1923 college football season
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|1923 college football season|
|Total # of teams||109|
|Number of bowls||1|
|Bowl games||January 1, 1924|
|Champions||California Golden Bears
Cornell Big Red
Illinois Fighting Illini
|Heisman||Not awarded until 1935|
The 1923 NCAA football season saw several teams finish their seasons unbeaten and untied. Illinois (coached by Bob Zuppke) and Michigan (coached by Fielding "Hurry-Up" Yost, both members of what is now the Big Ten Conference, finished with records of 8-0 as did future Ivy League teams Yale and Cornell. Southern Methodist University (SMU) had a record of 9-0. Teams that had no defeats, but had been tied, were California (9-0-1), Texas (8-0-1), and Kansas (5-0-3). As such, numerous schools claim a national championship for the 1923 season.
September 29 Notre Dame opened its season with a 74-0 win over visiting Kalamazoo College. After a warmup game against a team of Cal alumni, California beat St. Mary's 49-0. Cornell beat St. Bonaventure 41-6, Dartmouth beat Norwich 13-0, and Syracuse beat Hobart 33-0.
October 6 Illinois beat Nebraska 24-7 and Michigan defeated Case 36-0. Syracuse beat William & Mary 61-3. Notre Dame beat Lombard College 14-0. Kansas defeated Creighton 6-0. California defeated Santa Clara 48-0. Following wins over the crews of the USS Mississippi (33-0) and the USS New York (42-7), Washington beat Willamette 54-0.
October 13 Notre Dame beat Army 13-0 Dartmouth beat Boston University 24-0, and Yale beat Georgia 40-0. Michigan beat Vanderbilt 3-0, and Illinois beat Butler 21-7 California beat the Olympic Club 16-0 and Washington beat Whitman College 19-0. Kansas beat Oklahoma State 9-0.
October 20 Cornell beat Williams 28-6, Yale beat Bucknell 29-14 and Dartmouth beat Vermont 27-2. Notre Dame won at Princeton 25-2. Illinois won at Iowa 9-6 and Michigan beat Ohio State 23-0 At Lincoln, Kansas and Nebraska played to a 0-0 tie.
October 27 Cornell defeated Colgate 34-7 Yale beat Brown 21-0 and Dartmouth beat Harvard 16-0 Notre Dame beat Georgia Tech 35-7. In Chicago, Illinois beat Northwestern 29-0. Michigan beat Michigan State 37-0. Kansas and Kansas State played to a scoreless tie (0-0). At Portland, Oregon, California continued its streak of shutouts with a 9-0 win over Washington State. Washington beat Puget Sound 24-0.
Illinois and Chicago, both unbeaten (4-0-0) met at Champaign, with the Illini winning 7-0. Michigan won at Iowa 9-3. Kansas won at Oklahoma 7-3. California held visiting Nevada scoreless for its seventh straight shutout, but could not score either, suffering a 0-0 tie. Washington stayed unbeaten and untied with a 14-0 win at Oregon State.
November 10 At Boston's Fenway Park, Dartmouth beat Brown 16-14, while at New York's Polo Grounds, Cornell beat Columbia 35-0. Yale beat Maryland 16-14. Notre Dame suffered its first loss, at Nebraska, 14-7.
Meanwhile, Illinois beat Wisconsin 10-0. Michigan defeated the Quantico Marines football team 29-6. In Los Angeles, California beat USC 13-7. Washington beat Montana 26-14. Kansas beat Washington University (of St. Louis) 83-0.
November 17 California (7-0-1) hosted Washington (8-0-0) and won 9-0. Illinois beat Mississippi State 27-0, and Michigan won at Wisconsin 6-3, as both teams stayed unbeaten. Notre Dame beat Butler 34-7. Yale defeated Princeton 27-0. Kansas beat Drake 17-0.
November 24 In Pittsburgh, Notre Dame defeated Carnegie Tech 26-0. Dartmouth beat Colby College 62-0, and Cornell defeated Johns Hopkins 52-0. Yale closed a perfect season with a 13-0 win over Harvard. Illinois closed its season at 8-0-0 with a 9-0 win at Ohio State, while Michigan closed a perfect season with a 10-0 win over Minnesota. California closed its season with a 9-0 win over Stanford. Washington beat Washington State 24-7, and though it was second to Cal in the Pacific Coast Conference, received the invitation to the Rose Bowl to face (5-1-2) Navy.
On Thanksgiving Day, which was held on November 29 in 1923, Furman, which had won its first ten games, lost its final game to visiting Clemson, 7-6. In Philadelphia, Cornell closed a perfect season with a 14-7 win over Pennsylvania. Dartmouth finished with a 31-6 win over Columbia at New York. Kansas and Missouri played to a 3-3 tie, giving the Jayhawks an unbeaten, if not untied (5-0-3) finish. Notre Dame won at St. Louis 13-0
December 1 Washington beat Oregon 26-7.
A crowd of 48,000 turned out to watch Navy and Washington play an exciting game. Ira McKee's passing put Navy ahead 14-7 at halftime, after Washington's George Wilson had tied the game at 7-7. In the fourth quarter, Washington's Roy Petrie picked off a pass at Navy's 10 yard line, setting up the Huskies' tying touchdown for a 14 to 14 finish. Later, it turned out that Washington halfback Les Sherman, whose two extra point attempts had tied the game, had played with a broken toe, while fullback Elmer Tesreau had played with a fractured leg 
The following is a potentially incomplete list of conference standings:
- "East and West Gridiron Fight Ends With Tie," Nevada State Journal, Jan. 2, 1924, p3