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  1. As I mentioned in my first post this dynasty was started with a beta version of DDSCF20 and would come to an end at some point as updates were added. Well, we now have post-season All-America and All-Conference teams (as well as other additions) which do not show up in my save with a previous version so this replay has come to an end. I will likely start a new one up in the not too distant future. Just to see how things unfolded I did sim out another twenty odd years and am now in 1975 so a total of 60 seasons were completed. Because I altered my prestige rating to be fairly close we had no super dominant teams in this league but here are the teams with greater than 70 prestige rating as of 1975. Texas A&M 89 Georgia 81 UCLA 81 West Virginia 81 Florida 79 Oklahoma 78 Penn State 77 Michigan 76 Nebraska 75 Notre Dame 75 Tennessee 75 Stanford 74 Virginia 74 USC 73 Virginia Tech 73 Texas Tech 73 Alabama 72 LSU 72 NC State 72 Texas 72 Ohio State 71 California 70 Illinois 70 North Carolina 70 Some final notes from the league The most consecutive National Titles was 4 held by both Texas (1923-26) and Notre Dame (1934-37). All of the winning streaks came early as North Carolina State won 3 in a row starting in 1917 and the only back-to-back winners were Virginia (1942-43) and Notre Dame (1947-48). Since my recaps stopped in 1952 there was not a single repeat winner although a couple of teams won 2 titles in a 3 year span. NATIONAL TITLES Notre Dame led the way with 9 national championships but only one of them came after 1952, which was their title in 1960, although the Irish had several opportunities in the sixties and seventies for more, but they lost a number of bowl games including 3 straight Cotton Bowls from 1972-74 to ruin otherwise undefeated seasons. Texas is next with 8 titles with all but one coming in 1932 or earlier. The lone exception was the 1974 11-1 Longhorn team that won the National Title by defeating previously unbeaten Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl. Texas A&M was the team of the 1960's winning in '61,'64 and '66 as well as a pair of titles in the 1970s as well. Florida was another team that evolved into a powerhouse as the Gators started with a 63 prestige in 1915 and it took them a long time for it to improve, but after winning National titles in 1953,59,63 and 1975 ended the sim with a 79 prestige. Here are the National Titles by team: Notre Dame 9 Texas 8 Texas A&M 6 Tennessee 5 Virginia 5 Florida 4 NC State 4 Penn State 3 Georgia 2 Oklahoma 2 USC 2 West Virginia 2 California 1 Illinois 1 LSU 1 Mississippi 1 Nebraska 1 Oregon 1 Stanford 1 Texas Tech 1 Wisconsin 1 Michigan is the highest prestige team to never win a title. The Wolverines had several close calls through the years and were #2 in the polls on 5 occasions. Ohio State also never won a title and the same can be said for Alabama. HEISMAN TROPHY We had several players win the Heisman twice but perhaps the greatest player in college history is Chris Feldman (Oklahoma 1965-68). The running back ran for 6,477 yards in his college career and won 4 straight Heisman Trophy's helping the Sooners to an unbeaten season and a National Title as a freshman. He finishes 3rd all-time in career rushing yardage and also 3rd in career touchdowns. He likely would have been first in both categories had I not "historically adjusted" the stats as a progressed transitioning from a extremely run heavy game in the early years to slowly become more balanced in the 50s and then increased passing again in the late 1960s. It wasn't exact by any means but gave me somewhat of a historical accuracy to the sim. Out of the top 10 career rushing yard leaders, Feldman was the only one to make his college debut after 1949 and still finished within 400 yards of the all-time leader Andy Emery (Michigan 1933-36 and Heisman winner in 1936). Feldman tied for third in career rushing touchdowns with 74, two behind for Notre Dame Heisman winner Marv Gipe (1935-38) but well behind Chet Williford, was first in rushing td's with 90 and second in career rushing yardage. Williford nearly duplicated Feldman's 4 Heisman's, winning 3 while at Texas from 1926-29. Anyway, I might write a little more about it but this dynasty is basically completed as I do want the new Awards features in my next one. Thanks to anyone who stuck with it. I hope you found it enjoying to read. ONLINE LEAGUE I also would love for someone to start an online league with this file. I will immediately sign up for it. I like a couple of things about it with the first being it is a smaller league - could like drop it down from 82 to 66 teams if need be by eliminating the Ivy and WAC conferences. I figure a smaller league makes it easier to get a majority of the teams filled. The second thing I like is the prestige ratings are close enough (and could maybe be tinkered with a bit more) that it gives a large percentage of teams a realistic chance at a National Title, unlike the default modern day league. Final thing I like is the schedule files (10 in all) work very well. It gives a nice variety of games, has a good rotation for the larger conferences that don't play every opponent each year and some nice rivalry games like Michigan-Notre Dame that occur rare enough (just twice every 10 years) to make them special. Anyway, count me in if someone wants to create an online league with this file.
  2. 1950 NFL RECAP The big news heading into the 1950 season was coming out of Chicago, where the question was could the 3-time league champions continue their dominance without running backs Stan Cremmins or Pinch McWilliams? McWilliams announced his retirement over the off-season. He was a 13 year veteran out of Brigham Young who had spent his entire NFL career with the Cardinals. He was MVP of the 1944 NFL Championship game, one of 4 title teams he would be a part of. McWilliams rushed for 6767 yards in his career including a 1084 yard season in 1946 but he had spent the last 3 seasons as a backup to Cremmins. However, it was the loss of Cremmins that will most hurt the Cardinals as the back bolted to division rival Green Bay after 3 championship seasons in Chicago that saw him rush for 2875 yards, win a rookie of the year award and 2 playoff MVPs. To replace Crimmins, the Cardinals snapped up another former UCLA running back in Arnold Kraut. Kraut, who rushed for 981 yards and won Offensive Rookie of the Year last season, was made expendable by Green Bay when the Packers added Crimmins. Another team making waves in the off-season was the Pittsburgh Steelers. Despite a pretty solid season under center from veteran Beauty Ellard the Steelers tied Philadelphia for last place in the East Division. Pittsburgh management decided an upgrade at QB was needed so they signed Bobby Brophy, a gunslinging 5th year pro out of TCU, who led the league in QB rating last season and was second in passing yardage the year before while with the Rams. And if two QB's is good, the Steelers felt three must be better as they also signed free agent Buck Haff, who led the Cardinals to a title two years ago when Biggs Holley was hurt, but did not play last season. The loss of Brophy left the Rams, who were at the forefront of the new emphasis on the passing game, scrambling to find a signal caller. The Rams were unable to find a replacement so they had to look to Spider Grant, the 9 year pro out of Cornell, who was their starter in 1947 before being relegated to backup status with the emergence of Brophy. With 1000 yard rusher Jay Akers also bolting Southern California - he signed with Philadelphia - the Rams offense appeared to be in deep trouble heading in to the 1950 campaign. With all of the changes the preseason predictions had the Cardinals falling out of the playoffs and continued low expectations for the Rams. The New York Giants replaced Chicago as the East favourite while in the West Chicago's other team - the Bears - and San Francisco were both expected to return to the playoffs. THE SEASON As it turned out the experts were pretty much right on the money. The San Francisco 49ers won their first 7 games and, led by a balanced offense that featured RB Mike Neville (907 yds) and QB Bob Chapdelaine (1784 yds passing, 13 TDs), finished the season with the league's best record at 8-2-2. Stan Crimmins (1032 yds) was just as good for Green Bay as he had been for the Cardinals but the Packers QB Bob Vetter was not quite what Biggs Holley was for the Cardinals so Crimmins found it was up to him to carry the offense. With Crimmins perhaps tiring a bit, the Packers dropped 3 of their last 5 games - including a loss to the lowly Rams - and allowed the Chicago Bears to overtake them for second place. The Bears returned to the playoffs for a fourth straight year thanks to Gene Stokes, the former Heisman winning back from North Carolina, providing a league best 1,111 yards rushing. Young QB Bert Fitzgibbon also had a strong season in his second year as the starter. Fourth place Detroit improved on a dismal 3-8-1 campaign a year ago but the best the Lions could do was get to .500. The Rams did get a decent year for Spider Grant at quarterback but a porous defense and a lack of a running game doomed them to another poor season while last place Baltimore was just plain awful - spared the embarrassment of a winless season only by a 20-10 victory over Detroit in week nine. Pat Holm has been the Philadelphia Eagles starting QB for 7 years and quietly went about his business. This year things just seemed to click for Holm, who led the NFL as the only passer to surpass 2000 yards, and his teammates as the Eagles returned to the playoffs after a 4 year drought. The Eagles had a dominating defense led by veteran linebacker Ike Earl, who came over from Washington and led the league in tackles with 104, and it was Earl as well as another Washington pickup - the early season trade that sent newly signed ex-Ram Jay Akers to the Redskins in exchange for veteran running back Gene Babb- that paid instant dividends. Babb, a former league champion and 3 time MVP, was fine with sharing the carries with rookie Herb Borman (from National Champion Virginia) and the duo combined for nearly 1700 yards rushing and helped propel Philadelphia to the top of the East Division. The New York Giants earned a playoff spot for the 7th time in the past ten years as long-time QB Bing Collum had another steady year. It was a tight race for second place but New York held off 3 teams to earn the berth. Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Washington all finished 6-6 while the 3-time defending champion Chicago Cardinals finished last despite a fairly respectable but deceptive 5-6-1 record. Deceptive because the Cardinals won their final 3 contests to somewhat salvage a bad season. Newcomer Arnold Kraut did come close to equalling his rookie of the year rushing totals from last season, gaining 941 yards on the ground, but lacked the explosiveness of the now departed Stan Crimmins. Without his backfield tandem of Crimmins and the retired Pinch McWilliams, Cardinals QB Biggs Holley endured a subpar season that saw him briefly lose his starting job to Gene Ontiveros, only to regain it when Ontiveros struggled terribly. Code: Select all FINAL 1950 NFL STANDINGS EAST DIVISION W L T WEST DIVISION W L T Philadelphia 8 4 0 San Francisco 8 2 2 New York 7 5 0 Chi Bears 7 5 0 Cleveland 6 6 0 Green Bay 6 5 1 Pittsburgh 6 6 0 Detroit 5 5 2 Washington 6 6 0 Los Angeles 4 8 0 Chi Cardinals 5 6 1 Baltimore 1 11 0 1950 NFL PLAYOFFS The San Francisco 49ers returned to the NFL championship game with a second straight convincing victory over the Chicago Bears in the East Division final. Bob Chapdelaine completed 14 of 17 pass attempts for 159 yards and Mike Neville ran for a touchdown but it was a veteran receiver out of USC that stole the show. Grey Galasso has been very steady through his 10 seasons in San Francisco (he caught 59 passes this year, 2nd most in the league) but had only played in one playoff game as he was injured and missed the post-season last year. This time he was healthy and Galasso made 7 catches for 101 yards and a touchdown to play a key role in the 49ers victory. San Francisco's defense was equally as strong, holding Bears running back and NFL rushing leader Gene Stokes to just 48 yards on 19 carries after Stokes had averaged 98 yards per game in two regular season meetings between the clubs. In Philadelphia, the Eagles beat the visiting New York Giants 25-14 to earn a trip to the NFL Championship game for the first time since 1939. The Eagles rushing duo of Babb and Borman combined for 157 yards but could score just 1 touchdown. The Giants were great in the redzone, but not so good in keeping the Eagles out of it as Philadelphia had to rely on 6 field goals from rookie kicker Sam Asaro, out of Oklahoma, to earn the victory. 1950 NFL CHAMPIONSHIP San Francisco would host the NFL Title Game for the second straight season but the 49ers were obviously hoping for better results than a year ago when the Chicago Cardinals hammered them for Chicago's 3rd straight title. Philadelphia last appeared in the championship game in 1939 and also played in the first one involving a west coast team when they beat the Los Angeles Rams in 1937. This game quickly turned in to the Bob Chapdelaine show as the 49ers quarterback had the game of his career. The 7th year pro from UTEP rewrote the playoff record book, setting new marks for completions and passing yardage in a game while equaling the touchdown mark with 3 scoring passes in a 41-14 romp over Philadelphia. When the dust settled Chapdelaine had completed 25 of 30 pass attempts for 282 yards as the Eagles normally solid secondary had no answer for Grey Galasso (8 catches) or Beauty Joseph (7 catches, 115 yards). San Francisco linebacker Sparky Sojka also had a career day, leading the game with 11 tackles and getting one of two interceptions that San Francisco had on the day, both of which were returned for touchdowns. It was vindication for Chapdelaine who had signed with the 49ers in 1944 after being drafted but cut in camp by the Chicago Cardinals. Chapdelaine had been through some bad seasons in San Francisco, suffering through a pair of 2-win seasons in 1944 and 1948, but also played a key role in the turnaround that began last year and culminated in the first title for a west coast team. The franchise had won 3 NFL championships prior but the first two came in Duluth and the third in 1938 when the franchise was still based in Brooklyn. It would be a clean sweep of the major awards for San Francisco as well. Chapdelaine, of course, was named playoff MVP while San Francisco RB Mike Neville captured the regular season offensive MVP award and Sojka was named top defensive player. The rookie awards went to Philadelphia's Hank Borman on offense and Los Angeles LB Jesse Morrison. Borman, a 4th round pick out of Virginia, rushed for 627 yards and scored 5 touchdowns. Morrison, who was selected first overall by the Rams out of Duke, had 91 tackles including a personal best 12 tackle, 1 sack day against Baltimore in week 10. Morrison narrowly edged out Colts 2nd round pick Joe Dear for the defensive award. Dear, out of Iowa, had 73 tackles, 3 sacks and a pair of interceptions.
  3. Notre Dame once again dominated the recruiting news heading into the 1949 season. The Irish led the nation in landing five-star recruits with a total of 9 of them committing to the two-time defending National Champions. Included in their winfall was the #1 overall rated player in Lake Forest, Illinois quarterback Mickey Grochowski. Grochowski was one of two top-ten ranked QB's to choose Notre Dame as Soup Schmidt (#7 overall) from Crozet, Virginia will also join the Irish. It was a very strong year for the Pac 8 as well with four schools from that conference finishing in the top ten recruiting class rankings. Stanford, which landed top ten recruits Chappy Kay and Fred Roach, topped the Pac 8 in finishing #3 overall in recruiting this season. Here are the top ten recruits and recruiting classes. Code: Select all TOP 10 RECRUITS 1- QB Mickey Grochowski Lake Forest, Ill Notre Dame 2- CB Gene McCuthceon Aiken, SC Wake Forest 3- CB Lou Stogner Danville, Ky Notre Dame 4- SS Chappy Kay Suwanee, Ga. Stanford 5- QB Putsy Marino Mount Holly, NC Virginia Tech 6- LB Jesse Orozco Baker, La. Indiana 7- RB Doc Henegar Roebuck, SC Georgia Tech 8- QB Soup Schmidt Crozet, Va Notre Dame 9- WR Fred Roach Sacramento, Ca Stanford 10- T Cobe Brownell Madison, Tx. Arizona State TOP TEN RECRUITING CLASSES 1- Notre Dame 2- Nebraska 3- Stanford 4- UCLA 5- Texas A&M 6- Texas 7- Georgia 8- Auburn 9- Oregon State 10- USC Notre Dame, which did not lose a game either of the past two seasons, enters 1949 ranked #1 in the nation with Nebraska, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and USC rounding out the preseason top five. 1949 COLLEGE SEASON Notre Dame once again got off to a strong start as the Irish were one of five unbeaten teams as the season reached the midway point. All of that changed in Notre Dame's 7th game of the season as their 31 game winning streak came to an end with a 13-9 road loss to 6-1 USC. The Trojans capitalized on 3 turnovers, including a pair of interceptions thrown by Notre Dame sophomore QB Bucky Sylvester. The Notre Dame loss vaulted 7-0 Michigan to number one, a position the Wolverines had never finished a season in and had not been ranked #1 at any point since 1921. Michigan, which has won 3 straight Rose Bowl games, had the briefest stay possible at #1, immediately dropping a 24-10 decision at The Big House to Minnesota (4-4). Turnovers again made the difference as despite rushing for a game high 139 yards, Michigan senior running back Mike Isenhour put the ball on the ground twice and Gopher DB Linc Hinckley clinched the win with a 68 yard interception return. With Michigan's loss we were down to 3 unbeaten teams, all at 8-0. They were Virginia, led by legendary coach Punch Stone, Nebraska and surprisingly Syracuse was the third team. The Orangemen were not playing the toughest schedule this season, although they did beat Penn State, and their 8 wins were the most in a full season for the school since they went 10-2 in 1934 and won the Sun Bowl. Syracuse would drop two of their final three games to fall out of National Title contention but Virginia and Nebraska would each run the table. Notre Dame did not stumble again and was also in the mix heading into the Bowl games. There would be plenty of excitement on New Year's Day as #1 ranked Virginia would go to the Cotton Bowl to play #4 Texas A&M while 10-1 Notre Dame, which sneaked ahead of 11-0 Nebraska and into second in the polls, would meet the Cornhuskers in the Orange Bowl. ACC RECAP Virginia would run away with the ACC as they had an unbeaten season moving long-time Coach Punch Stone to 10th all-time in career victories. Stone, who already has 3 National Titles with the Cavaliers would enter the bowl games just a win away from earning his fourth. He once again relied on QB Morrie Baham, now a senior, to lead the Virginia offense. Baham threw for over 2200 yards for the second straight season and tossed 15 touchdown passes, tied for tops in the nation. North Carolina finished second in the ACC at 4-2 (6-5 overall) in a down year that yielded the Tar Heels worst result in 5 seasons. North Carolina State (3-3, 7-4) also slumped badly after going 11-1 a year ago but the Tar Heels did get a bowl invite, to the Peach Bowl where they will face Wisconsin. BIG 8 RECAP Nebraska ran the table thanks to a dramatic overtime victory in their traditional season finale against Oklahoma. The Cornhuskers are guaranteed their 3rd 11-win season in the past four years but are looking for more - their first National Tile since 1933. Oklahoma and Kansas State shared second place in what was a down year for the Sooners but a very good one for the Wildcats. The Sooners finished 6-5 overall, including a loss to Kansas State for just the 6th time in 35 meetings between the schools. The Wildcats 7-4 record was their best finish since 1932. BIG TEN RECAP Ohio State and Michigan finished with identical 6-2 conference records but the Buckeyes ended the Wolverines 3-year Rose Bowl run by virtue of a season ending 31-17 victory at home over Michigan. Michigan still leads the all-time series between the schools 20-15 and had the better overall record this year (9-2 vs 8-3 for the Buckeyes) but the season had to be a bitter disappointment for Michigan after winning their first 8 games. Senior Mike Isenhour, despite the turnovers in the loss to Minnesota, had a great season as he finished second in the nation with 1382 yards rushing. While Ohio State would face Stanford in the Rose Bowl, Michigan would still get a bowl game with an invite to face 8-1 Dartmouth in the Gator Bowl. Wisconsin (8-3) also earned a bowl invite, a trip to the Peach Bowl and a meeting with North Carolina. IVY LEAGUE RECAP Dartmouth was the story with an 8-1 season that included a sweep of the conference plus a win over Virginia Tech to earn a bowl appearance for the Big Green for the first time since 1922. Our Dartmouth QB recruit Doug Cheek, had a decent but not spectacular season, passing for 1019 yards and 4 touchdowns as Dartmouth relied more on a ground game by committee. Following the season Cheek would decide to forgo his senior year and turn pro. Meanwhile Penn's Rip Tipton, the other Ivy League QB from that recruiting class, had a terrible season for the 4-5 Quakers. He passed for 1175 yards and 6 touchdowns but was picked off 12 times, third most in the nation. PACIFIC 8 RECAP Stanford continued to build on their strong recruiting class with an outstanding 9-2 season and a perfect run through the conference including a 37-0 beating of USC. Stanford finished the regular season ranked #5 while USC, also 9-2, was 6th in the polls and UCLA (7-4) was ranked 14th. Only USC would get a bowl bid to go along with Stanford's trip to the Rose Bowl and the Cardinal had to be happy to not be facing Michigan, a team they lost to each of the past two seasons. It would be the first ever meeting between Stanford and Ohio State. Despite the down year for UCLA, you can't blame freshman QB Babe Gatlin. Despite being just a 3-star recruit, Gatlin earned the starting job and went on to lead the nation in passing yardage with 2265. The offense as a whole was not a concern, as sophomore RB Charlie Harris, who I mentioned last season as well, finished in the top ten in rushing with 1139 yards. It was tough losses to Stanford and USC, which always seems to give the Bruins fits based on their 12-23 record against the Trojans, that doomed UCLA. SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE RECAP The SEC was a dog fight all year and with 4 teams tying atop the standings with 4-2 conference records all they did was ruin each other's seasons. LSU and Georgia were two of the four - joining Auburn and Kentucky in a surprising result for the Wildcats as conference leaders but only 6-5 Auburn, who were awarded the conference title based on tiebreakers, would earn a bowl invitation. Georgia and Tennessee (3-3 in conference) both finished 8-3 while LSU was 7-4, records good enough to allow all 3 to sneak into the top 25 rankings. SOUTHWEST CONFERENCE RECAP Texas A&M (10-1 overall) went unbeaten in SWC play and finished the season ranked 4th and with an invite to face #1 Virginia in the Cotton Bowl. Arkansas (8-3) and TCU (6-5) were both 5-2 and tied for second in the conference with Texas Tech in fourth. Where was Texas you ask? The normally dominant Longhorns went 7-4 overall but their 4 losses all came in conference play. The Razorbacks would earn a bowl game, where they will meet Arizona (9-2) in the Tangerine Bowl. WAC RECAP Wyoming went 10-1 and finished the regular season ranked 8th in the nation, earning a Bowl bid for the second straight season. 10 wins represented a record for a Cowboys team a year after they equalled their previous high water mark by going 8-4. The other QB we had been following, Stew Mall, suffered through a tough season with 3-8 New Mexico. Mall was benched for 2 games but really didn't play that badly in his junior season, passing for 1303 yards and 7 touchdowns while only getting picked off twice. New Mexico's problem was a defense that ranked among the worst in the nation against the run. Speaking of running, I should go back to Wyoming and talk about senior back Johnson Breshears. He led the nation with 1712 yards on the ground and scored 21 touchdowns including 198 yards in a season ending win over Boston College. I looked to see if that was a record and it certainly wasn't as somehow a Penn State back by the name of Russ Jordan ran for 379 yards and 4 touchdowns in a 1943 game against Maryland. INDEPENDENTS Notre Dame had it's usually strong season, but finished with a blemish thanks to the loss to USC, ending at 10-1. Penn State was 8-3, and ranked 16th in a bit of a drop-off for the Nittany Lions while Syracuse (9-2), Pitt (7-4) and West Virginia (7-4) all cracked the top twenty five. 1949 BOWL GAMES Three teams had eyes on the National Championship entering New Year's Day. Virginia just need a victory over #4 Texas A&M to earn Coach Punch Stone his fourth National Title. However, 11-1 and #2 ranked Notre Dame had title hopes of it's own as Ival Scarbrough's squad was looking for it's third straight championship. #3 ranked Nebraska was 11-0 and still had a shot at winning the Cornhuskers first title since 1933. ROSE BOWL Before we get to the game's with title implications let's talk about the grand-daddy of them all, the Rose Bowl. Stanford had lost two straight to Michigan but this year the Ohio State Buckeyes replaced the Wolverines in the New Year's Day game. The first-ever meeting of the two schools was tight for a half as the Buckeyes led 7-6 at the break but Stanford caught fire in the second half and romped to a 40-13 victory. Stanford freshman receiver Fred Roach - a top ten recruit - had the best game of his young career, catching 5 balls for 123 yards to help the Cardinal earn the victory. ORANGE BOWL Despite their long history of battling each other for National Champions (in which the Irish almost always seemed to come out on top) the two schools had only met once before in a bowl game. That was back in 1919 when Notre Dame won in the Orange Bowl to finish 3rd in the rankings. This time Nebraska turned the tables on the Irish with a 26-9 victory that allowed the Cornhuskers to finish perfect at 12-0 for the first time in school history. COTTON BOWL Unfortunately for Nebraska, Virginia took care of business in the Cotton Bowl by blanking Texas A&M 29-0 and also finishing 12-0. The Cavs held on to #1 forcing the Cornhuskers to settle for second in the polls. Morrie Banham threw for 216 yards which gave him 2443 on the season, tops in the nation for the second straight year. For 77 year old coach Punch Stone, it was his 4th National Championship and 157th career victory. Stone would go out a winner as he announced his retirement from coaching following the game. SUGAR BOWL After missing out on the Rose Bowl yet again (USC has not played in Pasadena on New Years Day since that last of 5 straight appearances in 1944) the Trojans beat Auburn 24-15 in the Sugar Bowl to finish the season with a 10-2 record and a #6 ranking. In other Bowl action, Syracuse exposed WAC champion Wyoming with a 47-7 Sun Bowl victory that left both schools at 10-2. Michigan took out it's frustrations on missing the Rose Bowl with a 68-17 thumping of Doug Cheek and Dartmouth in the Gator Bowl. Wolverines back Mike Isenhour ran for 162 yards to put himself over the 1600 mark for the season but he still trailed NCAA leader Johnson Breshears of Wyoming for the overall lead. Breshears, also a senior like Isenhour, gained 87 in the Sun Bowl to finish with 1799. Wisconsin dominated North Carolina in the Peach Bowl, claiming a 44-0 shutout victory. Arizona topped Arkansas 21-14 in the Tangerine Bowl while Pitt beat Colorado State 31-17 in the Bluebonnet. Here are the end of season Top 25 rankings. AWARDS The Heisman Trophy went to Wyoming senior running back Johnson Breshears as he outpointed Virginia QB Morrie Baham and Michigan RB Mike Isenhour. In his 4 year career at Wyoimng, Johnson started 44 games and rushed for 5614 yards while scoring 65 touchdowns. As a senior he led the nation with 1799 rushing yards. POSTION AWARD WINNERS TOP QB - SR Morrie Baham Virginia TOP RB - SR Johnson Breshears Wyoming TOP RECEIVER - FR Marv Chipman Virginia TOP OLINE - SO Snipe Cypher Washington TOP DLINE - JR Pete Brunswick Notre Dame TOP LB - SO Clyde Alton Mississippi TOP DB - JR Tony Bullock Wisconsin RECAP OF THE PLAYERS WE ARE FOLLOWING I pretty much covered all of them in the conference recaps with the exception of the Notre Dame QB. The Irish are just loaded at QB with at least one top ten QB recruit coming in every year so it is looking like Dave Grosse, who was the top QB 3 seasons ago, will never play for Notre Dame. He redshirted his first season and now finishing his sophomore season has yet to take a snap in a game. I am surprised he has not transferred elsewhere as true sophomore Bucky Sylvester has started every game since he arrived on campus. Sylvester was pretty consistent both years, passing for 1121 yards with 12 td's and 1 interception in a 12-0 season as a freshman and went for 1190 yards with 10 td's and 2 picks in 11 games as a sophomore, sitting out a win over Michigan State with an injury. I also talked about Minnesota running back John Broomfield, who was the number one ranked recruit in the same class as Grosse and the other 3 QB's. Broomfield had a big rookie season with the Gophers, gaining over 1000 yards but has been bothered by injury each of the past two years. He played just 5 games as a sophomore and picked up 372 yards. This year as a junior he played in 9 games and ran for 824 yards. PRESTIGE CHANGES Colorado State +4 Syracuse +2 UCLA, Auburn and Wyoming +1 Clemson and Colorado -2 Cornell -1 TEAMS WTH PRESTIGE OVER 70 Penn State 75 Texas A&M 74 Notre Dame 74 Georgia 74 Michigan 74 Oklahoma 73 USC 73 UCLA 72 Virginia 72 Tennessee 71 Stanford 71 Cal 71 NC State 71 West Virginia 71 Wisconsin 70 North Carolina 70 Alabama 70 Ohio State 70
  4. Before I continue with the 1949 college season I thought I would take a look at the top head coaches in this universe. The head coach with the most National Champions is Chet Hazlett, who spent 16 seasons at the University of Texas and won 6 National Titles. Here are the head coaches with multiple National Titles. NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS BY HEAD COACH NAME TITLES TEAM YEARS Chet Hazlett 6 Texas 1921, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1928 Joe Lachance 4 Notre Dame 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937 Jerry Theriot 4 Tennessee 1938, 1941, 1944, 1946 Punch Stone 3 Virginia 1940, 1942, 1943 Elmer Hannon 3 NC State 1917, 1918, 1919 Ival Scarbrough 2* Notre Dame 1947, 1948 *Of note is that Scarbrough was an assistant at Notre Dame under Joe Lachance for three more titles from 1935-37. Here are the all-time leaders in career wins as a head coach only. Four coaches on this list remain active as head coaches entering the 1949 season led by Penn State's Herb Hackney with 151. There is also a family connection on the this list as Duke Lewandowski coached at North Carolina State and Nebraska in the early days of college football and his son Fritz, who is currently coaching Georgia, started with New Mexico in 1929 and moved to Purdue in 1934 before joining the Bulldogs in 1938. Between them, the two Lewandowski's have 325 career victories and two National championship -one for the elder Lewandwoski in his final season at Nebraska (1933) and son Fritz got one with Georgia in 1945. HEAD COACHES WITH AT LEAST 125 CAREER WINS NAME W L YEARS TEAMS Elmer Hannon 229 55 15-38 NC State/Nebraska Molly Cloyd 197 73 15-37 West Virginia Stump Bundy 192 94 18-42 Auburn/Michigan Ray Trumbo 188 68 15-36 Florida Bobby Louviere 183 79 15-37 Georgia Duke Lewandowski 181 45 15-33 Iowa/Nebraska Ike Baker 175 57 15-34 Alabama Chet Hazlett 163 27 15-30 Texas Bernie Burton 158 62 15-33 Tennessee/Penn State Herb Hackney 151 45 32-ACT Yale/Tenn/Penn State Punch Stone 145 45 33-ACT Virginia Claud Tobey 144 72 15-33 Colorado/Va Tech Fritz Lewandowski 144 82 29-ACT New Mexico/Purdue/Georgia Jesse Gardener 141 75 15-33 CAL Les Napier 141 76 15-33 Auburn/Ohio State Chuck Jeter 137 90 24-43 UTEP/Mississippi St/Stanford Len Black 134 42 15-29 Notre Dame Jerry Theriot 131 20 36-ACT Cornell/Tennessee Jesse Thorton 125 39 35-ACT North Carolina OTHER ACTIVE COACHES Van Escobar 116 87 31-ACT South Carolina/Texas Paul Null 90 67 39-ACT Florida St/Minnesota Tony Widener 83 22 40-ACT Nebraska Interesting to note if you count time as a co-ordinator, current Nebraska coach Tony Widener is the all-time wins leader with 259. Prior to taking the Cornhuskers head job in 1940, Widener had spent 19 years as an offensive co-ordinator- 2 in Dartmouth followed by 17 with West Virginia.
  5. I found it interesting to discover that 3 of the 12 starting running backs in the NFL last season played their college ball at UCLA. All 3 enjoyed very strong seasons, prompting me to search the history of the pro league to see if this was something new or an ongoing trend. As expected it is quite new for UCLA as the Bruins, and other west coast teams rarely had players enter the pro draft in the first two decades of the league. (Prior to the Rams move from Cleveland to the West Coast I was editing out a lot of the players from Western US schools in my draft files. I still edit the files as I prefer to have my draft class be no more than 400-500 players instead of the 1500 or so generated by the game each year but now I leave all the top players in (including the western school players) and just remove those who saw little to no playing time in college). So because of that editing it really wasn't a surprise that prior to the 3 current UCLA running backs in the NFL there were only two other former Bruins who played pro ball. Below is a brief write-up on the college and pro careers of each of them. I may do this with other positions and schools at various times as I did notice that Notre Dame and Michigan, among others, sent a lot of RB's to the NFL in my league. The three Bruins represent 25% of the starting running backs in the NFL today and all 3 enjoyed very productive 1949 seasons. They are Stan Crimmins of the Cardinals, Green Bay rookie Arnold Kraut and veteran Cleveland Brown Hal O'Neal. Here is a brief bio of each: STAN CRIMMINS I have already written a fair bit about Crimmins. He was a 4th round pick in 1947 and has helped the Cardinals win 3 straight NFL titles. He was offensive rookie of the year in 1947 and playoff MVP in both 1947 and 1948. In 36 regular season games over 3 seasons, he has rushed for 2875 yards. In college, Crimmins was a 3 star recruit out of Mission Vejo, California ranked 312th in his class. He would end up starting three seasons with UCLA (1944-46) and set the Bruins single season rushing record with 1662 yards as a senior. In all he gained 4252 yards and scored 47 touchdowns in 34 college games. He was a key piece along with QB Biggs Holley on UCLA's Rose Bowl winning 1945 team that finished 11-1 and ranked 2nd in the nation. That was UCLA's only 11 game winning team. ARNOLD KRAUT Kraut was a 6th rd pick of Packers in 1949 and earned the starting job out of training camp. He went on to rush for 981 yards and 6 touchdowns and was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year this season. From Hawaii, the 3 star recruit (757th overall in his class) played 3 seasons for the Bruins (1946-48). His best year came as a junior in 1947 when he rushed for 1317 yards and started all 12 games helping UCLA to a Sun Bowl appearance. He was bothered by injuries as a senior, starting just 2 games but carried the ball for 718 yards on the season. HAL O'NEAL The 11th year pro has bounced around the league but started for Cleveland last season, gaining 605 yards on the ground. He was originally a 4th round pick of the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1939 but played just one season with them before being dealt to the New York Yanks(which eventually moved to Cleveland). In 1943 he was moved to Pittsburgh and also had stops in Los Angeles and San Francisco before coming to Cleveland this season. He has played in 118 career games, starting 40 and rushing for 6318 yards but is likely very close to the end of his career. O'Neal was a highly touted 5 star recruit out of South Jordan, Utah in 1934. He was ranked 23rd in his class and would play all four seasons for the Bruins, starting 34 games and rushing for 4532 yards. His career ended with a Rose Bowl loss in 1938, the only bowl game UCLA reached during his time at the school. Prior to these 3 only two other UCLA running backs ever played in the NFL. They were: RAY HULSEY Hulsey was undrafted out of college and had a three year stint as a backup with the Cleveland Rams from 1922-24. He would end his career with just 40 rushing yards. In college, Hulsey was a 3 star recruit out of Rancho Cucamonga, California. After redshirting in 1917, he would play in all 44 games from 1918-21 but never started, finishing with 702 career rushing yards. VIC NORTHRUP Also undrafted after his college career, Northrup did manage to spend 6 seasons in the pros playing for Green Bay, the Chicago Bears and New York Giants. In all, he rushed for 2149 yards including a career best 613 for the 1932 Bears. Northrup was a 3 star recruit from Encinitas, California who red-shirted in 1921. Over the next four seasons with the Bruins he played in 44 games and gained 3979 rushing yards while scoring 24 touchdowns. His career highlight came in the 1924 Rose Bowl when he rushed for 138 yards and was named the game's Most Valuable Player. Northrup remains UCLA's career leader in rushing attempts. There have been some very good Bruins players make the NFL at other positions including current Cardinals star QB Biggs Holley and Roxey Gillum, also a QB who played for a decade starting in 1921 with Green Bay and the Giants. Wide receiver Ralph Gulley was a first round pick in 1923 who ended up having 289 career catches for Rochester, Green Bay and Brooklyn. The 1923 draft was a banner class for the Bruins as two defensive ends joined Gulley as first round selections. Les Pohlman spent over a decade with Cardinals, Packers and Frankford while Stan Armstrong played 12 years for the Boston/Washington Redskins. Despite the success of Gulley, Pohlman and Armstrong the 1922 Bruins team, which all 3 were seniors on and Northrup was a redshirt freshman, had one of the worst records in school history as the Bruins finished 4-7 that year. The 1949 College Season will be up next. UCLA is not expected to have a great season. The Bruins, who finished 7-4 overall and 4th in the Pacific 8 Conference a year ago, are projected to do about the same this time around. However, UCLA may have the next great pro running back in sophomore Charlie Harris. As a freshman Harris rushed for 811 yards and 11 touchdowns and is projected to be one of the best running backs in the nation next season. He is right up there with Minnesota's John Broomfield. Broomfield, you might recall was the #1 ranked recruit two years ago and had a great freshamn year, gaining over 1000 yards for the Golden Gophers. He missed much of last season due to injury but still ran for 372 yards in 4 and a bit games.
  6. 1949 NFL RECAP Going into the season many experts had pegged the Washington Redskins to dethrone the 3-time defending champion Chicago Cardinals atop the East Division. The Redskins had added MVP running back Gene Babb from Green Bay during the off-season and were poised to make a run at the division title. Unfortunately, things couldn't have gone worse as Babb lasted less than a half before suffereing a season-ending injury in the opening game. Washington proceeded to lose 5 of it's first six games and although they got things together in the second half of the sesaon, finished out of a playoff spot. The Chicago Cardinals started slow, with just 2 wins in their first 5 games, but a strong finish allowed the Cardinals to claim the East Division crown yet again. It was much tighter this time around as the Cardinals, Giants and Browns all tied for top spot at 7-4-1 but Chicago was awarded first and New York second based on their record's within the division. The Cardinals once again relied on their UCLA connection as a now healthy Biggs Holley led the NFL in passing yardage while back Stan Crimmons rushed for 963 yards. The Cardinals defense was also very good, as was that of the second place Giants. New York, which had won only 8 games over the last three combined, ended with 7 this season including a season ending 16-10 victory at Cleveland to take a playoff spot away from the Browns. Veteran QB Bing Collum did not have an outstanding season for New York, but his years of playoff experience and 3 championships provided a steadying influence. Collum's main job was handing the ball of and the primary receipiant was Harry Robinson, a 7th year pro out of Oregon State, who carried the ball 218 times for 907 yards. The Browns look like a team that is just a piece or two away from contending for a title. QB Elmer Welch, a 1944 3rd round pick out of Oklahoma State, had a strong season and combined with 1947 first round pick WR Jerry Boullard for 49 catches and 725 yards, both figures third highest in the league for a receiver. In the West Division the big story was the San Francisco 49ers, who finished first for the first time since 1940 (when they were still in Brooklyn) and ended a 6 year playoff drought by improving by 7 victories over last season. The 49ers offense revolved around RB Mike Neville, a former Oklahoma Sooner, who rushed for a career best 1023 yards. Despite missing QB Bob Chapdelaine for the final 5 games (but he would be healthy for the playoffs), San Francisco finished the season on an 8 game winning streak. The second place Chicago Bears needed a final week victory over their rival Cardinals and a Green Bay loss in order to edge the Packers out for second place and the playoffs. With the retirement of veteran back Mack Johnson prior to the season, third year pro Gene Stokes became the centerpiece of the Bears offense. The 1947 first overall pick and former Heisman Trophy winner was up to the challenge, leading the NFL in rushing with 1105 yards. The Bears also had a new QB as veteran Buck Haff, who led them to the title game a year ago after being acquired from Baltimore, was waived. Bert Fitzgibbon, a second year player out of nearby Northwestern, earned the starting job and passed for 1961 yards and 13 touchdowns. Fitzgibbon's TD number was only surpassed by Green Bay's Bob Vetter, who looked like he had clinched the Packers a playoff berth in Week 10 with a 26-10 victory over the Bears. However, Chicago won it's final two games and the Packers dropped both of theirs to miss out on making the playoffs two years in a row - an accomplishment that would have been a first in team history. FINAL 1949 NFL STANDINGS EAST DIVISION W L T WEST DIVISION W L T Chi Cardinals 7 4 1 San Francisco 9 3 0 New York 7 4 1 Chi Bears 7 4 1 Cleveland 7 4 1 Green Bay 7 5 0 Washington 6 6 0 Baltimore 4 7 1 Philadelphia 4 7 1 Detroit 3 8 1 Pittsburgh 4 7 1 Los Angeles 3 9 0 1949 PLAYOFFS The New York Giants returned to the playoffs for the first time since 1945, when their streak of 5 straight playoff appearances (which included two league titles) came to an end. The Giants fall had coincided with the rise of the Chicago Cardinals. The Cardinals were in the playoffs for the 6th time in the past seven years and had won the last two NFL titles. The Cardinals were riding a 4 game post-season winning streak and that streak would remain intact, at least for one more week, because they were just a little too much for the Giants in a 16-5 victory. Rinty Martins kicked 3 field goals for the Cardinals while Biggs Holley, who was 16-for-25 for 110 yards, hooked up with fullback Nick Meade for a 3 yard touchdown to round out the Chicago scoring. Stan Crimmins had a strong day as well, pacing the Chicago running game with 87 yards. New York's veteran QB Bing Collum completed just 12 of 32 pass attempts for 84 yards and the Giants running game was also held in check. A field goal and a sack of Holley in the Chicago end zone for a safety accounted for the New York scoring. In San Francisco, the 49ers miracle season continued with a 29-10 victory over the Chicago Bears in a game that featured a most unlikely hero. With their backup already sidelined, 49ers QB Bob Chapdelaine was injured in the first quarter prompting San Francisco to have to go with third stringer Sam Goulet under center. The 31 year old former Purdue Boilermaker had been in the league for a decade but always as a backup and had only played in 10 games in his career and never in the post-season. The playoff stage did not phase him and Goulet threw a pair of touchdown passes while completing 17 of 21 to lead the 49ers to the win. Another back up came up big as well for the winners, as RB Hank Sowell, an undrafted rookie out of Georgia, gained 90 yards to lead all rushers. San Francisco did a terrific job on the Bears, intercepting QB Bert Fitzgibbon twice and holding RB Gene Stokes to just 13 yards on 9 carries before Stokes left the game in third quarter with an injury. Veteran LB Jack Outland also deserves a mention as he had 8 tackles, 2 sacks, a safety and an interception for the winners. 1949 NFL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME The San Francisco 49ers went from 2-9-1 the previous season to a berth in the NFL title game. The success of the team caused professional football's popularity in the Bay Area to grow exponentially. It was just the third season on the coast for the team that moved from Brooklyn but the 49ers had the opportunity to do something their southern neighbours, the Los Angeles Rams, had failed to accomplish and the Rams had been on the West Coast since 1937. Los Angeles had made it to the championship game twice, in 1937 and again in 1943, but they lost both times. Unfortunately, like their California neighbours, the San Francisco 49ers were unable to win the final game of the season. On this occasion the powerful Chicago Cardinals thumped the 49ers 38-6 to win their third straight NFL title, equaling the 1934-36 Chicago Bears record. Biggs Holley threw for 142 yards while Nick Meade and Stan Crimmins combined for 137 on the ground to lead Chicago to victory. The Cardinals defense held San Francisco off the scoresheet until late in the fourth quarter, picking off a pair of Sam Goulet passes and hounding the 49ers quarterback every time he dropped back to pass. Unlike the Bears a week before, the Cardinals defense had little trouble exposing Goulet for the inexperienced player he was. Holley was named the Playoff MVP and despite being in just his 4th season, the Cardinals QB owns 3 NFL titles, although he sat out last year's game with an injury. The regular season MVP came from Chicago also as Bears running back Gene Stokes captured the award after leading the league in rushing.
  7. 1948 COLLEGE FOOTBALL PRESEASON It was another strong recruiting year for Notre Dame as Ival Scarbrough once again landed the top recruiting class although Texas A&M and Oklahoma fared nearly as well. Among the Irish recruits included a pair of top ten prospects in #8 Rocky Hawks - a tackle from Illinois - and it was a mild surprise to see the top rated QB, #3 overall Bucky Sylvester from Kentucky, also choose Notre Dame. The Irish have a logjam of quarterbacks with 3 year starter Hugo Puckett returning for his senior season and last year's top QB Dave Grosse, coming off his redshirt year. In all, Notre Dame has 10 quarterbacks on their roster including 5-star recruits in Grosse and Sylvester. Oklahoma also landed two players ranked in the top ten including #1 recruit Bill Klosterman, a strong safety from New Hampshire. Sticking with secondary help, the Sooners also added a free safety in 8th ranked Robin Callahan. It was a big year for the state of Georgia, which produced 3 top tens including Callahan, DE Mike Gaines and RB Charlie Harris. UCLA has had a good tradition of producing strong running backs, with Chicago Cardinals Stan Cremmins being the most recent example, so I will add Harris to the list of players I will keep an eye on going forward. Here are the top ten recruits and where they ended up 1- SS Bill Klosterman from Gilford, NH OKLAHOMA 2- DE Mike Gaines from Tyrone, Ga VIRGINIA TECH 3- QB Bucky Sylvester from Springfield, Ky NOTRE DAME 4- RB Charlie Harris from Bainbridge, Ga. UCLA 5- WR Harry Price from Boise, Id OHIO STATE 6- CB Bobby Meier from Mesa, Az BROWN 7- C Steve Byington from Lakeside, Cal TEXAS A&M 8- T Rocky Hawks from Oak Forest, Ill NOTRE DAME 9- FS Robin Callahan from Buford, Ga. OKLAHOMA 10-WR Howie McKeen from Provo, Ut. NORTH CAROLINA The Top Five Recruiting Classes this year belong to: 1- Notre Dame 2- Texas A&M 3- Oklahoma 4- Baylor 5- Virginia No Head Coaching changes at any of the top ranked schools but Stew Mall at New Mexico will have a new coach as the Lobos hired Lee Rockhill to run the program. Rockhill was previously the offensive co-ordinator at Yale. 1948 COLLEGE SEASON After a perfect 12-0 season Notre Dame enters the 1948 campaign as the number one ranked school. Nebraska is second in the preseason polls followed by Texas A&M, USC, Oklahoma with their strong recruiting class, Michigan, Georgia, Florida, Penn State and Cal to round out the top 10. I had planned on following Dave Grosse but once again this season it does not look like he will play for Notre Dame. Hugo Puckett, who has started each of his first three years and led the Irish to an undefeated season last year, is not starting either. Instead incoming freshman Bucky Sylvester won the job with Puckett the backup and Grosse relegated to third string. You cannot question the decision by Coach Scarbrough after week one, as the Irish thumped Auburn 33-6 behind a 2 touchdown day for Sylvster, who completed 19 of 26 attempts for 160 yards. By week five the Irish were 5-0 and one of 9 teams that had yet to lose a game this season. However, Sylvester only started the first three of those games before suffering a broken finger. Puckett replaced him for the next two including a 48-14 romp over Michigan. Sylvester would return for Notre Dame's sixth game and the winning streak would continue throughout the season as the Irish ran the table and finished 11-0. Entering the final two weeks of the season a number of other teams had a chance to join Notre Dame at 11-0 but only SEC champ Georgia managed to accomplish it. For the Bulldogs, it was the third perfect season in school history as they won the National Championship in 1945 and finished second to Virginia in 1940. SEC RECAP Georgia's strength was it's running game - they had two backs surpass a 1000 yards and a third come just 7 yards shy of that mark - Seniors Jack Hipple (1055) and Hawk Sowell (993) were joined by an outstanding true freshman by the name of Jim Courts, who not only gained 1110 yards but finished tied for second in the nation with 16 touchdown carries. Georgia also benefitted from not playing Tennessee this year, as the 10-1 Vols finished second in the SEC with their only loss coming to 8-3 LSU. ACC RECAP North Carolina State (10-1) won the ACC title, finishing unbeaten in conference play for the first time since 1937. Only a late season loss at Penn State denied the Wolfpack their first unbeaten season since 1917. Virginia was second in conference play at 5-1 (9-2 overall) as the Cavs fully embraced a passing game that was led by junior QB Morrie Baham, who led the nation in passing yardage and QB rating. His two favourite targets, senior wideouts Cliff Lewis and Mike Smith, finished 1st and 3rd in the country in receiving yards. BIG 8 RECAP Oklahoma, so highly touted coming in, had a great start to the season but the Sooners were tripped up by Nebraska, a school that has always given them fits. Oklahoma is 14-20 all-time vs the Cornhuskers and this most recent loss cost the Sooners a perfect season. 9-2 Nebraska had some struggles of their own, falling to Kansas State to finish with one loss in conference play (their other loss came at home to Texas A&M). Entering the bowls Oklahoma was ranked third behind Notre Dame and Georgia while Nebraska was tenth. BIG 10 RECAP The Big Ten has not received a lot of National Title talk through the years and that is mostly due to the teams beating each other up during the regular season. A Big Ten team has not won the National Title since Wisconsin went 12-0 in 1916. Michigan came close in 1934, when the Wolverines went 12-0 including a Rose Bowl win but finished second to an unbeaten Notre Dame in the polls. Since 1932 the Wolverines have only failed to be selected for a bowl once and have been to 9 Rose Bowls in that stretch. You can change that number to 10 as Michigan won the Big Ten with a 6-1 conference record including a 45-10 waltz past Ohio State(8-3) in the game that decided, as it often does, the conference winner. The 9-2 Wolverines enter the Rose Bowl ranked 4th with losses coming to Notre Dame and Indiana. IVY LEAGUE RECAP Columbia won the Ivy League with a perfect 7-0 record but the Lions dropped both of their non-conference games. As for the two young QB's we were following, well both of their teams finished in a 4-way tie for second at 4-3. Penn was 6-3 overall as sophomore QB Rip Tipton threw for a career best 1374 yards and 12 touchdowns while Doug Cheek had 1335 yards passing and 7 touchdowns for 5-4 Dartmouth. PAC 8 RECAP USC(6-5) and UCLA(7-4) both had down years as Cal won the Pacific 8 title with an 8-3 overall record and 6-1 in conference play. USC's woes can be attributed to the fact that they went 2-3 while starting QB Jimmie Laird was sidelined with a broken foot. Cal had some quarterback problems of their own as well, but rather than injury it was because each of the three players that started games at QB had a propensity for throwing interceptions. Despite the turnovers, the rushing game, led by redshirt freshman Lee Amsler's 1336 yards and 12 touchdowns, was strong enough to carry the Bears to their first Rose Bowl appearance since 1937. SOUTHWEST CONFERENCE RECAP Texas A&M entered their season ending showdown with Texas at 10-0 and ranked second in the nation. However, the Longhorns pulled out a 16-6 victory to improve to 8-3 and claim the conference title with a 6-1 record to match the Aggies. Despite A&M being a powerhouse and often in the National Title hunt (but only winning it once in 1920) the Longhorns have dominated the series, winning 24 of 34 meetings and, more often than not, being the reason A&M was denied a National Title. Although it should be noted a dismal 1-6 record in Cotton Bowl games against Notre Dame, with the National Title often on the line, clearly hurt A&M as well. Texas, on the other hand, despite being 4-5 overall against Notre Dame, was 2-0 in the Cotton Bowl against the Irish. WAC RECAP Wyoming (7-4) and UTEP (8-3) tied for the WAC lead at 6-2 but the conference crown went to the Cowboys thanls to a 37-7 win over the Miners during the season. New Mexico, with a new coach and our other young quarterback in Stew Mall, finished just 4-3 (5-6 overall) but the Lobos beat both UTEP and Wyoming this season so perhaps there is hope before Mall graduates. As for Mall, he threw for 1737 yards and 8 touchdowns but also was picked off 5 times for the second straight year. INDEPENDENTS Notre Dame of course led the way at 11-0 but Penn State (10-1) and Virginia Tech (9-2) also had strong years. The Hokies were lead by Dutch Dorn, who entered the Bowl games as the NCAA rushing leader with 1635 yards and averaged nearly 7 yards per carry. 1948 BOWL GAMES The 4 big New Year's Day Bowls all looked like great matchups. #1 Notre Dame would once again go to the Cotton Bowl to play SWC champion Texas while #2 ranked Georgia accepted a date with 10th ranked Nebraska in the Orange Bowl. The Bulldogs would need a solid victory combined with an Irish loss to try and secure the National championship. The Sugar Bowl also looked interesting with a pair of 10-1 teams in #3 Oklahoma vs #4 Tennessee. COTTON BOWL Freshman QB Bucky Sylvester had the worst day of his young career, completing just 6 of 20 passes for 98 yards but thanks to 4 Texas fumbles the Irish came away with a 29-16 victory and their second straight National Title. Notre Dame kicker Ken Johnson ended up being the offensive hero as he connected on all five of his field goal attempts while sophomore defensive end Pete Brunswick forced 3 fumbles and made 7 tackles in the game. ORANGE BOWL Georgia needed a last minute field goal to beat the Cornhuskers 20-17 and go 12-0 but they had to settle for #2 in the rankings. Georgia's three running backs combined for over 200 yards on the ground and Jack Hipple scored a pair of touchdowns. The Bulldogs had led 17-3 at one point but Nebraska tied the game with 3 minutes left thanks to some key completions from senior QB Jack Vidmar, who threw for 209 yards in his final game as a Cornhusker. Georgia won it with a 39 yard field goal from Ralph Job with :13 seconds remaining. SUGAR BOWL Tennessee scored 24 points in the second quarter and coasted to a 27-13 victory over Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl. Junior RB Garth Hall led the Volunteers with 88 yards rushing, 15 receiving and a pair of touchdowns. ROSE BOWL Michigan improved to 10-2 overall and won the Rose Bowl for the third straight season with a 30-7 victory over Cal. Redshirt freshman QB Carl Burkey passed for 193 yards and 2 touchdowns to lead the Wolverines attack while junior halfback Mike Isenhour rushed for 103 yards. OTHER BOWL RESULTS SUN BOWL - North Carolina State (11-1) 23 Texas A&M (10-2) 10 GATOR BOWL - Virginia (10-2) 44 Illinois (9-3) 23 PEACH BOWL - Wisconsin (9-3) 34 North Carolina (8-4) 7 TANGERINE BOWL - Penn State (11-1) 52 LSU (8-4) 7 BLUEBONNET BOWL- Wyoming (8-4) 44 Georgia Tech (7-5) 14 Here are the FINAL TOP TEN RANKINGS 1- Notre Dame 12-0 2- Georgia 12-0 3- Tennessee 11-1 4- North Carolina State 11-1 5- Michigan 10-2 6- Virginia 10-2 7- Oklahoma 10-2 8- Penn State 11-1 9- Texas A&M 10-2 10-Virginia Tech 9-2 AWARDS The Heisman Trophy went to running back Dutch Dorn of Virginia Tech. Dorn, a redshirt sophomore, led the nation with 1635 rushing yards, despite not playing in a bowl game. He also had 20 touchdowns including 19 rushing td's. Dorn becomes the second Hokie to win the Heisman. RB Phil Teel won it twice: in 1918 and again in 1920 POSTION AWARD WINNERS TOP QB - SR Stan Labbe North Carolina TOP RB - SO Dutch Dorn Virginia Tech TOP RECEIVER - SR Cliff Lewis Virigina TOP OLINE - FR Red Buker Texas A&M TOP DLINE - SO Elmer Wootten North Carolina State TOP LB - SO Tommy Franklin Florida State TOP DB - SR Frank Todd Penn State
  8. 1948 NFL RECAP Despite being one of only two franchises to have played in the same city every year since 1920, the Green Bay Packers entered 1948 having never won an NFL championship. The Packers have only made the playoffs 5 times in 27 years and reached the NFL title game just twice. The team was coming off three straight losing seasons including a 3 win season a year ago. So when the Packers shot out the NFL West Division lead by winning their first 4 games it was, to say the least, a surprise. In a year in which it appeared parity was taking over (8 of the league's 12 teams had 2 victories after week four) the Packers were 2 wins better than anyone else as the season completed it's first third. Green Bay did finally lose, to Detroit in week five, but the Packers led by veteran RB Gene Babb's league leading 1,174 rushing yards and an aggressive defense bolstered by rookie CB Jerry Biddy, a 2nd round pick out of North Carolina State, who had 4 interceptions, made the playoffs for the first time in 4 years. A Week 12 10-9 loss against the Bears cost Green Bay homefield advantage in the Semi-Finals as the red-hot Bears won their final seven games to finish a half game up on Green Bay. The Bears relied on their running game which still featured veteran Mack Johnson (956 yds) but gave much more time to former Heisman Trophy winner and last year's first overall draft pick Gene Stokes (689 yds) but it was an early season quarterback trade that turned the team's fortunes around. After a Week Five loss to Baltimore that dropped the Bears record to 2-2-1, Chicago and the Colts swapped quarterbacks with the Bears sending starter Whitey Riddle to Baltimore in exchange for the Colts veteran backup Buck Haff. Haff, a 7th year pro out of Pittsburgh, became the starter for the Bears and led the team to 7 straight victories. The club, which had been very conservative with Riddle under center, opened things up for Haff and it was a high-risk, high-reward offense that paid off with Haff throwing 9 touchdown passes in those 7 games but also getting picked off 5 times. Regardless, the plan worked as the Bears topped the NFL in scoring and reached the playoffs for the second straight year. The two time defending NFL champion Chicago Cardinals also returned to the playoffs, utilizing much the same script as a year ago with the UCLA connection playing a prime role. Running back Stew Crimmins (1,034 yards) joined Green Bay's Babb as the only backs to top 1000 yards while QB Biggs Holley was outstanding until he went down with a season ending ankle injury in Week Nine. Gene Ontiveros, a long-time Cardinals backup who rarely saw game action, took over and the ex-Colorado State Ram did enough to help Chicago wins it's final 3 games and clinch the East Division. The Pittsburgh Steelers were battling the Cardinals for top spot until suffering 2 losses and a tie in Weeks 9-11 which forced them to settle for second place but the Steelers did earn a second trip to the playoffs in the past three seasons. The Steelers finished last in the league in rushing yards but had the season's highest rated passer in long-time QB Beauty Ellard. The Notre Dame graduate was a third round pick in 1939 and has been the Steelers starter since his second season. Ellard seemed perfectly suited for the new-NFL, as coaches looked to pass the ball more. Pass attempts certainly did not match carries yet but it was getting closer and the Steelers, as well as the Cleveland Browns and Los Angeles Rams seemed to be at the forefront of the movement. The 5-7 Rams had defensive issues but their offense was certainly explosive led by veteran Mose Sawicki, who became the first player in NFL history to have over 1000 yards receiving. The 34 year old former Texas Longhorn caught 69 passes for 1,062 yards. Sawicki's 69 receptions also tied Cleveland's Blondy Anson for a new single season record. The quarterbacks also got into the record books with Cleveland's Elmer Welch setting a new mark with 2,326 passing yards while Bobby Brophy of the Rams and Pittsburgh's Ellard also surpassed the 2,000 yards passing plateau. FINAL 1948 NFL STANDINGS EAST DIVISION W L T WEST DIVISION W L T Chi Cardinals 8 3 1 Chi Bears 9 2 1 Pittsburgh 6 4 2 Green Bay 9 3 0 Philadelphia 6 6 0 Detroit 6 6 0 Cleveland 5 7 0 Baltimore 6 6 0 Washington 4 7 1 Los Angeles 5 7 0 New York 2 8 2 San Francisco 2 9 1 1948 PLAYOFFS Homefield certainly made a difference in the East Division final as the Chicago Cardinals benefitted from a very wet and rainy day in the Windy City to beat Pittsburgh 19-7. The weather hindered the Steelers pass happy offense, and although Steelers QB Beauty Ellard still had a strong game, he was limited to short throws and the Steelers lacked the ability to move the ball downfield. The Cardinals, meanwhile, were even more run focused than usual with a back-up QB in the lineup and Stan Crimmins dominated, rushing for 100 yards on 19 carries while veteran backup Pinch McWilliams chipped in with 55 yards rushing. The weather, while the same, was not as much of a factor in the West Division playoff game as both Green Bay and the Bears liked to run the ball. Gene Babb was pretty successful at it for Green Bay, gaining 106 yards on the ground, but the Bears got 203 combined from Mack Johnson and Gene Stokes. Johnson and Stokes each scored a touchdown and that was the difference as the Bears prevailed 20-3 to set up another all-Chicago NFL Title Game. 1948 NFL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME For the third year in a row the Chicago Cardinals were crowned NFL champions after a 17-14 victory over the cross-town Bears in the title game. The Cardinals wore down the Bears, dominating the time of possession and putting up nearly double the total yardage. The only thing that made the score closer was Cardinals quarterback Gene Ontiveros, still in for injured starter Biggs Holley, threw a pair of interceptions including a pick-six in the fourth quarter that made things interesting. Stan Crimmins ran for exactly 100 yards for the second consecutive game and scored one of the Cardinals touchdowns while Pinch McWilliams had the other and rushed for 80 yards. The Bears combination of Mack Johnson and Gene Stokes were limited to 96 yards by the Cardinals defense and the magic ran out for QB Buck Haff, who's 8 game winning streak came to an end after a 9-for-17 day that saw him pass for just 102 yards. For the second year in a row, Crimmins was named the playoff MVP. Not a bad two years to start his NFL career with 1912 yards rushing, two playoff MVP's, two league titles and a rookie of the year award. The League MVP was rushing leader Gene Babb of Green Bay. It was the third time that the 31 year old Babb has been named MVP. Not bad for a player who was undrafted out of West Virginia and failed to sign anywhere in his rookie season of 1938.
  9. 1947 COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON Notre Dame entered the season ranked third in the polls behind Nebraska and Texas A&M. Rounding out the top ten are Oklahoma, USC, Michigan, Penn State, Florida, Georgia and Virginia. Defending National Champion Tennessee is 14th while last seasons #2 ranked team North Carolina comes in at 11. As for our 4 QB's. We won't see Dave Grosse at all this year as Notre Dame has decided to redshirt him. The Irish are loaded at QB including Hugo Puckett, a junior who started each of the last two seasons. Grosse was the one I had hoped to follow closely this year but with him redshirting I will look primarily at Mall this season while also keeping an eye on how Notre Dame does. It is not unexpected to see the decision to redshirt Grosse, just as it is also not a surprise to learn that each of the other 3 will be starting at their respective schools. Stew Mall had a great camp for New Mexico and will be relied on to lead a young Lobos team that is starting just 2 seniors on offense and 5 on defense. Dartmouth and Penn both struggled each of the past two seasons in the Ivy League but were co-champions in a 3-way tie with Columbia in 1944. It will be a tough season for Cheek and the Big Green who have Michigan and Virginia Tech as their non-conference opponents this season. At Penn, Tipton will have things just a little bit easier with meetings against Mississippi and West Virginia but the Quakers are coming off a dismal 2-7 season. As the season got underway, the early favourites began dropping from contention. Texas A&M was the first to lose, going down swinging but falling in a 1 vs 2 showdown to Nebraska in Week Two game that needed overtime to decide. The Cornhuskers stumbled in Week Four, upset 31-17 at Minnesota. Tennessee would lose to Florida in Week Six and again to Alabama the following week. North Carolina looked very good early, but they too stumbled against Florida, losing 24-17 to the Gators in Week 8. Entering week 11 there were just two unbeaten teams remaining: #1 ranked Florida and #2 Notre Dame. The Irish won in Miami,beating the Hurricanes soundly by a 38-3 score but the Gators were shocked in Kentucky, losing 26-10 to the 3-7 Wildcats to drop all the way to 8th in the polls. With two games remaining it was Notre Dame (9-0), Virginia (10-1), Nebraska (9-1), UCLA (9-2) and Penn State (9-1) comprising the top five. Notre Dame and Coach Ival Scarbrough were 3 wins away from their first perfect season since 1937. Standing in their way was Army(1-8) and USC (7-3). Army made the game a lot tougher than it should have been (Notre Dame is 20-1 all-time against the Black Knights) as Notre Dame trailed 6-3 at the half before pulling out a 19-6 victory. The following week Notre Dame would beat USC 30-14 to finish the season at 11-0. The Irish accepted an invite to the Cotton Bowl where they would play #10 Arkansas (9-2) which had finished a game up on both Texas and Texas A&M to win the Southwest Conference. A trio of 1-loss teams were ranked 2nd through 4th in Big 8 Champ Nebraska, ACC winner Virginia and indy power Penn State. UCLA and Stanford were both 9-2 overall and 6-1 in conference and ranked 5th and 6th but Stanford claimed the Rose Bowl and a meeting with Big Ten champ Michigan(8-3) by virtue of their win over the Bruins. BOWL GAMES Despite the absence of QB Hugo Puckett, who was injured in the season ending win over USC, Notre Dame had little trouble with the Razorbacks, winning 30-6 and securing their first National Title in a decade. Nebraska and Virginia met in the Orange Bowl with the Cornhuskers scoring 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to pull out a 31-28 victory and just like a decade ago, an 11-1 Nebraska squad finished second to a 12-0 Notre Dame team. The Cornhuskers only National Title came in 1933 - the year before Notre Dame claimed the first of four. Since that time Nebraska has finished in the top 10 on 7 occasions but has failed to win a second title. Penn State beat LSU 27-19 in the Sugar Bowl to finish 11-0 and 3rd in the rankings while Virginia dropped to #4 with the loss to Nebraska. Florida's win over UCLA in the Sun Bowl combined with Stanford's loss to Michigan in the Rose Bowl allowed the Gators to finish 5th in the polls. The remaining bowl games saw Texas beat North Carolina 45-17 in the Gator Bowl, Wisconsin stop North Carolina State 23-13 in the Peach Bowl, Texas A&M snuck back into the top 10 with a 49-10 hammering of Virginia Tech in the Tangerine Bowl and West Virginia beat UTEP34-3 in the Bluebonnet Bowl. Here are the final TOP TEN Here are the Final TOP TEN 1- Notre Dame (12-0) 2- Nebraska (11-1) 3- Penn State (11-1) 4- Virginia (10-2) 5- Florida (10-2) 6- Texas (10-2) 7- UCLA (9-3) 8- Texas A&M (9-3) 9- Stanford (9-3) 10- LSU (9-3) RECAP OF THE PLAYERS WE ARE FOLLOWING The main quarterback I planned on following, Dave Grosse, was redshirted by Notre Dame. It will be interesting to see if Grosse, with starter Hugo Puckett still having another year of eligibilty, sticks around or decides to transfer elsewhere. Stew Mall, who chose New Mexico, had to endure a 5-6 season by the Lobos and they finished 6th in the 8 team WAC with a 3-3 conference record. Mall did not have a bad season considering he was a true freshman QB on a team that had only 2 senior starters on offense. He was third in the WAC in yards passing with 1273 and threw 7 touchdown passes, but was picked off 5 times. Our two Ivy League QB's each also started all of their teams games. Rip Tipton threw for just over 1000 yards and had 4 TDs and 6 picks for Penn as the Quakers finished 5-4 overall and 4-3 in conference play. Dartmouth was 4-5 (2-5) but the highlight for Doug Cheek was beating Michigan and Virginia Tech, both bowl teams, in their non-conference schedule. It was a rough year otherwise for Cheek, who threw just 1 touchdown pass and was intercepted 5 times while passing for just 686 yards on the season. I should also mention the number one rated recruit, RB John Broomfield, looks like a player to watch. The true freshman rushed for 1080 yards, including 132 yards and earning player of the game honours in the Gophers early upset win over Nebraska. Minnesota would finish the season 7-4 overall and mid pack in the Big Ten at 4-4 in conference play. Finally, the 1947 Heisman Trophy was award to Penn State running back Chuck Clymer. The senior carried the ball 268 times for 1680 yards and 20 touchdowns to lead the Nittany Lions to an 11-1 season that was capped off with a Sugar Bowl win. Next up the calendar turns to 1948 and we move back to the NFL.
  10. Now that I have a decent amount of backstory and history for my league I am going delve a little deeper in to each season, following it from the perspective of a key player or two. I have also tweaked my league modifiers a bit to slowly increase the amount of passing in the game. I had kept passing to a minimum throughout the history building pre-play but now things will begin to balance out a little as quarterbacks start to become more important. As a result I am going to choose a couple of quarterbacks to focus on this season. COLLEGE FOOTBALL PRESEASON 1947 The game of football was slowly changing in the late 1940's. While teams still for the most part relied very heavily on running the ball, a good passing game was becoming much more important and a new wave of good young quarterbacks who could throw was emerging. No where was that change more noticeable than on the recruiting trail. Running backs and big mobile linemen had dominated the wish list for college coaches for decades, but now quarterbacks and wideouts were in demand. The top two recruits of the 1947 freshman class were still backs - running back John Broomfield from Leesville, South Carolina was #1 and Ashburn, Virginia fullback Carl Ancona was second - but there were also four highly touted signal callers in the top ten: Dave Grosse: The #5 overall recruit is a 6'2" WB from Athens, Alabama who was said to be deciding between a number of SEC schools and Notre Dame. Stew Mall: Right behind Grosse at #6 is the Miami, Florida native. Rip Tipton: At #7 is the product of Buna, Texas who is being heavily recruited by the Longhorns. Doug Cheek - Ranked #8 in his class, Cheek is the top prospect in the Northeast and heavily sought after from Westport, Conn. Notre Dame second year head coach Ival Scarbrough returned to the Irish a year ago and was tasked with the chore of returning the school to the status they enjoyed during Scarbrough's first tenure with the school, when he was a co-ordinator under Joe LaChance and Notre Dame won 4 straight National Titles. Scarborough had little success to that end in his first season at the helm, the Irish duplicated their 8-4 record from the previous season and failed to crack the top twenty in the final rankings. However, Scarbrough's work on the recruiting trail the previous fall and this year may have laid the foundation for the next wave of Notre Dame titles. For the second year in a row Scarbrough's recruiting class dominated the college ranks, landing ten Five-Star recruits featuring #2 overall FB Carl Ancona and one of the QB's we mentioned earlier in top rated signal caller Dave Grosse, grabbing the Alabama native right out from under the noses of the SEC powers including Tennessee. Grosse was not the only surprise signing of the winter as two of the top ranked quarterbacks selected Ivy League schools while the third went to a WAC school despite big interest in all 3 from the traditional powers. Here are the top 10 recruits and where they ended up 1- RB John Broomfield from Leesville, SC MINNESOTA 2- FB Carl Ancona from Ashburn Va NOTRE DAME 3- FS Joe Smith Sylvania Ga MICHIGAN 4- RB Larry Lenahan Fort Smith Ark SYRACUSE 5- QB Dave Grosse Athens, Alab NOTRE DAME 6- QB Stew Mall from Miami Fl NEW MEXICO 7- QB Rip Tipton from Buna Tx PENN 8- QB Doug Cheek Westport, Ct DARTMOUTH 9- WR Art Cook Jersey City, NJ FLORIDA ST 10-WR Art Riche Dunedin, Fl CAL I was very surprised to see the final destination for those 3 QB's. Now, I did set my prestige a little closer when the league first started (top schools peaked at 72 and the bottom schools like the Ivy League and WAC had a low base of 48. Letting the game evolve on it's own Notre Dame is now tops at 83 with Nebraska next at 80. At the other end of the spectrum, years of getting beat up in the SEC have Vanderbilt at the bottom with a 38 followed by Harvard 40 and Princeton 41.) Dartmouth and New Mexico are both at 55 prestige - close to the best in their conference's but right about average overall and Penn is at 51 so it is quite surprising for them to each land a top ten QB, especially considering two of the three were from well out of the region they went to. Unexpected, but an interesting turn. Notre Dame had the number one class with Texas A&M, Syracuse, Florida and Michigan rounding out the top five. Our 3 QB's were the only five star recruits those schools inked and helped boost Dartmouth's class to 12th, New Mexico's to 13th and Penn to #32.
  11. Now that I have built up a history for my universe, I am now going to start looking at things a little closer in the college game by choosing a player or two each season to follow along. Until those players reach the NFL I will continue to do just a quick recap of each NFL season so I am reversing the order here and starting with the 1947 NFL summary before moving to the college game. 1947 NFL RECAP There was plenty of hype surrounding Heisman Trophy winning back Gene Stokes from North Carolina so it came as just a mild surprise when the Chicago Bears nabbed him first overall. In 4 seasons as a Tar Heel, Stokes gained 6,142 yards and rushed for 62 touchdowns. As a senior, his 1,935 yards lead the Tar Heels to an undefeated season. The reason it was seen as a little unexpected was not to due to Stokes' obvious talents, but rather due to the fact that the Bears already had two very strong backs in Mack Johnson, who just prior to the draft was signed from Philadelphia where he rushed for 1,208 yards last season, and returning star Joe Aller, who carried the ball for 975 yards a in 1946. There just did not seem to be enough carries to go around for the three of them. (NOTE - Stokes likely would have gone in the second round as he was projected but as the author I wanted a good storyline so I made him the first overall draft pick, forgetting that the Bears had just signed Johnson in free agency. We will have to see how it plays out.) The Bears cross-town rival Cardinals also added a quality college runner to their roster with the 4th round selection of Stan Crimmins out of UCLA. Crimmins had 3 consecutive 1000 yard rushing seasons for the Bruins including a school record 1,662 as a senior. He would be expected to push 10 year veteran Pinch McWilliams (1,084 yards last season) for playing time. Despite winning back to back League Championships the Detroit Lions received little respect in the pre-season as Baltimore was heavily favoured to dethrone the Lions as West Division champs. The East was seen as being a wide open race with Pittsburgh, the Cardinals, Washington and the New York Giants all seen as contenders. As it would turn out the two Chicago teams both enjoyed dominant years and each finished atop their respective divisions. The Bears took some time to get going, dropping two of their first three games but after that they did not lose again and finished with a league best 9-2-1 record. The Bears three pronged running attack worked as Johnson led the entire league with 1,193 yards rushing while Aller added 811 and the rookie Stokes was eased into the pro game with 211 yards on 60 carries. The Los Angeles Rams ended a three year playoff drought by finishing second in the West Division at 7-4-1. Two losses and a tie in their final four games ended any hopes LA had of homefield advantage for the playoffs. Last year's top two teams in the West, Detroit and Baltimore, both stumbled to 5-7 seasons. After an opening week win over hapless San Francisco, the Colts dropped their next 5 in a row while the Lions started strong, winning their first three games and 4 of 5 but faded quickly. In the East Division, the Chicago Cardinals raced out to a 5-0 start but then dropped 3 straight before righting the ship and finishing strong to hold off Washington for first place. A week eleven 23-6 victory at home over Washington in which rookie back Stan Crimmins rushed for a career best 115 yards and two touchdowns sealed the division for the Cardinals. For Crimmins it was like his college days all over again as he took hand-offs from former UCLA teammate Biggs Holley, who as a second year pro had a very strong season quarterbacking the Cardinals. Holley looks like he has the potential to become a star in the near future but a late season injury made him unavailable for the playoff opener. As for Washington, veteran running back Marv Gipe, who won a Heisman Trophy and multiple National Championships at Notre Dame a decade ago,(Editor's Note: Likely prompting the phrase in Notre Dame to 'Win one for the Giper") led the Redskins resurgence and revitalized what was an anemic offense a year ago. The 8th year pro, who came over in the off-season from Los Angeles, failed to top the 1000 yard mark for the 5th consecutive season but came very close gaining 991 yards. FINAL 1947 NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE STADINGS EAST DIVISION W L T WEST DIVISION W L T Chi Cardinals 8 3 1 Chi Bears 9 2 1 Washington 8 4 0 Los Angeles 7 4 1 Cleveland 7 4 1 Baltimore 5 7 0 Pittsburgh 5 6 1 Detroit 5 7 0 New York 4 8 0 Green Bay 3 6 3 Philadelphia 3 7 2 San Francisco 2 8 2 PLAYOFFS The Chicago Cardinals and Washington had split their two regular season meetings with each team winning on homefield and the two squads were very familiar with one another when this one got underway. In a windy and wet afternoon in Chicago so both defenses dominated the contest. With fourth year quarterback Harry Maier ineffective, Washington's Marv Gipe could not seem to find any running room all game and was held to just 63 yards rushing. The Chicago offense, playing without injured QB Biggs Holley, also struggled early but the Cardinals did get a pair of field goals in the first half to go up 6-0 thanks in no small part to the running of rookie Stan Crimmins. The second half was much the same for Washington and the best the Redskins could do was a single field goal to cut the Chicago lead to 6-3. That's how the game ended as the Cardinals, led by 118 rushing yards from Crimmins advanced to the title game for the second straight year. Across town at Soldier Field, the West Division champion Chicago Bears were getting all they could handle from the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams led 13-7 late in the game but Chicago pulled out the victory thanks to a 6 yard touchdown pass from Whitey Riddle to Billy Beverage with just 3:51 remaining on the clock. Jim Moore's extra point, not a certainty in tricky weather conditions, split the uprights and lifted the Bears to the title game with a 14-13 victory despite an outstanding day from former Cardinals running back Buck Carrier, who had a game high 85 yards rushing for Los Angeles. The Rams dominated the time of possession and passing yardage as well with LA QB Spider Grant's 152 yards in the air more than double the passing yardage of the Bears Riddle but it was the Bears who would advance to the title game. 1947 NFL TITLE GAME A Bears-Cardinals matchup was something that had already occurred twice in the past. The Bears had beaten their cross-city rivals on both occasions, in 1934 and 1936, by identical 27-7 scores. The Bears also hold the regular season bragging rights between the two teams, leading the all-time series 8 wins to 4. The Bears entered the game with everyone healthy while the Cardinals would be missing gargantuan tackle Chip Bickel, who was injured in the win over Washington. QB Biggs Holley was not at 100% but was determined to play. Special teams played a key role early as a huge punt return gave the Cardinals excellent field position on their first drive and while they did have a first and goal on the Bears 7 yard line, the Bears defense held and forced the Cardinals to settle for an early 3-0 lead. The Bears, having little success on the ground, tried to establish a passing game on their third series but on a second and ten from their own 19 Bears QB Whitey Riddle had a pass attempt picked off by Cardinals defensive back Norm Shaw. However, once again the Bears defense came up big, sacking Biggs Holley and forcing the Cardinals to come away empty as on 4th down they attempted a long field goal which was no good. Midway through the second quarter the Bears finally strung together a few first downs, enough to get into field goal range and tie the game at three. However, as the half came to a close Biggs Holley completed 3 straight passes and, mixed in with a Stan Crimmins 14 yard scamper, allowed the Cardinals to kick a field goal of their own and go back ahead by a 6-3 count. It was just a terrible first half of offense by the Bears, who were outgained 162 yards to 60, but they could take comfort going into the locker room at the break down only 3 points. The second half played out very much like the first. Howard Montague would add a third field goal for the Cardinals, who continously marched the ball in to Bears territory only to have the Bears stand tall and keep the Cardinals from further extending their lead. Meanwhile, the Bears offense could do very little. A last ditched Bears effort fell short when Riddle was sacked for the third time in the game on a 4th down at the Cardinals 27 yard line in the final minute, securing a 9-3 victory and an NFL Championship for the Chicago Cardinals. With Riddle unable to complete passes with any sort of consistency the Bears were forced to rely on the ground game and the Cardinals were ready, holding Mack Johnson to just 55 yards rushing on 27 carries. Heisman Trophy winner Gene Stokes was only entrusted with the ball for a single carry. Meanwhile, fellow rookie Stan Crimmins gained 99 yards on 20 carries for the Cardinals and was named MVP of the title game. His former UCLA and current Cardinals teammate QB Bugs Holley, also had a strong game, completing 16 of 22 pass attempts for 172 yards. Despite the poor showing in the title game, Bears running back Mack Johnson was named league MVP after rushing for a league high 1,193 yards. Crimmins was the offensive rookie of the year and with him, and Holley, the Cardinals looked to be in the running for several more titles. Next up, we begin the 1947 college season.
  12. 1946 NFL RECAP The New York Giants entered the 1946 season as the favourite to win the East Division but that was nothing new for the Giants, having a streak of 5 straight playoff seasons - best in the league - on the line. However, there was unfinished business for New York as the 1942 and 1943 NFL champions came up short in the post-season each of the last two years including a 24-9 loss to the Detroit Lions in last year's title game. The Giants were led by quarterback Bing Cullum, an 8th year pro out of Purdue and ex-Notre Dame star Les Borden, a 3-time National Champion with the Irish, was in his prime as the G-men's feature running back. Despite the lofty expectations, New York got off to a slow start as it's offense sputtered. The Giants tied 3 of the first four games including a 13-13 encounter to start the season at home against Pittsburgh. In that 4th game, New York's struggling offense was dealt a critical blow when Borden went down for the season with an injury. The season still seemed salvageable when a 10-3 victory over the Chicago Cardinals in Week Six lifted the Giants record to 2-1-3 entering a showdown in Detroit. Things took a turn for the worse in the Motor City as the Lions doubled the Giants 20-10 starting a six game losing streak that would see New York plummet to the basement of the East Division. Quarterback Cullum would join Borden on the sidelines midway through that skid when the signal caller suffered a broken arm that ended his season 3 weeks early. The Chicago Cardinals, despite losing one and tying the other of their two matches with the Giants, emerged as the East Division winners thanks in no small part to RB Pinch McWilliams, an undrafted 30 year old, surpassing the 1000 yard rushing mark for the first time in his career. McWilliams was greatly aided by the play of rookie QB Biggs Holley, out of UCLA. The third round pick won the job in training camp and joined Green Bay's Bob Vetter as the only two quarterbacks to throw for over 1000 yards on the season. As good as their offense was, the Cardinals real strength was a stingy defense that allowed the fewest points (99) in the East Division. The second place Pittsburgh Steelers were the offensive juggernaut in this season, leading the NFL in scoring thanks to a dual threat backfield of Hal O'Neal and Jim Coggins, who combined to rush for over 1500 yards. While the East featured a pair of new teams to qualify for the playoffs, it was status quo in the West with Baltimore and Detroit advancing for the second year in a row. The standings were reversed this year as while both teams finished at 8-3-1, the Colts were awarded home field for the playoffs thanks to a better divisional record. The two clubs were both hot down the stretch but the difference was Baltimore's Week 11 10-6 victory at home over Detroit. FINAL 1946 NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE STADINGS EAST DIVISION W L T WEST DIVISION W L T Chi Cardinals 6 2 4 Baltimore 8 3 1 Pittsburgh 7 4 1 Detroit 8 3 1 Washington 4 4 4 San Francisco 6 5 1 Philadelphia 5 6 1 Los Angeles 6 6 0 Cleveland 4 7 1 Green Bay 4 8 0 New York 2 7 3 Chi Bears 3 8 1 Detroit would get it's revenge for the Week 11 loss to Baltimore in the playoffs, building a quick 10-0 lead and, despite being dominated in most facets of the game, the Lions hung on for a 16-13 victory to punch their ticket to a return trip to the NFL title game. In the East, the Pittsburgh Steelers were no match for the Chicago Cardinals diversified offense and stingy defense. Bing Holley threw a pair of touchdown passes and Pinch McWilliams ran for 79 yards and a score as the Cardinals won easily by 24-10 count. The Championship game would feature the defending league champion Lions against the 1945 title winning Cardinals. It would also be the first playoff match ever between the two clubs. Chicago, an original 1920 entrant in the league, had 3 titles to it's credit (1932,1933 & 1945) while Detroit had just the one earned last year, although the franchise did win the 1928 title while based in Columbus. With veteran quarterback Billy Denk unable to play due to a head injury, the Lions were forced to start backup Russ Bissell under center in the title game. Bissell did have some playoff experience, having started for the Bears for 3 years earlier in his career and he looked calm early. The Detroit staff clearly did not have a lot of confidence in Bissell and it called just 8 pass plays all game. One of them came late in the first quarter and proved key as Bissell hooked up with end Tony Barge on a 4 yard touchdown strike to give the Lions an early lead. Chicago did get on the scoreboard before the half as Eddie Briones cut the deficit to 7-3 at the break with a 19 yard field goal. The Cardinals would take the lead on the opening drive of the third quarter as back Buck Carrier scampered for a 14 yard score capping a 9 play drive that was the best of the game for Chicago. Carrier had a strong game, gaining 86 yards on the ground as Detroit keyed on stopping his backfield mate Pinch McWilliams. It was with only moderate success as McWilliams gained 99 yards on 31 carries. Detroit did succeed in keeping the Cardinals off the scoresheet the rest of the game and the Lions offense did just enough to earn a victory as kicker Rinty Martins tied the contest at 10 late in the third quarter and would get the winning points on a 32 yard boot with 2:45 remaining in regulation, giving Detroit a 13-10 victory and a second straight NFL title. The star of the game for the Lions offense was back Thurman Foran, who rushed for a game high 108 yards. A former 7th round pick by Green Bay out of the University of Minnesota, Foran found a home in Detroit and was the Lions feature back each of the past two seasons, gaining 1000 yards a year ago and 959 on the ground this season. It marked the second year in a row that Foran was named the playoff MVP.
  13. 1946 COLLEGE Notre Dame cut ties with head coach Stan Stidham after four poor (at least by their standards) seasons. The Irish were coming off back to back 8-4 seasons and losses in the Tangerine and Bluebonnet bowls. Stidham was unable to keep up the success the program enjoyed under Joe LaChance so Notre Dame returned to it's glory era by luring a former assistant under LaChance in Ival Scarborough to South Bend. Scarborough was part of 3 straight National Championship teams with LaChance before he moved on to Ohio State and later Colorado and Wake Forest. His first recruiting class was outstanding, second only to USC, but on the field Scarborough's first season was no better than what Stidham had done as Notre Dame finished with an 8-3 record and did not get a bowl invite. After coming out of nowhere (actually 6-5 in 1944) defending National Champion Georgia followed up it's 12-0 season with a return towards normalcy for the Bulldogs program, finishing 8-3 and, like Notre Dame, failing to receive a bowl invite. This year's Cinderella entering the bowls was North Carolina as the Tar Heels went unbeaten through the regular season and earned a berth as the #3 ranked school in the Sugar Bowl against 10-1 Florida. The Gators actually finished second in the SEC behind 11-0 Tennessee (the two schools did not meet this year) as Florida's lone loss came to Georgia. Tennessee won the conference as the Vols ran the table and bypassed the normal Sugar Bowl invite given to the SEC winner for a spot in the Orange Bowl against Big 8 runner-up Oklahoma (9-2). The Sooners went to the Orange, as conference champion Nebraska (11-0) selected the Cotton Bowl and a meeting with 9-2 Texas, the Southwest Conference Champ. The Rose Bowl would feature 10-1 Michigan against 9-2 Stanford. Entering New Year's Day Nebraska, Tennessee and North Carolina were all 11-0 and ranked 1-2-3 in that order. Tennessee had 3 national titles in the past 8 years including one just two seaons ago. Nebraska won it's lone title in 1931 but had been second twice since then, most recently in 1941. Fourth ranked Michigan has never won a National Championship but entered the Rose Bowl with a slim chance, but the Wolverines would need to beat #8 Stanford and have each of the top three ranked teams lose. As it turned out only Nebraska would lose, falling 20-13 to Texas. Tennessee took care of business in the Orange Bowl, scoring two fourth quarter touchdowns to beat Oklahoma 14-3 behind a 100 yard rushing day from junior tailback Karl Donham. That victory gave Tennessee it's second National Title in 3 years and 4th in 9 years. It also made North Carolina's 12-0 season, completed with a 38-14 win over Florida in the Sugar Bowl, only good enough to be ranked #2. It was still a big step forward for the Tar Heels, who had been ranked 11th a year ago and were 6-5 the year prior. The Top 10 would look like this: 1- Tennessee 12-0 2- North Carolina 12-0 3- Nebraska 11-1 4- Michigan 11-1 5- Penn State 11-1 6- Florida 10-2 7- Texas 10-2 8- Virginia 10-2 9- West Virginia 10-2 10-Stanford 9-3 Senior running back Gene Stokes, who rushed for 1,935 yards and led the nation in scoring with 25 touchdowns, was award the Heisman Trophy capping a tremendous career at North Carolina. Stokes would finish with a school record 6,142 career rushing yards, a mark good enough for 6th best in NCAA history. He becomes the third Tar Heel to win the Heisman, joining RB Jerry Smith who earned the nod in 1932 and Tony Classen, the 1915 winner. HEISMAN TROPHY WINNERS 1946 RB Gene Stokes North Carolina 1945 RB Jack Hipple Georgia 1944 RB Ben Gentle Tennessee 1943 RB Russ Jordan Penn State 1942 RB Ben Gentle Tennessee 1941 RB Thomas Rodriguez Penn State 1940 RB Gene Whitehead Texas A&M 1939 RB Cisco Ojeda Virginia 1938 RB Mack Johnson Iowa 1937 RB Larry Dominick Oklahoma 1936 RB Andy Emery Michigan 1935 RB Marv Gipe Notre Dame 1934 RB Walter Christofferson Notre Dame 1933 RB Earl Beavers Notre Dame 1932 RB Jerry Smith North Carolina 1931 RB Ivan Pulido Penn State 1930 RB Walter Eisel Dartmouth 1929 RB Chet Williford Texas 1928 RB Chet Williford Texas 1927 RB Bobby Goldsberry NC State 1926 RB Chet Williford Texas 1925 RB Bobby Goldsberry NC State 1924 RB Larry Wiedemann Georgia 1923 RB Lena Levin Texas 1922 RB Nick Papp Tennessee 1921 RB Mike Simon Clemson 1920 RB Paul Teel Virginia Tech 1919 RB Al Lutz Alabama 1918 RB Paul Teel Viriginia Tech 1917 RB Ted Hickerson NC State 1916 RB Gus Grossman Nebraska 1915 RB Tony Classen North Carolina Next up a look at 1946 in the NFL.
  14. THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE IT'S INFANCY 1920-1945 While the college game enjoyed a large following and a national footprint right from day one, in it's early days the National Football League was really nothing more than a glorified regional entity based primarily in the midwest and northeast. It can hardly be called a major league when a team from Duluth, Minnesota was crowned champion in the league's first season, beating the Decatur Staleys and Portsmouth Spartans in the playoffs to win the inaugural title. In those early years the league also had difficulty convincing many of the top college stars to continue to play football as professionals due to the low salaries being offered but that would change by the mid-1930s with teams relocating to larger cities such as New York, Detroit and Baltimore causing in increase in attendance and league revenue. In 1937, the league became truly national when the Cleveland Rams franchise pulled up stakes and relocated to the west coast following a last place finish in 1936. With a revamped roster bolstered by some former west coast collegiate stars, the now Los Angeles Rams finished with the best record in the West Division in 1937 and reached the NFL title game before falling to the Philadelphia Eagles, themselves a recent transplant from Brooklyn, 17-12. The Rams had some mediocre seasons on the field in the years that followed although they did make it back to another NFL title game in 1943. That year the Rams upset the first place Chicago Bears in the semi-finals, only to lose badly to the New York Giants in the title game. Despite the limited success on the field, football was a huge hit at the box office in Los Angeles and greatly increased the league's popularity and ability to pay enough in salaries to lure almost all of the top college stars. The Rams success also paved the way for one of the league's most transient franchises to also find a home on the west coast as the San Francisco 49ers beginning in 1946. The team that ended up in San Francisco had it's beginnings in Duluth and as previously mentioned, won the first NFL championship 26 years earlier. In addition to Duluth, where they were known as the Eskimos, the team was also the Frankford Yellow Jackets from 1924-1933, the St Louis Gunners for one year in 1934, before moving to Brooklyn and being known as the Dodgers in 1935, two years after Brooklyn's first team - the Tigers - packed their belongings and headed to Baltimore citing too much competition for fans in New York with both the Giants and Yanks also in the city. The Dodgers were league champions in 1938 but ceded America's largest city to the wildly popular Giants following the 1945 campaign when both the Dodgers and Yanks moved out of the New York area. The Dodgers to San Francisco and the Yanks set up operations in Cleveland as the Browns filling a void created in that city 9 years earlier when the Rams went west. The metro New York area was home to several different franchises between 1925 and 1946 but the first inhabitant was clearly the most successful both at the ticket window and eventually on the field as well. Prior to 1925 the Rochester Jeffersons shifted to New York City and were rechristened as the Giants. The Giants would make the playoffs that first season but even though the fan support was there, success on the gridiron was slow to come. It would be 1941 before they made the playoffs again but the team would then capture the imagination of Gotham with back to back league titles in 1942-43 and are riding a streak of 5 straight playoff appearances. The Giants were led by a multi-faceted running game that featured former Notre Dame star Les Borden and ex-Kansas Jayhawk Happy Marshall. For the first title those two were joined in the backfield by a 34 year old Jackie Smith. The ex-Hoosier was dominant in the two post-season victories that year and gave the Giants an almost unstoppable trio. It would be the only season the much travelled Smith would play in New York as he would leave the game for the next two years before resurfacing in Baltimore last year. Smith, who is the game's all-time leading rusher with 10,579 yards has led a vagabond NFL existence over the past 18 years with stops in Green Bay, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles and with both Chicago teams - the Bears and the Cardinals as well as four years when he decided not to play at all. Finally it warrants mentioning there was no better place for a football fan to be than in the Chicago area in the early to mid 1930s. To start with, fans in the area had a close up view of the legendary Joe LaChance building a dynasty at Notre Dame in nearby South Bend. Meanwhile, each of the Windy City's two professional teams were at their peak with the original tenant, the Cardinals, winning titles in 1932 and 1933 and the Bears, who moved from nearby Decatur prior to the 1922 seasons, claimed the NFL title each of the next 3 years including a pair of wins over the Cardinals in the championship game. The Bears and Cardinals would each win one more title in the forties but in the early thrities football belonged to Chicago. Here is the complete list of NFL title game results: NFL CHAMPIONS BY YEAR YEAR WINNER SCORE LOSER 1920 Duluth Eskimos 38-10 Portsmouth Spartans 1921 Cleveland Rams 16-13 Chicago Cardinals 1922 Chicago Bears 20-17 Rochester Jeffersons 1923 Duluth Eskimos 13-7 Portsmouth Spartans 1924 Brooklyn Tigers 17-14 Chicago Bears 1925 Canton Bulldogs 13-0 Brooklyn Tigers 1926 Columbus Panhandles 16-13 Brooklyn Tigers 1927 Portsmouth Spartans 24-3 Columbus Panhandles 1928 Columbus Panhandles 17-6 Portsmouth Spartans 1929 Canton Bulldogs 16-9 Brooklyn Tigers 1930 Boston Redskins 9-0 Chicago Bears 1931 Boston Redskins 19-0 Frankford Yellow Jackets 1932 Chicago Cardinals 10-0 Cleveland Rams 1933 Chicago Cardinals 16-3 Green Bay Packers 1934 Chicago Bears 27-7 Chicago Cardinals 1935 Chicago Bears 17-7 Philadelphia Eagles 1936 Chicago Bears 27-7 Chicago Cardinals 1937 Philadelphia Eagles 17-12 Los Angeles Rams 1938 Brooklyn Dodgers 31-17 New York Yanks 1939 Philadelphia Eagles 10-6 Chicago Bears 1940 Pittsburgh Steelers 14-3 Brooklyn Dodgers 1941 Chicago Bears 17-3 Washington Redskins 1942 New York Giants 27-10 Green Bay Packers 1943 New York Giants 30-7 Los Angeles Rams 1944 Chicago Cardinals 14-12 Baltimore Colts 1945 Detroit Lions 24-9 New York Giants Next up will be a recap of the 1946 season.
  15. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: THE EARLY DAYS 1915-1945 The first National Champion was the Oregon Ducks, who went 11-1 in a 1915 season that culminated for them with a 31-14 victory over Wisconsin in the first Rose Bowl. That would prove to be the high point for the Ducks who over the next three decades would only win the Pacific 8 Conference title two more times and lose in the Rose Bowl on both occassions, falling to Michigan State in 1917 and Michigan in 1936. The Badgers would rebound from a loss in that first Rose Bowl to go 12-0 the following season and become the first school to go undefeated in a season. North Carolina State would duplicate that feat the following year and become a mini-dynasty with three straight National Titles starting in 1917. As impressive as the Wolfpack run was it would be the Texas Longhorns under legendary coach Chet Hazlett who became college football's first true powerhouse. Hazlett guided the Longhorns from that inaugural 1915 campaign until his retirement following the 1930 season. Under his tutilege, the Longhorns would go 164-24 and win 6 Nationals Titles while finishing second three other times. After his retirement, Texas would get one more title under new coach Bob Trice, but that was in 1932 with a team still dominated by Hazlett's recruits. Aside from a 10-2 1941 season that culminated in a Cotton Bowl loss to 12-0 Tennessee, Texas would never be relevant in National Title discussion again. Nebraska had a strong program under coach Duke Lewandowski during the same period but the Cornhuskers could never surpass Texas. However, one of Lewandowski's co-ordinators would be the one to end the Longhorn dynasty. Joe LaChance joined Notre Dame as head coach in 1930 after serving as a co-ordinator for Lewandowski in the 1920s. LaChance had nation's best recruiting class in 1932 and 1933, laying the foundation for powerful team with a #2 ranking and a Cotton Bowl loss to Texas in 1932. Texas went down from there while Notre Dame hit new heights with a 1933 National Title led by Heisman winning back Earl Beavers. It would be the first of 4 straight National Titles for Notre Dame that had 3 different backs win the Heisman in that period. Like Texas, Notre Dame's dynasty would come to an end when their coach retired. LaChance stepped down after the 1940 season. Long-time Texas A&M DC Stan Stidham took over for 1941 at Notre Dame but was gone after 1945 as the school struggled. The Irish would bring in Ival Scarborough for 1946. He was a co-ordinator under LaChance in Notre Dame from 1931-36 before going on to HC duties at Ohio State(37-41), Colorado (1943) and most recently Wake Forest (44-45). Scarborough was beneficiary of the #2 recruiting class (behind USC) going into the 1946 season so perhaps future is looking up for the Irish. As the decade changed to the 1940's it was Tennessee and Virginia that emerged as the dominant teams in college football. Starting in 1938 the Vols and Cavs would combine for 9 National Titles in 9 years. Punch Stone would bring up the revival at Virginia, leading them to 11 bowl games and 3 National Crowns in his 13 years at the school since 1933. Tennessee immediately saw its fortunes turn for the better whe Jerry Theriot took over as coach in 1938. The building blocks were in place after an 8-3 season in 1937, but Theriot led the Volunteers to an 11-1 season and their first National Title in his first season at the helm. Since then, Tennessee has won 2 more National Titles and made 8 straight bowl appearances including 6 New Year's Day appearances. Ben Gentle won his second Heisman Tophy in 1944 and led Tennessee to a 20-10 win over Texas Tech in the Sugar Bowl and a 12-0 season, giving the Vols their third National Title in 7 years. Tennesse had some help that year as they won the title because two other unbeatens lost bowl games including Penn State falling to Oklahoma 31-7 in the Orange Bowl and #1 ranked entering the bowls Virginia losing 46-43 in overtime to Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl. It was the first loss in 3 years for Virginia, unbeaten in 1942 and 1943 winning back to back National titles and 3 in 4 years. Here are the National Champions by year Next up will be a look at the early days of the NFL.