1927 Yale Bulldogs football
National champion (CFRA)
ConferenceIndependent
Record7–1
Head coach
Offensive schemeSingle-wing
Home stadiumYale Bowl
Seasons
← 1926
1928 →
1927 Eastern college football independents records
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
Tufts     8 0 0
Army     9 1 0
Springfield     7 0 2
Washington & Jefferson     7 0 2
Pittsburgh     8 1 1
Temple     7 1 0
Yale     7 1 0
NYU     7 1 2
Princeton     6 1 0
Villanova     6 1 0
Penn State     6 2 1
Carnegie Tech     5 2 1
Columbia     5 2 2
Bucknell     6 3 1
Colgate     4 2 3
CCNY     4 2 2
Lafayette     5 3 1
Penn     6 4 0
Syracuse     5 3 2
Carnegie Tech     5 4 1
Boston College     4 4 0
Harvard     4 4 0
Rutgers     4 4 0
Cornell     3 3 2
Boston University     3 4 1
Drexel     3 5 1
Fordham     3 5 0
Brown     3 6 1
Vermont     2 6 0
Providence     1 4 2
Franklin & Marshall     1 7 1
Lehigh     1 7 1

The 1927 Yale Bulldogs football team was an American football team that represented Yale University as an independent during the 1927 college football season. The team finished with a 7–1 record, shut out four opponents, and outscored all opponents by a total of 157 to 32.[1] The team was rated as one of the greatest to ever represent Yale.[2] The team included two consensus All-Americans (John Charlesworth and Bill Webster) and was retroactively recognized by the College Football Researchers Association as the national champion for 1927. The team was ranked No. 5 in the nation in the Dickinson System ratings released in December 1927.[3]

National championship debate

After the season ended, sports writers debated over which college football team should be recognized as the national champion. The leading contenders were Yale, Illinois, and Georgia.[4][5] Among selectors who have sought to name a retroactive national champion, most have chosen Illinois or Georgia, though Yale was chosen by the College Football Researchers Association.[6]

In the second game of the season, Yale lost to Georgia in head-to-head competition. A Yale fumble at its own nine-yard line set up an early Georgia touchdown, and the Bulldogs led by a 14-to-10 score at halftime. Neither team was able to score in the second half. Later in the game, Yale drove toward a potential game-winning touchdown, but Yale halfback Bruce Caldwell fumbled as he was about to cross the goal line.[7] Georgia was later shut out in the final game of the season in its rivalry game against Georgia Tech. Both teams ended the season with one loss.

Key players

Halfback Bruce Caldwell was the team's leader on offense. After Caldwell had scored 47 points in early games, Princeton challenged Caldwell's eligibility on grounds that he had played in two games while a freshman at Brown.[8] As a result, Caldwell was not permitted to play in the final two games against Princeton and Harvard.[9][10]

The line included two players who were consensus first-team picks on the 1927 All-America team: center John Charlesworth and guard Bill Webster.[11] Charlesworth received first-team honors from, among others, Collier's Weekly as selected by Grantland Rice,[12] the Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA), and the United Press.[13] Webster received the same honors from the All America Board,[14] Associated Press,[15] International News Service selected by Davis Walsh,[16] North American Newspaper Alliance, and NEA.

Schedule

DateOpponentSiteResultAttendanceSource
October 1BowdoinW 41–0[17]
October 8Georgia
  • Yale Bowl
  • New Haven, CT
L 10–1420,000[7]
October 15Brown
  • Yale Bowl
  • New Haven, CT
W 19–040,000[18]
October 22Army
  • Yale Bowl
  • New Haven, CT
W 10–678,000[19]
October 29Dartmouth
  • Yale Bowl
  • New Haven, CT
W 19–0[20]
November 5Maryland
  • Yale Bowl
  • New Haven, CT
W 30–6[21]
November 12Princeton
W 14–680,000[9]
November 19at HarvardW 14–0[10]

References

  1. ^ "1927 Yale Bulldogs Schedule and Results". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  2. ^ "Success of 1927 Blue Team Refutes Criticism of Jones' Coaching". The Brooklyn Standard Union. November 21, 1927. p. 12 – via Newspapers.com.
  3. ^ "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.
  4. ^ "Argument Over National Grid Champion Is On". Los Angeles Evening Citizen. November 28, 1927. p. 11.
  5. ^ "Georgia, Yale And Illinois Grid Leaders". The Brooklyn Standard Union. November 21, 1927. p. 12 – via Newspapers.com.
  6. ^ National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) (2015). "National Poll Rankings" (PDF). NCAA Division I Football Records. NCAA. p. 108. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  7. ^ a b Leslei A. Young (October 9, 1927). "Little Georgia's Overhead Attack Gives Yale Eleven 14 to 10 Beating in Bowl". The Hartford Courant. pp. Sports 1, 5 – via Newspapers.com.
  8. ^ "Johnny Garvey or Bill Hammerseley to Replace Caldwell Against Princeton". The Hartford Courant. November 9, 1927. p. 14 – via Newspapers.com.
  9. ^ a b Perry Lewis (November 13, 1927). "Yale Downs Tiger Foe in Uphill Battle, 14-6". The Philadelphia Inquirer. pp. 1S, 3S – via Newspapers.com.
  10. ^ a b Leslie A. Young (November 20, 1927). "Yale Team More Powerful in All Departments of Play in Defeating Harvard". The Hartford Courant. pp. Sports 1, 3 – via Newspapers.com.
  11. ^ "Football Award Winners" (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). 2016. p. 6. Retrieved October 21, 2017.
  12. ^ "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
  13. ^ Frank Getty (November 25, 1927). "Welch Picked on United Press All-America Team". The Pittsburgh Press. p. 51. Retrieved October 8, 2016 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  14. ^ Christy Walsh (December 11, 1932). "All-America Board Honors Capt. Bob Smith of Colgate". Syracuse Herald.
  15. ^ "Associated Press Team". Democrat and Chronicle. December 11, 1927. p. 17. Retrieved October 8, 2016 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  16. ^ "All Sections Are Represented in Walsh's All-America Team for 1927". St. Louis Star. November 29, 1927. p. 19. Retrieved October 8, 2016 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  17. ^ Leslie A. Young (October 2, 1927). "Yale Smashes Bowdoin Defence To Pieces, Winning By 41 to 0 Score In Bowl". The Hartford Courant. pp. IV-1, IV-10 – via Newspapers.com.
  18. ^ "Yale 19, Brown 0, As Bulldog Turns on Bear, Led by Bruce Caldwell". The Hartford Courant. October 16, 1927. pp. I-1, IV-1 – via Newspapers.com.
  19. ^ Leslie A. Young (October 23, 1927). "Yale Triumphs Over West Point By 10-6 Score". The Hartford Courant. p. 1 – via Newspapers.com.
  20. ^ William J. Lee (October 30, 1927). "Yale Smothers Dartmouth Green Invaders and Wins 19 to 0 In Game of Thrills". The Hartford Courant. pp. I-1, IV-1 – via Newspapers.com.
  21. ^ William J. Lee (November 6, 1927). "Bruce Caldwell Leads Yale Eleven To 30 to 6 Conquest Of Maryland Team". The Hartford Courant. p. 1 – via Newspapers.com.