1925 college football season
|1925 NCAA football season|
Dartmouth's victory over Harvard; a pass from Oberlander to Tully.
|Total # of teams||104|
|Number of bowls||1|
|Bowl games||January 1, 1926|
|Champions||Alabama Crimson Tide
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."
Michigan had one of its strongest teams, called by coach Fielding Yost "the greatest football team I ever coached" and "the greatest football team I ever saw in action." It featured the passing tandem of Benny Friedman to Bennie Oosterbaan.
Conference and program changes
- The Southwest Intercollegiate Athletic Conference shortened its official name to just the Southwest Conference, the name it would retain until its dissolution in 1996.
|School||1924 Conference||1925 Conference|
|Colorado State Teachers Bears||Independent||Rocky Mountain|
|Oklahoma A&M Cowboys||Southwest||MVIAA|
|Western State (CO) Mountaineers||Independent||Rocky Mountain|
Most colleges did not open their seasons until later, but on September 19, in Seattle, the University of Washington Huskies opened their season with a 108-0 win over Willamette College.
On September 26 Texas Christian (TCU) won 31-0 over Texas A&I, Penn beat Ursinus 32-0 and Syracuse beat Hobart by the same score; Notre Dame beat Baylor 41-0, Alabama opened with a win over Tennessee's Union College, 53-0, Dartmouth beat Norwich 59-0, Tulane defeated Louisiana College, 77-0 and Cornell beat Susquehanna 80-0. Texas A & M beat Trinity College 20-10. Stanford lost to San Francisco's amateur team, the Olympic Club, 9-0.
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
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 non-college foes like 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 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
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, Dartmouth won at Harvard, 32-9, its best victory to date over the Crimson. Pennsylvania beat visiting Chicago, 7-0. Army defeated St. Louis 19-0. Oklahoma State beat visiting TCU, 22-7
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 outpointed 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.
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 wins 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 hadn't 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 U. 14-0. Colgate beat Providence 19-7, Penn beat Haverford 66-0, and Army beat Davis & Elkins, 14-6.
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 safety Gil Reese, "usually a sure tackler," to get the touchdown to give Tech a 7 to 0 victory. Coach William Alexander called it the most spectacular play he ever saw.
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.
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. 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 9 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 Texas A & M beat Texas 28-0. 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 Alabama and Washington would later be 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.
The following is a potentially incomplete list of conference standings:
Awards and honors
The consensus All-America team included:
|QB||Benny Friedman||5'8"||172||Jr.||Cleveland, Ohio||Michigan|
|HB||Andy Oberlander||6'0"||197||Sr.||Chelsea, Massachusetts||Dartmouth|
|HB||Red Grange||5'11"||175||Sr.||Wheaton, Illinois||Illinois|
|HB||Wildcat Wilson||5'11"||185||Sr.||Everett, Washington||Washington|
|FB||Ernie Nevers||6'0"||200||Sr.||Superior, Wisconsin||Stanford|
|E||Bennie Oosterbaan||6'0"||180||So.||Muskegon, Michigan||Michigan|
|T||Ed Weir||6'0"||190||Sr.||Superior, Nebraska||Nebraska|
|G||Carl Diehl||6'1"||205||Sr.||Chicago, Illinois||Dartmouth|
|C||Ed McMillan||6'0"||208||Sr.||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania||Princeton|
|G||Ed Hess||6'1"||190||Jr.||Chardon, Ohio||Ohio State|
|T||Ralph Chase||6'3"||202||Sr.||Easton, Pennsylvania||Pittsburgh|
|E||George Tully||5'10"||180||Sr.||Orange, New Jersey||Dartmouth|
- Player scoring most points: Peggy Flournoy, Tulane, 128
- Player scoring most touchdowns: Peggy Flournoy, Tulane and Mort Kaer, USC, 19
- "Deserves the Place". Harrisburg Telegraph. December 12, 1925. p. 13. Retrieved November 2, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- "The Football Game That Changed the South". The University of Alabama. Retrieved 2008-10-06.
- "Yost Calls 1925 Eleven Greatest: Does Not Even Except Wonderful Teams of 1901 and 1902; Rolled Up Grand 227 Point Total; Wolverine Mentor Says He's Proud to Have Coached Boys". The Hartford Courant. November 29, 1925. p. B2.
- "Evolution of the Game: The Introduction of the Forward Pass" (PDF). National Football Foundation's Football Letter 3 (56): 30. October 2014.
- "Army Mule Tramples Notre Dame 27 to 0 in Greatest Upset," Syracuse Herald, Oct. 18, 1925
- "Football Games 1920s". dartmouth.edu.
- "Dartmouth Shoots Down Cornell, 62-13, with Aerials". Chicago Tribune. November 8, 1925.
- Bernie McCarty. "Oberlander's 500-yard game" (PDF). p. 17.
- W. A. Alexander (1926). "Forty-Five Yards for Georgia Tech" (PDF). Kansas City Star.
- "How Swede it was: 1924 football". thedartmouth.com.
- "'Froggy' Started March of Great Quarterbacks", Atlanta Journal-Constitution, pp. 3B, September 10, 1933
- "Ike Williams Saves Day By Kick In Third". The Anniston Star. November 15, 1925. p. 8. Retrieved March 3, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Alabama Passes Way to Victory Over Huskies," Oakland Tribune, Jan. 2, 1926, p8