We should claim the 1939 national title

#26

VolArmy74

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#26
This one has always confused me... UT claims a title in 1938 & 1940 (proceeding and following years) but does not in 1939 when they accomplished the amazing feat of going undefeated and unscored upon (regular season). As folks have pointed out, titles were determined prior to bowl games. Of those three seasons, I have never understood how that year is excluded.
The title claims are because NCAA recognized championship selectors picked the 1938 and 1940 teams as national champions. For reasons beyond me, it didn't happen for the 1939 team.
 
#29

beachvol23

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#29
The fabled last college football team to finish the regular season undefeated, untied and unscored upon.

Wasn't named the national champion by any major poll

How?

Radical bias?

Stupidity?

Now we did lose the 39 rose bowl to USC (because all time great George Cafego was injured)

However, they awarded the national champion after the regular season

It's perplexing that they could first rob the 38 team of the unanimous national title over TCU, but then for us to continue to go undefeated the next season without giving up a point...and STILL they don't give us a title.

It went to Texas A&M and then one vote went to Cornell...who finished 4th in the AP poll and played two less games than us.

It's amazing how disregarded southern football was back then. I doubt you can find slight as egregious in the history of national championship voting.

The Vols won their last two games of 37

Turned that into an 11-0 38 season and a blowout win over Oklahoma

Went undefeated and unscored upon in 39

23 straight wins dating back to 37 no ties

Only gave up points in three games. 16 points given up all together.

Outscored opponents 538-16

20 of those games were shut outs

15 straight shut outs leading into that rose bowl.

Nope no national title

Unreal
Have you sent this to ADDW? He might want to add it! He likes notoriety for all programs and university!
 
#31

PlanetVolunteer

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#31
The big asterixis of losing 14-0 to the USC Trojans in the Bowl game stands out though. I think several key players didn't make that trip but it still was a lost on that season.

There are several undefeated teams in the 1920s we could claim.
I think their win over us doesn't mean as much since Cafego wasn't playing. If Mt history is right that meant we lost our entire offense and of course a starter defender since guys played the whole game on both sides of the ball back then.
 
#34

PlanetVolunteer

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#34
This one has always confused me... UT claims a title in 1938 & 1940 (proceeding and following years) but does not in 1939 when they accomplished the amazing feat of going undefeated and unscored upon (regular season). As folks have pointed out, titles were determined prior to bowl games. Of those three seasons, I have never understood how that year is excluded.
They don't count it because there wasn't a single poll that named us champions.

One poll voted us champions in 1940 though

It was the same poll that had voted 8-0 cornell the Champs the previous year

I guess if we beat USC they would have claimed it.

We should still claim it though!

We also need to beat USC one day...
 
#36

peaygolf

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#36
I think their win over us doesn't mean as much since Cafego wasn't playing. If Mt history is right that meant we lost our entire offense and of course a starter defender since guys played the whole game on both sides of the ball back then.
farragutpress

fun story
 
#38

Atlanta917

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#38
The fabled last college football team to finish the regular season undefeated, untied and unscored upon.

Wasn't named the national champion by any major poll

How?

Radical bias?

Stupidity?

Now we did lose the 39 rose bowl to USC (because all time great George Cafego was injured)

However, they awarded the national champion after the regular season

It's perplexing that they could first rob the 38 team of the unanimous national title over TCU, but then for us to continue to go undefeated the next season without giving up a point...and STILL they don't give us a title.

It went to Texas A&M and then one vote went to Cornell...who finished 4th in the AP poll and played two less games than us.

It's amazing how disregarded southern football was back then. I doubt you can find slight as egregious in the history of national championship voting.

The Vols won their last two games of 37

Turned that into an 11-0 38 season and a blowout win over Oklahoma

Went undefeated and unscored upon in 39

23 straight wins dating back to 37 no ties

Only gave up points in three games. 16 points given up all together.

Outscored opponents 538-16

20 of those games were shut outs

15 straight shut outs leading into that rose bowl.

Nope no national title

Unreal
1939 is the only thing A&M has. Seems cruel to take it from them.
 
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#40

YankeeVol

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#40
As it's been pointed out, the national champion was determined prior to bowl games - what I find interesting is that following A&M's final game, we were ranked 1st in the December 4th poll (though second in 1st place votes to A&M). It seems like there wasn't a consistent number of voters each week in the AP voting, but the following week Tennessee beat a .500 Auburn only 7-0 and a whole new slew of voters voted A&M which led to them passing us.

View attachment 531899
But that's 2 southern schools, which there was a bias against...
 
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#42

MillerTime80

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#42
#44

TVOL71

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#44
The big asterixis of losing 14-0 to the USC Trojans in the Bowl game stands out though. I think several key players didn't make that trip but it still was a lost on that season.

There are several undefeated teams in the 1920s we could claim.
A number of things to note about that, as follows:
- National Championships were declared before the bowl games
- Because of the above, Neyland considered bowls to be a reward for the team for a good season, and did not prepare for them with the same rigor as a regular season game
- Best player Cafego was injured along with some others
- Essentially a home game for USC, big crowd for them but a 3 day train trip from Knoxville (not very many people flew in those early days of air travel) meant low attendance from UT fans
So this loss really meant nothing as far as rankings, VOLS were the real champions.
 
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#45

clarencepeabody

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#45
I think their win over us doesn't mean as much since Cafego wasn't playing. If Mt history is right that meant we lost our entire offense and of course a starter defender since guys played the whole game on both sides of the ball back then.
Those of you who know about Cafego, tell me more. I always thought the guy was fascinating, and always wondered if he was a little bit crazy. In a Rube Waddell sort of way. Or maybe I was just a kid, looking at his picture and assuming.. 2425FD84-0371-47C7-BCD3-8D9563789742.jpeg FC1E49AF-DB2E-48C3-8263-88C3830F996C.jpeg
 
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#46
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#46
The fabled last college football team to finish the regular season undefeated, untied and unscored upon.

Wasn't named the national champion by any major poll

How?

Radical bias?

Stupidity?

Now we did lose the 39 rose bowl to USC (because all time great George Cafego was injured)

However, they awarded the national champion after the regular season

It's perplexing that they could first rob the 38 team of the unanimous national title over TCU, but then for us to continue to go undefeated the next season without giving up a point...and STILL they don't give us a title.

It went to Texas A&M and then one vote went to Cornell...who finished 4th in the AP poll and played two less games than us.

It's amazing how disregarded southern football was back then. I doubt you can find slight as egregious in the history of national championship voting.

The Vols won their last two games of 37

Turned that into an 11-0 38 season and a blowout win over Oklahoma

Went undefeated and unscored upon in 39

23 straight wins dating back to 37 no ties

Only gave up points in three games. 16 points given up all together.

Outscored opponents 538-16

20 of those games were shut outs

15 straight shut outs leading into that rose bowl.

Nope no national title

Unreal
Hey those stats look like the ones coming in 2023 and 2024....
 
#47
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#47
Those of you who know about Cafego, tell me more. I always thought the guy was fascinating, and always wondered if he was a little bit crazy. In a Rube Waddell sort of way. Or maybe I was just a kid, looking at his picture and assuming.. View attachment 531988 View attachment 531987
When George retired as an assistant football coach in the 1980s, the UTAD gave him a USED van during a halftime ceremony. It was a surplus vehicle that the LADY VOLS were no longer using. He was more than a bit insulted. He just left it in the parking spot that it was moved to after the game and never took it. So I’ve heard. There are probably some colorful details that I’ve omitted from the story.
 

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