The 1920 college football season had no clear-cut champion, with the Official NCAA Division I Football Records Book listing California, Georgia, Harvard, Notre Dame, and Princeton as national champions.[1] Only California and Princeton claim national championships for the 1920 season. Andy Smith's Pacific Coast Conference champion California "Wonder Team" was the first national champion from the Pacific Coast.[2] Princeton and Harvard were undefeated and with one tie to each other. Notre Dame was led by its first Walter Camp All-American, George Gipp, who died before the year was over.[3]

In the south, fans of either side in Georgia were happy. Georgia and Georgia Tech were both undefeated in Southern play. Georgia Tech lost to Pitt, which was undefeated with two ties. No team scored through Georgia's line, and its backfield was known as the "ten second backfield".[4] Jimmy Leech of VMI's "Flying Squadron" led the nation in scoring. One writer claimed "he is one of the greatest broken field runners the country has ever seen."[5]

The Southwest Conference saw an undefeated Texas team with the same 9-0 record as the champions cited above. Texas shut out six of the nine teams they faced and scored 282 points while allowing only 13.[6] The final game of the year for Texas against Texas A&M was cited as the real beginning of the storied rivalry between the two schools, which dates back to 1894 and featured 118 contests, in which Texas won 75 and tied 5.[7][8]

In the Rose Bowl, Cal defeated Ohio State 28–0. Brick Muller completed a 53-yard touchdown pass to Brodie Stephens after receiving a toss from Pesky Sprott, at the time thought impossible.[9]

Conference and program changes

Conference establishments

Membership changes

School 1920 Conference 1921 Conference
Indiana State Normal Fightin' Teachers Program Re-Established Independent
Kent State Normal Silver Foxes Program Established Independent
Oklahoma Sooners Southwest Missouri Valley
Phillips Haymakers Independent Southwest
UCLA Bruins Independent SCIAC

Bowl games

California defeated Ohio State, 28–0, in the 1921 Rose Bowl. The first and only Fort Worth Classic was held on January 1, 1921, with Centre defeating TCU.

Conference standings

Major conference standings

1920 Big Ten Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
Ohio State $ 5 0 0 7 1 0
Wisconsin 4 1 0 6 1 0
Indiana 3 1 0 5 2 0
Illinois 4 2 0 5 2 0
Iowa 3 2 0 5 2 0
Michigan 2 2 0 5 2 0
Northwestern 2 3 0 3 4 0
Chicago 2 4 0 3 4 0
Purdue 0 4 0 2 5 0
Minnesota 0 6 0 1 6 0
  • $ – Conference champion
1920 Missouri Valley football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
Oklahoma $ 4 0 1 6 0 1
Missouri 5 1 0 7 1 0
Kansas 3 2 0 5 2 1
Iowa State 3 2 0 4 4 0
Drake 1 3 1 4 5 1
Washington University 1 4 0 4 4 0
Grinnell 0 2 1 3 3 1
Kansas State 0 3 1 3 3 3
  • $ – Conference champion
1920 Pacific Coast Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
California $ 3 0 0 9 0 0
Stanford 2 1 0 4 3 0
Oregon 1 1 1 3 2 1
Washington State 1 1 0 5 1 0
Oregon Agricultural 1 2 1 2 2 2
Washington 0 3 0 1 5 0
  • $ – Conference champion
1920 Rocky Mountain Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
Colorado Agricultural $ 6 0 1 6 1 1
Colorado College 4 1 1 5 1 1
Colorado 3 1 2 4 1 2
Utah Agricultural 2 1 1 4 2 1
Denver 2 4 0 3 4 0
Montana State 0 0 1 4 1 1
Utah 1 2 1 1 5 1
Wyoming 2 5 1 4 5 1
Colorado Mines 0 6 0 0 6 0
  • $ – Conference champion
1920 South Atlantic Intercollegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
VMI $ 5 0 0 9 0 0
Maryland 4 0 0 7 2 0
Washington and Lee 3 0 0 5 3 0
Georgetown 3 1 0 6 4 0
Virginia 3 1 0 5 2 2
NC State 4 2 0 7 3 0
Richmond 2 2 0 6 2 0
Davidson 2 2 0 5 5 0
VPI 2 4 0 4 6 0
Catholic University 1 3 0 3 5 0
George Washington 0 1 0 1 6 1
St. John's (MD) 0 1 0 0 1 0
Johns Hopkins 0 2 0 0 3 0
William & Mary 0 4 0 4 5 0
North Carolina 0 5 0 2 6 0
  • $ – Conference champion
1920 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
Georgia + 7 0 0 8 0 1
Tulane + 5 0 0 6 2 1
Georgia Tech + 4 0 0 8 1 0
Alabama 6 1 0 10 1 0
Centre 4 1 0 8 2 0
Furman 3 1 0 9 1 0
South Carolina 3 1 0 5 4 0
Tennessee 5 2 0 7 2 0
Auburn 4 2 0 7 2 0
Mississippi A&M 4 2 0 5 3 0
Sewanee 3 3 1 4 3 1
Vanderbilt 3 3 0 4 3 1
Transylvania 2 2 0 3 4 0
Howard (AL) 2 3 0 3 5 1
Mississippi College 2 4 0 3 5 0
Florida 1 2 0 6 3 0
Clemson 2 6 0 4 6 1
LSU 1 3 0 5 3 1
Chattanooga 1 3 0 3 4 1
The Citadel 1 4 0 2 6 0
Ole Miss 0 2 0 4 3 0
Kentucky 0 3 1 3 4 1
Georgetown (KY) 0 2 0 0 3 0
Millsaps 0 3 0 0 3 0
Mercer 0 4 0 2 7 0
Wofford 0 4 0 0 8 1
  • + – Conference co-champions
1920 Southwest Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
Texas $ 5 0 0 9 0 0
Texas A&M 5 1 0 6 1 1
Arkansas 2 0 1 3 2 2
Rice 2 2 1 4 2 2
Baylor 1 2 1 4 4 1
SMU 0 4 1 3 5 2
Phillips 0 3 0 4 4 2
Oklahoma A&M 0 3 0 0 7 1
  • $ – Conference champion

Independents

1920 Eastern college football independents records
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
Boston College     8 0 0
Harvard     8 0 1
Princeton     6 0 1
Penn State     7 0 2
Pittsburgh     6 0 2
Army     7 2 0
Dartmouth     7 2 0
Cornell     6 2 0
Syracuse     6 2 1
Geneva     5 2 1
New Hampshire     5 2 1
Brown     6 3 0
Bucknell     6 3 0
Washington & Jefferson     6 3 1
Penn     6 4 0
Carnegie Tech     5 3 0
Lafayette     5 3 0
Holy Cross     5 3 0
Williams     5 3 0
Yale     5 3 0
Fordham     4 3 0
Franklin & Marshall     3 2 2
Boston University     4 3 1
Columbia     4 4 0
Duquesne     3 3 1
Vermont     3 5 0
NYU     2 5 1
Rhode Island State     0 4 4
Tufts     2 6 0
Rutgers     2 7 0
Buffalo     1 4 0
Colgate     1 5 2
Villanova     1 5 1
Drexel     0 6 0
1920 Midwestern college football independents records
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
Notre Dame     9 0 0
Butler     7 1 0
St. Xavier     7 1 0
Detroit     8 2 0
Marquette     7 2 0
Haskell     7 2 1
St. Ignatius (OH)     4 2 0
Iowa State Teachers     4 2 1
Valparaiso     5 3 0
Nebraska     5 3 1
Central Michigan     4 3 1
Akron     4 4 0
Wabash     3 4 0
Western State Normal (MI)     3 4 0
North Dakota Agricultural     2 3 1
Michigan Agricultural     4 6 0
Earlham     2 3 0
Northern Illinois State     3 5 0
Dayton     2 4 0
Kent State     1 2 0
Saint Louis     3 6 0
Bowling Green     1 4 0
Toledo     0 3 0
1920 Southern college football independents records
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
Talladega     ? 0 0
Trinity (NC)     4 0 1
North Texas State Normal     7 1 0
Presbyterian     5 1 1
Middle Tennessee State Normal     4 1 0
Navy     6 2 0
Spring Hill     6 2 0
Birmingham–Southern     6 3 0
Mississippi Normal     4 2 1
Southwest Texas State     4 2 1
East Tennessee State Normal     3 2 0
West Virginia     5 4 1
Oglethorpe     4 4 1
Delaware     3 5 1
Texas Mines     2 4 0
Marion     2 5 0
Wake Forest     2 7 0
Western Kentucky State Normal     0 1 0
West Tennessee State Normal     0 5 0
Marshall     0 8 0
1920 Western college football independents records
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
Nevada     7 3 1
USC     6 0 0
Arizona     6 1 0
Hawaii     6 2 0
New Mexico A&M     5 1 1
Santa Clara     5 1 0
Idaho     4 2 0
Gonzaga     4 3 0
Montana     4 3 0
Chico State     3 3 0
New Mexico     3 3 0
University Farm     3 4 0
Pacific (CA)     1 2 1
Saint Mary's     0 3 0

Minor conferences

Conference Champion(s) Record
Central Intercollegiate Athletics Association No champion
Inter-Normal Athletic Conference of Wisconsin Oshkosh Normal 4–0–1
Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Friends (KS)
Louisiana Intercollegiate Athletic Association Unknown
Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Albion 4–0
Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Hamline 2–1–1
Nebraska Intercollegiate Conference Unknown
Ohio Athletic Conference Wooster 7–0
Oklahoma Intercollegiate Conference Tulsa 6–0–1
Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Pomona 5–0
Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Morehouse
Tri-Normal League Spokane

Minor conference standings

1920 Colored Intercollegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
Howard 5 0 0 7 0 0
Virginia Union 1 1 0 6 2 0
Shaw 2 2 0 2 2 1
Hampton 2 3 0 4 3 1
Lincoln (PA) 1 2 0 3 2 0
Virginia Normal 0 3 0 3 4 0
1920 Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
Southern Illinois     4 5 0
Carthage 0 4 1 1 5 1
1920 Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
Washburn + 4 0 2 4 2 3
Friends + 7 1 0 7 1 0
College of Emporia 6 1 1 6 1 1
St. Mary's (KS) 4 2 0 6 2 0
Baker 4 3 0 5 4 0
Bethany (KS) 4 3 1 4 3 1
Fairmount 4 3 2 4 3 2
Pittsburg Normal 3 3 0 5 4 1
Kansas State Normal 2 3 1 2 4 2
Hays Normal 2 3 1 2 5 1
Southwestern (KS) 2 5 1 2 5 2
Ottawa 1 6 0 1 6 0
Kansas Wesleyan 0 3 2 0 5 3
Sterling 0 7 1 0 7 1
  • + – Conference co-champions
1920 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
Albion $ 4 0 1 4 2 2
Kalamazoo 3 1 0 5 3 1
Hillsdale 2 1 1 6 1 1
Michigan State Normal 1 2 0 6 2 0
Olivet 1 2 0 1 5 0
Alma 0 5 0 0 7 0
  • $ – Conference champion
1920 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
Carleton 3 1 0 4 1 2
Hamline $ 2 1 1 4 3 1
Macalester 2 1 1 3 2 2
St. Olaf 3 2 0 5 2 0
St. Thomas (MN) 1 3 0 2 5 1
Gustavus Adolphus 0 3 0 1 3 0
  • $ – Conference champion
1920 Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
Kirksville + 6 0 0 8 0 0
William Jewell + 5 0 2 5 1 2
Missouri Mines + 4 0 0 4 4 0
Missouri Wesleyan * 3 1 2 4 2 2
Warrensburg 4 3 0 5 3 1
Springfield (MO) 2 4 0 2 6 0
Tarkio 1 2 1 3 3 1
Missouri Valley 2 4 0 3 4 0
Drury 1 3 0 1 5 0
Westminster (MO) 1 4 1 1 4 2
Central (MO) 1 5 0 1 6 0
Maryville (MO) 0 2 0 0 3 0
Cape Girardeau 0 2 0 0 5 0
  • + – Conference co-champions
  • * – Missouri Wesleyan forfeited a win over Kirksville
    † – Drury forfeited wins over William Jewell and Missouri Mines
1920 Nebraska Intercollegiate Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
Grand Island 6 0 1 6 0 2
Doane 5 0 1 5 1 1
Nebraska Wesleyan 4 0 1 6 2 2
Omaha 5 0 0 7 1 0
Hastings 5 2 1 5 2 1
Peru Normal 5 4 0 5 4 0
Midland 3 6 0 3 6 0
York (NE) 2 5 0 2 5 0
Wayne Normal 1 3 0 1 4 1
Cotner 1 6 0 1 6 0
Kearney Normal 1 7 0 1 7 0
Nebraska Central 0 6 0 0 6 0
Championship: Grand Island 0, Nebraska Wesleyan 0
1920 Ohio Athletic Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
Wooster $ 7 0 0 9 0 0
Wittenberg 5 0 0 8 0 0
Ohio State 2 0 0 7 1 0
Denison 5 1 1 6 1 1
Oberlin 5 2 0 5 2 0
Heidelberg 3 2 0 7 2 0
Cincinnati 3 2 0 4 5 0
Miami (OH) 3 2 1 5 2 1
Mount Union 3 3 0 6 3 0
Ohio Wesleyan 3 3 0 4 3 0
Ohio Northern 2 3 0 3 4 0
Akron 2 4 0 4 4 0
Case 2 5 1 2 8 1
Ohio 1 3 0 4 3 0
Kenyon 1 6 1 2 5 1
Western Reserve 1 6 0 2 8 0
Hiram 0 6 0 0 9 0
  • $ – Conference champion
1920 Southern California Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
Pomona $ 5 0 0 6 1 0
Occidental 3 2 0 4 3 0
Whittier 3 2 0 3 2 0
Caltech 2 2 1 3 3 1
Redlands 1 3 1 2 4 1
Southern Branch 0 5 0 0 5 0
  • $ – Conference champion

Awards and honors

All-Americans

Main article: 1920 College Football All-America Team

The consensus All-America team included:

Position Name Height Weight (lbs.) Class Hometown Team
QB Donold Lourie 5'11" 164 Sr. Peru, Illinois Princeton
HB Gaylord Stinchcomb 5'8" 157 Sr. Sycamore, Ohio Ohio State
HB Charley Way 5'8" 144 Sr. Embreeville, Pennsylvania Penn State
FB George Gipp 6'1" 180 Sr. Laurium, Michigan Notre Dame
E Chuck Carney 6'1" 190 Jr. Chicago, Illinois Illinois
E Bill Fincher 6'0" 182 Sr. Atlanta, Georgia Georgia Tech
T Stan Keck 5'11" 206 Jr. Greensburg, Pennsylvania Princeton
G Tim Callahan Sr. Lawrence, Massachusetts Yale
G Tom Woods Sr. Boston, Massachusetts Harvard
C Herb Stein 6'1" 186 Jr. Warren, Ohio Pittsburgh
G Iolas Huffman 5'11" 228 Jr. Chandlersville, Ohio Ohio State
T Ralph Scott 6'2" 235 Sr. Dewey, Wisconsin Wisconsin
E Luke Urban 5'8" 165 Sr. Fall River, Massachusetts Boston College

Statistical leaders

References

  1. ^ Official 2013 Football Bowl Subdivision Records Book (PDF). The National Collegiate Athletic Association. pp. 76–77. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-10-23. Retrieved 2014-10-02.
  2. ^ "Football Championship History". NCAA. Archived from the original on 29 October 2015. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  3. ^ "Notre Dame Archives: George Gipp". Archived from the original on December 8, 2008. Retrieved May 8, 2008.
  4. ^ Garbin, Patrick (2008). About Them Dawgs!. ISBN 9780810860407.
  5. ^ "A Matter of Geography". The Washington Herald. December 14, 1920. p. 11. Retrieved March 2, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  6. ^ "1920 Texas Longhorns Schedule and Results".
  7. ^ "Great Games and Moments: Pre-1940s".
  8. ^ "Winsipedia - Texas Longhorns vs. Texas A&M Aggies football series history games list".
  9. ^ "Athlete, Officer in Law Enforcement and Administration, Governor of the Virgin Islands: Walter Gordon". www.oac.cdlib.org. p. 75. Retrieved 2015-11-04.