January 21, 2018

Mount Union Accomplishes a Scoring First

Mount Union, the most prolific scoring team in college football history (on all levels), has accomplished another scoring first.

The Purple Raiders scored 517 points in 10 regular season games. With a 72-14 win in the opening round of the NCAA III Playoffs, the team from Alliance, Ohio increased its season total to 589.

In its next game, Mount Union scored 55 points against Johns Hopkins, raising their point total to 644 points.

After this weekend’s game, a 72-17 victory over Widener, the Purple Raiders established the standard.

This is the first time that a college football team has scored a composite total over 500-600-700+ points in successive games.

Mount Union now has three postseason games scoring at least 70 points. Montana in 1995-96 and Abilene Christian in 2007-08 are the only other schools with more than one game with over 70 points in the postseason.

Year   Division  500+ Team    Game  Points Reached  Points  Opponent
2012   NCAA III  Mount Union   11        589          72    Christopher Newport
2012   NCAA III  Mount Union   12        644          55    Johns Hopkins
2012   NCAA III  Mount Union   13        716          72    Widener


Happy Birthday, College Football!

After a very humble beginning on a cold and windy November 6th day (143 years ago today), the sport of college football has seen changes upon changes—some for the good and others maybe for the not so good.

Just 100 or so fans turned out to witness history being made on that blustery day—though few, if any, realized the importance of the game.

Today’s games, from the smallest crowds to massive stadiums filled to the brim, witness the happenings on the field and share it with the world within seconds.

Two schools from the state of New Jersey, Princeton and Rutgers, took to the field that chilly afternoon.

Taken by surprise, the Princeton men fought valiantly, but in five minutes we (Rutgers) had gotten the ball through to our captains on the enemy’s goal and S.G. Gano, ‘71 and G.R. Dixon, ‘73, neatly kicked it over.

And the sport of college football, had begun; in earnest.

But, the early game was more along the lines of soccer or rugby; as the ball could only be advanced down the field by kick it.

Princeton made the proper call, winning the toss and promptly took the wind.

Today, each team consists of 11 players attempting to score—or stop the opposition from finding the end zone. In 1869, each side lined-up with 25 players each

The teams lined up with two members of each team remaining more or less stationary near the opponent’s goal in the hopes of being able to slip over and score from unguarded positions. Thus, the present day “sleeper” was conceived. The remaining 23 players were divided into groups of 11 and 12. While the 11 “fielders” lined up in their own territory as defenders, the 12 bulldogs carried the battle.”

Even though Rutgers emerged victorious, not one of its players scored a touchdown.

One-hundred forty-three seasons ago scoring was determined by the team converting the most goals; or as they were called at that time, “games.”

That day, after scoring history’s first points, Rutgers would rally and hold to win 6-goals to 4-goals.

Naturally, there were no statistics recorded that day; but a few terms of the era can be highlighted as follows:
• game by game (play by play)
• game (name for each play)

Each score counted as a “game” and 10 games completed the contest. The teams would change direction following each score.

During pre-game meetings the two captains discussed several rules or guidelines that were to be observed that day.

One such was that a winner was to score 6 goals. (In the rematch a week later, the leaders indicated 8 goals were needed to victorious. Princeton won the rematch, scoring the contest’s first 8 goals.)

Scoring Summary from Game 1:

1st Rutgers, 1-0
2nd Princeton, Tied, 1-1
3rd Rutgers, 2-0
4th Princeton, Tied, 2-2
5th Rutgers, 3-2
6th Rutgers, 4-2
7th Princeton, Rutgers, 4-3
8th Princeton, Tied, 4-4
9th Rutgers, 5-4
10th Rutgers, 6-4

Worth noting: Princeton’s seventh goal was scored by a Rutgers player; who mistakenly sent the ball into his own goal.

Poll StatResearch—Notes from the 2012 Leatherheads Top 16 #3

Last week, the Alabama Crimson Tide once again secured the top spot in the weekly 2012 Leatherheads College Football Top 16–for the third consecutive week, giving the SEC school five #1 rankings over the past two seasons.

A quick glance at every weekly #1 team in the Leatherheads Top 16:

Team        FPV    Poll Points  Date        Poll #
LSU          7        170       9/25/2011       1
LSU          8        171       10/2/2011       2
LSU          7        199       10/9/2011       3
LSU          8        200       10/16/2011      4
LSU          9        204       10/23/2011      5
Alabama      5        170       10/30/2011      6
LSU         12        192       11/6/2011       7
LSU         13        208       11/13/2011      8
LSU         12        192       11/20/2011      9
LSU         11        176       11/27/2011     10
LSU         10        160       12/4/2011      11
Alabama      9        158       1/9/20012      12 (2011 Final Poll)
Alabama     12        192       9/16/2012       1
Alabama     12        192       9/23/2012       2
Alabama     13        208       9/30/2012       3


There were few position changes in the Top 16 last week.  In fact, the top seven teams remained the same and eight of the top ten finished in the same spot—with the only difference being the poll points.  The last poll had 13 voters with the two previous weeks having 12 voters.

The Crimson Tide extended its poll margin to 18 points over second place Oregon, 208-190.  The Ducks’ total of 190 is the most poll points for the #2 team in a 2012 Top 16.

Counting this past weekend’s voter participation and three times in 2011, it marks four times that 13 members have participated in a weekly poll—equally the number of times that 12 voters (in 2011 and 2012)—have participated.

Each weekly poll of the 2012 season, the Tide held a pair of 12 first place votes to zero and increased it to 13 this past week—for the highest margin between first and second place teams.

Alabama also held the highest difference during the 2011 season of 9-1 in the final poll of 2011.

Oklahoma’s 15 poll points in this week’s poll was only three-points shy of entering the Top 16—the smallest margin for a team knocking on the door to enter the Top 16.

Oregon State, after finishing right out of the poll a week ago, made its Top 16 debut at #14, while Clemson returned to the poll after being ranked ninth in the first poll of the 2012 season.

TCU advanced two spots, 13th to 15th, while traditional powers Florida and Ohio State were ranked 11 and 12—up from 12 and 13, respectively, from the previous week.


Tex Noel is the Executive Director of the Intercollegiate Football Researchers Association and compiler of the votes for the Leatherheads College Football Top 16.


Poll StatResearch—Notes from the 2012 Leatherheads Top 16 #2

Consistency is the key word when describing teams that have been ranked in the weekly Leatherheads College Football Top 16 Poll.

Over the course of 12 weekly polls during the 2011 season, 38 teams were ranked in either the weekly poll or received votes from those who submitted a weekly ranking with six teams appearing in all 12 polls.  These select six include: Alabama, Boise State, LSU, Oklahoma State, Oregon and Stanford. Through the first two polls to open the 2012 campaign, all but Boise State and Oklahoma State have continued the trend.


Consecutive Top 16 Poll Appearances (2011-12)
Alabama     14
LSU         14
Oregon      14
Stanford    14


With the release of the second Leatherheads poll of the 2012 season, three teams received their initial Leatherheads votes while not cracking the Top 16. These teams are Louisville and Rutgers with 4 points and Mississippi State with 2 points.

For the second consecutive week and just the fourth time in school history, the Alabama Crimson Tide will sit atop the weekly poll as the nation’s top team.  Thus far in the 2012 season, the Crimson Tide garnered all 12 first place votes, for the second consecutive week.  Last season, Alabama was voted the #1 team in the Leatherheads’ final poll on January 10, 2012.  Alabama held a 9-1 margin in first place votes and  a 158-144 margin in total points over #2 Oklahoma State.

The SEC powers flipped-flopped in 2011 when LSU was No. 1, Alabama was No. 2 and vise versa.  In addition to these schools being ranked second, a pair of Big 12 Conference foes shared the other weeks at No. 2.  The Oklahoma State Cowboys were #2 three times while arch rival Oklahoma was twice.

Exactly half of the 16 teams tallied 100 or more poll points in the second 2012 poll.  Only five teams surpassed the 100+ marker last week.


Poll #2 (September 25, 2012)
1 Alabama          192
2 Oregon           177
3 Florida State    163
4 LSU              159
5 Georgia          134
6 South Carolina   124
7 Kansas State     104
8 West Virginia    102


Five times during the 2011 season, 8 teams surpassed 100 or more poll points.


Rising and Falling (2+ Positions)
Going Up            Poll #2          Poll #1          Difference
Kansas State            7               15                8
Notre Dame              9               12                3
Georgia                 5                7                2


Going Down          Poll #2          Poll #1          Difference
Oklahoma               16                5              -11
Florida                12               16               -4
LSU                     4                2               -2


Same Position in Back-To-Back Weeks (2012)
Alabama                       1
South Carolina                6
West Virginia                 8
Stanford                     10
Texas                        11


Tex Noel is the Executive Director of the Intercollegiate Football Researchers Association and compiler of the votes for the Leatherheads College Football Top 16.


Poll StatResearch—Notes from the 2012 Leatherheads Top 16

The first 2012 Leatherheads College Football Top 16 poll of the season was posted this week.  A number of interesting occurrences and facts came with the release of this first poll.

First, this year’s first poll was released a week earlier than the one in 2011, as 12 voters participated each time.

Exactly half of the teams that were ranked in the initial poll a year ago made it back into the first poll of 2012.
Here they are listed by poll difference:

2012 Rank  Team        2011 Rank  Difference
    3      Oregon         10          7
    9      Clemson        14          5
    1      Alabama         3          2
    7      South Carolina  9          2
    2      LSU             1         -1
    5      Oklahoma        2         -3
   16      Florida        12         -4
   11      Stanford        6         -5


SEC powers Alabama and LSU, ranked 1-2 in the initial poll of 2012, are separated by 19 points.  These schools had the seven closest point differences between teams ranked first and second in 2011.  The lowest difference margin between these teams came in week six with Alabama up 170-168 despite LSU having one more first place vote.

Of the 16 teams appearing in the first poll of 2012, three schools made their debut in a weekly Leatherheads poll—with two receiving their initial considerations among the voters:

Florida State makes its poll debut at #4 which is 20 spots higher than Ohio State, as both schools were not mentioned at all in 2011.  The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame, after only a pair of mentions (received votes) a year ago, begin the 2012 Leatherheads poll season as the #12 team.

Last season, LSU was the only school to garner every first place vote, covering weeks 6-11.  In fact, the 12 first place votes recorded by Alabama were the most by any team in a weekly poll.


Tex Noel is the Executive Director of the Intercollegiate Football Researchers Association and compiler of the votes for the Leatherheads College Football Top 16.


Race for the Record: Dickinson State’s Hank Biesiot and Saint Francis’ Kevin Donley Tied in Career Wins

This article is the courtesy of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and is used with permission. It was written by Kay Hawes, Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the NAIA, and was originally published by the NAIA on August 30, 2012.

Who doesn’t love a good race? Especially when the competitors are worthy, the goal is lofty and the crowd is cheering loudly.

Just such a race is on right now in NAIA college football. Hank Biesiot of Dickinson State University (N.D.) and Kevin Donley of University of Saint Francis (Ind.) are tied at 255 career victories, second-best in the NAIA. The NAIA career-wins record of 256 is held by Frosty Westering, who retired from Pacific Lutheran University (Wash.), formerly of the NAIA, in 2003.

It’s likely that the record will be tied and then fall soon. Biesiot and the Blue Hawks open their season this weekend against Rocky Mountain College (Mont.). Donley’s Cougars opened their season last week with a 46-10 victory over Texas College. The Cougars take the field this week against the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

No matter who you favor in this race, it’s easy to see there’s no loser. Both Biesiot and Donley are winners in coaching and in their real job-teaching student-athletes to become responsible, dedicated young adults.

Hank Biesiot is beginning his 37th season at Dickinson State, where he is an associate professor of health and physical education, teaching everything from sports psychology to archery. Biesiot began teaching high school in 1967, and he has remained a teacher since-both on and off the field.

“He’s such a classy person,” said assistant coach Pete Stanton of Biesiot. “He has taught everyone to respect the bus driver, the custodian and the other team. The other word I’d use is consistency. He’s never wavered in his philosophy or his style. He’s only had three losing seasons his entire career. Class and consistency are the most important things about him.”

Biesiot’s success on the field has been impressive as the Blue Hawks have advanced to the playoffs in seven of the past 10 seasons. Biesiot has coached 31 NAIA All-Americans, won 17 conference titles and had 15 NAIA postseason appearances. He was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 2006.

This summer, USA College Sports Inc. created the Biesiot Award to recognize the outstanding NAIA football player of the year. Winners will be chosen for their success in athletics, academics and community service.

Kevin Donley is beginning his 15th season at Saint Francis and his 34th season coaching college football. Prior to coming to the Cougars in 1998, Donley coached at the University of California (Pa.), Georgetown College (Ky.) and Anderson University (Ind.). Donley also has won NAIA Coach of the Year twice, in 2004 and in 1991.

Donley started the football program at Saint Francis 15 years ago, and his Cougars were ranked in the NAIA top 25 two years later. They have remained on that list ever since, with 13 consecutive winning seasons, 12 NAIA postseason appearances and six unbeaten regular seasons. Also notable are the three consecutive NAIA National Championship Runner-Up finishes, from 2004 to 2006.

But those who have played for Donley point out that winning isn’t all he wants from his players.

“Coach D doesn’t only build a team, he builds men,” Matt Smith, a senior defensive tackle for the Cougars told the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette. “He builds men rather than just players…he builds men to be strong-minded, strong-willed, and to have passion for everything they do, not just football.”

No matter who breaks the record, and who holds it the longest, both Biesiot and Donley are in rare air with so many wins. Among the all-time career wins list of football coaches at all levels, they are tied for 19th, ahead of former Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz and Ohio State’s Woody Hayes.

Both the NAIA and the NCAA recognize the wins of the other Association-after a 10-year waiting period-so it doesn’t matter where the wins are accrued. And those who know football point out that a good coach looks the same, no matter where the field of play sits.

“No matter what the level…coaching is coaching and football is football,” said Donley’s son Pat, the Cougar’s offensive coordinator, to the Journal Gazette. “You’ve got to know what the heck you’re doing to be successful.”

In this race, everyone wins.


Defending National Champions Picked to Repeat

College football fans are anticipating the start of the 2012 season; not only at the Division 1 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) level but also in the NCAA’s three other divisions: Division 1 Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) (the former NCAA Division 1-AA), NCAA Division II and NCAA Division III. Also, let’s not forget the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) season either!

Of the three NCAA classifications mentioned above, only D3 does not publish a preseason poll. The other division’s preseaon picks for No. 1 came with no surprise—as all three polls named their respective on-field national champion of 2011 as the favorite to repeat this season.

The FCS Coaches Preseason Poll have tabbed the North Dakota State Bison its favorite to repeat again this season, garnering 19 of the 26 first place votes in their preseason top 25. Should the Bison repeat this fall, they would be the first team from this division to accomplish the feat since Appalachian State was the division’s only three-peat champion, 2005-06-07.

In fact, repeating champions in the FCS/Division 1-AA is quite a task; as only three schools have done this a total of 11 times since the division began in 1978. Repeat champions include: Georgia Southern, 1985-86, 1989-90 and 1999-2000, Youngstown State in 1993-94, and the previously mentioned Appalachian State.

The final FCS Poll of a year ago saw North Dakota State, Sam Houston State (Texas) and Georgia Southern ranked 1-2-3. These same three teams not only were ranked in the same order in the preseason survey, but also were the only ones to receive nods for the top spot. Sam Houston State, second a year ago in the final poll, garnered six first place votes in the preseason poll with the Georgia Southern Eagles tallying the one remaining vote for the top-spot.

North Dakota State and Georgia Southern kick off their 2012 season September 1. The defending national champions kick off their back-to-back quest against Robert Morris with  the Eagles facing Jacksonville State. Sam Houston will begin its 2012 season a week later as it hosts Incarnate Word.

If past preseason poll history is an indicator, North Dakota State has an excellent chance at repeating as this division’s top team. Five schools selected No.1 in the preseason poll have gone on to be the division’s national champion at season’s end. These teams include: Georgia Southern (three times), Marshall and Appalachian State.

Weekly during the season, the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) releases a NCAA Division II and NCAA Division III poll—with only D2 releasing a preseason survey. AFCA’s preseason poll had six teams garnering first place mentions; with the top three set to open their seasons August 30—the top two hitting the road.

Pittsburg State, the defending champion that collected 21 of the 30 first place votes in the poll, travels to Tahlequah, Oklahoma to meet Northeastern State in a game that pits two former NAIA rivals. Garnishing the second most votes for the top spot—with 5—was Minnesota-Duluth, last year’s preseason No. 1 selection. UMD will travel to Southwest Minnesota.

The above teams flipped-flop from the 2010 rankings. In fact, since the AFCA has taken over the coaches’ poll in 2000, No. 1 has finished the season as National Champion three times: 2002, 2003, and 2006—each time being Grand Valley State.

The remaining team to pick-up a first place vote and open its season August 30, is Northwest Minnesota. The team was third and will host East Central Oklahoma. Two days later, Winston-Salem (also the defending HBCU—Historically Black Colleges and Universities— No. 1 team) will host North Carolina-Pembroke Saturday afternoon.

The remaining teams won’t begin their current campaign until September 8 as Wayne State (Michigan) and Midwestern State (Texas), both will be on the road. Wayne State, last season’s runner-up, crosses the Michigan-Ohio State line to take on Ashland while Midwestern State travels a few hours across the Lone Star State to take on Tarleton State.

As mentioned, there is no official NCAA Division III preseason poll, but various sites and sources believe that Wisconsin-Whitewater and Mount Union are ranked 1-2 and will meet for the eighth consecutive season in the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl.

Defending champion St. Xavier (Illinois) has been picked as No. 1 in the 16th annual NAIA preseason poll for the first time in school history. St. X was the only team to receive first place votes. This ranking ties perennial NAIA powerhouse Georgetown (Kentucky), and former member Sioux Falls with a single early nod for the top spot. Carroll (Montana) holds the mark of three preseason No. 1 spots. Overall, according to a NAIA release, only four times has a school been ranked No.1 in every weekly NAIA Coaches’ Poll, preseason to National Champion: Georgetown (2001), Carroll (2003 and 2005) and Sioux Falls (2009).


Ranking the teams receiving first place votes:

Rank Team [Division] FPV Poll Points
1    Pittsburg State        [NCAA II]    21      720
2    Minnesota-Duluth       [NCAA II]     5      661
1    North Dakota State     [FCS]        19      640
2    Sam Houston State      [FCS]         6      623
3    Northwest Missouri St. [NCAA II]     1      613
3    Georgia Southern       [FCS]         1      592
4    Midwestern State       [NCAA II]     1      582
5    Wayne State            [NCAA II]     1      502
9    Winston-Salem          [NCAA II]     1      386
1    Saint Xavier           [NAIA]       11      236


For more on non-FBS college football visit Small College Football History.


Tex Noel is the Executive Director of the Intercollegiate Football Researchers Association.


Remember RG3…in the Valero Alamo Bowl!

Throughout its 143-year history, college football has showcased many outstanding players—long to be remembered for various accomplishments, including spectacular plays, leading a team to a national championship or for winning one of college football’s annual awards.

Of all the hardware that has been awarded, one brings back memories of the previous winners simply by mentioning its name.

This award is the Heisman Trophy, awarded since 1935.

Like with life itself, many surprises have been associated with this award.

It has been said that a player who wins the award often wins as a result of an outstanding season and from the backing of a poet (writer) in the press box.

Some schools present a full-blown ad campaign similar to a person running for political office while others let their players’ accomplishments speak for themselves.

The majority of the players winning this award came from winning teams. One player won from a school that finished the season with an equal amount of wins and losses (Jay Berwanger, the first recipient of the award). Another player won from a sub-.500 team: Notre Dame’s Paul Hornung in 1956. His team finished 2-8-0.

A complete breakdown of each season since 1935 shows that 25 winners never participated in the postseason—including 19 of the first 22 honorees.

Since 1970, Houston’s Andre Ware, the 1989 awardee, is the only Heisman winner not to play in a postseason game.

Of the remaining 52 former winners, 43 have gone on to play in a bowl game that would be considered—in today’s terms—a “BCS Bowl Game.”


"BCS Bowls"       Games      W-L
Orange              10       7-3
Rose                11       6-5
Cotton               7       4-3
Sugar                8       3-5
BCS Title Game       4       2-2
Fiesta               3       1-2


Baylor’s Robert Griffin III was selected as the 2011 Heisman Trophy Winner. Not only was he chosen to be the first winner from Baylor, but his selection also broke a string of two consecutive winners that would lead his team to the National Championship.

Davey O’Brien was the first Heisman Trophy winner to lead his team to the National Championship. There have been 15 in total.


Year     Winner              Team
1938     Davey O'Brien       Texas Christian
1941     Bruce Smith         Minnesota
1943     Angelo Bertelli     Notre Dame
1945     Doc Blanchard       Army
1947     Johnny Lujack       Notre Dame
1949     Leon Hart           Notre Dame
1976     Tony Dorsett        Pittsburgh
1986     Vinny Testaverde    Miami
1993     Charlie Ward        Florida State
1996     Danny Wuerffel      Florida
1997     Charles Woodson     Michigan
2004     Matt Leinart        USC
2005     Reggie Bush*        USC
2009     Mark Ingram         Alabama
2010     Cam Newton          Auburn
*Heisman Trophy later vacated


RG3 became the ninth winner of this prestigious award to play in what can be classified as “Non-BCS Bowl Game.” Griffin led the Bears to the Alamo Bowl; the first time a Heisman winner would play in this game.


"Non-BCS Bowls"   Games      W-L
Liberty              2       2-0
Alamo                1       1-0
Holiday              2       1-1
Capital One          1       0-1
Citrus               1       0-1
Gator                2       0-2


Let’s take a closer look at the nine players who won college football’s most prestigious award, but did not showcase their abilities on the stage of a “BCS Bowl Game.”

Interestingly, the first two Heisman Trophy winners to play in a “Non-BCS Bowl Game” came in back-to-back seasons (1961-62), but then not again until the 1988 season; a year when college football would see many of its records fall as Barry Sanders established many standards.


Heisman Trophy Winners that played in and won a “Non-BCS Bowl Game”:

  • 1961 Ernie Davis, Syracuse, Liberty (30-140/rushing)
  • 1962 Terry Baker, Oregon State, Liberty (9-21, 123/passing)
  • 1988 Barry Sanders, Oklahoma State, Holiday (29-222/rushing)
  • 2011 Robert Griffin III, Baylor, Alamo (24-33, 295/passing)

Heisman Trophy Winners that played in and lost a “Non-BCS Bowl Game”:

  • 1957 John David Crow, Texas A&M, Gator (14-46/rushing)
  • 1980 George Rogers, South Carolina, Gator (27-113/rushing)
  • 1990 Ty Detmer, BYU, Holiday (11-23, 120/passing)
  • 1995 Eddie George, Ohio State, Citrus (25-101/rushing)
  • 2007 Tim Tebow, Florida, Capital One (17-33, 154/passing)


In a couple of these “Non-BCS Bowl Games” that the Heisman winner would play in, their teams displayed offensive fireworks that lit up the scoreboard.

Capping his last year in Stillwater, Barry Sanders found the end zone five times in leading his team to a 62-14 wipe out of Wyoming.

In the most recent such game, Baylor’s Robert Griffin III would only score twice, but would orchestrate many of the Bears many comebacks in its match-up with Washington, winning 67-53. This would be highest scoring game in bowl history for a game played in regulation.


Here is a summary of the Heisman Trophy winners in the postseason:


Year Winner           Team             Bowl        Opponent        D   Score
1935 Jay Berwanger    Chicago          None
1936 Larry Kelley     Yale             None
1937 Clint Frank      Yale             None
1938 Davey O'Brien    Texas Christian  Sugar       Carnegie Tech   W    15-7
1939 Nile Kinnick     Iowa             None
1940 Tom Harmon       Michigan         None
1941 Bruce Smith      Minnesota        None
1942 Frank Sinkwich   Georgia          Rose        UCLA            W     9-0
1943 Angelo Bertelli  Notre Dame       None
1944 Les Horvath      Ohio State       None
1945 Doc Blanchard    Army             None
1946 Glenn Davis      Army             None
1947 Johnny Lujack    Notre Dame       None
1948 Doak Walker      SMU              Cotton      Oregon          W   21-13
1949 Leon Hart        Notre Dame       None
1950 Vic Janowicz     Ohio State       None
1951 Dick Kazmaier    Princeton        None
1952 Billy Vessels    Oklahoma         None
1953 Johnny Lattner   Notre Dame       None
1954 Alan Ameche      Wisconsin        None
1955 Howard Cassady   Ohio State       None
1956 Paul Hornung     Notre Dame       None
1957 John David Crow  Texas A&M        Gator       Tennessee       L     0-3
1958 Pete Dawkins     Army             None
1959 Billy Cannon     LSU              Sugar       Ole Miss        L    0-21
1960 Joe Bellino      Navy             Orange      Missouri        L   14-21
1961 Ernie Davis      Syracuse         Liberty     Miami           W   15-14
1962 Terry Baker      Oregon State     Liberty     Villanova       W     6-0
1963 Roger Staubach   Navy             Cotton      Texas           L    6-28
1964 John Huarte      Notre Dame       None
1965 Mike Garrett     USC              None
1966 Steve Spurrier   Florida          Orange      Georgia Tech    W   27-12
1967 Gary Beban       UCLA             None
1968 O.J. Simpson     USC              Rose        Ohio State      L   16-27
1969 Steve Owens      Oklahoma         None
1970 Jim Plunkett     Stanford         Rose        Ohio State      W   27-17
1971 Pat Sullivan     Auburn           Sugar       Oklahoma        L   22-40
1972 Johnny Rodgers   Nebraska         Orange      Notre Dame      W    40-6
1973 John Cappelletti Penn State       Orange      LSU             W    16-9
1974 Archie Griffin   Ohio State       Rose        USC             L   17-18
1975 Archie Griffin   Ohio State       Rose        UCLA            L   10-23
1976 Tony Dorsett     Pittsburgh       Sugar       Georgia         W    27-3
1977 Earl Campbell    Texas            Cotton      Notre Dame      L   38-10
1978 Billy Sims       Oklahoma         Orange      Nebraska        W   31-24
1979 Charles White    USC              Rose        Ohio State      W   17-16
1980 George Rogers    South Carolina   Gator       Pittsburgh      L    9-37
1981 Marcus Allen     USC              Fiesta      Penn State      L   10-26
1982 Herschel Walker  Georgia          Sugar       Penn State      L   23-27
1983 Mike Rozier      Nebraska         Orange      Miami           L   30-31
1984 Doug Flutie      Boston College   Cotton      Houston         W   45-28
1985 Bo Jackson       Auburn           Cotton      Texas A&M       L   16-36
1986 Vinny Testaverde Miami            Fiesta      Penn State      L   10-14
1987 Tim Brown        Notre Dame       Cotton      Texas A&M       L   10-35
1988 Barry Sanders    Oklahoma State   Holiday     Wyoming         W   62-14
1989 Andre Ware       Houston          None
1990 Ty Detmer        Brigham Young    Holiday     Texas A&M       L   14-65
1991 Desmond Howard   Michigan         Rose        Washington      L   14-34
1992 Gino Torretta    Miami            Sugar       Alabama         L   13-34
1993 Charlie Ward     Florida State    Orange      Nebraska        W   18-16
1994 Rashaan Salaam   Colorado         Fiesta      Notre Dame      W   41-24
1995 Eddie George     Ohio State       Citrus      Tennessee       L   14-20
1996 Danny Wuerffel   Florida          Sugar       Florida State   W   52-20
1997 Charles Woodson  Michigan         Rose        Washington St.  W   21-16
1998 Ricky Williams   Texas            Cotton      Mississippi St. W   38-11
1999 Ron Dayne        Wisconsin        Rose        Stanford        W    17-9
2000 Chris Weinke     Florida State    Orange      Oklahoma        L    2-13
2001 Eric Crouch      Nebraska         Rose        Miami           L   14-37
2002 Carson Palmer    USC              Orange      Iowa            W   38-17
2003 Jason White      Oklahoma         Sugar       LSU             L   14-21
2004 Matt Leinart     USC              Orange      Oklahoma        W   55-19
2005 Reggie Bush      USC              Rose        Texas           L   38-41
2006 Troy Smith       Ohio State       BCS Title   Florida         L   14-41
2007 Tim Tebow        Florida          Capital One Michigan        L   35-41
2008 Sam Bradford     Oklahoma         BCS Title   Florida         L   14-24
2009 Mark Ingram      Alabama          BCS Title   Texas           W   37-21
2010 Cam Newton       Auburn           BCS Title   Oregon          W   22-19
2011 Robert Griffin   Baylor           Alamo       Washington      W   67-53


Richard Topp: He knows the score…and more!

Richard Topp is a score researcher whose project is to research and compile correct and accurate information on every college football game that has been played since 1882. This was the origin of when touchdowns, goals from the field and goals after touchdown were beginning to be used when computing scores; replacing goals and earlier scoring methods.

Recently, Tex Noel did a question and answer session with Topp.


TEX NOEL: What exactly do you want to accomplish with your project?

RICHARD TOPP: So there would be a definitive source on the (score) history of American College Football. There are so many typos and misidentification of opponents.

TN: Wouldn’t it be easier to contact a school or a governing body (the NCAA or NAIA) to find out what the score was?

RT: It would be easier…but they lack correct information to present correct and accurate findings of scores.

TN: What sources have you utilized in the development of your Scorebase?

RT: The most reliable source would be a newspaper from either the town or one nearby where the college is located. I have found out that when in doubt, a newspaper in the same state would be more reliable than one across the country. Finding dependable and accurate researchers who would be willing to assist with this project has been key. After newspaper accounts, I turn to the school’s annual yearbook. A media guide from the team would be my last choice but it has helped at times. Worth noting, an interesting story while researching scores for the now defunct school, Daniel Baker College (it was located in Brownwood, Texas)…its 1920 team was so bad that its yearbook staff deliberately left the scores out when assembling the publication.

TN: Would a school football media guide or history aid in your efforts…are they accurate with their listing of scores?

RT: In my opinion, often times a college football media guide has been slapped together and its scores have been transcribed off a written page—and not well researched. Sometimes the school would take a calendar and just list the Saturdays in October and November as the game dates.

TN: What has been the highlight or most rewarding experience in searching for scores?

RT: Finding scores where the college was unaware or that it never realized the game actually existed.

TN: How much time can you say that you spend searching for the scores?

RT: It varies. Researching a single school’s entire history has often taken up to a week. But once I have entered the scores into the database, I can find a school’s records within a couple of minutes.

TN: Are you content with just the final score or what else are you looking for?

RT: Yes, the final scores are important; but the more information that I can find—such as the date and the location where the game was played—are just as vital to this project. One other thing would be the proper name of the opponent that was played. Down through the years, schools have changed names for one reason or another. In the database, I list the name of the two teams by what they were known by at the time the game was played.

TN: What about other sources or ‘scorekeepers’ before you—weren’t they accurate in their findings?

RT: No, not really. They would type scores that they had previously handwritten on a sheet of paper and would often transpose the numbers, or mistaken a hand-written number as another number. So a 0-0 score could wind-up as 6-6 or 6-0 or 0-6.

TN: In today’s world, the Internet has so much to offer—has this aided your efforts and if so how?

RT: Digital newspapers! No longer do I have to wait for microfilm obtained through interlibrary loan—which would take weeks to receive and would often have a limit to the number you could receive at one time. While some libraries would make the reels available at no charge; others would charge up to $7 for a single reel.

TN: What methods did you use before the creation of online newspaper sites?

RT: Actual old newspapers; or others would send what they were able to find out of their local papers.

TN: Have you ever found a score that a school didn’t have listed with its all-time scores?

RT: Yes, many times. But, now that the NCAA has told schools to ignore games that were played against athletic clubs, junior varsity teams and military teams…in other words, unless the school was a four-year college, it doesn’t count (in a school’s all-time record). That’s poor record keeping.

TN: Are you attempting this project on your own, or do you have others who assist you?

RT: Back in 1993, the late Don Newton, of Cupertino, California, and I began this project. Don died in 2004 unexpectedly. Now I am aided by Don Vollmer (out of Chicago Heights, Illinois). Don has been a tremendous asset to me as he has been doing score research since 1938. All of his efforts are in 24 notebooks, and handwritten!

TN: Do you cross-check scores…by this I mean, if you find a score that “Team A” won 53-23 over “Team B”, do you then check with “Team B’s” to be sure it has the same score?

RT: Yes. Each game should have two entries as both the dates and the site of the game should match-up. In addition, the game’s decision (W-L-T) and score will be reversed. Only “one-sided” games will have one-entry. These are games against a high school for example.

TN: What type of database are you using to register your findings?

RT: I am using Microsoft Access; with the current database having over 545,000 entries.

TN: Can you point out a particular school or schools that have been the most difficult to locate historical scores for?

RT: Yes I can. One school that quickly comes to mind was in Owatonna, Minnesota; it was Pillsbury College. It started out as a military academy and closed down in 1957. It reopened in 1958 as a college funded by the flour family of Minneapolis. The editor of the town newspaper, the Owatonna People’s Press, had a conflict with the school and from 1958 to 1982 never acknowledged the school in the newspaper. I found only a paragraph about the girls volleyball team winning the state championship in the late 1970s. When the editor died, the coverage resumed.

TN: Have college football fans, colleges or the media been receptive to your findings?

RT: Yes, overall they have. Just two schools have been unreceptive. I won’t say who they are, but one uses a “gorilla” as a mascot and the other is where the Packers have their training camp.

TN: Say someone is looking for the all-time scores of their alma mater, would you have it? What if they went to a school that no longer plays college football?

RT: Yes I would. Many times I have located schools and scores that people have never heard of.

TN: Are you researching scores just for the major colleges or are you willing to seek scores for other schools?

RT: This research includes schools from every level; even the difficult HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) schools—especially one that has since dropped the sport. When this project began, we had 980 colleges; by mid-July the current tally reads 1097 schools included.

TN: Would you mind sharing a few of your most unusual findings, when researching scores?

RT: One of my most memorable events I uncovered when looking for scores could have been straight out of a John Wayne movie. The newspaper in St. Mary’s Kansas, (near Fort Riley) dated December 1, 1899, wrote: “The soldiers rode into town—about 100 strong—on horseback, to watch the college football game.”

During the 1896 season, Purdue University played and defeated Greer College located in Hoopston, Illinois—located due west of the Purdue campus on the state line. The Boilermakers were victorious 36-0. Once I was on the phone with the librarian in Hoopston seeking additional information of the school that closed in 1919. I was told that the last living alumnus of Greer College (she was 93 or 94 at the time) was in the library that day reading stories to children. I asked the librarian to ask the lady what were the school colors. The reply was…”Crimson & Cream.”

All-in-all I’ve visited about 300 colleges. I stood at the place where William & Vashti once stood at the edge of a cornfield. I saw the only building remaining of Mount Morris College while eating at “Ed’s Pretty Good Hotdogs” across the street.

I have a T-Shirt from Austin Peay, a shirt with the famous cheer…”Let’s Go Peay!”

At William Jewell, they are proud to have had the first actual daytime bank robbery in downtown Liberty; that was the first one Jesse James robbed. (During the robbery, a student from the college was killed!)

And in the words of St. Olaf…”Um Ya Ya!”


For anyone looking for scores, contact Richard Topp at richtopp@gmail.com and mention Leatherheads of the Gridiron in your email.


Tex Noel is the Executive Director of the Intercollegiate Football Researchers Association.

Fielding “Hurry-Up” Yost and Tom Osborne: The Only Two

Throughout the history of college football, many coaches have left their mark on the game. Of all that have patrolled a sideline, only two major college coaches were on the job for at least 25 seasons and also compiled a winning percentage of eighty percent or greater.

Fielding “Hurry-Up” Yost and Tom Osborne are the field generals who accomplished this feat. They were leaders of schools that make up college football lore. And in fact, both coached at the same school—75 years apart.

Fielding Harris Yost’s coaching rein lasted from 1897 through the 1926 season. According to football legend, he was nicknamed “Hurry-Up” for trying to motivate his players by yelling “hurry up” at them. By looking at his record, I suppose it worked.

His time as a head coach would take a round-a-bout way to stardom. His legendary coaching career of 29 years began at Ohio Wesleyan in 1897. This would be Yost’s first stop of five different schools in five seasons.

From the Buckeye State, he would, like many of America’s early pioneers, “Go West, young man!” He followed this motto, popularized by nineteenth century newspaper editor Horace Greeley, and headed to Lincoln, Nebraska for the 1898 season; as it was 75 years before Tom Osborne would take over the reins of the Cornhuskers. After the 1898 season, he hit the trail again; ending up in Kansas as the 1800’s would come to an end.

He had hoped for a new start with the beginning of a new century. He began the 1900’s as the coach of Stanford; but it would be like the previous stops — one season and gone!

While at Stanford, he was the fifth of seven coaches that served just a single-season on “The Farm.” Stanford implemented a rule that all coaches had to be an alumnus. Yost had graduated from West Virginia in 1896.

It was reported that this new guideline didn’t sit too well with him! One could only think that this was in the back of his mind when he would lead Michigan westward to play in the very first Rose Bowl; as Michigan shellacked Stanford 49-0 following the 1901 season. But before his career in Ann Arbor would start, he had some unfinished business in California.

Further research has uncovered two additional wins not noted with his NCAA-official record. A researcher, combing through the Cornhuskers’ scores, discovered that a game was initially listed as a loss; when in reality it should have been recorded as victory.

Playing in Kansas City, Missouri, the Bugeaters’ (an early name that Nebraska was known by from 1890-1900) game was originally recorded as a 24-0 loss to William Jewell; while the research revealed the score against the Cardinals as a 38-0 triumph!

Even though it was two seasons later—in terms of when the games were played—his next additional victory has never been credited to his career record.

During the 1900 season, in addition to coaching at Stanford, he also served as interim head coach at San Jose State Normal School. Checking the 2009 San Jose State Media Guide, three coaches are listed for the 1900 season with two credited with records for the seven games that the school played:

• 1900 James E. Addicott 2 3 1  .417
• 1900 Fielding Yost     1 0 0 1.000

No reason was given why Addicott left after the sixth game. Yost is listed as the coach in the finale, played on December 8th. San Jose State Normal School was victorious over Chico State Normal School (Chico State’s name from 1897-1921) 12-0.

After the 1900 season, he headed to Michigan.  In his first five seasons with the Wolverines, his record was 55-1-1. Yost won his 100th career game on November 7, 1908 against Kentucky, as the Wolverines were victorious 62-0. This was the only shutout win by Michigan in 1908 (5-2-1) who also played Michigan Agriculture to a scoreless tie and would lose to an 11-1-0 Pennsylvania, 62-0.

U of M would also drop its season finale 28-4 to Syracuse—as this would be the first time a Yost-coached Wolverine eleven ended the season with back-to-back setbacks. Despite these late season losses, Yost had finally found a home…as he stayed in Ann Arbor for the remainder of his career, compiling a 165-29-10 record. His career record, counting the two previous victories discussed above, was 198-35-12 for a .833 winning percentage.

Tom Osborne took over the Cornhuskers from the retiring Bob Devaney (in a 16-year career from 1957 through 1972, Devaney compiled a 136-30-7 record and .806 winning percentage) after the 1972 season, continuing the winning tradition at the University of Nebraska. Osborne’s career mark would ultimately end up as 250-49-3 with a .836 winning percentage!

Osborne in his 25 years on the Cornhuskers’ sideline turned in some impressive statistics: 25 winning seasons, an equal number of bowl appearances (12-13-0) and his teams were ranked in the final polls every season.

He won his 100th career game in 1983, a 41-10 win over visiting UCLA (7-3-1).

In 1983, the Cornhuskers were 12-1-0; scoring 654 points; while the famed “Black-Shirt Defense” would hold the opposition to just 217 points. A heart-breaking 31-30 loss in the Orange Bowl, when a two-point conversion pass was tipped away, prevented Dr. Tom from winning his first National Championship. However, in his final four seasons as Nebraska’s coach, Osborne compiled a 49-2-0 mark and was No. 1 in three of those seasons: 1994, 1995 and 1997.

Both Yost and Osborne were inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1951 and 1999, respectively.


Tex Noel is the Executive Director of the Intercollegiate Football Researchers Association.