Saturday, July 13, 2019

A History Lesson

A couple of weeks ago a lengthy research piece on the site tiptop25 took a look at the 1919 college football national championship. Dartmouth gets no fewer than 33 mentions in the piece after jumping out to a 5-0 start before a 7-7 tie against fellow unbeaten Colgate and a stunning, 7-6, loss to Brown in the finale at Braves Field in Boston. But for those two disappointments the Big Green may well have won its first national title. (LINK)

Ironically, Harvard (which was not on Dartmouth's schedule that year) was selected as one of the national champions in 1919 along with, Illinois, Notre Dame and Texas A&M per official NCAA records.

Dartmouth would have to wait until 1925 to win its only national championship with an 8-0 record, right?

Not according to the NCAA. A story on the site watchstadium under the headline Who Will Be College Football’s Next First-Time National Champion? included this:
In total, 54 schools have won – or we should say, claim to have won – a national championship at the highest level of college football, including UCF in 2017.
That admittedly shrinks the consideration set of schools significantly.
However, the NCAA officially recognizes 44 schools as having won a national championship since 1869.
(Sorry, Boston College, Columbia, Centre, Dartmouth, Detroit, Kentucky, Navy, Oklahoma State, SMU and UCF.)
That sent me scrambling to the official NCAA listing of national football champions and it recognizes Alabama as the 1925 national champ, not Dartmouth. Also getting no love from the NCAA is Columbia, which claims a share of the 1875 title (the NCAA gives it to Harvard) and the 1933 championship (assigned to Michigan by the NCAA).

Per the NCAA, here are the number of official national championships won by Ivy League schools:
Yale 18
Princeton 15
Harvard 8
Penn 4
Cornell 3
Brown, Columbia, Dartmouth 0

The last Ivy League national football champion per the NCAA? Yale in 1927 shared the honor with Illinois.
Given that the topic du jour is history the NCAA website currently has a story about the 10 oldest Division I stadiums (stadia ;-) in the country. (LINK)

Dartmouth regularly plays in four of the 10. You can surely guess three of the four but the other one? Here’s a hint: It was built in 1908 and, unfortunately, Dartmouth won’t be playing there again for a while.