It was just a matter of time, but in 1927 a new "player" in the annual ruckus over the national champion emerged, and this time it was based (at least partially) on mathematics. It was called the "Brunson System" for its creator, Chicago Poly physics professor Donald Brunson. Dr. Brunson's system was designed to mathematically determine the best team in college football by ranking each team on its wins and losses and the opposition it played. The system itself was fairly simple: 30 points for a victory over a strong team, and 20 for victory over a weak team. Defeats counted for half as much as victories and ties were counted as half-win/half-loss [22.5 points vs. strong, 15 vs. weak]. By dividing the total points by the number of games played a final rating was achieved.

The first team to win the Brunson System's National Championship was George Fox, who finished with an 8-0-0 record and edged out second-place finisher Noble Jones by, among other things, beating Noble Jones (that team's only loss in a 9-1-0 season). Third was St. Matthew's College, who went 9-0-0 but had too many wins against "weak teams" like NC Lutheran and Three Rivers College, although they did beat St. Pancras, Eastern Virginia and Commonwealth Catholic as well. George Fox's victories largely came against other Academia Alliance teams. In the end, all the Brunson System accomplished was to provide another vector for the endless debates over a national champion.

One big rule change was implemented, moving the goal posts from the goal line to the end line, a rule that has remained the same ever since, although the professional version of the sport wouldn't implement this change for decades. The move was made for safety reasons as players continued to hit the stanchions and were often injured doing so, and also to de-emphasize the kicking game and encourage teams to try for touchdowns more often.

The Mott's All-American Team was again picked by Thomas Potentas and this year's edition had two holdovers from the '26 squad in Detroit City end Miller Lamb and Coastal California and Minnesota Tech fullback Elvin Weber. Six members of the squad would go on to professional careers, and two of them would also play professional baseball in the FABL organization (Joe Keith of Golden Gate U and Bill McCleskey of Georgia Baptist).

Mott's All-American Team for 1927:

QB Dexter Madore (SR) Coastal California
HB Abe Gould (SR) Pittsburgh State
HB Andy Scott (SO) Rome State
FB Elvin Weber (SR) Minnesota Tech
E Miller Lamb (SR) Detroit City College
T Cedric Glass (JR) Coastal California
G Sylvester Gorcey (SR) George Fox
C Joe Keith (SR) Golden Gate U
G John Bowman (SR) St. Blane
T Dewey Sharp (SR) Pierpont
E Bill McCleskey (SR) Georgia Baptist



With the biggest name in college football now a professional (and stirring things up in a big way, but you'll need to read the pro recaps for that story) and some of the typical powers having an off-year, 1926 looked like it could be the season in which the tide turned in favor of some new powers. Bluegrass State which had been a good, though not great, team for a while, put it together in a big way in '26 and ran the table for a 9-0-0 campaign and named themselves national champions. But there were several other contenders for that title. One of those contenders was an even bigger surrpise: Lane State. The Lane State Emeralds played in Oregon, which automatically caused controversy with the sport's elite (and most of its top writers) living in the East and biased towards that area (and begrudgingly the Midwest and South). The Emeralds went 8-0-0 against competition that was slightly less impressive than Bluegrass State's schedule. 

Not all the familiar powers were down & out: Alabama Baptist went 9-1-0, Redwood 9-2-0, Coastal California 8-1-1 and St. Blane 8-2-0. Detroit City College, who had been considered the best team in the country the year before, and who returned both their All-American QB Garland Goddard and All-American End Miller Lamb, somehow went 6-2-0 and eliminated themselves as a possible champion. Alabama Baptist, behind that 9-1-0 mark, and playing a tough schedule, earned Thomas Potentas' nod as champs when he published his retrospective in 1936. 

Henry Hudson, long considered an also-ran among the schools of the Academia Alliance, brought a quality Midwestern power into New York for an October matchup and surprised the nation with a solid 9-0 win over Central Ohio. Hudson would go 8-1-0 as the best of the Academia teams in '26. Redwood, now coached by the legendary Pug Johnston who had made powers at both Centerville and Pittsburgh State before heading to the West Coach, earned a nod for the East-West game against Alabama Baptist. It was generally considered by most (outside Oregon & Kentucky at least) that the winner of the New Year's Day clash would earn the national title. Alabama Baptist ground out an impressive 31-6 win and, as mentioned above, got the nod from Potentas and most everyone else at the time.


Mott's All-American Team for 1926:

QB Garland Goddard (JR) Detroit City College
HB Randy Gilbert (SR) Coastal California
HB Allan Beach (SR) St. Magnus
FB Elvin Weber (JR) Minnesota Tech
E Miller Lamb (JR) Detroit City College
T Alfred Potts (SR) Annapolis Maritime
G Mickey McConnell (SR) Lincoln
C Bud Shores (SR) St. Blane
G Cass Garrett (SR) St. Matthew's
T Hoyt Douglas (SO) Rome State
E Patch Hitchcock (SR) St. Pancras