1934 college football season: Wikis


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The 1934 college football season saw the addition of not one, but two New Year's Day football games to rival the venerable Rose Bowl. On February 15, Warren V. Miller and Joseph M. Cousins had organized the New Orleans Mid-Winter Sports Association and by October, the group had enough funds to sponsor the Sugar Bowl. Meanwhile, W. Keith Phillips and the Greater Miami Athletic Club worked in November at a January 1 game for Florida, and the Orange Bowl was created. Once again, a Big Ten team was selected by Professor Dickinson (of the University of Illinois) as the national champion, with the Minnesota Gophers being accorded the honor. The conference, however, still had a bar against its members playing in the postseason, so Minnesota did not play in any of the bowl games.

Major conferences that existed in 1934 were the Western Conference (today's Big Ten), the Pacific Coast Conference (now the Pac-10), the Southeastern Conference (SEC), the old Southern Conference (whose members later played in the ACC), the Big Six Conference (later the Big 12) and the Southwest Conference.



September 22 Stanford opened with a 48-0 win over San Jose State, while in Houston, Rice opened with a 12-0 win over Loyola College of New Orleans.

September 29 Minnesota beat North Dakota State 56-12 and Illinois beat Bradley 40-7. Alabama beat Samford 24-0, and Tulane beat UT-Chattanooga 41-0. Rice and LSU played to a 9-9 tie while Stanford and Santa Clara tied 7-7. Navy defeated William & Mary 20-7 while Pittsburgh beat Washington & Jefferson 26-6.


On a Wednesday game (October 3) Minnesota beat Nebraska 20-0. Illinois beat Washington University (at St. Louis) 12-7, and on Friday, Alabama beat Sewanee 35-6 in Montgomery.

October 6 Navy beat Virginia 21-6 in a game in Washington, DC. In New Orleans, Tulane beat Auburn 13-0. At Portland, Stanford beat Oregon State 17-0. Columbia opened its season in New York with a 12-6 win over Yale, and Colgate beat St. Lawrence 32-0. Pittsburgh won at West Virginia 27-6. Ohio State beat Indiana 33-0. Rice won at Purdue 14-0.

October 13.

Illinois beat Ohio State 14-13.

Stanford beat visiting Northwestern 20-0. Pittsburgh defeated visiting USC 20-6. Alabama defeated Mississippi State 41-0, Rice defeated SMU 9-0, and Tulane won at Florida 28-12. Navy defeated Maryland 16-13, Colgate beat St. Bonaventure 62-0 and Columbia beat VMI 29-6.

October 20

Minnesota won at Pittsburgh, 13-7. Ohio State defeated visiting Colgate 10-7. Navy beat Columbia 18-7. Alabama and Tennessee, both 3-0-0, met in Birmingham, with Bama winning 13-6. Tulane edged visiting Georgia 7-6. In Omaha, Rice beat Creighton University 47-13. Stanford beat USF at San Francisco, 3-0.

October 27 Alabama beat Georgia 26-6 at Birmingham, while in New Orleans, Tulane beat Georgia Tech 20-12. Rice stayed unbeaten with a 20-9 win over visiting Texas. Minnesota won at Iowa 48-12, . Illinois won at Michigan 7-6, and Ohio State won at Northwestern 28-6. Stanford registered its fourth shutout, a 16-0 win over USC. Navy won at Penn, Colgate won at Holy Cross 20-7 and Columbia beat visiting Penn State 14-7. Pittsburgh beat host school Westminster College of Pennsylvania, 30-0

In a Sunday game,


November 3

Pitt (4-1-0) and Notre Dame (3-0-0) met in Pittsburgh, with the Panthers winning 19-0. Minnesota beat Michigan 34-0. In Cleveland, Ohio State won at Western Reserve 76-0. Illinois beat Army 7-0. Alabama won at Kentucky 34-14. Rice beat Texas A&I 27-0. Tulane beat Ole Miss 15-0. In Los Angeles, Stanford beat UCLA 27-0. Columbia defeated Cornell 14-0 and Navy beat Washington & Lee 26-0.

November 10 At Yankee Stadium, Tulane (6-0-0) faced Colgate (3-1-0), with the Red Raiders handing the Green Wave their first loss, 20-6. In a meeting of unbeaten teams, Stanford (7-0-1) hosted Washington (4-0-0) and had a sixth straight shutout 24-0. Over in Cleveland, Navy beat Notre Dame 10-6. Pittsburgh won at Nebraska 25-6. Minnesota beat Indiana 30-0, Illinois won at Northwestern 14-3, and Ohio State beat Chicago 33-0 Alabama beat Clemson 40-0 and Rice won at Arkansas 7-0. Columbia beat Brown 39-0

November 17 Navy (7-0-0) hosted Pittsburgh (6-1-0) and lost 31-7

Minnesota beat Chicago 35-7 and Ohio State defeated Michigan 34-0. Previously unbeaten (6-0-0) Illinois was upset at Madison when it faced a (3-3-0) Wisconsin Badgers team, falling 7-3. Alabama defeated Georgia Tech 40-0, while Tulane won at Kentucky 20-7. Stanford beat the Olympic Club team 40-0, and had a record of 192-7 against its opponents to that time. Colgate won at Syracuse 13-2 and Columbia edged Penn 13-12. Rice beat Texas A&M 25-6.

November 24 Minnesota won at Wisconsin 34-0, Ohio State beat Iowa 40-7, and Illinois won at Chicago 7-1. Stanford clinched a trip to the Rose Bowl with a 9-7 win at California. Colgate beat Rutgers 14-0. Tulane beat Sewanee 32-0. Columbia (7-1-0) beat Syracuse (6-1-0) in a Sunday game 12-0. In Houston, previously unbeaten (8-0-1) Rice hosted (6-3-0) Texas Christian (TCU) and was upset, 7-2.

On Thanksgiving Day, November 29, Alabama beat Vanderbilt in Birmingham, 34-0, and was invited soon after to meet Stanford at the Rose Bowl. Pittsburgh beat crosstown rival Carnegie Tech, 20-0, and Kansas State beat Nebraska 19-7 to clinch the Big Six Conference championship.


December 1 In Louisiana, Tulane (8-1-0) and LSU (6-0-2) faced each other in Baton Rouge. Both teams were likely hosts for the first Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, and Tulane edged the Tigers 13-12 to become the host team, where it would face 7-0-2 Temple University. Rice ended at 9-1-1 with a 32-0 win at Baylor. Colgate closed its season with a 20-13 win in Providence against Brown. At the Army–Navy Game, held in Philadelphia, Navy (7-1-0) beat Army (7-2-0) on a field goal, 3-0.

Conference Leaders

CONFERENCE Champion Conf. Overall
Pacific Coast Stanford (5-0-0) (9-0-1)
Independent Temple (7-0-2) (7-0-2)
Western Minnesota (5-0-0) (8-0-0)
Southeastern Tulane/Alabama (8-0-0)/(7-0-0) (9-1-0)/(9-0-0)
Southern Washington & Lee (4-0-0) (7-3-0)
Big Six Kansas State (5-0-0) (7-2-1)
Southwestern Rice (5-1-0) (9-1-1)

Dickinson System

The first ever published AP Poll came in 1934.[2] However, this was a one time event and the AP sportswriters' poll would not be continuously until 1936.[3] Frank G. Dickinson, an economics professor at the University of Illinois, had invented the Dickinson System to rank colleges based upon their records and the strength of their opposition. The Rissman Trophy, and later the Rockne Memorial Trophy, was awarded to the winning university.[4]

In an AP story with the caption "Figure This Out!", the system was explained: "For each victory of a first division team over another first division team, the winner gets 30 points and the loser 15 points. For each tie between two first division teams, each team gets 22.5 points. For each victory of a first division team over a second division team, the first division winner gets 20 points and the second division loser 10 points. For each tie between two second division teams, each gets 15 points. For each tie between a first division team and a second division team, the first division team gets 15 points and the second division team gets 20 points. Then, after each team has been given its quota of points its final "score" is tabulated by taking an average on the number of games played." [5]

Final Dickinson rankings

Minnesota (8-0-0) and Alabama (9-0-0) were both unbeaten and untied, and ranked 1st and 6th, respectively, in the Dickinson ratings [6]

TEAM Record Rating
1 Minnesota Gophers 8-0-0 23.51
2 Pittsburgh Panthers 8-1-0 23.19
3 Navy Midshipmen 8-1-0 23.00
4 Illinois Illini 7-1-0 22.01
5 Rice Owls 9-1-1 21.97
6 Alabama Crimson Tide 9-0-0 21.70
7 Columbia Lions 7-1-0 21.67
8 (tie) Ohio State Buckeyes 7-1-1 21.06
8 Colgate Red Raiders 7-1-0 21.06
9 Stanford Indians 9-0-1 20.34
10 Tulane Green Wave 9-1-0 20.03

Bowl Games

In the first Sugar Bowl game, Tulane (9-1-0) hosted unbeaten Temple (7-0-2) before a crowd of 30,000 in New Orleans. Temple took a 14-0 lead before Tulane came back to win the game 20-14 [7]. Temple had closed its season with a 0-0 tie against Bucknell University, which finished at 6-2-2, and the Bucknell Bison were invited to play the Miami Hurricanes in the first Orange Bowl. The 'Canes best days were still ahead of them, and they made only three first downs altogether. Although 15,000 were expected, only 5,000 turned out to watch Bucknell beat Miami 26-0.[8]

The big game remained the Rose Bowl with Stanford, at 9-0-1, and Alabama, at 9-0-0. With both teams unbeaten, a crowd of 85,000 turned out in Pasadena to watch them. Stanford led 7-0 in the first quarter, but Alabama scored 22 points in the second, with the help of quarterback Millard (Dixie) Howell and future NFL hall of fame receiver Don Hutson, with Alabama winning 29-14.[9] The Sun Bowl was given a test drive, with the El Paso All-Stars beating the visiting Ranger Bulldogs 25-12 before a crowd of 3,000 in El Paso. At Honolulu, Hawaii beat vacationing California 14-0, and in Houston, Tuskegee beat Prairie View A&M 15-6 in a New Year's Day game for negro colleges [10]


  1. ^ http://www.jhowell.net/cf/cf1934.htm
  2. ^ http://www.appollarchive.com/football/ap/research/1934-11-15_poll.cfm
  3. ^ http://www.appollarchive.com/football/ap/seasons.cfm?seasonid=1936
  4. ^ Nissenson, Herschel (2001). Tales From College Football's Sidelines. Sports Publishing. pp. 93. ISBN 1582613273.  
  5. ^ "Grid Season Put In Hands 'Brain Trust'," The Evening Tribune (Albert Lea, Minn.) Nov. 27, 1934, p12
  6. ^ "Name Gophers National Champs," Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, Wis.), December 9, 1934, p22
  7. ^ "Tulane Victory Assures More N.O. Games," San Antonio Light, January 2, 1935, p10
  8. ^ "Bucknell Wins Game At Miami," Charleston (WV) Daily Mail, Jan. 2, 1935, p8
  9. ^ "Alabama Passes Thrill West Coast," San Antonio Light, January 2, 1935, p10
  10. ^ "Football Results," San Antonio Light, Jan. 2, 1935, p11

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