FYI: This is a special edition of Lighting-up the Scoreboard. The regular post will be online later this week.
In a span of four days, American College Football history was made. It was the first time that a team had scored 100 more points in a game since Walter Camp introduced the scoring vales in 1883.
There was no wide-spread media coverage to cover this game, much less transmitting it along the electronic air waves.
The first, as with so many of college football’s initial events, would involve Yale. On Oct. 25 1884, the team traveled Dartmouth; returning back to its campus with a 113-0 winner. Not to be out, rival Princeton would surpass the mark in its defeat of Lafayette, 140-0 four days later.
It was also the initial contest between the two schools.
In the season finale, between the two high scoring teams, defense prevailed…final score 0-0.
An interesting note: this is the only game when Dartmouth has ever been involved in a game where both teams combined for 100 or more points.
According to Richard Topp, an expert at score research, there has been 982 games where the winner has tallied at least 100; as verified by his work within his database, The American College Football Scorebook
As most college football fans know, the east coast was the haven of college football during its formative falls.
Princeton’s mark would only last until the 1886 season, when Harvard tallied 158 points when it shutout Phillips-Exeter Academy.
Returning to the field…After Harvard canceled the 1885 season; the school came back a year later revived and ready to play. Aided by the 158 point total, Harvard would finish the season with 765 points—a record for all of college football until the 2004 season. That season Pittsburg State (Kansas) must have burned scoreboard lights all across its 14-game schedule—scoring 837 points.
Between the 1884-99 seasons, 29 games were played with the winner tallying 100 or more markers.
College Football’s Big Three: Harvard, Princeton and Yale led the way; as each school was involved with four games, scoring over 100 points each time.
The early powerhouses scored 1421 points between them; while not so much as allowing a goal-from-the field–an early name for field goals–by their opponents.
Seven of the games that were dominated by the pre-Ivy schools were Wesleyan and Johns Hopkins, as they lost by a combined 793-0.
A closer look at the scores show the dominance.
|Yale 136, Wesleyan 0|
|1891||Harvard 124, Wesleyan 0|
|1887||Harvard 110, Wesleyan 0|
|Yale 106, Wesleyan 0|
||1888||Yale 105, Wesleyan 0|
|Combined Points:||212||1885||Princeton 108, Johns Hopkins 0|
|Princeton 104, Johns Hopkins 0|
The only other time when two teams met and one totally dominated the other on the scoreboard was during the Oklahoma-Kingfisher games; played during the decade of the teens. (Really the Sooners had a total dominance over this school; but just time three times saw its team register 100 or more points.)
The first such game coincided with the Sooners’ first century output. In 1911, OU scored 104 and the onslaught was on. (This was the sixth of 13 games that the victor tallied this amount.)
Twice later the high-scoring Sooners would combine to defeat this opponent by a 336-0 count; for a three-game tally of 440-0.
History was about to be made…twice in a 24-hour period
While Oklahoma consistently found the end zone against Kingfisher; another school from the Sooner State, Central State Normal, would set and hold the single-game mark for the most points scored in a game—in less than 24 hours.
Richard Topp sent this:
THE MUSKOGEE TIMES – DEMOCRAT, OCTOBER 7 (1916)
BIGGEST SCORE YET
Edmond, Okla. Oct. 7. – Football authorities of Oklahoma Central Normal here believe the score rolled up against Oklahoma Methodist university (sic) here yesterday 183 to 0 is the largest on record. During the game twenty-seven touchdowns were made by Central Normal.
By the end of the games played on the date shown above; the record for most point scored in a college football game had been eclipsed by Georgia Tech in its high-scoring contest; as it defeated Cumberland, Tenn., 222-0.
Georgia Tech scored 29 total touchdowns; while Oklahoma Central Normal had 27. *[Stars of an Earlier Autumn second edition]
Worth Noting: Games before and after for Cumberland and Georgia Tech
Cumberland opened its three-game season with a loss to Sewanee 107 Cumberland 0.
Georgia Tech, ‘tuned-up for the high-scoring affair’ by defeating Mercer, 61-0.
GEORGIA TECH 222…CUMBERLAND 0.
Middle Tennessee ended Cumberland’s with the former scoring a 49-0 victory.
Georgia Tech must have been exhausted after the previous week’s game; as they would only register a 9-0 triumph over Davidson.
A review of the teams recording 100 or more points in a season show that for the 1916 season 17 teams reached the century mark—up 7 from the previous season.
The single-season high was 20 (1912—the first year that current scoring values of 6 points for a TD was first used). Taking advantage of the higher TD value was a couple of small college from Kansas, as each tallied 151 points. Southwestern and Kansas State Manuel shutout their opponents: Friends and Springfield Normal (Missouri), respectively.
A total of 138 games, played from 1884-1916, saw a victorious eleven would put their mark of 100-plus points on the scoreboard.
To put the 222 points in perspective, here’s a progression of teams that would hold the single-season mark; including Georgia Tech’s scoreboard busting offensive explosion.
|140||1884||Princeton 140, Lafayette 0|
|158||1886||Harvard 158, Phillips-Exeter Academy 0|
|159||1913||Newberry 159, Bailey Military Institute 0|
|165||1915||Christian Brothers 165, Marvin College 0|
|222||1916||Georgia Tech 222, Cumberland 0|
KING BECOMES THE THIRD TEAM
After the 1916 season (1917-36), 116 times a college football team would hit the century mark; as King (Tenn.) became the third team to score 200 points in a game.
The school’s most lopsided “W” came when it defeated Lenior (now, Lenior-Rhyne NC), 205-0.
A Baker’s Dozen…
Official college football statistics began with the 1937 season. Since that time only 13 games have been played where the winner topped the century point total.
|111||1937||Arkansas A & M 111, Northeast Center-LSU 0|
|104||1941||Morehead Teachers 104, Rio Grande 0|
|105||1946||Wiley 105, Philander Smith 0|
|101||1947||Wilberforce State 101, Wright-Patterson Field 0|
|125||1949||Connecticut 125, Newport Navy 0|
|107||1949||High Point 107, Pope Field 0|
|103||1949||Wyoming 103, Colorado State College 0|
|103||1949||San Jose State 103, University of Mexico 0|
|111||1951||Paul Quinn 111, Mary Allen JC 0|
|103||1967||Alcorn A & M 103, Paul Quinn 0|
|106||1968||Houston 100, Tulsa 6|
|101||1989||Central State (Ohio) 101, Lane 0|
|105||2003||Rockford 105, Trinity Bible 0|
[Courtesy of Richard Topp’s American Football Scorebook; used by permission.]
Early in the 2014 season, Texas A&M-Commerce just missed, by two points, from joining the 13 teams above.
Since 2010, six teams were within 10 points of 100.
|98||118||Texas A&M-Commerce 98, East Texas Baptist 20||2014||NCAA II|
|95||184||Faulkner 95, Union (Ky.) 89||2011||NAIA|
|91||119||West Alabama 91, Central State (Ohio) 28||2013||NCAA II|
|90||147||West Texas A & M 90, McMurry 57||2013||NCAA II|
|90||118||Pittsburg State 90, Southwest Minnesota State 28||2013||NCAA II|
|90||109||Lindenwood 90, Culver-Stockton 19||2010||NAIA|
Will college football every see another game with the winner Lighting-up the Scoreboard with three spots on the scoreboard? I think so…I hope so…do you?