1927 Illinois Fighting Illini football
Illinois Fighting Illini football team (1927).jpg
National champion
(Billingsley, Dickinson, Helms, NCF, Davis)
Big Ten co-champion
ConferenceBig Ten Conference
Record7–0–1 (5–0 Big Ten)
Head coach
Offensive schemeSingle-wing
CaptainRobert Reitsch
Home stadiumMemorial Stadium
Uniform
20silliniuniform.png
Seasons
← 1926
1928 →
1927 Big Ten Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
No. 1 Illinois + 5 0 0 7 0 1
No. 3 Minnesota + 3 0 1 6 0 2
No. 7 Michigan 3 2 0 6 2 0
Chicago 3 3 0 4 4 0
Purdue 2 2 0 6 2 0
Northwestern 2 3 0 4 4 0
Ohio State 2 3 0 4 4 0
Indiana 1 2 1 3 4 1
Iowa 1 4 0 4 4 0
Wisconsin 1 4 0 4 4 0
  • + – Conference co-champions
Rankings from Dickinson System

The 1927 Illinois Fighting Illini football team was an American football team that represented the University of Illinois in the 1927 Big Ten Conference football season. The Fighting Illini compiled a 7–0–1 record (5–0 against Western Conference opponents) and outscored their opponents by a combined total of 152 to 24.[1]

Illinois was also ranked No. 1 in the nation in the Dickinson System ratings released in December 1927.[2] Illinois was also retroactively named as the national champion for 1927 by the Billingsley Report, Helms Athletic Foundation, National Championship Foundation, and Parke H. Davis.[3]

Center Robert Reitsch and guard Russ Crane were selected as first-team players on the 1927 All-America college football team: Reitsch by the North American Newspaper Alliance and Lawrence Perry; and Crane by Grantland Rice for Collier's Weekly.[4][5] Reitsch was also the team captain.[6] Other notable players included halfback Jud Timm; end Garland Grange; and tackle Butch Nowack.

Schedule

DateOpponentSiteResultAttendanceSource
October 1Bradley*W 19–09,000[7]
October 8Butler*
  • Memorial Stadium
  • Champaign, IL
W 58–010,000[8][9]
October 15Iowa State*
  • Memorial Stadium
  • Champaign, IL
T 12–1212,000[10][9]
October 22at NorthwesternW 7–650,000[11]
October 29Michigandagger
  • Memorial Stadium
  • Champaign, IL
W 14–062,000[12][9]
November 5at IowaW 14–0
November 12Chicago
  • Memorial Stadium
  • Champaign, IL
W 15–648,000[9]
November 19at Ohio StateW 13–070,000[13]
  • *Non-conference game
  • daggerHomecoming

Roster

Player Position
Russ Crane Guard
Robert Reitsch (captain) Center
Butch Nowack Tackle, Kicker
Judson Timm Halfback
Fritz Humbert Fullback
Blair French Quarterback
Dwight Stuessy Quarterback
Doug Mills Fullback, Punter
Frank Walker Fullback
Tom Nickol Fullback
Art D'Ambrosio Halfback, Fullback
Arnold Wolgast Tackle
James R. Stewart End
Walter Jolley End
Ernest W. Schultz Tackle
Keston J. Deimling Guard
Lawrence Perkins Guard
Leonard Grable Tackle
Garland Grange Halfback, End
William E. Short End
Louis Gordon Guard
Louis Muegge Guard
Evert Nelson Guard
L. J. Weitz Tackle
Lloyd. S. Burdick Tackle
Norman McClure Guard
Merwin Mitterwallner Guard
Lester Marriner Guard

References

  1. ^ "1927 Illinois Fighting Illini Schedule and Results".
  2. ^ "Illinois Rated As America's Champs: Dr. Dickinson of Illinois Devises Rating System for Grid Teams". The Morning Call. December 4, 1927. p. 12 – via Newspapers.com.
  3. ^ 2020 NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Records (PDF). Indianapolis: The National Collegiate Athletic Association. July 2020. p. 112–114. Archived (PDF) from the original on November 1, 2020. Retrieved January 12, 2021.
  4. ^ Lawrence Perry (December 10, 1927). "Famous Sports Writer Sees Twenty-Nine Teams In Action". Harrisburg (PA) Telegraph. p. 13. Retrieved October 8, 2016 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  5. ^ "Grantland Rice's All-American Grid Team Announced". The Scranton Republican. December 2, 1927. p. 17. Retrieved October 8, 2016 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  6. ^ "Fighting Illini Football Record Book" (PDF). University of Illinois. 2015. p. 156. Retrieved December 28, 2016.
  7. ^ Walter Eckersall (October 2, 1927). "Illinois Flashes New Attack to Beat Bradley Tech, 19-0". Chicago Tribune. p. 29 – via Newspapers.com.
  8. ^ "Illinois Aerial Attack Swamps Butler 58 to 0: Zuppke Uncovers Wealth of Material in Reserves; Timm Races 60 Yards". Decatur Herald. October 9, 1927. p. 9 – via Newspapers.com.
  9. ^ a b c d "Drew 140,000". Decatur Sunday Review. November 20, 1927. p. 21 – via Newspapers.com.
  10. ^ "Iowa State Battles Illini To Tie Count". The Jacksonville (Illinois) Daily Journal. October 16, 1927. p. 6 – via Newspapers.com.
  11. ^ Walter Eckersall (October 23, 1927). "Zuppke Springs His Annual Grid Surprise; Lewis Hurt". Chicago Tribune. p. 29 – via Newspapers.com.
  12. ^ Harvey Woodruff (October 30, 1927). "Illini Crush Michigan Title Hopes, 14-0". Chicago Tribune. p. 29 – via Newspapers.com.
  13. ^ "Illinois Wins Western Conference Grid Title -- Record Unmarred". The Decatur Sunday Review. November 20, 1927. p. 21 – via Newspapers.com.