|1961 NCAA University Division football season|
|Preseason AP No. 1||Iowa|
|Regular season||September 23 – December 2, 1961|
|Number of bowls||11|
|Bowl games||December 9, 1961 – January 1, 1962|
|Champion(s)|| Alabama (AP, Coaches, NFF)|
Ohio State (FWAA)
|Heisman||Ernie Davis (halfback, Syracuse)|
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" (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 1961 consisted of the votes of 45 sportswriters, each of whom 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 10. The top teams played on New Year's Day in the four major postseason bowl games: the Rose (near Los Angeles at Pasadena), Sugar (New Orleans), Orange (Miami) and Cotton (Dallas).
|School||1960 Conference||1961 Conference|
|Denver Pioneers||Mountain States||dropped program|
|Marquette Golden Avalanche||Independent||dropped program|
|Week||No. 1 Team||Event|
|1 (Sep 23)||IOWA||Did not play|
|2 (Sep 30)||IOWA||Iowa 28, California 7|
|3 (Oct 7)||IOWA||Iowa 35, USC 34|
|4 (Oct 14)||OLE MISS||Ole Miss 47, Houston 7|
|5 (Oct 21)||MICHIGAN STATE||MSU 17, Notre Dame 7|
|6 (Oct 28)||MICHIGAN STATE||MSU 35, Indiana 0|
|7 (Nov 4)||MICHIGAN STATE||Minnesota 13, MSU 0|
|8 (Nov 11)||TEXAS||Texas 33, Baylor 7|
|9 (Nov 18)||TEXAS||TCU 6, Texas 0|
|10 (Nov 25)||ALABAMA||(Idle)|
|11 (Dec 2)||ALABAMA||Alabama 34, Auburn 0|
In the preseason poll released on September 18, Iowa was the No. 1, and its Big Ten rival Ohio State No. 2. SEC teams Alabama and LSU were third and fifth, and Texas was fourth. Rounding out the top ten were 6.Michigan State 7.Penn State 8.Kansas 9.Mississippi and 10.Syracuse.
As the regular season progressed, a new poll would be issued on the Monday following the weekend's games. The Big Ten schools would not kick off until September 30. On September 23, No. 3 Alabama won 32–6 at Georgia and No. 4 Texas won at California 28–3. In Houston, No. 5 LSU fell to Rice 16–3. No. 10 Syracuse, which had beaten Oregon State 19–8 in Portland, rose to fifth. In the poll that followed, Iowa remained No. 1, followed by 2.Mississippi 3.Ohio State 4.Alabama and 5.Syracuse. Texas dropped to sixth place.
September 30 California played a top-ranked team for the second straight week, losing at No. 1 Iowa 28–7. No. 2 Mississippi won 20–6 at Kentucky. Texas Christian University (TCU) tied No. 3 Ohio State 7–7 at Columbus. In a game at Mobile, No. 4 Alabama beat Tulane 9–0. No. 5 Syracuse defeated visiting West Virginia 29–14, but fell out of the poll. No. 6 Texas, which beat Texas Tech at home, 42–14, returned to the Top Five, along with previously unranked Georgia Tech, which shut out Rice 24–0.
In the poll that followed, Iowa remained No. 1, followed by 2.Mississippi 3. Georgia Tech 4.Alabama and 5.Texas
October 7 No. 1 Iowa won 35–34 at USC No. 2 Mississippi won 33–0 against Florida State No. 3 Georgia Tech lost to LSU 10–0 No. 4 Alabama won 35–6 at Vanderbilt No. 5 Texas routed Washington State 41–8 No. 6 Michigan State No. 7 Syracuse lost 22–21 to Maryland No. 8 Ohio State beat UCLA 13–3 In the poll that followed, Mississippi took over first place from Iowa, which dropped to second. These were followed by 3.Alabama and 4.Texas and 5.Michigan State (had beaten Stanford 31–3)
October 14 No. 1 Mississippi met the Houston Cougars at Memphis and won 47–7. No. 2 Iowa beat Indiana 27–8 at home. No. 3 Alabama beat North Carolina State 26–7 at Birmingham, and No. 4 Texas played its annual game against Oklahoma at Dallas, winning 28–7. No. 5 Michigan State won at Michigan, shutting out the Wolverines 28–0. On the next poll, Michigan State took the No. 1 spot from Ole Miss by a margin of only two points (431 to 429), though the Rebels had more first place votes than the Spartans (21 vs. 16). They were followed by 3.Texas 4.Iowa and 5.Alabama.
On October 21, No. 1 Michigan State got by Notre Dame 17–7 at home, and No. 2 Mississippi shut out Tulane in a game at Jackson, 41–0. No. 3 Texas won at Arkansas, 33–7, No. 4 Iowa hosted Wisconsin, winning 47–15, and No. 5 Alabama defeated Tennessee at Birmingham, 34–3. The top three (Michigan State, Ole Miss and Texas) were unchanged, while Alabama and Iowa traded places at 4th and 5th.
October 28 In a week of shutouts, No. 1 Michigan State beat Indiana 35–0, and No. 2 Mississippi had an even bigger blowout, 47–0, against Vanderbilt. No. 3 Texas beat the visiting Rice Owls, 34–7, while No. 4 Alabama won at Houston over the Cougars, 17–0. No. 5 Iowa was on the wrong side of scoreless, losing 9–0 at Purdue. The top 4 stayed the same, while No. 6 Ohio State, which had won at Wisconsin 30–21, took fifth place from Iowa, whom they would play the following Saturday.
November 4 No. 1 Michigan State fell to unranked Minnesota, 13–0. At the same time, No. 2 Mississippi lost to No. 6 LSU 10–7 at Baton Rouge. The No. 3 Texas Longhorns beat the SMU Mustangs at Dallas, 27–0. No. 4 Alabama shut out Mississippi State 24–0. At Columbus, No. 5 Ohio State beat No. 9 Iowa 29–13. Texas, Alabama and Ohio State moved up from 3, 4 and 5 to 1st, 2nd and 3rd, and giant-killers LSU and Minnesota were 4th and 5th. Michigan State and Ole Miss fell to 6 and 7.
November 11 No. 1 Texas beat Baylor, 33–7. No. 2 Alabama crushed the visiting Richmond Spiders (which would be I-AA later) 66–0 at home. No. 3 Ohio State won 16–7 at Indiana, No. 4 LSU won 30–0 at North Carolina, and No. 5 Minnesota handed formerly first place Iowa its second straight loss, at home, 16–9. No. 6 Michigan State, too, lost its second straight, falling 7–6 at Purdue. The Top Five remained unchanged.
November 18 Texas Christian University had earlier tied Ohio State 6–6 in Columbus, and bested that with a win over No. 1 Texas in Austin, 6–0. After the 6–0 loss, legendary Texas coach Darrell Royal uttered his immortal description of TCU:
"They're like a bunch of cockroaches," Royal said. "It's not what they eat and tote off, it's what they fall into and mess up that hurts."
No. 2 Alabama beat Georgia Tech in Birmingham, 10–0. No. 3 Ohio State defeated visiting Oregon, 22–12, and No. 4 LSU hosted Mississippi State and won 14–6 No. 5 Minnesota defeated No. 7 Purdue, 10–7, at home. Alabama (9–0–0) rose to No. 1, with Ohio State (7–0–1) at No. 2. Minnesota rose to #3, LSU stayed at No. 4 and Texas (8–1–0) fell from No. 1 to #5.
Post-Thanksgiving (November 25) No. 1 Alabama was idle. No. 2 Ohio State won at Michigan, 50–20. No. 3 Minnesota narrowly lost to Wisconsin 23–21. No. 4 LSU crushed visiting Tulane, 62–0, and No. 5 Texas 25–0 over Texas A & M. Ole Miss, which was idle, returned to the Top Five.
December 2, No. 1 Alabama won its annual Birmingham game against the Auburn Tigers, 34–0, to close the season with a 10–0–0 record. No. 5 Mississippi closed its season at 9–1–0 with a 37–7 win against Mississippi State. The AP's final poll was a Top 20 ranking. With 26 of the 48 first place votes the Alabama Crimson Tide was awarded the AP Trophy, ahead of Ohio State (with 20 votes). The point total was even closer, with 16 points separated the Tide from the Buckeyes (452 to 436).
The final poll was: 1.Alabama 2. Ohio State 3. Texas 4.LSU 5.Mississippi 6.Minnesota 7.Colorado 8.Michigan State 9.Arkansas 10.Utah State 11.Missouri 12.Purdue 13. Georgia Tech 14.Syracuse 15.Rutgers 16.UCLA. Arizona, Penn State and Rice were tied for 17th place, followed by 20.Duke. Unbeaten and tied only once, Ohio State University qualified for the Rose Bowl. In a move that stunned the sports world, however, the University's faculty council voted 28–25 on November 28 not to accept the invitation, declaring that the school's emphasis on sports over academics was excessive. The wire service commented that "A team of 57 Ohio State University faculty members handed the second ranked Buckeyes their only defeat of the season.".The University of Minnesota took the Buckeyes' place at Pasadena.
Monday, January 1, 1962
|SUGAR||No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide||10||No. 9 Arkansas Razorbacks||3|
|COTTON||No. 3 Texas Longhorns||12||No. 5 Mississippi Rebels||7|
|ORANGE||No. 4 LSU Tigers||25||No. 7 Colorado Buffaloes||7|
|ROSE||No. 6 Minnesota Golden Gophers||21||No. 16 UCLA Bruins||3|
|SUN||El Paso, TX||December 30||Villanova||17–9||Wichita State|
|GATOR||Jacksonville, FL||December 30||No. 17 Penn State||30–15||No. 13 Georgia Tech|
|TANGERINE||Orlando, FL||December 29||Lamar||21–14||Middle Tennessee|
|BLUEBONNET||Houston, TX||December 16||Kansas||33–7||No. 17 Rice|
|LIBERTY||Philadelphia, PA||December 16||No. 14 Syracuse||15–14||Miami (FL)|
|AVIATION||Dayton, OH||December 9||New Mexico||28–12||W. Michigan|
|GOTHAM||New York, NY||December 9||Baylor||24–9||No. 10 Utah State|
|MERCY||Los Angeles, CA||November 23||Fresno State||36–6||Bowling Green|
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 1987 NCAA Division I-A football season ended with Miami winning its second national championship during the '80s in an Orange Bowl match-up featuring a rare No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup between the top ranked Oklahoma Sooners and the Hurricanes.
The 1962 NCAA University Division football season was played by American football teams representing 140 colleges and universities recognized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) as major programs. The remaining 370 colleges and universities that were NCAA members and fielded football teams competed in the 1962 NCAA College Division football season.
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 1960 NCAA University Division football season marked the last time that the University of Minnesota was a national champion on the gridiron. Murray Warmath's Minnesota Gophers were not in the Top 20 in preseason polling, but received the AP Trophy at the end of the regular season while Ole Miss received the FWAA trophy.
The 1970 NCAA University Division football season was marked by tragedy, due to two airplane crashes. On October 2, one of the planes carrying the Wichita State football team crashed on the way to a game against Utah State, killing 31 people on board, including 14 players. Then, on November 14, the charter for the Marshall Thundering Herd crashed on the way home from a game against East Carolina, killing all 75 persons.
The 1959 NCAA University Division football season saw Syracuse University crowned as the national champion by both final polls, the AP writers poll and the UPI coaches polls.
The 1958 NCAA University Division football season was notable in that it was the first to feature the two-point conversion. On January 13, 1958, the eleven-man NCAA Rules Committee unanimously approved a resolution to allow teams to choose between kicking an extra point after a touchdown, or running or passing from the three-yard line for two points. University of Michigan athletic director Fritz Crisler said at the meeting in Fort Lauderdale, "It's a progressive step which will make football more interesting for the spectators," adding that the rule "will add drama to what has been the dullest, most stupid play in the game."
The 1957 NCAA University Division football season saw two different national champions. [[1957 Alabama Polytechnic Institute team|(Auburn University in 1960) was ranked first in the AP writers' poll taken at season's end, while Ohio State University was first in the UPI coaches' poll. API 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 1972 NCAA University Division football season saw the USC Trojans, coached by John McKay, go undefeated and win the national championship as the unanimous choice of the 50 AP panelists. Eighth-ranked in the preseason, the Trojans were narrowly voted No. 1 in the first AP poll, and stayed out front for the rest of the year.
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.
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 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 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 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 Florida State 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.