1905 College Football Season
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1905 College Football Season

The 1905 college football season had the Chicago Maroons retroactively named as national champion by the Billingsley Report, the Helms Athletic Foundation, the National Championship Foundation, and the Houlgate System, while Yale was named champion by Parke H. Davis and Caspar Whitney. Chicago finished the season 11-0, while Yale finished 10-0. The Official NCAA Division I Football Records Book listed both Chicago and Yale as having been selected national champions.[1]

Conference and program changes

Membership changes

School 1904 Conference 1905 Conference
Western State Normal Hilltoppers Program Established Independent

Notable games

Chicago vs. Michigan game

Western Championship Chicago Michigan, November 1905.jpg

In the final game of the season on November 30, 1905, Amos Alonzo Stagg's Chicago team and Fielding Yost's Michigan squad met in a battle of undefeated Western Conference powerhouses. The teams played at Chicago's Marshall Field in front of 27,000 spectators, at that time the largest crowd to view a football game. Michigan was 12–0 and had a 56-game undefeated streak on the line, while Chicago was 10–0.

The game was a punting duel between Chicago's All-American Walter Eckersall and Michigan's John Garrels and was scoreless until early in the third quarter when a Michigan punt and Chicago penalty pinned Chicago inside their own ten-yard line. On third down, as Eckersall attempted to punt, he encountered a fearsome rush, but evaded the Michigan tacklers and was able to scramble to the 22-yard line and a first down. After three more first downs, the drive stalled and Chicago was forced to punt again. Eckersall's booming punt carried into the end zone where it was caught by Michigan's William Dennison Clark who attempted to run the ball out. He advanced the ball forward to the one-yard line, but was hit hard by Art Badenoch and then was brought back inside his own end zone by Mark Catlin for a two-point safety. Under the rules of the time, forward progress was not credited, and a ball carrier could be carried backwards or forwards until he was down. The rest of third and fourth quarters continued as a defensive stalemate. Chicago's 2–0 victory snapped Michigan's 56-game unbeaten streak and gave Chicago the consensus national championship for 1905.

As a tragic note to this game, Clark received the blame for the Michigan loss, and in 1932 he shot himself through the heart. In a suicide note to his wife he reportedly expressed the hope that his "final play" would be of some benefit in atoning for his error at Marshall Field.

Night football

During the season, the first night football game west of the Mississippi was played in Wichita, Kansas between Fairmount College (now Wichita State University and Cooper College (now Sterling College). The Coleman Company provided lights for the game.[2]

Rule experiment

On December 25 in Wichita, Kansas an experimental game was played between Fairmount College and Washburn University. The game tested a rule change that required the offense to earn a first down in three plays instead of four. Football legend John H. Outland officiated the game and commented, "It seems to me that the distance required in three downs would almost eliminate touchdowns, except through fakes or flukes."[3] The Los Angeles Times reported that there was much kicking and that the game was considered much safer than regular play, but that the new rule was not "conducive to the sport."[4] Some of the rules for this game were based on the Burnside rules which govern the Canadian game.

Conference standings

Major conference standings

1905 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
Vanderbilt $ 5 0 0     7 1 0
Georgia Tech 5 0 1     6 0 1
LSU 2 0 0     3 0 0
Sewanee 3 1 1     4 2 1
Clemson 3 2 1     3 2 1
Alabama 4 4 0     6 4 0
Cumberland (TN) 2 2 0     3 4 0
Nashville 0 0 0     0 2 0
Auburn 2 3 0     2 4 0
Mississippi A&M 1 4 0     3 4 0
Tulane 0 1 0     0 1 0
Ole Miss 0 2 0     0 2 0
Tennessee 0 4 1     3 5 1
Georgia 0 5 0     1 5 0
  • $ – Conference champion
1905 Southwestern Intercollegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
Oklahoma 3 0 0     7 2 0
Texas 4 1 0     5 4 1
Texas A&M 5 1 0     7 2 0
Oklahoma A&M 1 1 0     1 3 2
TCU 3 4 0     4 4 0
Arkansas 0 1 0     2 6 0
Baylor 1 6 0     1 6 0
Trinity            
1905 Western Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
Chicago $ 7 0 0     11 0 0
Michigan 2 1 0     12 1 0
Minnesota 2 1 0     10 1 0
Purdue 1 1 1     6 1 1
Wisconsin 1 2 0     8 2 0
Indiana 0 1 1     8 1 1
Iowa 0 2 0     8 2 0
Northwestern 0 2 0     8 2 1
Illinois 0 3 0     5 4 0
  • $ – Conference champion

Independents

1905 Eastern college football independents records
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
Yale         10 0 0
Penn         12 0 1
Temple         2 0 1
Dartmouth         7 1 2
Swarthmore         7 1 0
Western U. of Penn.         10 2 0
Princeton         8 2 0
Harvard         8 2 1
Wesleyan         7 2 1
Carlisle         10 4 0
Washington & Jefferson         9 3 0
Penn State         8 3 0
Syracuse         8 3 0
Fordham         5 2 0
Amherst         3 1 2
Brown         7 4 0
Tufts         5 3 0
Cornell         6 4 0
Columbia         4 3 2
Army         4 4 1
NYU         3 3 1
Frankin & Marshall         4 6 0
Geneva         4 6 0
New Hampshire         2 4 2
Rutgers         3 6 0
Villanova         3 7 0
Drexel         0 7 0
1905 Midwestern college football independents records
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
Kansas         10 1 0
Central Michigan         7 1 0
Doane         5 1 0
Nebraska         9 2 0
Saint Louis         7 2 0
Butler         7 2 1
Kansas State         6 2 0
Iowa State         6 3 0
Wittenberg         7 4 0
Heidelberg         6 4 0
Missouri         5 4 0
Notre Dame         5 4 0
Fairmount         5 4 1
Lake Forest         6 5 0
Michigan State Normal         4 4 0
Wabash         6 6 0
Marquette         3 4 0
Ohio         2 5 2
Mount Union         2 6 0
Baldwin-Wallace         0 1 0
1905 Southern college football independents records
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
Stetson         4 0 1
VPI         9 1 0
Navy         10 1 1
Grant         6 1 0
Kentucky University         7 0 3
Oklahoma         7 2 0
Washington and Lee         7 2 0
North Carolina A&M         4 1 1
West Virginia         6 3 0
South Carolina         4 2 1
Maryland         6 4 0
Central State Normal         4 3 1
North Carolina         4 3 1
Virginia         5 4 0
Catholic University         0 0 1
TCU         4 4 0
Delaware         3 4 1
The Citadel         2 3 1
Richmond         3 5 2
William & Mary         2 4 1
Oklahoma A&M         1 3 2
VMI         2 5 1
Davidson         2 5 0
Arkansas         2 6 0
Kendall         1 3 0
Georgetown         2 7 0
Baylor         1 6 0
1905 Far West college football independents records
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
Stanford         8 0 0
New Mexico A&M         3 0 0
New Mexico         5 1 1
Utah         6 2 0
California         4 1 2
Oregon Agricultural         6 3 0
USC         6 3 1
Arizona         4 2 0
Oregon         4 2 2
Washington         4 2 2
Washington State         4 4 0
Utah Agricultural         2 2 1
Wyoming         3 4 0
Montana         2 3 0
Nevada State         0 3 1
Tempe Normal         0 3 0

Minor conferences

Minor conference standings

1905 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
Michigan Agricultural +           9 2 0
  • + – Conference co-champions
1905 Ohio Athletic Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
Case $ 4 0 1     8 1 1
Ohio State 2 0 1     8 2 2
Oberlin 2 3 0     3 6 0
Western Reserve 1 2 0     6 3 0
Kenyon 1 3 0     5 5 0
Ohio Wesleyan 1 3 0     4 6 0
  • $ – Conference champion

Awards and honors

All-Americans

The consensus All-America team included:

See also

References

  1. ^ Official 2009 NCAA Division I Football Records Book (PDF). Indianapolis, IN: The National Collegiate Athletic Association. August 2009. p. 70. Retrieved .
  2. ^ "FIRST LIGHT (1900 - 1929)". Coleman Company. Archived from the original on March 18, 2013. Retrieved 2015.
  3. ^ New York Times "Ten Yard Rule a Failure" December 26, 1905
  4. ^ Los Angeles Times "New Football Rules Tested" December 26, 1905

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