Retrieved January 16, 2013.
  9. "Final National Football Rating". The Pittsburgh Courier. December 10, 1955. p. 30 via Newspapers.com.
  10. "Final National Football Rating". The Pittsburgh Courier. December 10, 1955. p. 30 via Newspapers.com.
  11. "Twenty-One Finish Unbeaten-Untied," The Huronite and Daily Plainsman (Huron, SD), Nov. 22, 1955, p9