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This Week in College Football History: Nov. 25-Dec. 1
This Week in College Football History takes a look back at some of college football's landmark moments over the last 145 years.
Published: 11/22/2013 3:00:00 PM

SMU All-American Bobby Wilson hugs the ball against TCU in the 1935 battle for a Rose Bowl bid and the national championship. Photo provided by SMU Athletics.)

As part of an ongoing series throughout the fall, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame posts This Week in College Football History, which takes a look back at some of college football's landmark moments over the last 145 years. If you choose to use this content in whole or in part, as a courtesy, please credit The National Football Foundation and use the NFF logo, which is available upon request.


Nov. 30, 1935
No. 4 SMU def. No. 1 TCU, 20-14
Ft. Worth, Texas

No. 1 TCU and No. 4 SMU were both undefeated heading into their 1935 matchup, with a Southwest Conference crown, a spot in the Rose Bowl and a likely national title on the line. The game between the crosstown rivals drew national media attention as the game was sent live across the country by the National Broadcasting System and numerous sports writers, including future NFF President, Grantland Rice, attended.  The Mustangs, led by Hall of Fame coach Matty Bell, jumped out to a 14-0 lead on a pair of touchdowns by Hall of Fame halfback Bobby Wilson. College Football Hall of Famer Sammy Baugh was under center for the Horned Frogs as TCU fought its way back to level the score. With less than seven minutes to play in the game, and SMU facing fourth and four, the Mustangs converted a fake punt on a 50-yard pass to Wilson who ran it in for a touchdown and a 20-14 SMU win.


Nov. 25, 1950
Michigan def. No. 8 Ohio State, 9-3
Columbus, Ohio

Arch rivals Michigan and No. 8 Ohio State squared off in the “Snow Bowl” on Nov. 25, 1950. The teams discussed cancelling the game due to the blizzard, but ultimately decided to play in the five-plus inches of snow and gusting winds. Neither team gained a first down in the game with the two squads combining for 45 punts. The Buckeyes scored first recovering a blocked kick and converting the ensuing field goal. Michigan got on the board, blocking an Ohio State kick that rolled out of the back of the end zone for a safety. The Wolverines blocked another punt, falling on it in the end zone for a touchdown and eventual 9-3 victory. With the upset win, Michigan claimed the Big Ten Conference crown and a trip to the 1951 Rose Bowl.

Nov. 26, 1998
No. 11 Tulane def. Louisiana Tech, 63-30
New Orleans

No. 11 Tulane scored touchdowns on nine of its first 10 possessions, cruising to victory over in-state rival Louisiana Tech on Thanksgiving Day 1998. Quarterback Shaun King was 19-of-26, passing for 330 yards and three touchdowns and adding 92 yards rushing and another score. Tailback Toney Converse exploded for a career-high 182 yards rushing, tying the school record at four touchdowns. Wide receiver Kerwin Cook also lit up the highlight reel with his nine-catch, 171-yard, two-touchdown performance. With the win, the Green Wave claimed its first conference title since 1949 and first undefeated season since 1929. Tulane completed its perfect season with a 41-27 win over BYU in the Liberty Bowl.

Nov. 27, 1969
No. 14 Mississippi def. Mississippi State, 48-22
Mississippi State, Miss.

The Thanksgiving Day game between in-state rivals Mississippi and Mississippi State was close until the Rebels exploded for 27 points in the fourth quarter. The game was tied 14-14 late in the third quarter when Ole Miss fullback Bo Bowen capped off a 76-yard drive with a 17-yard touchdown burst up the middle. In the Rebels’ fourth quarter scoring spree, Hall of Famer and NFF Chairman Archie Manning threw two touchdowns to wide receiver Vernon Studdard while adding another on the ground. Bulldogs quarterback Tommy Pharr outgained Manning in the air, but his interception that was returned for a touchdown late in the game helped seal Mississippi State’s fate. Hall of Fame coach Johnny Vaught’s Ole Miss Rebels would go on to win the Sugar Bowl over favorite Arkansas.

Nov. 28, 1992
No. 1 Miami, Fla. def. San Diego State, 63-17
San Diego

The highly anticipated showdown between Heisman frontrunners Hall of Famer Gino Toretta (Miami) and San Diego State’s Marshall Faulk failed to deliver when Faulk missed the game with a knee sprain. Toretta threw for 310 yards and a touchdown in only three quarters of play, while Miami wide receiver Lamar Thomas broke Michael Irvin’s school record with his 144th career reception. The undefeated Hurricanes gained 581 yards and extended the nation’s longest win streak to 29 games. Although missing the final game of the season, Faulk would become only the fifth player to win a second straight national rushing title, and he finished second in the Heisman voting to Toretta. Miami looked poised to win its fifth national championship in 10 years, but the Hurricanes lost to Hall of Fame coach Gene Stallings and Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, giving the Crimson Tide the national crown.

Nov. 29, 1890
Navy def. Army, 24-0
West Point, N.Y.

One of the game’s oldest and most intense rivalries began Nov. 29, 1890 as Army hosted Navy on The Plain at West Point. Cadet Dennis Mahan Michie accepted the challenge from Navy, organizing Army for the first game in program history. Navy’s first season came in 1879 and experience showed as the Midshipmen dominated the first matchup with a 24-0 shutout of the Black Knights. Red Emerich scored 20 of Navy’s 24 points in the win. Following the loss, Army hired Hall of Fame coach Henry Williams to work with the team twice a week, resulting in a 32-16 Army win when the teams met again in 1891. Navy’s goat mascot originated from this game when, upon arrival in West Point, the Midshipmen “borrowed” a feisty goat to serve as the team’s mascot. Army’s Michie Stadium is named in honor of its first coach and founder of Black Knight football.

Dec. 1, 2001
No. 7 Colorado def. No. 3 Texas, 39-37
Irving, Texas (Texas Stadium)

Colorado won its first Big 12 Championship by upsetting No. 3 Texas 39-37 in Irving, Texas. The Buffaloes built a 29-10 halftime lead after forcing four turnovers in the first half, including an interception returned 64 yards by safety Medford Moorer for a touchdown. The Longhorns made a strong comeback attempt after inserting back-up quarterback Major Applewhite, who promptly threw a 79-yard touchdown strike on his second play from scrimmage. Texas pulled within 36-30 when cornerback Rod Babers stepped in front of a fake punt pass and returned it 54 yards for a score, but the Buffaloes answered with what would be a game-clinching 43-yard field goal by Jeremy Flores. Applewhite quickly led the Longhorns to another touchdown drive, but their ensuing onside kick was recovered by Colorado. With the win, the Buffaloes earned a trip to the Fiesta Bowl, where they would lose to Oregon 38-16.

About The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame
Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl "Red" Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 120 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include the College Football Hall of Fame, the NFF Scholar-Athlete Awards presented by Fidelity Investments, Play It Smart, the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association, and scholarships of more than $1.3 million for college and high school scholar-athletes. The NFF presents the MacArthur Bowl, the William V. Campbell Trophy endowed by HealthSouth, and releases the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Standings. NFF corporate partners include the Allstate Sugar Bowl, the BCS, Fidelity Investments, Herff Jones, Liberty Mutual Insurance, NCAA Football, and Under Armour. For more information, please visit

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