1917 college football season

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The 1917 NCAA football season had no clear-cut champion, with the Official NCAA Division I Football Records Book listing Georgia Tech as national champions, the South's first.[2] Pittsburgh, Ohio State, Texas A&M, Williams, and Washington State were also undefeated, and one-loss Navy was strong.

Tech coach John Heisman challenged Pitt coach Pop Warner to a postseason contest to determine a national champion, but as such a match did not occur until the next season, Tech was named national champion. The Golden Tornado was invited to play a 4–3 Oregon team in the Rose Bowl, but by then many players had joined the war effort.

In the second week of play, Georgia Tech beat Penn 41–0. Bernie McCarty called it "Strupper's finest hour, coming through against powerful Penn in the contest that shocked the East." By comparison, Pitt defeated Penn 14–6.[3]

Conference and program changes[edit]

School 1916 Conference 1917 Conference
Michigan Wolverines Independent Big Ten (was Big Nine)
Montana Agricultural Bobcats Independent Rocky Mountain
Oglethorpe Stormy Petrels Program Established Independent
Southwestern (TX) Pirates Southwest Independent

September[edit]

September 29 In a doubleheader, Georgia Tech beat Furman and then Wake Forest; 25–0 and 33–0 respectively. Navy beat Davidson 27–6. Pitt beat West Virginia 14–9.

October[edit]

October 6 Georgia Tech beat Penn at home 41 to 0. Centre beat KMI 104–0. West Virginia beat Navy 6–0. Williams beat Cornell 14–10.

October 13 Georgia Tech beat Davidson 32–10, its closest game all season. DePauw beat Centre 6–0. Syracuse beat Rutgers 14–10. Wisconsin tied Notre Dame 0–0.

October 20 Georgia Tech beat Washington & Lee 63–0. Auburn beat Clemson 7–0. Pittsburgh beat Syracuse 28–0. Nebraska beat Notre 7–0. Washington State beat Oregon 26–3.

October 27 Undefeated Pittsburgh beat Penn on the road 14 to 6. Auburn beat Mississippi A&M 13–6.

November[edit]

November 3 Georgia Tech gave Vanderbilt its worst ever beating, 83–0.[4] Auburn crushed Florida 68–0. Centre beat Kentucky 3–0. Texas A&M beat Tulane 35–0. Wisconsin beat Minnesota 10–7. Illinois tied Chicago 0–0. Rutgers tied West Virginia 3–3.

November 10 A freshman Buck Flowers at Davidson upset Auburn 21–7. All of Georgia Tech's backs rushed for 100 yards in a 48–0 defeat of Tulane.[5] Texas A&M beat Baylor 7–0. Ohio State beat Wisconsin 16–3. Navy beat Georgetown 28–7.

November 17 Georgia Tech beat Carlisle 98–0. Penn beat Michigan 16–0. Ohio State beat Illinois 13–0.

November 24 Auburn fought undefeated Ohio State to a scoreless tie. Coach Heisman of Georgia Tech(who previously coached at Auburn) and his players were at the game, rooting for the Tigers. Minnesota beat Illinois 27–6.

November 29 Georgia Tech beat Auburn 68 to 7. Davidson beat Clemson 21–9. Mississippi A&M beat Haskell 7–6.

Rose Bowl[edit]

The Mare Island Marines would defeat Camp Lewis 19-7 in the 1918 Rose Bowl.

Conference standings[edit]

The following is a potentially incomplete list of conference standings:

1917 Big Ten football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
Ohio State $ 4 0 0     8 0 1
Minnesota 3 1 0     4 1 0
Northwestern 3 2 0     5 2 0
Wisconsin 3 2 0     4 2 1
Illinois 2 2 1     5 2 1
Chicago 2 2 1     3 2 1
Indiana 1 2 0     5 2 0
Michigan 0 1 0     8 2 0
Iowa 0 2 0     3 5 0
Purdue 0 4 0     3 4 0
  • $ – Conference champion
1917 Missouri Valley football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
Nebraska $ 2 0 0     5 2 0
Kansas 3 1 0     6 2 0
Iowa State 3 1 0     5 2 0
Kansas State 2 2 0     6 2 0
Missouri 2 4 0     3 5 0
Washington (MO) 1 2 0     4 3 0
Drake 0 3 0     0 5 2
  • $ – Conference champion
1917 PCC football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
Washington State $ 3 0 0     6 0 0^
California 2 1 0     5 5 1
Oregon Agricultural 1 2 1     4 2 1
Oregon 1 2 0     4 3 0
Washington 0 2 1     1 2 1
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^1 tie game recognized by WSU, but not Pac-12
1917 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
Denver $ 4 0 0     9 0 0
Utah State 3 0 0     7 0 1
Colorado 4 2 0     6 2 0
Colorado Mines 2 2 0     5 3 0
Colorado College 2 3 0     3 3 0
Utah 1 3 0     2 4 0
Colorado Agricultural 0 6 0     0 7 1
  • $ – Conference champion
1917 SAIAA football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
Georgetown $ 2 0 0     8 1 0
Washington and Lee 2 1 0     4 3 0
North Carolina A&M 2 1 1     6 2 1
VPI 2 1 1     6 2 1
Richmond 2 1 0     4 2 1
Maryland 2 1 1     3 3 1
Davidson 1 2 0     6 4 0
VMI 1 3 1     4 4 1
St. John's (MD) 0 1 0     0 1 0
Johns Hopkins 0 1 0     0 3 0
William & Mary 0 3 0     3 5 0
  • $ – Conference champion
1917 SIAA football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
Georgia Tech $ 4 0 0     9 0 0
Auburn 5 1 0     6 2 1
Clemson 5 1 0     6 2 0
Mississippi A&M 3 1 0     6 1 0
Sewanee 3 1 1     4 2 2
Alabama 2 1 1     5 2 1
Tulane 2 1 0     5 3 0
Vanderbilt 3 2 0     5 3 0
LSU 2 3 0     3 5 0
Wofford 1 2 0     5 4 0
South Carolina 1 3 0     3 5 0
Furman 1 3 0     3 5 0
Florida 1 3 0     2 4 0
Ole Miss 1 4 0     1 4 1
Howard 0 2 1     0 2 1
The Citadel 0 2 0     3 3 0
Mississippi College 0 4 0     0 4 0
  • $ – Conference champion
  • There were several SIAA schools that did not field a team due to World War I.
1917 Southwest Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
Texas A&M $ 2 0 0     8 0 0
Baylor 3 1 0     9 1 0
Oklahoma 1 1 1     6 3 1
Texas 2 3 0     4 4 0
Oklahoma A&M 1 2 0     4 4 0
Arkansas 0 1 1     5 1 1
  • $ – Conference champion

Awards and honors[edit]

All-Americans[edit]

The consensus All-America team included:

Position Name Height Weight (lbs.) Class Hometown Team
QB Benny Boynton 5'9" 163 So. Waco, Texas Williams
HB Elmer Oliphant 5'7" 180 Sr. Bloomfield, Indiana Army
HB Everett Strupper 5'7" 148 Sr. Columbus, Georgia Georgia Tech
FB Chic Harley 5'11" 171 Jr. Chicago, Illinois Ohio State
E Charles Bolen Sr. Marion, Indiana Ohio State
E Heinie Miller 5'10" 185 Jr. Williamsport, Pennsylvania Penn
T George Hauser Sr. Council Bluffs, Iowa Minnesota
G Dale Sies 6'1" 203 Sr. Ames, Iowa Pittsburgh
G Jock Sutherland Sr. Coupar Angus, Scotland Pittsburgh
C Frank Rydzewski 6'1" 220 Sr. Chicago, Illinois Notre Dame
G Eugene Neeley Sr. Dallas, Texas Dartmouth
T Alf Cobb 5'11" 210 Sr. Athol, Massachusetts Syracuse
E Paul Robeson 6'3" 219 Jr. Princeton, New Jersey Rutgers

Statistical leaders[edit]

  • Team scoring most points: Georgia Tech, 491
  • Player scoring most points: Bill Ingram, Navy, 162
  • Player scoring most touchdowns: Albert Hill, Georgia Tech, 23
  • Player scoring most goals after touchdown: Bill Fincher, Georgia Tech, 49
  • Rushing yards leader: Everett Strupper, Georgia Tech, 1150
  • Rushing avg. leader: Everett Strupper, 10.1

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.jhowell.net/cf/cf1917.htm
  2. ^ Official 2009 NCAA Division I Football Records Book (PDF). Indianapolis, IN: The National Collegiate Athletic Association. August 2009. pp. 76–77. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  3. ^ "1917 Pittsburgh Panthers". databaseFootball.com. 
  4. ^ Edwin Pope. Football's Greatest Coaches. p. 344. 
  5. ^ "Tech Swamps Tulane" (PDF). The Technique. November 13, 1917. p. 4.