The 1935 NCAA football season was the final one prior to the adoption of the Associated Press writers' poll to determine the national champion. Southern Methodist University (SMU) was named the best in the US by the Dickinson System, which is based on the calculations of University of Illinois Professor Frank Dickinson. The SMU Mustangs were recognized as the number one team in the country by the AP, as well as several other major polls.
Dickinson ranked the best teams during the pre-AP era by calculating points gained per game from all available sources. For example, he did not give any credit for games played against international teams because at that time they were considered amateur teams. His method assumed that if a player was listed on a roster as being eligible for the team then he or she actually competed for the university. The most common mode of travel back then was the rail road so schedules were very busy and often included two games in three days events. Games were usually played at night so sunlight would not interfere with play and thus affect the score. These factors may have caused some discrepancies between what coaches reported and what Dickinson found out later from sports information offices. For example, Coach Jess Neely's LSU team was ranked first by his coach's vote but fourth by Dickinson's calculation.
SMU went 12-0-1 and outscored opponents by a total of 537-54.
This will not be the viewpoint of a single person. Each season, we'll try to discover the closest thing to a consensus by combining NCAA-recognized selectors and quality assessments like SRS, S&P+, a series of in-depth pieces by James Vautravers, Parke Davis' 1911 history of football, a series by Bill Connelly guided by advanced data, and more.
Prior to entering the Big Ten, Nebraska won three football national championships and two co-championships; Penn State won two national championships and two co-championships; Maryland won one national championship; and Michigan State won one championship (1952, the year before it began Big Ten competition). The NCAA was founded in 1906 to address the issue of severe injuries in sports.
The 1917 NCAA football season featured no obvious winner, with Georgia Tech being named the South's first national champions in the Official NCAA Division I Football Records Book. Undefeated teams included Pittsburgh, Ohio State, Texas A&M, Williams, and Washington State, as well as one-loss Navy. Michigan was ranked third.
However, the selection committee had other ideas, naming an "undecided" national champion after the season finished. Georgia Tech won its last two games of the year to claim the title, including a 46-0 victory over rival Clemson in Atlanta. The Yellow Jackets were given retroactive recognition by the NCAA as national champs for 1917.
There is some debate about exactly who was undefeated and untied at the end of the season. The main issue is with Georgia Tech, which lost its only game during the regular season to Notre Dame but then went on to beat Southern Methodist (8-1) and Clemson (9-0). Some sources list Georgia Tech as unbeaten and untied, others list Virginia as the unblemished team. Either way, it's clear that nobody else was completely locked down as the nation's best team.
In addition to Georgia Tech, Ohio State was also considered undefeated and untied. However, the selection committee decided that a loss by Ohio State to Michigan should have ended its season. Michigan was given a post-season ban due to lack of institutional control by the university president at the time.
Since 2000, the winningest programs in college football Penn State Nittany Lions (20th). Louisville Cardinals (19th) Tigers of Auburn (158-75;.6781 winning percentage) Miami Hurricanes 17, (154-73;.6784 winning percentage)
LSU and Clemson will face off for a chance to capture the 2019-20 national title. Since the 1936 season, the following colleges have won the most national championships in college football. Alabama earned their first poll-era national championship in 1961, followed by back-to-back victories in 1964 and 1965.
Michigan is the most successful college football program in history. The Wolverines have won more national championships than any other school. Michigan's competitive record is unmatched.
In addition to its four national titles, Michigan has also appeared in the Rose Bowl every year since it was inaugurated in 1902 and has a 100% winning percentage during that time period. No other school has even come close to reaching these milestones.
The next most successful team is Alabama. The Crimson Tide have three national championships to their name - more than any other school. They've also played in every single one of the major bowl games possible over the past 90 years - another feat no other school can match. However, Alabama's winning record only dates back to 1932 so it isn't all gold glitter and white coats like the University of Michigan's record.
Another famous name in Ann Arbor is ranked second on this list. Ohio State has two national championships to its name - more than any other school not named Michigan or Alabama. Like Alabama, it has also played in every single one of the major bowls possible over the past 12 years so we know it's quality product on display when it takes the field.
Several unbeaten and untied teams competed in the 1929 collegiate football season. Purdue, Tulane, Notre Dame, and Pittsburgh all concluded the regular season with undefeated records. The Big Ten's Purdue Boilermakers were selected by some as the pre-season favorite to win the national championship.
Purdue opened its season with a 14-0 victory over Ohio State. They then defeated Michigan State (34-0) and Illinois (7-6-1) by large margins before their season ended with a 34-7 loss to Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Boilers finished the season with a 6-0-1 record and were awarded the 1929 National Championship by the Dickinson System. Center Frank Gorey was drafted first overall by the New York Giants in the 1930 NFL Draft.
Tulane began its season with a shutout victory over Army. They then dominated their opposition, winning by large margins of between 40 and 100 points per game. Their undefeated streak came to an end at Virginia when they lost 7-3. The Green Wave finished the season with an 8-0-1 record and were given the 1929 Southern Conference Championship. They were invited to play in the inaugural East-West Bowl on December 21, 1929 in Columbus, Ohio. The game featured the Western Pennsylvania Lions against the Tulane Green Wave.