|1959 Syracuse Orangemen football|
Consensus national champion
Cotton Bowl champion
|Head coach||Ben Schwartzwalder (11th season)|
|Home stadium||Archbold Stadium|
|1959 NCAA University Division independents football records|
|No. 1 Syracuse||–||11||–||0||–||0|
|No. 12 Penn State||–||9||–||2||–||0|
|No. 20 Pittsburgh||–||6||–||4||–||0|
|No. 17 Notre Dame||–||5||–||5||–||0|
|San Jose State||–||4||–||6||–||0|
|Rankings from AP Poll|
The 1959 Syracuse Orangemen football team represented Syracuse University in the 1959 college football season. Led by eleventh-year head coach Ben Schwartzwalder, the independent Orangemen were undefeated and won the school's only national championship in football, topping the rankings by wide margins in the final polls in early December.
They met fourth-ranked Texas in the Cotton Bowl Classic in Dallas on New Year's Day, and led 15–0 at halftime and 23–6 after the three quarters. Texas scored midway through the fourth quarter to draw to 23–14, but there was no further scoring, and Syracuse gained its first bowl win. Unranked at the start of the season, Syracuse finished with an 11–0 record with five shutouts, and outscored its opponents 413–73.
Notable players included sophomore running back Ernie Davis, winner of the Heisman Trophy in 1961 and the first selection of the 1962 NFL Draft. In the Cotton Bowl Classic, he scored the first two touchdowns and threw a pass to Gerhard Schwedes for the third. Davis was helped by an offensive line that included unanimous first team All-American guard Roger Davis.
|September 26||Kansas||W 35–21||25,000|
|October 3||Maryland||No. 20||W 29–0||30,000|
|October 10||vs. Navy||No. 12||W 32–6||31,700|
|October 17||Holy Cross||No. 8||W 42–6||30,000|
|October 24||West Virginia||No. 6||W 44–0||35,000|
|October 31||at Pittsburgh||No. 5||W 35–0||25,761|
|November 7||at No. 7 Penn State||No. 4||W 20–18||32,800|
|November 14||Colgate||No. 1||W 71–0||31,000|
|November 21||at Boston University||No. 1||W 46–0||22,000|
|December 5||at No. 17 UCLA||No. 1||W 36–8||46,436|
|January 1, 1960||vs. No. 4 Texas||No. 1||W 23–14||75,504|
- 2017 Syracuse football media guide. pg. 148
- "Orange win grid crown". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. December 8, 1959. p. 18.
- "Syracuse runs off with title". Toledo Blade. (Ohio). Associated Press. December 8, 1959. p. 34.
- "Syracuse tops final grid poll by wide margin". Bend Bulletin. (Oregon). UPI. December 8, 1959. p. 2.
- "Syracuse is voted national champion by coaches board". Reading Eagle. (Pennsylvania). UPI. December 8, 1959. p. 23.
- "Syracuse tops Texas, 23–14". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. January 2, 1960. p. 6.
- "Midnight strikes for KU gridders 35–21". Lawrence Daily Journal-World. (Kansas). September 26, 1959. p. 1.
- "Navy stopped by Syracuse". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. October 11, 1959. p. 3B.
- "Syracuse breezes over WVU, 44–0". Pittsburgh Press. October 25, 1959. p. 1, sec.7.
- Smith, Chester L. (November 1, 1959). "Syracuse smothers Pitt, 35–0". Pittsburgh Press. p. 1, sec.7.
- Smith, Chester L. (November 8, 1959). "Syracuse wins 'big one,' 20–18". Pittsburgh Press. p. 1, sec.7.
- "Syracuse wins, 71–0, takes Cotton Bowl offer". Reading Eagle. (Pennsylvania). Associated Press. November 15, 1959. p. 25.
- "Syracuse easy 36–8 winner". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. December 6, 1959. p. 6.
- Sports Reference - 1959 Syracuse football season