The 1925 NCAA football season was the last season before attempts were made to recognize a national champion in college football.
The season ended with two undefeated teams staking a claim as best in the nation: Dartmouth at 8-0, led by halfback Andy Oberlander, who passed for 14 touchdowns and ran for 12, and University of Alabama at 10-0, heralding the Crimson Tide's arrival as a football powerhouse. Tulane also went undefeated, led by the nation's leading scorer in halfback Peggy Flournoy.
The Rose Bowl was closer to a national championship game than had been seen previously, providing an intersectional matchup between two unbeaten teams, the Washington Huskies (10-0-1) and the Alabama Crimson Tide (9-0). In a thriller, Alabama won the first Rose Bowl for a southern team by a point, 20-19. It is known as "the game that changed the South."
On October 3 at New Orleans, Missouri and Tulane played to a 3-3 tie. Michigan beat Michigan State 39-0, and Stanford beat Santa Clara 20-3. Army beat Detroit's Mercy College 31-6 and Notre Dame beat visiting Lombard College 69-0. Texas A & M beat Southwestern Teachers 23-6 and TCU beat Daniel Baker College, 12-0. Alabama allowed some points, but beat Birmingham Southern College 50-7 in a Friday game. Syracuse beat Vermont 26-0, Dartmouth beat Hobart 34-0, Cornell defeated Niagara 26-0, and Penn beat Swarthmore 26-12
On October 10, Michigan beat Indiana 63-0, Alabama won at LSU, 42-0, and Tulane beat Ole Miss, 26-7. At Dallas, Texas A & M and Sewanee played to a 6-6 tie, while TCU and Baylor played to a 7-7 tie. Missouri beat Nebraska, 9-6. Washington, which had registered wins against noncollege foes such as the crew of the U.S.S. Oklahoma (59-0) and the West Seattle Athletic Club (56-0), defeated visiting Montana 30-10. Stanford defeated Occidental 28-0, Syracuse beat William & Mary 33-0, Dartmouth defeated Vermont 50-0, Cornell defeated Williams 48-0, Penn defeated Brown 9-0, Notre Dame defeated Beloit College, 19-3, and Army beat Knox College, 26-7.
Texas A & M beat SMU 7-0 on Friday, October 16. On October 17 at Yankee Stadium, Army beat Notre Dame 27-0. Washington and Nebraska played to a 6-6 tie at Lincoln. TCU defeated Hardin Simmons 28-16 and Missouri beat the Missouri School of Mines (now Missouri S&T, at Rolla), 32-0. In Los Angeles, Stanford beat USC 13-9. In Birmingham, Alabama beat Sewanee 42-0, while in New Orleans, Tulane beat Mississippi State, 25-3. Michigan won at Wisconsin 21-0, while Syracuse won at Indiana 14-0. After wins against Canisius (28-0), Clarkson (60-0), and St. Bonaventure (49-0), Colgate met Lafayette at Philadelphia, and the two played to a 7-7 tie. Dartmouth beat Maine 56-0, Cornell beat Rutgers 41-0, and Penn won at Yale 16-13.
On October 24, Michigan narrowly won at Illinois, but recorded another shutout, 3-0. Syracuse rang up its fifth straight shutout with a 48-0 win over Providence. In Chicago, Tulane beat Northwestern 18-7. In Atlanta, Alabama beat Georgia Tech 7-0. Texas A & M beat visiting Sam Houston State, 77-0, and Missouri beat Kansas State 3-0. Washington beat Whitman College 64-2, while Stanford beat Oregon State 26-10. Notre Dame won at Minnesota 19-7. Colgate beat Princeton 9-0, and Dartmouth won at Harvard, 32-9, its best victory to date over the Crimson. The University of Pennsylvania beat visiting Chicago, 7-0. Army defeated St. Louis 19-0. Oklahoma State beat visiting TCU, 22-7.
On October 31, Michigan stayed unbeaten, untied, and unscored upon, beating visiting Navy 54-0. In its first five games, Michigan had outscored the opposition 180-0. Syracuse also remained unscored upon with a 7-0 win over Penn State, having outscored its foes 160-0 in six games. Dartmouth stayed unbeaten with a 14-0 win at Brown. Pennsylvania had a record of 5-0-0 when it hosted Illinois, which had a record of 1-3-0. The Illini upset the Penn Quakers in Philadelphia, 24-2. Yale handed visiting Army its first loss 28-7. Texas A & M won at Baylor 13-0 and TCU beat Abilene Christian 21-9. Missouri beat Iowa State 23-8. Washington won at Washington State, 23-0. Stanford beat Oregon 35-13 and Colgate won at Michigan State 14-0. In Atlanta, Notre Dame beat Georgia Tech, 13-0, while in Montgomery, Tulane beat Auburn by the same score. Alabama beat Mississippi State 6-0.
On November 7, Michigan (5-0-0) was upset by Northwestern, which won 3-2. The field goal represented the only score against Michigan in an otherwise perfect season. A steady downpour with 40-mile-per-hour winds and five inches of mud hindered Michigan's passing game. Dartmouth (6-0-0) hosted Cornell (5-0-0) in a meeting of unbeatens, winning 62-13. Andy Oberlander had 477 yards in total offense, including six touchdown passes, a Dartmouth record which still stands. Cornell coach Gil Dobie responded, "We won the game 13–0, passing is not football." Syracuse], which had not been scored upon in six games, was tied 3-3 by Ohio Wesleyan College. At Penn State, Notre Dame and the Nittany Lions played to a 0-0 tie. At St. Louis, Missouri beat Washington 14-0. Colgate beat Providence 19-7, Penn beat Haverford 66-0, and Army beat Davis & Elkins, 14-6. Texas A & M (5-0-1) and Texas Christian (4-1-1) met, with TCU handing the Aggies their first defeat, 3-0. Washington]] (6-0-1) hosted Stanford (5-1-0) and won 13-0. In Birmingham, Alabama beat Kentucky 31-0 and in New Orleans, Tulane beat Louisiana Tech 37-9. Georgia Tech beat Vanderbilt 7-0. Star back Doug Wycoff was hurt, such that he had to use his substitute Dick Wright. On a muddy field, Wright ran off tackle and dodged Vanderbilt's safetyGil Reese, "usually a sure tackler," to get the touchdown to give Georgia Tech a 7-0 victory. Coach William Alexander called it the most spectacular play he ever saw.
On November 14, Syracuse hosted Colgate in a matchup of unbeatens (both 6-0-1); Colgate won 19-6. In New York, Columbia handed Army its first defeat, 21-7. Dartmouth won at Chicago, 33-7, to close with a perfect 8-0-0 record. Oberlander threw three touchdowns. At Montgomery, Alabama (8-0-0) met Florida (6-1-0) and won 34-0. Tulane shut out Sewanee, 14-0. In Houston, Texas A & M beat Rice 17-0, while TCU beat visiting Arkansas, 3-0. Missouri stayed unbeaten with a 16-14 win over Oklahoma, and Washington stayed unbeaten with a 7-0 win at California. Stanford beat visiting UCLA, 82-0. Michigan beat Ohio State 10-0. Cornell beat Cansisius 33-0, Pittsburgh defeated Penn 14-0, and Notre Dame beat visiting Carnegie Tech 26-0. In the Georgia-Georgia Tech game, Tech quarterback Ike Williams thought the game clock read five seconds remaining in the game, when in actuality it was five minutes. Williams set up his offense for a field goal and kicked it to put Tech up 3–0 on first down. Luckily for Williams, Tech won 3–0.
On November 21, previously unbeaten Missouri lost at Kansas, 10-7, Michigan beat Minnesota 35-0, Tulane won at LSU, 16-0, TCU defeated Austin College, 21-0, Washington beat Puget Sound 80-7, and Stanford closed its season with a 27-14 win over California. Syracuse beat Niagara 17-0, Notre Dame defeated Northwestern, 13-10, and Army beat Ursinus 44-0.
On Thanksgiving Day, November 26, Syracuse and Columbia met at the Polo Grounds in New York, with Syracuse winning 16-5. Penn handed Cornell its second loss, 7-0. Notre Dame lost at Nebraska, 17-0, in the four horsemen's first collegiate loss. Texas A&M and Texas, both 6-1-1, met, with A&M winning 28-0. Alabama beat Georgia 27-0 in Birmingham to close the regular season with nine wins, and no losses or ties. In those nine games, the Crimson Tide had outscored its opponents 277-7. Tulane closed its season with a 14-0 at Centenary College and finished unbeaten, with one tie (9-0-1).
On November 28, Washington closed its season unbeaten with a 15-14 win over Oregon, and elected to meet Alabama in the Rose Bowl. At Providence, Colgate and Brown played to a 14-14 tie. In the Army–Navy Game, Army closed its season with a 10-3 win.
The 1926 Rose Bowl pairing of Alabama]] and Washington later became the subject of a television documentary, Roses of Crimson, and hailed as "the football game that changed the South". Alabama was the first Southern football team to be invited to play in the Rose Bowl, and proved that the Southern teams could compete with those from the East, the Midwest, and the West Coast. George Wilson helped the Huskies take a 12-0 lead at halftime, but both extra point attempts failed, and Wilson was injured. In the third quarter, Alabama exploded for three touchdowns, starting with quarterback Pooley Hubert's run to make the score 12-7. Washington lost the ball on its 35-yard line, and Johnny Mack Brown carried the ball over to make the score 14-12 in favor of Alabama. A 61-yard pass from Hubert to Brown set up Alabama's third score for a 20-12 lead. George Wilson returned in the fourth quarter, and the Huskies scored a touchdown and the point after to close the score to 20-19, but the missed conversion attempts from the first half cost them the game. The victory for Coach Wallace Wade established Alabama as a football powerhouse.