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        The College Football Historian                                        ™

   ISSN: 1526-233x                      Vol. 1 No. 10         Established: Jan. 2008

Tex Noel, Editor                                                (


Vanderbilt Celebrates A                         49-0 over Stanford) January 1,
                                                1902. McGugin earned his law
Century of Dan                                  degree from Michigan.
                                                After his graduation from
By Bill Traughber                               Michigan, Wolverine head
                                                football coach Fielding Yost was
                                                asked by Vanderbilt to
(The Commodore History
                                                recommend a football coach.
                                                While not having any head
Almost 100 years to the day this                coaching experience, Yost saw
week, Mississippi State played at               something in McGugin to
Vanderbilt and was thrashed by                  recommend him to Vanderbilt.
the Commodores, 61-0. That day                  McGugin was an assistant to
was October 1, 1904 and the first               Yost.
game at Vanderbilt for legendary
coach Dan McGugin.                              In his latter years, McGugin told
                                                the story about how he came to
McGugin would spend the next                    Vanderbilt: “I wrote Vanderbilt,
30 years leading the Commodore                  cautiously offering my services,
football program and acquiring                  but received no response. One
an amazing record of 197-55-19.                 day while the J-Hop was going on
He served one year (1918) in                    in Ann Arbor, I had a telegram
World War I. At Vanderbilt, he                  from Western Reserve at
was a part-time coach and in the                Cleveland offering me the job
interim McGugin was a corporate                 there and asking for an
lawyer.                                         immediate reply. I went to the
                                                telegraph office and wired
McGugin was born in Tingley,                    acceptance, and when I walked
Iowa on July 29, 1879. He played                back to the Delta Upsilon house,
one year of football at Drake                   I found a telegram from
University and three years at                   Vanderbilt definitely offering me
Michigan. McGugin was a guard                   that place.
on the Michigan team that played
in the first Rose Bowl (Michigan
       The College Football Historian-2-   game in Nashville against his
                                           friend and brother-in-law Yost
“Vanderbilt offered $850.00 and            and Michigan. The Wolverines
Western Reserve $1000.00, but I            were heavy favorites to win the
wanted to come South and see               game. The game was the first at
and know the people. I decided             the new Dudley Field and ended,
that if I could recall the telegram        0-0.
to Cleveland before its delivery, I
would go to Vanderbilt.                    It was reported that before the
                                           Michigan game McGugin said to
Otherwise I would go to Western            his squad before the game, “You
Reserve. The telegram was                  are going against Yankees, some
recalled before delivery by three          of whose grandfathers killed your
minutes.”                                  grandfathers in the Civil War.” It
                                           was not known if the players
Shortly after arriving in                  knew that McGugin’s father was
Nashville, McGugin married                 an officer in the Union army.
Virginia Fite with Yost serving as         McGugin recorded three seasons
best man. Yost met Fite’s sister           (1910, 1921, 1922) with no
and he later married her. Now              defeats and one tie. In five
the close friends were related by          seasons (1905, 1906, 1911,
marriage.                                  1915, 1926) his teams only lost
                                           one game on its schedule. He
For a number of years the couple           was 13-8-3 all-time against
lived at 310 25th Avenue South             Tennessee, with most of those
and their home was open to                 losses occurring near his
players and friends of Vanderbilt.         retirement.
McGugin was a disciplinarian
that demanded respect, and it              McGugin was known as a
was said he never used “rough”             brilliant strategist with the ability
language nor berated a player              to motivate his men. One method
publicly.                                  of motivation was privately
                                           demonstrated before a big game.
In his first season at Vanderbilt          Former Vanderbilt All-American
his 1904 club was 9-0-0, the only          Pete Gracey told this story about
undefeated, untied team in                 his coach. The quote appeared in
Commodore history. Eight of                Fred Russell’s book Bury Me in
those games were shutouts with             An Old Pressbox:
the only opponent able to score
was Missouri Mines (29-4). They            “In my first varsity year, the
outscored their opponents 452-4            night before we played Georgia
and led the nation in scoring that         Tech, Coach McGugin casually
year.                                      walked up to me in the lobby of
                                           our hotel, put his arm around my
His most memorable football
game was the October 14, 1922
      The College Football Historian-3-   he knew plays that a team needs
                                          for its scoring record. Above all
soldier and sorta whispered, ‘I           he was a fine inspirational, one
was with some Atlanta                     who always had the complete
newspapermen this afternoon               affection and respect of his
and I told them you were the              players. I don’t believe many
finest sophomore center I had             people know the amazing job
ever coached. I hope that I               Dan McGugin did along this
haven’t made it embarrassing for          latter time. I have heard any
you.’                                     number of old Vanderbilt players
                                          tell how much he had meant to
“We beat Tech, 49 to 7. Afterward         their lives after college days were
I talked to seven other players           over.
and you know, Coach McGugin
told them all the same thing he           “Dan had a keen sense of humor
told me.”                                 that is a big factor in bringing
                                          about periods of relaxation which
McGugin is credited with being            every football squad must have.
the first coach to use the on-side        Few coaches ever had better
kick effectively when the rules           ability at keying up the team, for
were changed and using guards             Dan had a psychology of his own
to pull to lead interference.             which seemed to fit changing
Under McGugin’s guidance,
Vanderbilt became the first               “His thirty year record at
Southern team to play                     Vanderbilt will stand as one of
intersectional games.                     the finest things in football, when
                                          you take into consideration his
Legendary sports writer                   success as a coach, and his
Grantland Rice began his writing          greater success as a builder of
career in Nashville and was a             character.”
long-time personal friend of
McGugin. Rice gave this tribute           McGugin retired from coaching
to his friend:                            after the 1934 season. His last
                                          four teams were 5-4, 6-1-2, 4-3-3
“I have known a long parade of            and 6-3. He continued to practice
football coaches through the past         law while also serving as
forty years, but I have never met         Vanderbilt’s athletics director. At
one who combined more of the              the time of McGugin’s retirement,
qualities needed to make a great          he was the oldest coach in
coach than Dan McGugin                    America as far as service with
carried.                                  one institution.

“In the first place Dan knew the
fundamentals and knew how to
teach them. In the second place
      The College Football Historian-4-             I. Curry was an All-Southern
                                                    quarterback at Vanderbilt.

As a Nashville citizen McGugin                      McGugin was a student of the
gave himself to the community.                      Civil War and like reading
He was a Trustee of Fisk                            biographies. Ironically, McGugin
                                                    died on the birthday of Lee, who
University, member of the Vine                      was born on January 19, 1807.
Street Christian Church, Belle
Meade Club member and active                        McGugin was a president of the
in the Boy Scouts organization.                     American Football Coaches
McGugin died on January 19,                         Association, member of the Iowa
1936 at the home of his law                         Sports Hall of Fame, and
partner. He was 56 and remains                      posthumously, the National
the winningest football coach in                    College Football Hall of Fame. In
Vanderbilt history.                                 2008 McGugin was inducted with
                                                    the inaugural class to the
When McGugin died, his office                       Vanderbilt Sports Hall of Fame.
wall revealed photographs of his
heroes. Even though he was from                     McGugin’s great-grandson, Dan
the North and his father a Union                    McGugin IV, is the current head
soldier, his wall displayed                         football coach at Nashville’s
portraits of Confederate General                    Montgomery Bell Academy.
Robert E. Lee, Abraham Lincoln
and Irby “Rabbit” Curry. Curry                      Dan McGugin is buried in
was a Vanderbilt player (1913-                      Nashville’s Mt. Olivet Cemetery.
16) who was killed in World War

                                                        *       *       *       *
                                          Christie Flanagan

  Born in Beaumont, Texas,
  Christie Flanagan, the son of                     While in high school, Flanagan
  Christie Sr. and Mae Flanagan                     spent two summers at Culver
  of Port Arthur, graduated from                    Military Institute in Indiana. It
  Port Arthur High School in                        was at the suggestion of a
  1923 where he played varsity                      tactical officer there, a Notre
  football for two years.                           Dame alumnus, that he enrolled
                                                    at the university in 1923.
  Although he didn't make All-
  State, he was considered one                      He played on the freshman team
  of the best players to come out                   as a walk-on. However, the "Four
  of the Texas high school                          Horsemen" were seniors the
  system in the 1920s.                              following year, and Flanagan was
      The College Football Historian-5-   Flanagan made All-American that
                                          year and again in 1927.
red shirted by Coach Knute
Rockne. He didn't play a down in          In 1927, he starred against USC
the 1924 season, but he did               in Soldier Field in Chicago before
scrimmage daily against the Four          a crowd of 128,000 people, the
Horsemen and the Seven Mules,             largest crowd ever to watch a
as the line was known.                    football game.

Flanagan's first season as a              Flanagan led Notre Dame in
varsity starter was in 1925, and          rushing all three of his varsity
his first game was against                years, rushing for a total of 1,822
Baylor, undefeated in their               yards. This still ranks eleventh
conference for the preceding              on the school's all-time list, even
three seasons. Notre Dame beat            with the numerous changes in
Baylor 41-0, and Flanagan                 college football. His average per
instantly became famous for his           carry (6.4 yards) remains the
part in the victory.                      second highest in the school's
That year he scored more points
than the "Galloping Ghost" Red            Flanagan graduated in 1928. As
Grange, a senior at Illinois. The         a personal favor to Rockne, he
following season, Flanagan made           became assistant coach at St.
his famous run against Army in            Louis University under Hartley
Yankee Stadium. He ran 63                 "Hunk" Anderson.
yards for a touchdown on the
"perfect play," and not a hand            Anderson later became head
touched him on the way to the             coach at Notre Dame during the
end zone.                                 1929 - 1930 seasons, Flanagan
                                          coached at Purdue, and the
The game was the first successful         Boilermakers won the Big Ten
football broadcast on coast to            championship and a trip to the
coast radio. The next day                 Rose Bowl.
Grantland Rice, creator of the
famous Four Horsemen, dubbed              He coached the backfield at the
Flanagan the "Lone Horseman."             U.S. Naval Academy from 1931
Flanagan went on to lead Notre            through 1933. From there he
Dame to a 20-7 victory over a             went to Duquesne in Pittsburgh
standout Minnesota team led by            as head coach and athletic
Bronko Nagurski. The day after            director. After two years at
the game, Minnesota coach Don             Duquesne, Flanagan returned to
Spears called Flanagan "one of            Port Arthur at the request of his
the greatest backfield men you            father and went to work in the
will ever see play football."             Flanagan shipping business.
The year after he left Duquesne,      behind tales of the greatness of a
the team went to the Orange           walk-on at Notre Dame who
Bowl. Christie Flanagan raised        would      never      accept     a
four children in Port Arthur and      scholarship.
passed away in 1991, leaving
                                      To see how true this adage is, I’ve
Called "Perfect Play Flanagan"        looked at some coaching legends
and "The Lone Horseman," he           and the guys who followed them.
will always be remembered by          They are as follows, in
fans of the Fighting Irish, and it    chronological order from when
all began in Port Arthur, Texas.      the legend was hired:

This story and image Courtesy of      OKLAHOMA
the Museum of the Gulf Coast,
Port Arthur, Texas.                   Legend: Bud Wilkinson, 1947-
                                      63, 145-29-4 (.826); 3 national
*      *      *       *               and 14 conference titles

The Guys Who Follow                   Follower: Gomer Jones, 1964-
                                      65, 9-11-1 (.452); 0 national or
College Football’s                    conference titles
Coaching Legends
                                      Next: Jim Mackenzie, 1966, 6-4
By Dave Wunderlich, Year 2            (.600); 0 national or conference
Football Blog (used by                titles
                                      This is somewhat of a bad
We’ve all heard it a million times:   example to start off with, since
“You don’t want to be the guy         Mackenzie sadly passed away
who follows a legend; you want to     due to a heart attack after his
be the guy who follows the guy        first season.
who follows the legend.”
                                      Jones definitely had a difficult
It makes intuitive sense, and it      time following Wilkinson though,
certainly would seem true. Urban      having not been able to break
Meyer is the guy who followed         even in his two years. Wilkinson
the guy who followed the legend       is the coach who led Oklahoma
at Florida, and things have           to its famed 47-game winning
worked out quite well for him so      streak, and he failed to win the
far. Then again, Bill Callahan        Big 8 title in only three of his 17
was the same at Nebraska, and         years.
the fans were ready to run him
out of town two years before he
finally got the axe.
      The College Football Historian-7-   Next: John Cooper, 1988-2000,
                                          111-43-4 (.715), 0 national and 4
AUBURN                                    conference titles

Legend: Shug Jordan, 1951-75,             Earle Bruce did an admirable job
175-83-7 (.674), 1 national and 1         in following Woody Hayes after
conference title                          Hayes’ unexpected meltdown and
                                          firing. He did not see the same
Follower: Doug Barfield, 1976-            success however, though he
80, 29-25-1 (.536), 0 national or         nearly won the national title in
conference titles                         his first year.

Next: Pat Dye, 1981-92, 99-39-4           John Cooper is a goat in OSU
(.711), 0 national and 4                  annals, having posted a 2-10-1
conference titles                         record against Michigan and
                                          having presided over numerous
Jordan held the job for 25 years          academic and discipline
and the stadium is named after            problems.
him, but his .674 winning
percentage is lower than any of           TEXAS
the other legends on this list.
Barfield followed him up with 5           Legend: Darrell Royal, 1957-76,
forgettable seasons, with 8-3             167-47-5 (.774), 3 national and
being the best record he posted.          11 conference titles

Dye had the most success in his           Follower: Fred Akers, 1977-86,
tenure of the three, though he            86-31-2 (.731), 0 national and 2
was forced out of his coaching            conference titles
and AD position when it was
revealed that assistant coaches           Next: David McWilliams, 1987-
and boosters had paid a player.           91, 31-26 (.544), 0 national and
He still is fondly remembered,            1 conference title
though, as the field at Jordan-
Hare stadium was named after              Akers did a much better job than
him in 2005.                              McWilliams did. Akers caught
                                          flak though for losing bowl games
OHIO STATE                                and in his final few years having
                                          bad records against Oklahoma
Legend: Woody Hayes, 1951-78,             and Texas A&M.
205-61-10 (.761), 5 national and
13 conference titles                      McWilliams’s 1990 SWC
                                          championship year looks like a
Follower: Earle Bruce, 1979-87,           fluke in light of the rest of his
81-26-1 (.755), 0 national and 4          seasons, with the 7-5 record in
conference titles                         his first year being the second-
                                          best record he had.
      The College Football Historian-8-   Neither Goff nor Donnan panned
                                          out for the Bulldogs. They both
ALABAMA                                   failed to win even an SEC East
                                          title, and both were used as
Legend: Paul Bryant, 1958-82,             Florida’s whipping boy. Goff is
232-46-9 (.824), 6 national and           perhaps most famous for being
13 conference titles                      called “Ray Goof” by Steve
Follower: Ray Perkins, 1983-86,
32-15-1 (.677), 0 national or             MICHIGAN
conference titles
                                          Legend: Bo Schembechler, 1969-
Next: Bill Curry, 1987-89, 26-10          89, 194-48-5 (.796), 0 national
(.722), 0 national and 1                  and 13 conference titles
conference title
                                          Follower: Gary Moeller, 1990-94,
Perkins left the New York Giants          44-13-3 (.758), 0 national and 3
to coach at his alma mater, and           conference titles
he left four years later to take a
rich contract with the Tampa Bay          Next: Lloyd Carr, 1995-07, 122-
Buccaneers. An incident where a           40 (.753), 1 national and 5
former player that he had                 conference titles
recruited claimed he was paid led
to the school being placed on             Moeller is a controversial figure
probation in 1995.                        for Wolverines due to his messy
                                          departure following a drunken
Curry was doing well in his three         altercation at a restaurant. Some
years, though he was 0-3 against          argue his best years were already
Auburn. He didn’t like the                behind him; some argue that he
contract offered to him in 1990,          was trying to modernize the
so he left to coach Kentucky.             program and that Carr won his
                                          national title with Moeller’s
GEORGIA                                   players.

Legend: Vince Dooley, 1964-88,            Carr is one of the few followed-
201-77-10 (.715), 1 national and          the-guy-who-followed-the-legend
6 conference titles                       guys who actually won a national
                                          title. His legacy will remain mixed
Follower: Ray Goff, 1989-95, 46-          due to his futility against Jim
34-1 (.574), 0 national or                Tressel and the loss to
conference titles                         Appalachian State.

Next: Jim Donnan, 1996-2000,
40-19 (.678), 0 national or
conference titles
      The College Football Historian-9-   will probably be despised by
                                          Husker fans forever.
Legend: LaVell Edwards, 1972-
2000, 257-101-3 (.716), 1                 Legend: Steve Spurrier, 1990-
national and 19 conference titles         2001, 122-27-1 (.817), 1 national
                                          and 6 conference titles
Follower: Gary Crowton, 2001-
04, 26-23 (.531), 0 national and          Follower: Ron Zook, 2002-04,
1 conference title                        23-14 (.622), 0 national and
                                          conference titles
Next: Bronco Mendenhall, 2005-
present, 28-10 (.737), 0 national         Next: Urban Meyer, 2005-
and 2 conference titles                   present, 31-8 (.795), 1 national
                                          and 1 conference title
Crowton won the MWC his first
year with Edwards’ players, but           Zook was doomed from the
failed to reach .500 in his               beginning, having been a fallback
remaining three years.                    choice for the coaching position
Mendenhall has put together               and having never been a head
consecutive 11-win seasons,               coach before. He won games he
winning the MWC title each year.          shouldn’t have, but lost games
His 2008 team is expected to              he shouldn’t have too. He also
contend for a BCS bowl.                   presided over an explosion of off-
                                          field issues, including Zook
NEBRASKA                                  himself being involved in a fight
                                          at a frat house. Some Florida
Legend: Tom Osborne, 1973-97,             fans still defend him, but the
255-49-3 (.836), 3 national and           overall sentiment is that his
13 conference titles                      hiring was a mistake.

Follower: Frank Solich, 1998-03,          After doubts about his offense
58-19 (.753), 0 national and 1            abounded in his first year, Meyer
conference title                          solidified his position in his
                                          second by winning a national
Next: Bill Callahan, 2004-07, 27-         title. Some fans are
22 (.551), 0 national or                  uncomfortable with his highly
conference titles                         aggressive recruiting tactics,
                                          which have drawn scrutiny from
Solich is probably the source of          other coaches and the NCAA, but
the modern “You don’t want to be          otherwise Gators are more than
the guy who follows a legend”             happy with his job so far.
movement, having been fired
after a 9-win season. Callahan            Following a legend, regardless of
ended up being a disaster, and            place in line, is not easy. Only
         The College Football Historian-10-            Nov. 14 Sewanee 12 @Ole Miss       0
                                                       Nov. 20 Sewanee 71 Cumberland      0
Pat Dye clearly surpassed his                          Nov. 30 Sewanee 11 @Auburn         0
legendary predecessor’s                                Dec. 2 Sewanee 5 @North Carolina   0
accomplishments, but his
departure was not the stuff of
legends.                                                       *   *        *       *
None of the followers
distinguished himself after                           Athletics At Cornell
leaving, though Earle Bruce had
a nice run with Iowa State before
coaching the Buckeyes. Ron Zook                       By G. H. Lohmes. 1890
still has time to carve out his                       Football was played the first term
legacy at Illinois.                                   of college, but possessed very few
                                                      of the finer points which have
The book is still open for                            distinguished the game of late
Mendenhall and Meyer, but both                        years.
appear to be in good shape.
Despite their records, most of the                    The number on aside varied
coaches in that coveted “guy who                      according to previous agreement,
followed the guy who followed the                     ranging from twenty to whole
legend” role didn’t fare much                         classes.
better than the guy who did
follow the legend.                                    The settling of the question of
                                                      class athletic superiority by
There is some truth to the adage,                     football games was begun in ’70,
but in the end good coaches will                      and has continued ever since.
succeed in good situations                            A change from the old kicking
regardless of who came before.                        game to the Rugby has been
                                                      made, however, within a few
     *             *           *              *
                                                      In the old game the goal posts
          1899—Sewanee 12-0-0                         were 250 yards apart, and the
                                                      ball was placed in the centre of
             PF: 322/26.83…PA:                        the field and rushed and kicked
            10/0.83…AMV: 26.00                        between the posts.

Oct. 21 Sewanee 12         @Georgia               0   The game consisted of best three
Oct. 23 Sewanee 32         @Georgia Tech          0   in five goals.
Oct. 28 Sewanee 46         Tennessee              0
Nov. 3 Sewanee 54          Southwestern           0
                                                      In ’85 a few Rugby games were
Nov. 9 Sewanee 12          @Texas                 0
Nov. 10 Sewanee 10         @Texas A&M             0
                                                      played. The game was one of the
Nov. 11 Sewanee 23         @Tulane                0   tests of superiority of ’89 and ’90
Nov. 13 Sewanee 34         @LSU                   0   in ’86.
         The College Football Historian-11-       Elmira marked the close of the
                                                  season of’88.
In ’87 a university team was
formed, but was beaten by
everybody. A game with Lehigh at

         *             *             *        *
                                                  Bo Carter
    Outing 1899…By J. Parmly Paret                (
    1898 All-American Football Team

All-American……….Second Team                       Thanks for any verification
Poe (Princeton)……………right                         (newspaper reports, family
end………Hallowell (Harvard)                         genealogy, etc.) and your great
                                                  research assistance.
Hillebrand (Pr’ton)……….right
tackle…….Haughton (Harvard)

Boal (Harvard)……………right                             No Birthdates (But
guard……..McCracken (U. of Pa.)
                                                        Have Years)
Overfield (Univ’ty of Pa.)……
center….………Jaffray (Harvard)                         •   (1868) Charles Wharton,
                                                         Magnolia, Del.
Hare (Univ’ty of P.)………left
guard…….…Edwards (Princeton)
                                                     •   (1877) Bill Morley, Socorro
Chamberlain (Yale)……….left                               Datil, N.M.
tackle……...Donald (Harvard)

Cochran (Harvard)………...left                          •   (1898) Frank Schwab,
end………..Palmer (Princeton)                               Madera, Pa.

Hudson (Indians)………….quarter-                        •   (1898) Arnett “Ace”
back….Daly (Harvard)
                                                         Mumford, Buckhannon,
Dibblee (Harvard)………...left half-                        W.Va.
back.....Durston (Yale)
                                                     •   (1925) Arnold Tucker,
Outland (U. of P.)…………right half-                        Miami, Fla.
back...Whiting (Cornell)

Hershberger (U. of Ch’go)…full-                   No death dates listed:
back………Reid (Harvard)                                •   (d — 1965), Frank Schwab,
*Hershberger was the first player from a
                                                               Spangler, Pa.
non-Eastern school to be named to an AA
Team.                                                    (d – 1974) Bob Herwig,
**Abbreviations are as the appeared in the                 Sacramento, Calif.

*            *          *           *
        The College Football Historian-12-   for these members of the NFF
                                             College Hall of Fame, please email
Note to IFRA members: If you
have any data that we can add in

    No locations listed:                        •   June 29 (1898) Dan
    •   Dale Van Sickel, Calif.                     McMillan, USC, Location
        Location Unknown??                          Unknown?????

    •   Apr. 1 (1889) John Dalton,              •   Nov. 15 (1890) Shorty
        Neb. location???                            Miller, Location
    •   Oct. 30-(d – 1933) Charles
        Rinehart, Location
*        *       *      *                    reports from a physics laboratory
                                             on the UT campus in 1915.
The following is used with and by
permission of Handbook of Texas              During World War using the call
Online, a product of the Texas State         letters KUT, the university's
Historical Association.                      Division of Extension operated
                                             Brown's equipment to broadcast
College Football on the                      reports from the United States
Radio                                        Marketing Bureau and
                                             Department of Agriculture.
Broadcasting emerged in Texas
on the campuses of the                       By March 1922 the station had
University of Texas and Texas                combined with a second campus
A&M in College Station.                      station (call letters 5XY) and with
                                             a 500-watt power rating was one
In 1911 J. B. Dickinson,                     of the best-equipped and most
manager of the Texas Fiscal                  powerful stations in the nation.
Agency at San Antonio,
constructed wireless facilities at           The usual broadcasts were from
both schools to teach electrical             8 to 10 P.M. on three nights a
engineering students about radio             week; programming consisted of
transmissions.                               music, lectures, and agriculture
                                             and marketing reports.
As part of his experiments in
high-frequency radio, University             In addition, football games were
of Texas physics professor S.                broadcast in season and a
Leroy Brown built radio
equipment and began
broadcasting weather and crop
      The College Football Historian-13-   In the previous issue, 1996
                                           Marshall captured the NCAA
church service was aired on
                                           Division I-AA (1978-2007)
College (now Texas A&M                     all-time best crown. 1996
University) via call letters 5XB,          Marshall then dethroned the
which is now WTAW.                         NAIA I Champ from 1970-
                                           1996, 1976 Texas A&I, by a
The station operated as a ham              score of 42-38. 1996
relay station at 250 watts. On
                                           Marshall thus advanced in
November 24, 1921, possibly the
first broadcast of a football game         the Champions Round. This
in the country aired from the              issue will showcase Major
Agricultural and Mechanical                College teams from 1883
Originally, the station was to air         through 2007. As I stated in
the final score of the Texas-Texas         the past, I am using Tex
A&M Thanksgiving game, but
                                           Noel’s rankings to pair these
Frank Matejka, W. A. Tolson, and
others decided to send a play-by-          champions, with the proviso
play account of the game via               that no individual school is
Morse Code.                                represented more than once
                                           in each tournament.
Student Harry Saunders and
assistant coach D. X. Bible
                                           Since Tex’s ratings for Major
designed a set of abbreviations to
fit every possible football                College Football consists of
situation and sent the list to             two time periods, 1883-1936
every station that would                   and 1936-2007, I will
broadcast the contest.                     conduct two tournaments,
                                           one for each time frame.
The game aired over the ham
                                           This issue will focus on the
relay stations; the Morse Code
was decoded and announced to               1883-1936 era. The next
fans over a public-address                 issue will feature 1936-2007
system.                                    and then the following issue
                                           will see the winner of each
       *         *         *        *      tournament meeting to
WHICH TEAM IS THE                          determine the all-time Major
BEST?                                      College Football team. That
MAJOR COLLEGE                              winner will then take on
FOOTBALL (1883-2007)                       1996 Marshall to see which
                                           team is the best, regardless
By Patrick M. Premo                        of division.
     The College Football Historian-14-   8. 1991 Washington

Below are the fields for both             12. 1951 Maryland
of the Major College                      5. 1994 Penn St.
tournaments which I will
conduct.                                  13. 1969 Ohio St.
                                          4. 2005 Texas
THE FIELD (1883-1936):
                                          3. 1956 Oklahoma
1. 1886 Yale                              14. 1959 Syracuse
16. 1923 California
                                          6. 2001 Miami, FL
9. 1936 Minnesota                         11. 1947 Michigan
8. 1929 Tulane
                                          7. 1954 UCLA
12. 1926 Navy                             10. 2005 USC
5. 1895 Penn
                                          15. 1993 Florida St.
13. 1932 TCU                              2. 1995 Nebraska
4. 1934 Alabama
                                          The remainder of this article
3. 1917 Georgia Tech                      will reveal the outcome of
14. 1935 SMU                              the 1883-1936 field
6. 1916 Pittsburgh
11. 1920 Notre Dame                       ROUND ONE:

7. 1929 Colgate                           1886 Yale had little trouble
10. 1898 Harvard                          with 1923 California,
                                          winning 24-3. 1929 Tulane
15. 1924 Dartmouth                        lost in a minor upset to
2. 1889 Princeton                         1936 Minnesota, 24-10.
                                          1895 Penn sent 1926 Navy
THE FIELD (1936-2007):                    packing by a 32-24 score.
                                          The first real upset of the
1. 1944 Army                              tournament occurred when
16. 1951 Tennessee                        1932 TCU kicked a field
                                          goal as time expired to
9. 1996 Florida                           defeat 1934 Alabama, 23-
     The College Football Historian-15-   1895 Penn surprised the
                                          number one seed, 1886
21. 1917 Georgia Tech                     Yale, by winning 10-7 in a
found itself in a real battle             very hard-fought game.
with 1935 SMU, but                        1880 Princeton, the number
managed to pull out a 24-21               two seed, could not hold off
win. 1920 Notre Dame won                  1917 Georgia Tech, losing
over 1916 Pitt, 28-19, in                 10-24. As a result, the
another minor upset. 1929                 number one and two seeds
Colgate finally allowed some              were relegated to the
points as 1898 Harvard                    consolation game.
kicked a field goal, but
Colgate put up points of its              THIRD PLACE:
own to win easily, 24-3.
1924 Dartmouth could not                  Many expected this game
handle 1889 Princeton,                    between the number one
losing 28-10.                             and the number two seeds
                                          to be the Championship
ROUND TWO:                                game. Nevertheless, it lived
                                          up to its expectations as 80
1936 Minnesota was no                     points were put up: 1889
match for 1886 Yale, losing               Princeton won a thriller over
34-17. 1932 TCU had its                   1886 Yale, 47-33.
Cinderella effort end as
1895 Penn won 27-17.                      CHAMPIONSHIP:
1917 Georgia Tech ended
the Fighting Irish’s hopes by             1917 Georgia Tech opened
defeating 1920 Notre Dame                 up a 28-18 lead late in the
24-18. 1929 Colgate put up                fourth quarter, but 1895
a valiant fight against 1889              Penn never gave up as it
Princeton, holding the team               scored a touchdown and
to 10 points, but                         then, recovering a fumble on
unfortunately Colgate was                 the ensuing kickoff, scored
unable to put any points of               another touchdown as time
its own on the board.                     ran out to pull off a 32-28
                                          COMING UP:
                                                keep you on the edge of your
       The College Football Historian-16-       seats. Stay tuned!

                                                Editor’s Note: The national
The 1936-2007 tournament                        champions used in both
will be held next month.                        time periods are based on
And, then, as mentioned                         being selected for the
above, the following month                      respective season
will pit the winner of the                      indicated—meaning, there
1936-2007 tournament                            are no retroactive #1s on
against 1895 Penn to crown                      either list and also are based
the best Major College                          on selections of sources not
Football team in US history.                    just the NCAA-accepted
In addition, there will be a                    official selectors.
little surprise in store in
that issue – that should


Remember, if you were to conduct any of these tournaments again using my FAST-
ACTION COLLEGE FOOTBALL BOARD GAME, your results will most likely
vary. Just as in real life, when two teams play one another twice (or more) in the same
season, the results are not always the same. [NOTE: As I have mentioned in the past,
after 40 years of designing and distributing sports board games, I have decided to
discontinue operations. Annual updates will no longer be prepared. My web site
features a half-price close-out sale (except for the computer games) that will be on a
first-come, first serve basis. Some games are in very short supply; in fact, the Major
League Baseball game is already sold out. My web site address is: Payments with PayPal are welcomed. If you have any
questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at]

               HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

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