|1925 college football season|
Dartmouth's victory over Harvard; a pass from Oberlander to Tully.
|Number of bowls||1|
|Bowl games||January 1, 1926|
|Champion||Alabama Crimson Tide|
The 1925 college football season ended with no clear national champion. At the close of the season, noted sports writer Billy Evans described the championship contest as "a dead heat" among Dartmouth, Tulane, Michigan, Washington, and Alabama.
Dartmouth, led by halfback Andy Oberlander, compiled an 8–0 record and outscored its opponents by a total of 340 to 29. Having defeated Harvard, Cornell, and Chicago, Dartmouth was retroactively declared the national champion by the Dickinson System and Parke H. Davis.
Alabama compiled a 10-0 record and has been recognized as national champion by the Billingsley Report, Boand System, College Football Researchers Association, Helms Athletic Foundation, and others. In an intersectional game between undefeated teams, Alabama defeated Pacific Coast Conference champion Washington by a 20-19 score in the 1926 Rose Bowl; that game has been called "the game that changed the South."
Michigan shut out seven of eight opponents, outscored all opponents by a total of 227 to 3, and was retroactively named a co-national champion by Jeff Sagarin. The team featured two consensus All-Americans in quarterback Benny Friedman and end Bennie Oosterbaan, a passing combination that became known as the "Benny to Bennie Show". Michigan coach Fielding H. Yost called his 1925 squad "the greatest football team I ever saw in action."
Conference and program changes
- Two conferences began play in 1925:
- One conference played its final season in 1925:
- Louisiana Intercollegiate Athletic Association – active since the 1912 season
- One conference changed its name in 1925:
|School||1924 Conference||1925 Conference|
|Colorado State Teachers Bears||Independent||Rocky Mountain|
|Oklahoma A&M Cowboys||Southwest||Missouri Valley|
|Texas Tech Matadors||Program established||Independent|
|Western State (CO) Mountaineers||Independent||Rocky Mountain|
- On September 26, Washington opened its season with a 108-0 win over Willamette, Dartmouthdefeatd Norwich, 59–0, and Notre Dame beat Baylor, 41-0.
- On October 3, Washington played a double-header and defeated both teams by scores of 59–0 and 56–0. Southern Conference co-champion Tulane and Missouri Valley champion Missouri played to a 3-3 tie in New Orleans. Michigan beat its rivel Michigan State, 39-0. Alabama defeated Birmingham–Southern, 50-7 in a Friday game. Dartmouth beat Hobart, 34-0.
- On October 10, Michigan beat Indiana 63-0, Alabama won at LSU, 42-0, and Tulane beat Ole Miss, 26-7. Missouri beat Nebraska, 9-6. Washington defeated visiting Montana 30-10. Dartmouth defeated Vermont, 50-0.
- On October 17 at Yankee Stadium, Army beat Notre Dame, 27-0. Washington and Nebraska played to a 6-6 tie at Lincoln. In Birmingham, Alabama beat Sewanee 42-0, while in New Orleans, Tulane beat Mississippi State, 25-3. Michigan won at Wisconsin 21-0. Colgate met Lafayette at Philadelphia, and the two played to a 7-7 tie. Dartmouth beat Maine 56-0.
- On October 24, Michigan narrowly won at Illinois, but recorded another shutout, 3-0. In Chicago, Tulane beat Northwestern, 18-7. In Atlanta, Alabama beat Georgia Tech, 7-0. Missouri beat Kansas State, 3-0. Washington beat Whitman College, 64-2, while Stanford beat Oregon State 26-10. Notre Dame won at Minnesota. 19-7. Colgate beat Princeton, 9-0, and Dartmouth won at Harvard, 32-9, its best victory to date over the Crimson. Penn beat visiting Chicago, 7-0.
- On October 31, Michigan stayed unbeaten, untied, and unscored upon, defeating visiting Navy, 54-0. In its first five games, Michigan had outscored the opposition 180-0. Syracuse also remained unscored upon with a 7-0 win over Penn State, having outscored its foes 160-0 in six games. Dartmouth stayed unbeaten with a 14-0 win at Brown. Penn dropped from the unbeaten ranks with a 24-2 loss to Illinois. Yale handed visiting Army its first loss, 28-7. Texas A&M won at Baylor, 13-0. Missouri beat Iowa State, 23-8. Washington won at Washington State, 23-0. Stanford beat Oregon 35-13 and Colgate won at Michigan State 14-0. In Atlanta, Notre Dame beat Georgia Tech, 13-0, while in Montgomery, Tulane beat Auburn by the same score. Alabama beat Mississippi State, 6-0.
- On November 7, Michigan (5-0-0) was upset by Northwestern, which won 3-2. The field goal represented the only score against Michigan in an otherwise perfect season. A steady downpour with 40-mile-per-hour winds and five inches of mud hindered Michigan's passing game. Dartmouth (6-0-0) hosted Cornell (5-0-0) in a meeting of unbeatens, winning 62-13. Andy Oberlander had 477 yards in total offense, including six touchdown passes, a Dartmouth record which still stands. Cornell coach Gil Dobie responded, "We won the game 13–0, passing is not football." Syracuse, which had not been scored upon in six games, was tied 3-3 by Ohio Wesleyan College. At Penn State, Notre Dame and the Nittany Lions played to a 0-0 tie. At St. Louis, Missouri beat Washington 14-0. Colgate beat Providence 19-7, Penn beat Haverford 66-0, and Army beat Davis & Elkins, 14-6. Texas A & M (5-0-1) and Texas Christian (4-1-1) met, with TCU handing the Aggies their first defeat, 3-0. Washington (6-0-1) hosted Stanford (5-1-0) and won 13-0. In Birmingham, Alabama beat Kentucky 31-0 and in New Orleans, Tulane beat Louisiana Tech 37-9. Georgia Tech beat Vanderbilt 7-0. Star back Doug Wycoff was hurt, such that he had to use his substitute Dick Wright. On a muddy field, Wright ran off tackle and dodged Vanderbilt's safety Gil Reese, "usually a sure tackler," to get the touchdown to give Georgia Tech a 7-0 victory. Coach William Alexander called it the most spectacular play he ever saw.
- On November 14, Syracuse hosted Colgate in a matchup of unbeatens (both 6-0-1); Colgate won 19-6. In New York, Columbia handed Army its first defeat, 21-7. Dartmouth won at Chicago, 33-7, to close with a perfect 8-0-0 record. Oberlander threw three touchdowns. At Montgomery, Alabama (8-0-0) met Florida (6-1-0) and won 34-0. Tulane shut out Sewanee, 14-0. In Houston, Texas A & M beat Rice 17-0, while TCU beat visiting Arkansas, 3-0. Missouri stayed unbeaten with a 16-14 win over Oklahoma, and Washington stayed unbeaten with a 7-0 win at California. Stanford beat visiting UCLA, 82-0. Michigan beat Ohio State 10-0. Cornell beat Canisius 33-0, Pittsburgh defeated Penn 14-0, and Notre Dame beat visiting Carnegie Tech 26-0. In the Georgia-Georgia Tech game, Tech quarterback Ike Williams thought the game clock read five seconds remaining in the game, when in actuality it was five minutes. Williams set up his offense for a field goal and kicked it to put Tech up 3–0 on first down. Luckily for Williams, Tech won 3–0.
- On November 21, previously unbeaten Missouri lost at Kansas, 10-7, Michigan beat Minnesota 35-0, Tulane won at LSU, 16-0, TCU defeated Austin College, 21-0, Washington beat Puget Sound 80-7, and Stanford closed its season with a 27-14 win over California. Syracuse beat Niagara 17-0, Notre Dame defeated Northwestern, 13-10, and Army beat Ursinus 44-0.
- On Thanksgiving Day, November 26, Syracuse and Columbia met at the Polo Grounds in New York, with Syracuse winning 16-5. Penn handed Cornell its second loss, 7-0. Notre Dame lost at Nebraska, 17-0, in the Four Horsemen's first collegiate loss. Texas A&M and Texas, both 6-1-1, met, with A&M winning 28-0. Alabama beat Georgia 27-0 in Birmingham to close the regular season with nine wins, and no losses or ties. In those nine games, the Crimson Tide had outscored its opponents 277-7. Tulane closed its season with a 14-0 at Centenary College and finished unbeaten, with one tie (9-0-1).
- On November 28, Washington closed its season unbeaten with a 15-14 win over Oregon, and elected to meet Alabama in the Rose Bowl. At Providence, Colgate and Brown played to a 14-14 tie. In the Army–Navy Game, Army closed its season with a 10-3 win.
The 1926 Rose Bowl pairing of Alabama and Washington later became the subject of a television documentary, Roses of Crimson, and hailed as "the football game that changed the South". Alabama was the first Southern football team to be invited to play in the Rose Bowl, and proved that the Southern teams could compete with those from the East, the Midwest, and the West Coast. George Wilson helped the Huskies take a 12-0 lead at halftime, but both extra point attempts failed, and Wilson was injured. In the third quarter, Alabama exploded for three touchdowns, starting with quarterback Pooley Hubert's run to make the score 12-7. Washington lost the ball on its 35-yard line, and Johnny Mack Brown carried the ball over to make the score 14-12 in favor of Alabama. A 61-yard pass from Hubert to Brown set up Alabama's third score for a 20-12 lead. George Wilson returned in the fourth quarter, and the Huskies scored a touchdown and the point after to close the score to 20-19, but the missed conversion attempts from the first half cost them the game. The victory for Coach Wallace Wade established Alabama as a football powerhouse.
The following is a potentially incomplete list of conference standings:
Awards and honors
The consensus All-America team included:
|QB||Benny Friedman||5'8"||172||Jr.||Cleveland, Ohio||Michigan|
|HB||Andy Oberlander||6'0"||197||Sr.||Chelsea, Massachusetts||Dartmouth|
|HB||Red Grange||5'11"||175||Sr.||Wheaton, Illinois||Illinois|
|HB||Wildcat Wilson||5'11"||185||Sr.||Everett, Washington||Washington|
|FB||Ernie Nevers||6'0"||200||Sr.||Superior, Wisconsin||Stanford|
|E||Bennie Oosterbaan||6'0"||180||So.||Muskegon, Michigan||Michigan|
|T||Ed Weir||6'0"||190||Sr.||Superior, Nebraska||Nebraska|
|G||Carl Diehl||6'1"||205||Sr.||Chicago, Illinois||Dartmouth|
|C||Ed McMillan||6'0"||208||Sr.||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania||Princeton|
|G||Ed Hess||6'1"||190||Jr.||Chardon, Ohio||Ohio State|
|T||Ralph Chase||6'3"||202||Sr.||Easton, Pennsylvania||Pittsburgh|
|E||George Tully||5'10"||180||Sr.||Orange, New Jersey||Dartmouth|
- Player scoring most points: Peggy Flournoy, Tulane, 128
- Player scoring most touchdowns: Peggy Flournoy, Tulane and Mort Kaer, USC, 19
- Total offense leader: Andy Oberlander, Dartmouth, 1147+
- Passing yards leader: Benny Friedman, Michigan, 760
- Passing touchdowns leader: Andy Oberlander, Dartmouth, 14
- Receiving touchdowns leader: Myles Lane, Dartmouth, 7
- Billy Evans (December 27, 1925). "College Champ". Arizona Daily Star. p. 4 – via Newspapers.com.
- "The Football Game That Changed the South". The University of Alabama. Archived from the original on 2017-05-04. Retrieved 2008-10-06.
- "Yost Calls 1925 Eleven Greatest: Does Not Even Except Wonderful Teams of 1901 and 1902; Rolled Up Grand 227 Point Total; Wolverine Mentor Says He's Proud to Have Coached Boys". The Hartford Courant. November 29, 1925. p. B2.
- "Deserves the Place". Harrisburg Telegraph. December 12, 1925. p. 13. Retrieved November 2, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Army Mule Tramples Notre Dame 27 to 0 in Greatest Upset," Syracuse Herald, Oct. 18, 1925
- "Football Games 1920s". dartmouth.edu.
- "Evolution of the Game: The Introduction of the Forward Pass" (PDF). National Football Foundation's Football Letter. 3 (56): 30. October 2014.
- "Dartmouth Shoots Down Cornell, 62-13, with Aerials". Chicago Tribune. November 8, 1925.
- Bernie McCarty. "Oberlander's 500-yard game" (PDF). p. 17.
- W. A. Alexander (1926). "Forty-Five Yards for Georgia Tech" (PDF). Kansas City Star.
- "How Swede it was: 1924 football". thedartmouth.com.
- "'Froggy' Started March of Great Quarterbacks", Atlanta Journal-Constitution, pp. 3B, September 10, 1933
- "Ike Williams Saves Day By Kick In Third". The Anniston Star. November 15, 1925. p. 8. Retrieved March 3, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Alabama Passes Way to Victory Over Huskies," Oakland Tribune, Jan. 2, 1926, p8