1919 COLLEGE FOOTBALL YEAR-IN-REVIEW

It was something that hadn't happened before and today would almost certainly be impossible. But Georgia Baptist pulled off the incredible feat of not only going unbeaten, but also shutout every opponent in doing it. The Gators 1919 campaign:

  • 9/20: Georgia Baptist 33, Camp Logan 0
  • 9/27: Georgia Baptist 41, Bulein 0
  • 10/4: Georgia Baptist 62, Cowpens State 0
  • 10/11: Georgia Baptist 34, Coastal State 0
  • 10/18: Georgia Baptist 24, Bluegrass State 0
  • 10/25: Georgia Baptist 30, Pittsburgh State 0
  • 11/1: Georgia Baptist 30, Central Carolina 0
  • 11/8: Georgia Baptist 17, Lexington State
  • 11/15: Georgia Baptist 17, St. Matthew's 0
  • 11/27: Georgia Baptist 20, Opelika State 0

Amazingly, despite their stellar, spotless record, the East-West Game trustees elected to not invite Georgia Baptist (showing their bias towards teams from the South) and instead invited Dickson. To be fair, Dickson was 9-0 when they were invited, but it was still a minor controversy. Dickson whitewashed Portland State 34-0 to equal Georgia Baptist's won-loss mark, if not their scoreless streak (Dickson allowed a total of 13 points in their 10 games). Alabama Baptist (9-0), Centre (9-0) and Pierpont (9-0) rounded out the unbeatens for schools that played at least nine games. Many schools played a shortened schedule again in 1919, this time due to the ongoing influenza pandemic.

The All-American squad was headed up by QB Gus Goldman, the exciting Buchanan standout who returned to school after serving in the Army Signal Corps in France. Another returnee was halfback Eddie Grimes of Central Ohio. Like Goldman, Grimes had been on the 1917 squad and left school to join the Army. Grimes, in an interesting coincidence, became a pilot and flew in the same squadron as James Barrell, the brother of Nobel Jones star Joe Barrell, who would become his team mate as a professional.

Mott's All-American Team for 1919:

QB Gus Goldman (SR) Buchanan
HB Eddie Grimes (SR) Central Ohio
HB Floyd Caldwell (SR) Dickson
FB Herbert Shaffer (SR) Huntington State
E Claude Hutchinson (SR) Liberty College
T Alf Brewster (SR) Henrietta College
G Harry Schultz (SSR) Grafton
C Jimmy Redwick (JR) Centre
G Thomas Moss (JR) St. Pancras
T Hugh Ramsey (SR) Empire State
E Thomas Emerson (SO) Western Iowa

1918 COLLEGE FOOTBALL YEAR-IN-REVIEW

The 1918 College Football season was unique in many ways due to the combined effect of the First World War and the global Influenza pandemic. Many scheduled games were simply eliminated and of those that were played, many were designed as a bolster to the morale of the men about to be sent to France for the Allied offensives that were planned for the spring of 1919 (and which thankfully never proved necessary). These morale-boosting games pitted the collegians against a wide variety of military organizations, from Ambulance Corps to Air Bases, Naval Yards and, most impressively, the Mare Island Marines team.

Mare Island was the first naval base established by the U.S. on the Pacific coast, 25 miles off the coast of San Francisco. It became one of the country's largest shipyards and one of two Marine Corps training depots - and these Marine Corps trainees turned out to be excellent football players (largely because most of them were in fact former college football players). The Marines posted a 10-1-0 record in 1918, earning a berth in the second East-West Bowl game, which was set up as an all-Military affair, where the Mare Island Marines faced off with the Great Lakes Naval team. The Navy recruits handed the Marines their lone loss in the big game, a 28-13 victory.

Mare Island played an almost-exclusively military schedule (they defeated Golden Gate 38-13, and Idaho A&M 34-0 so they were good enough to beat actual college programs too), but many of other military teams played more games with the collegians. The class of the college group was (depending on who you asked) Georgia Baptist (7-0) or for someone from Texas, Travis College (9-0). Georgia Baptist had a star-studded backfield that included, occasionally, Jake Cheeks, who would be an excellent professional, and who played both tackle and back and end Eugene Bell. Among notable programs not fielding a squad in 1918 was again Noble Jones College.

Mott's All-American Team for 1918:

QB Dan Dillon (SO) Sadler
HB Earnie Flowers (FR) Pittsburgh State
HB Everett Wolcott (SO) Annapolis Maritime
FB Mike O'Neill (SR) Pittsburgh State
E Earnest Hart (SR) Garden State
T Alf Brewster (JR) Henrietta College
G Lou Weber (JR) St. Pancras
C Edwin Austin (SO) Lincoln
G Thomas Moss (SO) St. Pancras
T Jake Cheeks (SR) Georgia Baptist
E Eugene Bell (SO) Georgia Baptist