1940 college football season
|1940 NCAA football season|
|Total # of teams||121|
|First AP #1 of season||Cornell Big Red|
|Number of bowls||5|
|Champions||Minnesota Golden Gophers (AP)
Boston College Eagles (Various)
Tennessee Volunteers (Various)
Stanford Indians (Helms, Poling System)
|Heisman||Tom Harmon, Michigan HB|
The 1940 NCAA football season ended with the Gophers of the University of Minnesota being named the nation’s #1 team and national champion by the AP Poll, and the Stanford University Indians in second, with the two teams receiving 65 and 44 first place votes respectively. Each writer listed his choice for the top ten teams, and points were tallied based on 10 for first place, 9 for second, etc., and the AP then ranked the twenty teams with the highest number of points. Minnesota, Stanford, Boston College, and Tennessee all claim 1940 as a national championship season.
Conference and program changes
- One conference began play during 1940:
- New Mexico Intercollegiate Conference – an NCAA College Division and NAIA conference active through the 1962 season; later known as the Frontier Conference
- One conference played its final season in 1940:
- Alamo Conference – conference active since the 1936 season
|School||1939 Conference||1940 Conference|
|Chicago Maroons||Big Ten||Dropped Program|
|St. Joseph's (PA) Hawks||Independent||Dropped Program|
September 28 Defending champion Texas A&M beat Texas A&I (later the university’s Kingsville campus), 26-0. Tennessee beat Mercer 49-0. USC and Washington State played to a 14-14 tie. Tulane lost to Boston College 27-7. Michigan won at California 41-0. Minnesota defeated Washington 19-14 in Minneapolis.
October 5 In San Antonio, Texas A&M beat Tulsa 41-6. Tennessee beat Duke 13-0. Cornell beat Colgate 34-0. Northwestern won at Syracuse, 40-0. Minnesota beat Nebraska 13-7. Michigan beat Michigan State 21-14.
October 12 Cornell won at Army 45-0. In Los Angeles, Texas A&M beat UCLA, 7-0, and was ranked 2nd in the AP poll that followed. Tennessee beat Chattanooga 53-0 and was fifth in the next poll. Northwestern beat Ohio State 6-3. Michigan won at Harvard 26-0.
October 19 #1 Cornell beat Syracuse 33-6. #2 Texas A&M beat TCU 21-7. #3 Michigan beat Illinois 28-0. #4 Northwestern won at Wisconsin 27-7. In Birmingham, #5 Tennessee beat Alabama, 27-12. In Columbus, #7 Minnesota beat #15 Ohio State 13-7. #6 Notre Dame beat Carnegie Tech 61-0.
October 26 #1 Cornell beat Ohio State 21-7. #2 Notre Dame won at Illinois 26-0. #3 Michigan beat Pennsylvania 14-0. #4 Texas A&M won at Baylor 14-7. #5 Tennessee beat Florida 14-0. #6 Minnesota beat Iowa 34-6.
November 2 #1 Cornell beat Columbia 27–0. #2 Notre Dame beat Army 7–0 at Yankee Stadium. #3 Michigan was idle. #4 Minnesota narrowly won at Northwestern, 13-12. #5 Texas A&M beat Arkansas 17-0. #7 Tennessee beat LSU 28-0.
November 9 #1 Cornell beat Yale 21-0, but dropped to second in the next poll. #2 Minnesota and #3 Michigan both unbeaten (5-0-0) met in Minneapolis, with the Gophers winning by one point, 7-6. #4 Texas A&M won at SMU 19-7. #5 Tennessee won at Rhodes College 41-0. #6 Stanford beat Washington 20-10 to advance its record to 7-0-0.
November 16 #1 Minnesota beat Purdue 33-6. #2 Cornell lost at Dartmouth 3-0. #3 Texas A&M beat Rice 25-0. #4 Stanford beat Oregon State 28-14. #5 Tennessee beat Virginia 41-14. #8 Boston College beat Georgetown 19-18 to extend its record to 8-0-0
November 23 #1 Minnesota closed its season with a 22-13 win at Wisconsin. #2 Texas A&M and #3 Stanford were idle. #4 Boston College beat Auburn 33-7. #5 Cornell. #7 Michigan won at Ohio State to close its season at 7-1-0.
On Thanksgiving Day #2 Texas A&M lost at Texas 7-0.
November 30 #3 Stanford closed its season with a 13-7 win at California. #4 Boston College defeated Holy Cross 7-0.
The following is a potentially incomplete list of conference standings:
|Bowl game||Winning Team||points||Losing Team||points|
|Rose Bowl||#2 Stanford Indians||21||#7 Nebraska Cornhuskers||13|
|Sugar Bowl||#5 Boston College Eagles||19||#4 Tennessee Volunteers||13|
|Orange Bowl||#9 Mississippi State Bulldogs||14||#13 Georgetown Hoyas||7|
|Cotton Bowl||#6 Texas A&M Aggies||20||#12 Fordham Rams||12|
|Sun Bowl||Western Reserve Spartans||26||Arizona State Bulldogs ||13|