is Harvard coach Percy Haughton directing his charges in
training. 8-0-1 Harvard was/is the consensus choice as mythical
national champion (MNC) of 1910.
Here is how the "major selectors" listed in the NCAA
Records Book, all selecting long after the fact, see the 1910 college football national
championship (omitting math/computer
ratings, which neither I nor
anyone else recognize as constituting titles):
You can click on the selector to read my review of that person or
organization. The NCF's selection of 9-0 Pittsburgh to share the title with
Harvard, much like their choice of LSU to share the title with Penn in
1908, is curiously arbitrary. Pittsburgh played no top teams at all, so
why choose them and not 7-0 Illinois, 7-0 Colorado College, 6-0 Colorado, 6-0
Washington, 9-0 Centre, or 8-0-1 Vanderbilt (like Harvard, their tie came
at Yale)? Now I have to waste time summarizing Pitt and
explaining why they are a poor choice as a national champion. But it
doesn't seem fair to summarize them and not any of the other little big
teams that went unbeaten. So I suppose I will go ahead and briefly
discuss them all, as well as other notable teams, region-by-region. But
don't get used to it. This is a one-season feature. Unfortunately, I
just don't have time to summarize every unbeaten team in every season.
But let's get to it, starting with the only legitimate mythical national champion of 1910, Harvard. All rankings in the following article, except as noted, come from my 1910 top 25, which is based on a hypothetical post-bowl AP poll (within logical reason of course).
wrote summaries of previous Harvard seasons for my 1901 and 1908
articles. The great Percy Haughton, covered in that 1908 article, was
still the coach in 1910. This was his 2nd of 4 national
championships at Harvard. The only notable players in 1910 left over
from the 1908 championship team were halfback Hamilton Corbett (a
consensus All American in 1908, but not this year) and tackle Robert
McKay (consensus AA 1910).
In addition to McKay, two other players were consensus AA in 1910, and both of them are in the College Football Hall of Fame: guard Bob Fisher and halfback Percy Wendell. Both would repeat as consensus AA in 1911.
Guard Wayland Minot had been a consensus AA in 1909 at halfback, and 3 other players were nonconsensus AA this season.
dominated most of their opponents in 1910, including a 12-0 win over
7-2-1 Brown (#5), 27-5 over 5-2-1 Cornell (#26-39), and 18-0 over 5-2 Dartmouth (#15).
6-2 Army gave Harvard more trouble, but Harvard prevailed 6-0. The touchdown was scored by captain and quarterback Paul
Withington, who blocked a punt and returned it 40 yards -- it was the only
touchdown scored on Army this season. Still, close as the final score
was, and coming on a "fluke" play, Harvard dominated the game, rushing
for 282 yards and 14 first downs to Army's 39 yards and 1 first down.
The game was played almost entirely on Army's side of the field, but
Harvard missed all of their 3 field goal attempts (two from 17 yards,
one from 37). Harvard also ended drives with fumbles and penalties,
once losing the ball at the Army 5. But Army never even snapped
the ball on Harvard's side of the field. Army defeated Yale and took their other loss to 8-0-1 Navy in their finale, and they are ranked #7 for 1910. As usual,
Harvard's toughest game ended up being their finale at rival Yale.
Yale had an uncharacteristic down season in 1910, coming into the
game at 6-2-1, their losses to 2 teams Harvard had defeated (Army and Brown). On the other
hand, Yale had gotten it together in their previous game, knocking off
unbeaten Princeton 5-3 on the road. That left Princeton with a final
record of 7-1 and cleared the way for Harvard to win the MNC.
In the week prior
to the Princeton game, Yale had suddenly switched their offense to the "Minnesota
shift," an offensive system developed by Yale grad Henry Williams at
Minnesota. This made Princeton's scouting and preparation for Yale
useless, and it made things more difficult for Harvard as well. And
Yale was still playing for pride-- Harvard was their big rivalry game
after all, and
they were playing at home. And a "down" season for Yale just meant that
they were a bottom-of-the-top-10 team rather than a top 5 team.
was unable to knock off Harvard as they had Princeton, but they did
hold Harvard scoreless in a 0-0 tie. Harvard halfback Percy Wendell had
a good game, carrying 21 times for 103 yards, but neither team was able
to generate much offense aside from his contributions. The best threats
either team mounted ended in long, unlikely field goal attempts that
neither could hit.
That left Harvard with a blemished record, 8-0-1, but they were still
widely considered the national champion
at the time. Yale finished 6-2-2, and they are ranked #8 for 1910.
won every game by more than a touchdown, and also shut out every
opponent (total score 282-0), which is likely why the National
Championship Foundation selected them to share the MNC with Harvard.
The coach was Joe Thompson, the star Hall of Fame
halfback of their 10-0 1904 team. He went 30-14-2 as coach at Pitt 1908-1912.
star of the 1910 team was captain and fullback Tex Richards (pictured
at left), who scored
11 touchdowns. End Hube Wagner, who made the varsity this season as a
freshman, is in the College Football Hall of Fame. Big center Ralph
Galvin did the punting, kicking, and sometimes came back to carry the
ball in short yardage situations. However, none of
these players was ever a consensus All American, and I have not seen
any All American list for 1910 that lists any player from this team,
even as honorable mention. 7-0 Illinois, by contrast, had 4
nonconsensus AA players.
played every game at home except for a neutral site game against
Westminster, and their schedule did not include any team likely to have
made a top 25 in 1910, though 2 opponents were close. One was 6-1-1
Georgetown, whom Pitt beat 17-0. Georgetown was tied by 4-0-2 North
Carolina State, who was tied by 0-4-2 Villanova.
other notable win came 11-0 in their finale against 5-2-1 Penn State,
who was also tied by 0-4-2 Villanova. So winless Villanova gravely
damaged the value of both of Pitt's decent wins. It's too bad, because
Penn State was usually a good team (likely top ten the year before and
the year after this), and they did stomp on their other 5 patsies by an
average score of 49-1 this season, but they were shut out by the only
good teams they played (Pitt and 9-1-1 Penn), and as noted they suffered
that inexplicable tie with Villanova at home.
Why Pittsburgh Does Not Merit National Championship Consideration for 1910
Actually, my reasoning here is similar to what I wrote concerning the NCF's selection of LSU in my 1908
article. Pitt's schedule is ridiculous for a supposed national
championship contender, and there isn't much more to say than
that. As I noted in that 1908 article, it is baffling that the NCF
randomly picks teams like this, who played no one, when they have
repeatedly ignored true powerhouse teams that performed better and/or
played tougher schedules.
Pitt shut out every opponent, but so did 7-0 Illinois. It is a nice
feat, but ultimately trivial, especially given that Pitt did not play a
top 25 caliber opponent. Lots of teams from that era accomplished the
"feat" of shutting out every unranked opponent they played in a season.
Along with Pitt and Illinois, the following teams did it in 1910: Harvard, Michigan, Minnesota, Navy, Army, Princeton, and Lafayette.
suffered a tie at Yale, but Pitt did not even play a team anywhere near
as good. Harvard's 4-0-1 record against top 25 caliber teams, though
imperfect, is still far better than Pitt's 0-0 record against the same.
of their schedule, it is impossible to know how good or bad Pitt was.
You could argue that for all we know, Pitt was better than Harvard, and
that they would have beaten Harvard had the two teams played. It's
possible (if very, very unlikely). But then, you could argue exactly
the same thing about all of the other unbeaten teams I am about to go
over. By that argument, you should select 7 to 10 teams to share the
"national championship" every year during this era.
But as they
say, if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. Harvard
beat 4 of the best, and tied another. In this arena, Pitt did not even
play. Therefore, I do not see Pitt as a legitimate contender.
But then, like LSU 1908, Pittsburgh does not claim this so-called national championship. Good for them.
The View on Pitt in 1910
in 1910 were even less inclined to take Pitt seriously. Grover Orton,
writing about football in the "Middle States" (New Jersey, Maryland,
Pennsylvania) for Spaulding's football guide after the season, ranked
the Middle State teams as follows:
1) Penn 9-1-1 2) Princeton 7-1 3) Navy 8-0-1 4) Lafayette 7-2 5) Carlisle 8-6 6) Pittsburgh 9-0
he has Pitt in 6th place in just this one small region! My own
rankings, based on a hypothetical 1910 AP poll, put Pitt at #12
Other Eastern Teams 1910
only other Eastern team that could possibly argue for a share of the
MNC is Navy (#6), who matched Harvard's 8-0-1 record. However, Navy's
schedule was not much tougher than Pittsburgh's this season. They
played just one top 25 caliber opponent, beating Army 3-0. Their tie
came 0-0 to Rutgers, a downright bad team that finished 3-2-3. Like
Pitt, Navy did shut out every opponent, but that ugly tie takes them
out of the race.
Penn (#2) was taken out of the race right off the bat, losing a shocking 8-5
upset to 6-1 Ursinus in their opener. And as mentioned, Yale took 7-1
Princeton (#10) out of the race 5-3 in Princeton's finale.
"West," as the Midwest was called at the time, showed that 1909 was not
a fluke, and that the region had caught up with the powerful East. For
the second straight season, the Big 10 region had a winning record
against the East, its major teams going 2-1-1 against the East's major
teams, though the only significant result was a 0-0 tie between 3-0-3
Michigan and 9-1-1 Penn. But for the second straight season, the "West"
was again unable to produce an MNC candidate. Unless you count 7-0
erratic 3-0-3 Michigan (#3), who alternated wins and ties against a very
tough schedule, was nevertheless probably the best team in the "West."
They opened with a 3-3 tie to Case (6-1-1, #26-39), then
dealt 6-1 Michigan State (#17) their only loss 6-3. Then they tied 6-1-3 Ohio
State 3-3 (#26-39), following that up with an
11-0 road win over 5-4-1 Syracuse.
Then came the 0-0 tie at 9-1-1 Penn (#2), followed by a big 6-0 win over 6-1
Minnesota (#4) in their finale (their initial defense of the Little Brown
Jug they had first won the previous season). All of Michigan's
opponents had winning records, and overall their opponents were an
amazing 38-6-3 when not playing Michigan.
went unbeaten this year because of a tremendous defense. They gave up a
total of 9 points in 6 games, and never allowed a touchdown. But
Michigan took 3 ties this year because of a horrendous offense. They
scored a total of 29 points in 6 games, an average of just under 5
points a game! Opening opponent Case was supposed to be a warm-up game,
as Michigan was 13-0 against them. The game was played with just 10
minute quarters. Similarly, Michigan had been 10-0-1 against Ohio
State, so the ties that Case and Ohio State managed against Michigan
this year were huge upsets, and celebrated like great wins at both
Michigan's big wins, over 6-1 Michigan State and 6-1
Minnesota, both came on dramatic late touchdowns. The touchdown that
beat MSU 6-3 came on a fake field goal attempt, and the touchdown that
beat Minnesota 6-0 was set up by 2 tricky long passes that followed
multiple laterals in the backfield.
had looked very powerful before their loss to Michigan, romping on and
shutting out every opponent, including a 27-0 win over 7-1 Nebraska (#19).
This was the second season in a row that saw a perfect Minnesota season
end in defeat to Michigan.
That brings us back to the Midwest's only potential MNC candidate, 7-0 Illinois,
who shared their first Big Ten title with Minnesota (Michigan was no
longer in the league at this time). Illinois coach Arthur Hall was
27-10-3 at the school 1907-1912, and he was one of four coaches that had
together directed the team to a 9-2-1 finish in 1904. Illinois had no
consensus All Americans, but after the season, Outing
magazine conducted a national poll of coaches, asking them who were the
best players they had seen on opposing teams, and Illinois ended up
having the most players named in the poll. Leading the way for Illinois
was quarterback Otto Seiler, an all-conference selection for the second
straight season who brought home Illinois' first Big Ten title with his
you see, won three different games in 1910 by kicking a field goal for
a 3-0 final score. The first of these games occurred against Chicago in
Illinois' first-ever homecoming game (the winning kick is shown in the
blurry picture above-- you can see the ball in the air). Illinois
claims to have
invented the concept of the homecoming game, but half a dozen schools
make the same claim, and Baylor, for one, appears to have held a
homecoming game in the previous season. In any case, it was Illinois'
first win over rival Chicago since 1901, so it was cause for great
celebration amongst those who came "home" to witness it. However,
though Chicago usually fielded a powerful team, they were quite bad
season, finishing 2-5. Minnesota beat them 24-0, and 5-2-1 Cornell beat
them 18-0, so Illinois' 3-0 win doesn't actually do them any MNC favors.
next 3-0 win came at 6-1 Indiana (#21), and while that was Indiana's only
loss, the win holds relatively little value because Indiana's schedule was lousy,
and in fact Illinois was the only winning opponent they even played.
Illinois' last 3-0 win was at 5-4-1 Syracuse, another win for the West
against the East, but Syracuse was not good this season, their low
point being a 0-0 tie with St. Bonaventure. Michigan won at Syracuse
11-0, and Yale and 4-2-1 Colgate beat Syracuse by more than Illinois
did as well.
schedule was even weaker than Pittsburgh's, as they did not play any
team as good as Pitt victims Penn State and Georgetown. And while
Illinois shut out every opponent, they did not perform nearly as well
as Pitt. But they did not even perform as well as Michigan or
Minnesota, and as such were probably the third best team in the Midwest
(at best). Still, it was a banner year for Illinois, and they were on
their way to becoming a power team later in the decade. Their 7-0 team
in 1914 is far better than this one. I have Illinois ranked #11 for 1910.
As usual, 8-0-1 Vanderbilt ruled the South in 1910,
led by Hall of Fame coach Dan McGugin (pictured at left) and
quarterback Ray Morrison, who went on to become a Hall of Fame coach
himself (at 4 schools, most notably at Southern Methodist 1915-'16
& 1922-'34). Team captain Bill Neely, an end and halfback, was
All-Southern, and his brother Jess would one day become a Hall of Fame
coach as well. Tackle Ewing Freeland was All-Southern for 3 seasons,
and he became a coach at TCU and SMU, but not a Hall of Famer. Guard
William "Frog" Metzger was a unanimous All-Southern selection, and he
also made Walter Camp's 3rd team All American list.
Like 8-0-1 Harvard, Vanderbilt took their one tie at
Yale. They won all of the rest of their games by more than
a touchdown (worth 5 points then, 6 with conversion), the highlights
being a 9-2 win over 7-1 Mississippi (#26-39) and 23-6 over 8-2 Sewanee (#26-39). Neither
would have made a top 25 at the time, but it is difficult to know how
good they were due to the insular schedules they played. They might
have been top 25 in quality. Still, they were certainly not as strong
as Harvard's best opponents, and that is Vanderbilt's problem as far as
sharing an MNC goes.
tie at Yale was celebrated as a major win back in Nashville, whereas
Harvard's tie at Yale was mourned as a disappointment in Cambridge, and
that illustrates an important difference here. Harvard had already
beaten 2 teams that had beaten Yale, as well as another 2 teams in
Yale's range. Therefore, their tie at Yale represented their worst game
of the season. Vanderbilt, however, did not beat any such teams, and as
such, their tie at Yale represented their best showing of the season.
In other words, Vanderbilt's schedule just doesn't merit considering them
co-champions with Harvard.
Vanderbilt's case is at least as strong as Pittsburgh's. Vandy's tie at
Yale does not (or should not) hurt them in comparison to Pitt, because
Pitt did not play a team nearly as good. And while Vandy did not shut
out every opponent, what matters is that they won the rest of their
games by more than a touchdown, just like Pitt did. Pitt opponents
6-1-1 Georgetown and 5-2-1 Penn State may have been better than
Vanderbilt opponents 7-1 Mississippi and 8-2 Sewanee, but it is
impossible to know for sure, and this much we do know:
Georgetown and Penn State both suffered upsets (both wells poisoned,
again, by 0-4-2 Villanova), whereas Mississippi only lost to Vandy, and
Sewanee only lost to unbeaten teams. So I don't see any sense in
selecting Pitt for a share of the MNC without also including Vanderbilt.
Vanderbilt and Pitt were very similar, both launching newfound success with unbeaten seasons in 1904
(I summarized both teams, as well as the career of Vanderbilt's great
coach Dan McGugin, in that article). Both schools were good over the
ensuing years, but struggled against power opponents. Pitt went 1-4
against Carlisle and Cornell (the win coming against Carlisle in 1909), and lost to Notre Dame in 1909 (the
Midwest's best team that year). Vanderbilt went 0-6 against Michigan
and Ohio State, but defeated Carlisle in 1906, and tied 9-2-1 Navy in
1907 (as well as Yale this season). So both teams had gotten their
breakthrough win against Carlisle. But Vandy also got the two big ties,
so they were perhaps more highly esteemed than Pitt at the time. I have Vanderbilt ranked #8 for 1910.
I mentioned that 8-2 Sewanee lost only to unbeaten teams. Aside from Vanderbilt, they also lost to 9-0 Centre,
a tiny college in Kentucky with big aspirations. 9 years later, Centre will have fielded a national championship contender, and 11 years later, Centre will have become nationally famous for upsetting Harvard (often considered
the greatest upset of all time, though I don't see it as much of an
upset myself). Other than Sewanee, Centre's best win was 12-6 over 7-2
Kentucky. They also crushed weak Tennessee and Tulane teams, and the rest of their schedule consisted of minor schools. Were
they as good as Vandy and Pitt? Probably not, but of course there's no way to
know. They did beat Sewanee 19-0, slightly more than Vanderbilt beat
them by, so it's possible. If Pitt and Vandy are "national champions," maybe Centre is too. I have Centre ranked #22 for 1910.
head coach was Syracuse grad Mark Beale Banks, who was only here 3
years, but went 6-1-1 in 1909 (beat Tulane and tied Tennessee), 9-0
this year, and 3-2-1 in 1911 (tied Tennessee). Banks moved on to a
number of small colleges, and finally got a shot at the big time
1921-1925 at Tennessee, going a decent 27-15-3 there. For his career,
Banks was 99-72-10.
The last notable team from the South to mention for this season is 6-1 Auburn, who
had been playing well since 1907. They defeated 4 winning Southern
teams in 1910, but they lost 9-0 at 5-2-1 Texas. I do not have Auburn ranked in the top 40 for 1910.
(pictured at left) was led by Hall of Fame coach Fred Folsom, for whom
is still named. He won 10 conference titles in 15 years at Colorado,
going 77-23-2 there, and 106-28-6 overall with a 29-5-4 mark in 4 years
coaching his alma mater, Dartmouth. That record places him on the list for all-time FBS coaching
win percentage. 1910 is the second of three straight seasons that
Colorado went unbeaten and untied.
Colorado dominated the Rocky
Mountain region during Folsom's time, but they did not fare well against
Missouri Valley teams, going 1-4 against Nebraska and 1-2-1 against
Kansas 1902-1907 (they did not play any MVC teams 1908-1910). And the Missouri Valley did not fare well against the
Big Ten region, and until 1909, the Big Ten region did not fare well
against the East. So the Rocky Mountain region was at best a 4th tier
region in terms of power. As such, it is hard (impossible?) to
seriously consider this 6-0 Colorado team, who played no one outside
their region, a national championship contender.
Even within their
region, their schedule was weak, with only one winning opponent (4-2
Utah, whom they beat 11-0). But they did dominate that schedule,
outscoring opponents 121-3. That's more than you can say for Rocky Mountain co-champion 7-0 Colorado College,
who edged Utah 21-17, Colorado Mines 8-0 (Colorado beat them
19-0), and Denver 6-5. I have Colorado ranked #18 for 1910, and
Colorado College #20.
Colorado College did something Colorado did not in
1910-- they beat a strong Missouri Valley team, topping 10-1 Kansas
State 15-8. KSU dealt 7-1 Arkansas their only loss, who dealt 8-1 Texas
A&M their only loss. Colorado College thus sits atop a totem pole
of pretty good teams, and given that Colorado outperformed Colorado
College against 4 common opponents, we can safely assume that Colorado
was at least as strong, if not stronger.
neither can be taken seriously as an MNC contender, as Colorado College
performed too poorly, and Colorado's schedule was too weak.
College went through a string of good head coaches in the first
couple decades of the 20th century. First Wisconsin grad Bill
Juneau came here for one season, 1904, and went 6-3-1. He would later
attract attention at Marquette 1908-1911, going 19-5-7 there, and among
the many coaching stops in his career, his other best seasons were
7-0 at Wisconsin in 1912 (strong MNC contender) and 9-0 at Texas in 1918, those also being his only conference titles won.
was followed by another Wisconsin grad, "Big John" Richards, who went
23-9-4 here 1905-1909. He later went an even more impressive 29-9-4 as
head coach at Wisconsin, and for his career he was 58-21-8.
brings us to 1910, Colorado College's first season in the Rocky
Mountain conference, and the first year for new head coach Claude
Rothgeb (pictured). He was an Illinois grad who who had gone a poor 4-11-1 at
Colorado State 1906-1909 before Colorado College inexplicably hired
him. But they made a good choice, because Rothgeb won the Rocky
Mountain conference in his first year, the only conference title
Colorado College ever won in football. This is also the only year
Colorado College fielded a top 25 caliber team (though Rothgeb would
come close again in 1916).
Rothgeb was here longer than the previous coaches, 1910-1918, and he went 41-18-2 (according to the school;
the College Football Data Warehouse, which counts games against high
schools that the college didn't count as "official," has Rothgeb at
48-18-3). Rothgeb then became an assistant coach at Texas A&M, then at
6-0 Washington was a lot like 6-0 Colorado:
they played no one outside their region, they were led by a Hall of
Fame coach, and they were in the middle of a streak of unbeaten and
untied seasons. However, both their coach and their winning streak were
much more impressive than Colorado's. The coach was Gil Dobie
(pictured at left), who went 58-0-3 at Washington 1908-1916-- you read
that right, they did not lose a game in those 9 years.
also went 7-0 in 2 seasons at North Dakota State 1906-1907, so he
didn't lose a game in his first 11 seasons as a coach. He took his
first career loss while coach at Navy in 1917, in his 70th game. Dobie
would end up at Cornell 1920-1935, and Cornell claims 2 national
championships during his time. Through 1923, he was 112-5-3 in 18
seasons as a coach, for a blistering .947 winning percentage that no
other coach in history can touch. His next 15 years did not go as well,
dropping him to 182-45-15 for his career, but that still puts Dobie on the all-time FBS coaching win percentage chart (some sources
give him 2 more wins for his career; details in the Addendum at the end of the article).
for Washington's winning streak, they went unbeaten and untied 5
straight seasons 1909-1913, and went 63 games without a loss (59-0-4)
between 1907 and 1917, an NCAA record that will never be broken, if
only because no FBS team will ever play such weak schedules again. At
least half of their games were played against high schools, athletic
clubs, military base teams, or very minor football schools such as
Whitman, Whitworth, and Puget Sound. And as Dobie's winning streak
grew, he became ever more protective of it. After 1910, he refused to
play teams on their home field. Against Oregon and Oregon State, for
example, he would play them at home one year, and on a neutral field
(Portland) the next. Other schools, such as Washington State, he would
only play in Seattle. WSU made the trip a few years, then refused to
play Washington after 1914 (until Dobie left, and home-and-home games
1910, Washington was led by quarterback Wee Coyle, who was 26-0-1 at
Washington, and by end Warren "Wedge" Grimm (pictured at left), the team captain and a 3rd
team All American selection by Walter Camp. Washington dominated most
of the teams on their schedule,
outscoring opponents 150-8, but they struggled to beat the only team
that scored on them, Whitman, 12-8. Whitman's scores were set up by a
pair of Washington fumbles early in the game.
could conclude that Washington's case for sharing the mythical national
championship is about the same as Colorado's, if a bit weaker due to
the one poor performance (Colorado won all their games easily), but
there is one difference. We know that the Rocky Mountain region was
generally weaker than the Missouri Valley region because of games
played between the two in the preceding decade. But we know nothing
about how competitive the Northwest was compared to other regions,
because no games had been played between the Northwest and other
could even argue that the Northwest was as strong as the East at this
time, and no one could rebut the claim, because there is no data for
argument. On that basis-- that we don't know for sure how strong or
weak the Northwest was-- you could argue for Washington sharing the MNC
in 1910 (as well as every other year during their winning streak!).
However, my feeling, and the consensus view, is that a team and/or its
region has to show what it can do against the best teams/regions of its
time to be considered a contender. Going unbeaten and untied against an
insular region makes a team a regional champion, not a "national"
Washington was not necessarily even the best team of the Northwest
this season, as they did not play 4-1 Oregon. Oregon's loss came to
the Multnomah Athletic Club, whom Washington did not play. In their other
games, Oregon was at least as impressive as Washington against a
similar schedule. They even whipped Puget Sound 114-0. Perhaps that's
why Dobie decided to skip playing them this season. I have Washington ranked #16 for 1910.
1910 #1: 8-0-1 Harvard Contenders: None
are the awards I have been handing out for each season, except seasons
when there are no contenders. For this purpose, what I mean by a
contender is a team that I think is very close to being worthy of
sharing the national championship. A team that you could make an
argument for, even if that argument is weak. But they are
teams that I myself do not see as national champions.
A third category is also possible:
a "national co-champion" who is not #1, but who has done just enough to
considered a co-champion with the #1 team.
all the teams I've covered above, only Pittsburgh and Vanderbilt come
close to "contender" status this year. But Pitt was 0-0 against likely
top 25 teams, Vandy 0-0-1, and that just doesn't qualify as
Other unbeatens that I did not cover in the preceding article include 5-0 Arizona and 5-0 Howard.
have been grading the NCAA Records Book's selectors for each season,
and keeping a grade point average, so we can see who is relatively good
at selecting national champions and who is not. And although I do not
consider computer ratings to be legitimate national championship
selectors, I have been including them in this section as well,
just for comparison's sake. I am
grading on a scale of 0
to 5, with 5 being the best.
The National Championship Foundation selected Harvard and Pittsburgh. Grade: 2.5
Everyone else selected Harvard. Grade: 5
Parke Davis is not listed as having made a pick for 1910 in the NCAA Records Book.
Grade Averages 1901-1910:
1) Billingsley (math system)
2) Houlgate (math)
3) Parke Davis
5) National Championship Foundation
College Football Data Warehouse and James Howell's all-time scores list
give Washington coach Gil Dobie 2 more career wins, putting him at
182-45-15, and Wikipedia goes with this number as well. The NCAA has
him at 180-45-15, and for now, that is the number I am going with.
There are 2 games in contention here. The first is an alleged 69-0 win
by North Dakota State over Mayville State in 1906 while Dobie was at
NDSU. However, North Dakota State does not list this game in their
media guide/record book, so until I am able to verify that an official
game between these 2 schools actually took place (rather than an
unplanned, informal scrimmage, for example), I am going to follow the
NCAA's lead and not count it. And I may never get to North Dakota to
properly research this one myself.
second game up for debate is an alleged 15-0 win by Navy over the USS
Utah while Dobie was at Navy in 1919. This game is not listed in Navy's
media guide/record book, and I have done some research on it and have
been unable to find it. The College Football Data Warehouse lists this
game as having taken place one week after the Army game, and that right
there makes it highly unlikely that this game, if it in fact took
place, could possibly have been in any way "official." And the New York
Times ran many articles about Navy after their win against Army in
1919, but no game against the USS Utah was mentioned in the entire
month of December (or in November, or in January 1920).