1913 Auburn Tigers football team

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1913 Auburn Tigers football
Auburn Tigers football team (1913).jpg
National champion (Billingsley MOV)
SIAA champion
Conference Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association
1913 record 8–0 (8–0 SIAA)
Head coach Mike Donahue (9th season)
Base defense 7–2–2
Captain Kirk Newell
Uniform
10sauburnuniform.png
Seasons
← 1912
1914 →
1913 SIAA football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
Auburn $ 8 0 0     8 0 0
Mississippi A&M 5 1 1     6 1 1
Georgia 3 1 0     6 2 0
Vanderbilt 3 1 0     5 3 0
Georgia Tech 5 2 0     7 2 0
Alabama 4 3 0     6 3 0
LSU 1 1 2     6 1 2
Sewanee 2 2 0     4 3 0
Florida 2 2 0     4 3 0
Clemson 2 4 0     4 4 0
Mississippi College 1 2 0     6 3 0
Tennessee 1 3 0     6 3 0
The Citadel 0 4 1     3 4 2
Mercer 0 4 1     2 5 1
Kentucky 0 1 0     6 2 0
Texas A&M 0 1 1     3 4 2
Central 0 2 0     2 5 0
Tulane 0 4 0     3 5 0
  • $ – Conference champion

The 1913 Auburn Tigers football team represented Auburn University in the 1913 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association football season. The team was coached by Mike Donahue and was undefeated at 8–0, outscoring opponents 224–13. Auburn was the champion of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association. The team played just two games at home.[1][2]

The Tigers were retroactively recognized as a national champion by the Billingsley Report's alternative calculation which considers teams' margin of victory. Under Billingsley's primary methodology, Chicago was recognized as the national champion.[3][4] Although it is a recognized national championship,[5] Auburn does not claim the title, but does acknowledge it in its official media guide.

Before the season[edit]

Since Auburn's tie with Vanderbilt last year, teams other than Vanderbilt had a chance to win a title, and newspapers covered football more than the World Series for the first time.[6]

Coach Donahue built his team around his defense, which played out of a 7–2–2 scheme. The team was led by senior captain Kirk Newell. One source reads "Coach Donahue loved the fullback dive and would run the play over and over again before sending the elusive Newell wide on a sweep."[7]

Schedule[edit]

Date Time Opponent Site Result Attendance
October 4 Mercer Drake FieldAuburn, AL W 53–0  
October 11 Florida Drake Field • Auburn, AL W 55–0  
October 18 Mississippi A&M Rickwood FieldBirmingham, AL W 34–0  
October 25 at Clemson Bowman Field • Clemson, SC W 20–0  
November 1 2:30 p. m. vs. LSU Mobile, AL W 7–0  
November 8 at Georgia Tech Grant FieldAtlanta, GA W 20–0  
November 15 Vanderbilt Rickwood Field • Birmingham, AL W 14–6  
November 22 at Georgia Ponce de Leon Park • Atlanta, GA (Rivalry) W 21–7   12,000
daggerHomecoming.

Season summary[edit]

Mercer[edit]

A.P.I. began its season with a 53-0 blowout against visiting Mercer on Drake Field.[2]

Florida[edit]

Florida at Auburn
1 2 3 4 Total
Florida 0 0 0 0 0
Auburn 13 21 7 14 55

The week before, the Florida Gators had the largest win in their history, a 144–0 win over Florida Southern. Auburn crushed the Gators 55–0. Auburn scored five touchdowns in the first half.[8] Captain Kirk Newell retired in the third period due to the heat.[8]

The starting lineup was Wynne (left end), Esslinger (left tackle), Lockwood (left guard), Pitts (center), Thigpen (right guard), Louisell (right tackle), Robinson (right end), Arnold (quarterback), Newell (left halfback), Sparkman (right halfback), Harris (fullback).[8]

Mississippi A&M[edit]

The second place Mississippi A&M Aggies fell to Auburn 34–0 after years of close games between the two schools.[9]

Clemson[edit]

Clemson was defeated 20–0 with coach Donahue using his fullback.[10]

The starting lineup was Wynne (left end), Esslinger (left tackle), Lockwood (left guard), Pitts (center), Thigpen (right guard), Louisell (right tackle), Robinson (right end), Arnold (quarterback), Newell (left halfback), Sparkman (right halfback), Harris (fullback).[10]

LSU[edit]

LSU at Auburn
1 2 3 4 Total
LSU 0 0 0 0 0
Auburn 0 0 7 0 7

Sources:[11]

In a close game of conventional football, Auburn beat the LSU Tigers 7–0, with Tom Dutton standing out at center of defense.[12] Kirk Newell starred with end runs, and in the third quarter brought the ball to the 12-yard line with a 40-yard run.[11] Red Harris eventually made the deciding score.[11]

The starting lineup was Taylor (left end), Louisell (left tackle), Thigpen (left guard), Pitts (center), Lockwood (right guard), Esslinger (right tackle), Robinson (right end), Arnold (quarterback), Newell (left halfback), Kearley (right halfback), Harris (fullback).[11]

Georgia Tech[edit]

Auburn beat Georgia Tech 20–0, Auburn's sixth straight shutout. After the first half, Tech's line was beaten down by Auburn's.[13]

Vanderbilt[edit]

Auburn at Vanderbilt
1 2 3 4 Total
Auburn 7 0 0 7 14
Vanderbilt 6 0 0 0 6

Sources:

In "one of the most spectacular games the South ever saw",[14] Auburn beat Dan McGugin's Vanderbilt Commodores 14–6. Auburn scored with fullback Hart. Vanderbilt responded quickly with a 30-yard pass from Ammie Sikes to Hord Boensch. Using four different fullbacks on one drive, Auburn drove 80 yards to win.[15]

Georgia[edit]

Auburn at Georgia
1 2 3 4 Total
Auburn 0 7 7 7 21
Georgia 7 0 0 0 7

Sources:[16]

The Tigers defeated the Georgia Bulldogs 21–7 to claim the SIAA title. Many prominent persons, including the governor, saw the contest.[17]

Kirk Newell of Auburn and Bob McWhorter of Georgia played their last games. At the 25-yard line, from a freak formation, Georgia's David Paddock pass the ball to Logan who caught it on the run and into the endzone for the first score of the game.[16] Red Harris got over a score in the second period. In the third quarter, Auburn had driven to the 11-yard line, and Donahue pulled Harris for Christopher. The Georgia team expected a buck, and committed to stopping it.[16] Newell skirted around right end for 7 yards. Christopher eventually plunged in from the 4-yard line. Later, from the 35-yard line, Newell had a run to the 7-yard line, chased out of bounds by McWhorter.[16] Christopher again got the touchdown.[16]

The starting lineup was Kearley (left end), Louisell (left tackle), Thigpen (left guard), Pitts (center), Lockwood (right guard), Esslinger (right tackle), Robinson (right end), Arnold (quarterback), Newell (left halfback), Prendergast (right halfback), Harris (fullback).[16]

Postseason[edit]

Newell gained 1,707 yards that year, 46% of the team's entire offensive output;[18] and 5,800 yards rushing, 350 yards receiving, and 1,200 yards on punt returns for his career.[19] One writer claims "Auburn had a lot of great football teams, but there may not have been one greater than the 1913-1914 team."[20] Newell went on to be a World War I hero and member of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.[21]

Black & white image illustrating the 1913 Auburn University American football players in their uniforms.
The Champions of the South

References[edit]

  1. ^ "AUBURNTIGERS.COM  :: Auburn University Official Athletic Site Auburn University Official Athletic Site :: Football". 
  2. ^ a b http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/aub/genrel/auto_pdf/2013-14/misc_non_event/1913_team.pdf
  3. ^ National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) (2015). "National Poll Rankings" (PDF). NCAA Division I Football Records. NCAA. p. 108. Retrieved January 4, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Billingsley’s National Champions by Year". College Football Research Center. 2008. 
  5. ^ http://cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/div_ia/sec/auburn/national_champs.php
  6. ^ Woodruff 1928, p. 276
  7. ^ "100 Year Anniversary: The Top 10 Players on Auburn’s 1913 National Championship Team". June 28, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c d "Florida Is Easy For Auburn Team". The Atlanta Constitution. October 12, 1913. p. 8. Retrieved July 22, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  9. ^ Woodruff 1928, p. 280
  10. ^ a b Woodruff 1928, p. 278
  11. ^ a b c d G. J. Flournoy (November 2, 1913). "Auburn's Line Plunging Wins From Louisiana State Team; Kirk Newell Stars Again". The Atlanta Constitution. p. 7. Retrieved May 7, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  12. ^ Woodruff 1928, p. 281
  13. ^ Woodruff 1928, p. 282
  14. ^ Woodruff 1928, p. 283
  15. ^ Woodruff 1928, p. 284
  16. ^ a b c d e f Dick Jemison (November 23, 1913). "Auburn Wins Southern Title; Georgia Beaten Decisively; Harris Star of Fierce Game". The Atlanta Constitution. p. 7. Retrieved May 7, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  17. ^ "Thousands Of Enthusiasts See Auburn Football Team Win South's Championship". The Atlanta Constitution. November 23, 1913. p. 6. Retrieved May 7, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  18. ^ Henderson, Jeremy (August 21, 2013). "Football rankings guru Richard Billingsley says Auburn should claim century-old crown: ‘My national championship for Auburn in 1913 is a very valid national championship’". 
  19. ^ Kelly Kazek (2011). Hidden History of Auburn. The History Press. pp. 58–61. ISBN 9781609492922. 
  20. ^ Ethan Brady. "Auburn's 1913 Undefeated Team" (PDF). 
  21. ^ "Alabama Sports Hall of Fame - Birmingham, Alabama - Where Heroes Live Forever - Newell". 
  • Woodruff, Fuzzy (1928). A History of Southern Football 1890–1928. 1.