1901 College Football Summary

This season of college football would produce a storied player; a storied coach; a storied accomplishment and the beginning of a college football tradition as all would come from the same school, the University of Michigan.

The player was Willie Heston. The coach was Fielding "Hurry-up" Yost; with the accomplishment being Michigan Point-a-Minute teams. With the tradition, being the annual post-season bowl games as the Wolverines would play in the very first Rose Bowl.

Heston would go-down in the sport's history as an outstanding back. From available statistics, his career rushing total from 1901-04 would be 2339 yards tops for this decade.

Yost, after traveling across the country with coaching jobs in four years; settles in Ann Arbor…and as they say, "The rest is history."

And what a history at Michigan he made. From 1901-23, 25-26, he would lead the school into its greatest accomplishment up to this point. His record would be 165-29-10.

Michigan scored 32 points in the second half and captured the initial Rose Bowl game against Stanford, with a 49-0 triumph.

The game was played in halves; there was no forward passing permitted.

In the regular season, Michigan would not be challenged this year, outscoring all eleven opponents, 550-0. The Wolverines' biggest outburst was highlighted by a 128-0 bomb-barding of Buffalo, as James Lawrence would make 19 Goals After Touchdowns. As a team, Michigan would rush for 22 touchdowns.

But despite all of Michigan's firsts, the East Coast was still where most of the events of the season would take place…as Harvard would dominate.

The school would zip through a 12-game schedule under first-year coach William Reid without much of struggle. Dartmouth's 12 points (in a 26-12 defeat) equaled the scoring of the other 2 opponents would register.

Cornell would win 11 games; including a 27-0 victory over Penn; it was the winner's first victory over the Quakers in 7 games.

There was no player of the year awards in 1901; had there been Columbia's Harold Weeks may have won the trophy.

In two games, the Lions' star back would ramble for over 200 yards. First against Yale; in a 10-5 loss he ran for 203 yards; then, two weeks later his 230 yards keyed a 10-0 triumph over Pennsylvania.

Cornell's Sanford Hunt scooped-up a Carlisle fumble, returning the miscue 105 yards in his team's 17-0 win.

1901 Leaders (min. of 4 games) show:

  • Offensive Scoring Leader (Most Scored)
    Michigan (11-0-0), 550 points
  • Defensive Scoring Leader (Least Allowed)
    Michigan (11-0-0), 0 points
  • National Champions (Retroactive)
    Harvard (12-0-0), Michigan (11-0-0) and Yale (12-0-0)

Harvard was named No. 1 by Charles Patterson, Caspar Whitney and the New York Sun.

Yale was also named National Champion by Harper's Review writers Charles Patterson and Caspar Whitney; also in the New York World and Leslie's Weekly publications and by Walter Camp.

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