Texas Christian and the “Fort Worth Classic”
Program announcing the first ever post-season Bowl Game venue after the Rose Bowl, the Fort Worth Classic
Fort Worth welcomes "The Wonder Team"
Uncle Charlie gave the team some well-deserved time off after the Thanksgiving rout of Georgetown. The players kept in shape by jogging, but they didn't put the pads back on until December 13, a chilly, sunny, Monday afternoon.
The plan was to have an intensive week of workouts, culminating in one last "walkthrough" and skull session on the following Monday. The Colonels from Texas were to leave for home on Tuesday, December 21, and the rest of the team would scatter to their homes for Christmas and then head to Texas on the 26th•
Uncle Charlie announced that the travel squad would include the 24 letter winners, manager Thad McDonnell and himself, and some non-letter winners who were from Texas and were also going to be allowed to suit-up.
A reporter dug up some interesting information in writing a story about the upcoming Centre-TCU game. Bill Driver, the TCU mentor, had been at the helm of the University of Mississippi program during the 1913-14 seasons. In the closing game of the 1914 campaign, his Ole Miss team went down to defeat, 14-7, in the last game that Uncle Charlie coached at Texas A&M.
Centre's fans began to research TCU in order to learn more about the Colonels' upcoming opponent.
Texas Christian University, founded in 1873, was located in Fort Worth, which had a 1920 population of 106,000. The college began playing football in 1896. The "Horned Frogs" became the football team's nickname due to the fact that their practice field was overrun by fierce looking creatures. There seemed to be some confusion when the nickname was chosen as the animals scurrying around the field were actually lizards, not frogs at all, but once the name began to be used, it just seemed easier to perpetuate the use of "Frogs" rather than go through the process of settling on some other name.
It must be admitted that "Frogs" is a better choice than "Lizards" for a nickname, though only marginally so.
The TCU team was nicknamed after these creatures
The founders of the school were Addison and Randolph Clark, two brothers associated with the Restoration or Campbellite Movement, the predecessor of the present day Disciples of Christ Church. TCU was first called Add-Ran University, then Add-Ran Christian University, and finally, in 1902, Texas Christian University. It was associated with, but never governed by the church.
The original intention was to locate the campus on five city blocks that the brothers had purchased in Fort Worth. However, about the time that the Clarks were ready to begin putting up some buildings, their plans were disrupted by the fact that the Chisholm Trail, a main route for driving cattle from Texas to the railroads in Kansas, had caused a growing number of saloons, gambling halls, and brothels to be set up around their property in order to attract the rough characters who were flocking into Fort Worth.
Right near the Clark's property!
It seemed that the influx of cows, cowhands, and money had turned sleepy little Fort Worth into a brawling "Cowtown," and the proposed campus site was smack in what was basically a vice area which catered to the "baser instincts" of the bawdy cowboys and gamblers and "ladies of the night."
Not exactly what the Clark's envisioned for their school's neighborhood!
It didn't take long for the brothers to realize that building a school right in the center of what they felt was a center of moral corruption probably wasn't going to allow them to attract the type of students they were after, especially since they were progressive enough to plan admitting females as well as males.
The Clarks made a hasty retreat to Thorp Spring, a stagecoach stop 40 miles to the southwest of Fort Worth, which they felt now, "should be renamed- HELL!"
In 1895, the school was relocated to Waco. After a fire in 1910, inducements from the citizens of Fort Worth, which included $200,000 and 50 acres for a campus, resulted in TCU moving to Fort Worth, back where it had been envisioned to be situated in the first place.
TCU played in the Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association. The Frogs were the undefeated champions of the T.I.A.A. at 9-0.
TCU 20 S.E. Oklahoma 0
TCU 9 Austin College 7
TCU 19 Arkansas 2
TCU 20 Trinity 7
TCU 3 Phillips 0
TCU 13 Missouri O's 3
TCU 21 Baylor 9
TCU 31 Hardin-Simmons 2
TCU 21 Southwestern 16
The above photo and scores are for the 1920 TCU team which Centre was to play in the post-season. "The 1921 Football Squad" indicated that the information came from the 1921 yearbook, but the team information and photo were from 1920. The score of the game with the Missouri Osteopaths is incorrect. It was actually 13-7.
TCU's strength of schedule had to be somewhat suspect, but they had only given up an average of 5 points per game and would be playing in their own home town.
Uncle Charlie and the Colonels had to take TCU seriously, and they had another incentive. Centre's players were coming home, as many of them had a definite Texas connection.
Bo, Red Weaver, Bill James, Sully Montgomery, Lee McGregor, and the team manager, Thad McDonnell, were all from Fort Worth.
Harry Lipscomb, Gus King, Blink Bedford, and Bryan Allen, all hailed from Dallas, just 20 miles to the east.
Of course, Uncle Charlie had not only coached at Texas A&M, but played baseball and umpired in Texas for several years.
TCU's home games were played at Clark Field which had two wooden stands with 25 rows of seats. The facility was adequate for the number of fans who attended TCU's games with regional foes. However, the Centre game was attracting such interest that the school's administration and the game's promoters decided that a much larger stadium was needed, and an agreement was reached with the management of the Fort Worth Panthers, a "AA" baseball team in the Texas League, to play in the team's Panther Park, the same site where Chief Myers had first encountered Bo McMillin at a baseball game in 1912.
Panther Park was a state-of-the-art ballpark. It was built in 1911 and located north of downtown Fort Worth on the east side of Main Street between 6th and 7th streets. It held 8,000 spectators, but even that capacity was considered too small, and like so many locations where Centre played, a hurried construction project added 2,000 seats in the outfield, assuring that the crowd would be the greatest ever assembled for a football game in the area.
When tickets went on sale, orders were brisk. TCU decided to call the contest a "Homecoming" game and encouraged all alumni to support the Horned Frogs by attending. Centre's alumni associations in neighboring states did the same, and Colonels' fans from Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, along with Texas, made arrangements to head to Fort Worth.
TCU held a huge pep rally on December 16, prior to heading into their Christmas vacation. Colvin Renfro, sports editor of the Fort Worth "Star-Telegram," attended and was asked to make a few comments.
"The 'Horned Frogs' will win because Centre is a one-man team, while TCU is a machine, and every time such a combination meets, the machine will always triumph."
Coach William L. "Bill" Driver then took the podium and went through the TCU starting line which he predicted would present an impregnable wall to Bo and the other Colonels' backs.
"Centre hasn't run up against the likes of 'Doug' Douglas at center, 'Big Pete' Fulcher and 'Leviticus' Levy at guards, 'Uncle Billy' Acker and 'Red' Spiller at our tackle positions, and our ends, 'Dutch' Meyer and 'Hootch' Houtchens. "
("Dutch" Meyer later became the legendary coach of the Horned Frogs, taking over the program in 1934. During his 19 seasons at SMU, his teams were 109-79-13. He was the winningest coach in the school's history until Gary Patterson ( 181-79 ) arrived at the college in 2000. Patterson held the position until the end of the 2021 season.)
It was "Meyer," not "Meyers," as the caption indicates
Coach Driver then spoke of the TCU backfield, getting cheers as he mentioned each starter's name.
"Chester 'Boob' Fowler is anything but a 'boob' when he runs the ball. If 'Ponzi' Rowson is declared eligible, he'll more than offset McMillin. McSweeny Ryan, the man with the 'depth-bomb' plunge, has scored two-thirds of our touchdowns, and 'Jack' Jackson is not only a great runner, but one of the top receivers in the Southwest!"
"Ponzi" Rowson had been declared ineligible late in the season when it was discovered he had taken a correspondence course from Texas A&M. Bo and Uncle Charlie went to bat for "Ponzi" by pointing out that whatever he had done happened in 1920, and since the game was to be played on the first day of 1921, he should be allowed to play. "Ponzi" was declared eligible and indeed did play.
After Coach Driver's colorful introduction of his team, Bailey Diffie, "the greatest pep leader the school has ever had," according to the school newspaper, the "Daily Skiff," worked the crowd into a frenzy as he led the "rah, rahs" and "rip, rams" which echoed throughout the gymnasium.
Bailey Diffie- photo from the TCU yearbook, "The Horned Frog"
Centre's Texans came to their homes in Fort Worth and Dallas earlier than the rest of the team in order to be with their families during the Christmas vacation. In the December 23 issue of the Fort Worth "Record," reporter "Pop" Boone asked Bo how it felt to be home.
Bo said he'd been in Boston and other cities all over the country, but there was no place like home, "because here is where I have so many friends."
Bo was holding court at his home, and Boone stayed with him throughout the day.
Photo and write-up about Fort Worth native Bo after his arrival back home for the post-season game with TCU
Boone related that "Bo had a busy day, taking a minute with 600 friends yesterday. He arrived home after the long train ride from Danville in the morning and planned to just laze around the house until Christmas. But it wasn't long before the word got out that Bo was in town. The phone got busy and Fords, Buicks, Cadillacs and Packards got busy also. It was reception day at the McMillin home out on North Houston Street, and Bo saw them all."
When the Colonels arrived in Fort Worth, they headquartered at the Westbrook Hotel at Fourth and Main Streets.
Team headquarters in Fort Worth
Interior of the Westbrook Hotel, built in 1910 and demolished in 1978
The arrival of the team members was somewhat chaotic, but by the morning of the 28th, everyone who was coming was present, and the first workout took place on that afternoon at Fort Worth's League Park. Uncle Charlie held an open session and several hundred spectators lined the field, anxious to get a glimpse of the "Wonder Team."
Uncle Charlie had the team up early on the 29th where they held a closed door practice and photo opportunity at Panther Park.
At Panther Park for a team photograph.
Caption of original team photograph in possession of the author
The Centre coach was reported to have said to Red Roberts, Terry Snowday, Hump Tanner and Jack Converse, "All right, you four, you look like you must have eaten all day and night during the holidays. Ten laps for each of you, and I've got your buddy Thaddeus (McDonnell) to do the counting."
"Aw, Unc, this trip is supposed to be a reward for a good season," as they grinned and began to trot off.
The incident demonstrated the great bond between the coach and his players. Uncle Charlie could have told any of the four to start running and not stop until they reached Danville, and they would have said, "Which way do I head?"
After the morning practice, the former Fort Worth North Side players, Bo, Red Weaver, Bill James, Sully Montgomery, and team manager Thad McDonnell, headed to their old school where there was a special assembly of the students in the auditorium.
( The North Side team's nickname, "Steers," wasn't adopted until 1923. )
Another of the North Side High buildings. The auditorium where Centre's players met with the student body can be seen at the rear of the building
A local report said, "A thousand pairs of eyes were turned in worship on the gridiron heroes."
Former Fort Worth North Side players at Centre-left to right: Bill James, Bo McMillin, Sully Montgomery, and Red Weaver who spoke to the students at their former school
After the Colonels were introduced and they were praised by the principle and North Side coaching staff, Bo was asked to speak, and his theme was that the students should pay more attention to studies than to athletics.
"Honor in sports is alright, but when you finish school, sports become but a memory, and unless you've studied hard, the time that you spend in high school or college is sheer waste."
After the North Side visit, it was back to Panther Park for another workout.
Centre was feeling confident, and one of the main reasons was that Red Roberts was back. The big guy had totally recovered from the knee injury suffered during the Harvard game. He was running at full speed and cutting and slashing his way down the field just as he used to do.
When Red was right, Centre was right. And, "Red's back."
Uncle Charlie continued heavy workouts the next two days at Panther Park, beginning the sessions at 2:30 in the afternoon. Timing was what made the Colonels so effective and that timing was only perfected by the constant repetition of Uncle Charlie's offensive schemes in practice.
The attitude and confidence of TCU wasn't particularly positive if you read between the lines when reviewing an article which was published quoting the team captain, Astyanax "Doug" Douglas. (That is "Doug's" real first name, spelled correctly.)
It is said that opportunity comes to a man but once in a lifetime. If such be so, then our opportunity has arrived. To beat Centre would place our school among the greater institutions of America and bring us to world-wide fame. To this end we have worked, and worked hard, with nothing in view but to beat Centre if it is possible to do so. The Horned Frogs will not be the same team that has gone through an undefeated season with that care-free spirit of never trying to run up a large score, only enough to win, but a team that is backed to the last ditch with odds staring them square in the face, but determined to win, and not until every mother's son is battered down to where he is unable to go another inch will we admit we are beaten.
It was a determined but hardly inspiring message from Astyanax.
Coach Driver had contacted several of the coaches of teams Centre had played, and his goal after hearing back from them was to not let Bo and the Colonels set the tone of the game with their passing attack. Most of the drilling of his team concentrated on passing defense.
Bo had heard that fact from some of his local friends. He simply replied, "If they line up to cover against the pass, we'll run. If they try to stop our running game, we'll pass."
Bo was well known for his passing ability and TCU's coach Driver's game plan was to concentrate on controlling Centre's aerial attack
Game day, January 1, 1921, the day of the "Fort Worth Classic," was indeed classic football weather. The sun shone brightly, there was just a nip in the air, and Panther Park began to fill as the crowd began to file into the permanent seats, then the temporary bleachers in the outfield, and soon there was standing room only, and hundreds of disappointed fans had to be turned away.
Panther Park- site of "The Fort Worth Classic" of January 1, 1921
Uncle Charlie had written an article for the Fort Worth "Record" in which he described the pre-game ritual.
We are now getting ready to play the great game. Just before going to the field, the coach gives his club the last heart-to-heart talk. To the critical observer, this scene would appear to be heart-breaking, for it seldom is that a club that has a chance to win such honor and glory can listen to this great masters’ instructions without shedding tears - but the tears are only the tears of scorching impatience to get into the game and get started. When the referee's whistle blows, however, all of this nervousness disappears and the men settle down to play the game as they have been coached and as they are capable of playing
Centre won the toss and elected to receive. "Uncle Billy" Acker, a tackle weighing in at 180 lbs., kicked off for TCU and the "Fort Worth Classic" was underway. It was a deep kick which Bo brought back to the 20.
Centre lined up and went to work. Bo got 5 through the line, another 6 on the same play and Centre, looking good, had a first down.
TCU was penalized 5, Army got 2, a pass to Terry Snowday was batted down, and Bo gained 8 for another first down.
Centre looked sharp. Bo was directing the first drive with his usual confidence.
On a first down play, Hump streaked ahead for 8, and then Bo looped around the left end for 20 before being brought down. It was another first down, the Colonels running with machine-like precision.
Tom Bartlett got the call next and picked up 8. However Centre was penalized 5 for being off sides on the next play. Hump got 4 of the 5 back, Bo was racked up for no gain, and on the next play, the Centre quarterback fired a long pass toward Stanley Robb.
"Jack" Jackson, a fleet 150 lb. halfback for the Horned Frogs, had been playing deep, and he timed his move correctly, picking off the toss at his own 10 yard line, and he streaked 90 yards down the field for a touchdown.
"Jack" Jackson who scored the first T.D. of the game on an interception covering 90 yards
The stands erupted with, "Did you see that?"
"Way to go, Frogs!"
"Atta boy, Jack!"
The cheering only intensified as Acker booted the extra point and it was TCU, 7-0.
TCU cheerleaders at the Centre game
The Centre sideline remained absolutely calm. The Colonels had moved the ball easily on the drive before the pass was intercepted. Uncle Charlie was later quoted as saying that he could see from the onset that TCU was no match for his team. He simply hollered out once, "That's ok boys. Now, take it back to them."
The Colonels scored easily on the next possession. Bo alternated plays with his backs, first one and then the other. It was Hump, then Bo. Army, then Bo. It was relentless.
Coach Driver was determined not to get beaten by Centre's passing attack
"That's was fine with me," Bo later said. "We knew we could run if they spread out their defense, or we could pass if they tightened up to protect against the run."
On the tenth consecutive run, each for a gain, Hump scored from 5 yards out, Red Weaver booted his 91st, and it was 7-7.
After a booming Red Roberts kickoff, TCU had poor field position and had to punt, running up against a smacking Gold and White defense. Stanley Robb broke through, blocked the kick and followed it into the end zone where he smothered it for a touchdown. Red for 92, and just like that, the Colonels were up 14-7.
Red Roberts really got into the next kickoff and boomed it totally over and out of the end zone, bringing a collective "whoa!" from the crowd.
Red Roberts kicking off
The game was beginning to enter into a pattern which would continue all afternoon. This time, the Horned Frogs ran 3 plays for no gain and then couldn't even get a punt off, fumbling the ball around in the backfield where the Colonels covered the loose ball on the 8-yard line.
Bo carried it over on the first play after the recovery, and it was 21-7 after Red's number 93. TCU was looking something more than bewildered. The most points that the boys from Fort Worth had given up all season was the 16 scored by Southwestern in the last game of the regular season. Centre had 21, and the first quarter wasn't even over!
Finally, somewhat mercifully, the initial period ended, with the Colonels driving again and on the Frog's 10-yard line. After switching ends of the field, two straight 5 yard plunges, the last by Army, brought the score to 28-7 after Red split the uprights for his 94th.
After the interception by TCU early in the game, it hadn't been able to get even one first down, with the Colonels swarming and gang tackling on every play. The game was essentially over. Now it was just a matter how many points the Colonels would score.
Action during the "Fort Worth Classic." The "Centre Adds a Point" picture showed "Red" Weaver during one of his extra point kicks in the quest to reach 100 straight.
The Fort Worth papers had given native son, North Side grad, Red Weaver, a lot of pre-game publicity about his streak of consecutive extra points. Every fan who had any inkling about football records knew that Red had started the day at 90 straight, and there was speculation whether he could reach 100 during the game.
Now, with the 4 quick scores, and Red on target each time, the crowd began to get behind the Centre kicker and his streak.
After the 94th, the fans began to chant, "100! 100! 100!"
During the second quarter, the TCU offense began to pick up a bit and got 4 first downs, but never moved closer that the Colonels' 30. Uncle Charlie was running in subs left and right, especially being sensitive to getting all of the Texans on the field who hadn't started.
The Colonels from Dallas, Gus King, Harry "Shanks" Lipscomb, Bryan Allen, and Blink Bedford, all saw action. Lee McGregor from Fort Worth got in the game.
The half ended at 28-7.
The third quarter saw the Colonels pick up the tempo as the starting lineup returned to action intact.
Red Roberts kicked off and on the first play, TCU tried to get some offense going by passing. Tom Bartlett intercepted and 6 plays later, Centre scored. The big play was a 40-yard Bo to Robb pass.
Weaver for 95. It was 35-7.
"100! 100! 100!"
In desperation, TCU again passed. Again, Bartlett plucked it out of the air, this time taking it in for a score. Red for his 96th. It was 42-7
"100! 100! 100!"
Another futile series followed for the Frogs. A hard hit by the left side of the Colonels' front wall caused a fumble. For once, Centre was held and had to punt and TCU actually got a first down, but that was all. After kicking back to Centre, the Colonels marched right down the field and Bo capped off the drive by twisting and cutting the final 30 yards. Red for 97.
"100! 100! 100!"
The crowd could only watch in astonishment. TCU had only given up 46 points during the entire season. Fans in Fort Worth remembered Coach Driver's comments about his line and how Centre hadn't run up against the likes of "Uncle Billy," "Big Pete," "Dutch" and "Hootch," "Red" and "Leviticus," and "Doug" Douglas.
It was still in the third quarter and Centre had scored 49 points!
"What in the world is going on?"
"Who are those guys, anyway?"
After the third quarter wound down, the teams changed ends of the field and there was another series in which the Horned Frogs couldn't even pick up a yard and had to punt.
Bo caught the ball on the run on his own 40 and ran right through the befuddled Texans for a 60-yard, unmolested sprint. Red Weaver was on the sidelines, having been replaced by "Shanks" Lipscomb. Uncle Charlie motioned to Red to get back out on the field and the crowd shouted "100! 100! 100!" as he trotted down toward the end zone. It was 98 as he returned to the Colonels' bench, with the score now at 56-7.
Uncle Charlie was constantly running players in and out of the contest. In "Pop's Palaver," a sports column in the Fort Worth "Record," written by "Pop" Boone, an incident was reported which indicated how frantically Uncle Charlie was rotating his line-up.
Along in the final quarter, when Moran was shooting players in so fast that they couldn't keep up with the procession themselves, Bo hollered over to the bench and said, "Unc, we've only got 10 players out here." Charlie looked around for a minute. Then he said, "Where's Bill James? I never took him out of the game." Bill was sitting back in the box with the mothers of the Centre team and, of course, couldn't get back as he had left the field. Unc scratched his head and found someone who hadn't played much and sent him in.
After Bo's long touchdown run, the pattern of the game continued. TCU threw two passes which were way off the mark. Centre intercepted the third throw and went back on the attack. Bo hit Red Roberts for 20 yards, missed on his next two efforts, so just ran it in from the 22. Red Weaver booted number 99. The crowd was energized, shouting for Centre to hurry up and score again so that Red could reach the milestone.
Press photo -Red Weaver kicking with Bo holding
"100! 100! 100!"
It was 63-7 as darkness began to envelop the field. After two punt exchanges, Uncle Charlie sent his first stringers back in. He certainly wasn't trying to further embarrass TCU but was hearing the crowd cheering for Red, and he felt that he owed it to his great kicker to try to make that last extra point.
It was so dark that Bo kept it on the ground. He was afraid that his receivers couldn't pick up the ball with so little light.
"100! 100! 100!"
But it wasn't to be. Centre was moving and on the TCU 35 when the final whistle blew. Red fell one short, but what a run he had!
The shoe which fell one short of 100 consecutive extra points is now in the Centre archives.
Contemporary validation of Red Weaver's record
The Fort Worth "Record" carried a little boxed story the next day.
RED WEAVER HAD TOUGH LUCK; ONLY KICKS NINE
...Red went into the game with 90 boots to his credit without a miss. The crowd became greatly interested in whether he could make it to 100 or not. Nobody doubted his ability to run the string just as high as his teammates would let him.
Someday, Texas may go Republican. Someday, Iowa or Kansas may go "wet." Someday, New York may admit that Chicago is the better town. Someday, someone may give me a million dollars. But Red Weaver miss a goal? Never!
A record that should forever stand the test of time!
The fans had seen a team play like they hadn't witnessed before. The TCU Horned Frogs walked off the field with a new understanding of the game of football. They had played hard and clean, but they were simply totally outclassed, going from an undefeated season to being completely dominated, 63-7.
TCU paid dearly for concentrating on shutting down the Colonels' aerial attack. They were successful in that endeavor, with Bo and his teammates completing only 3 of 20 all afternoon. But by being so determined to play good pass defense, they had left themselves wide open to Centre's unrelenting ground attack. Centre simply had too much in its offensive arsenal, too much skill and power, for TCU to be able to shut down the Colonels both in the air and on the ground.
Story from the Fort Worth "Star-Telegram"
After the game, as the players mingled around on the field, accepting hugs and kisses from the many family members and friends who were present, several Horned Frogs drew individual Colonels aside and asked, "How in this world did you guys ever lose?"
"How could anybody even stay close to you the way you play the game?"
When Bo was asked that question, he replied that he really didn't know. It was a question he had asked himself repeatedly.
"How could we have lost?"
Bo didn't give an answer. But he was determined it wasn't going to happen again, at least not in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Even as the team reveled with the fans at Panther Park that New Year's Day in 1921, it was still-Harvard
It was always- Harvard.
The "Daily Skiff," the TCU student newspaper first published in 1902, ran a story in the first edition put out after the students returned from Christmas vacation.
MORAN'S GANG DEALS ROUGHLY WITH HORNIES
They came. We saw. They conquered.
We had heard about the famous praying, fighting, wonder thoroughbred, the Kentucky Colonels from Centre College, until it seemed that the whole world judged a football team by what it could do against these super-men.
We got all ambitious and decided that the best team in Texas could beat the best team in Kentucky. They did not think so. They were right. We have no alibis to offer. We gave them the best we had. It was not enough. They played hard but clean, and they won.
The writer made the best that he could of the situation. He recounted that the Horned Frogs had shut down the fabled Centre passing attack. He was correct. What he didn't mention was how costly that effort had been. Centre had run at will, rolling up several hundred yards on the ground.
The final point made in the article was that TCU was hitting as hard at the end of the game as at the onset.
This only shows that TCU fights just as hard when the score is 63-7 against us as when it is reversed. No school need be ashamed of a team that fights until the end, even if it loses.
The TCU Pep Squad cheered on its school's effort "until the end, even if it loses."
The story clearly reveals the TCU strategy of concentrating on Centre's passing attack
The significance of the "Fort Worth Classic" of January 1, 1921 can't be overly emphasized. Bowl games, now so common, were in their infancy.
The first ever post-season college football game was the Rose Bowl of January 1, 1902. Michigan took a train from Ann Arbor and met the Stanford Cardinal at Pasadena's Tournament Park and won, 49-0.
Michigan team during the parade for the first ever Rose Bowl football game. The Wolverines beat Stanford on January 1, 1902, 49-0. The individual #2 is Fleming Yost, first year Michigan coach who had headed the Stanford program the year before. Yost was the coach at Michigan from 1901-23 and again during 1925 and 1926. He had a 165-29-10 record and won 4 straight national championships 1901-04 and won another in 1918 and 1923.
Envelope from the "Tournament of Roses" on New Year's Day, 1903 sent to Germany. In 1903, there was no Rose Bowl football game but rather a "Tournament of Roses" New Year's Day Parade and other events. The football game didn't resume until January 1, 1916.
After the initial January 1, 1902 game, there were no more football Bowl games, and unbelievable as it may seem, the organizers of the Tournament of Roses decided to have chariot races to entertain the masses, and those throwbacks to Roman times prevailed for the next 14 years.
Chariot races at Tournament Park in the early 1900's
However, when only 2,000 spectators showed up for the 1915 races, it was decided that perhaps people had tired of the dusty event, and football was seen as a better draw, which it certainly proved to be.
On January 1, 1916, the second New Year's game in Pasadena featured Washington State and Brown, with State coming out on top, 14-0.
That was the same score in the 1917 game, this time with Oregon beating Pennsylvania.
1918 and 1919 had service teams facing each other, and colleges returned on January 1, 1920, with Harvard coming to the West and edging Oregon, 7-6.
The "Fort Worth Classic" between Centre and TCU was the first Bowl game ever to be played after the Rose Bowl began, and for that reason, it is recognized by football historians as a major event in the evolution of college football.
The Colonels returned to campus after the trip to Fort Worth and were met by an enthusiastic crowd at the Southern station. One member of the team who had difficulty leaving his home town was Bo, for departing Fort Worth meant he was leaving behind the only girl he had ever loved, Maude Marie Miers.
Marie told him he had to go back and not only finish his education, but also to complete his dream, the dream whose seeds had first been planted by Chief Myers back at North Side High School.
"Bo, you'll never be happy until you have beaten Harvard. You know that's true. You've told me so many times. And if you're not happy, we can't be. I'll wait. I'll wait."
Bo knew Marie was right. But it was so hard. It was so very hard to leave her.
What Bo and Centre had accomplished was truly remarkable. Since he had become a starter, Centre had won 28 games and lost but 3, a winning record of 90.3 %.
The Colonels had run up an average score of 46-3, rounded off, during the last 4 seasons. They had shut out their opponents in 20 of the 31 games played. Their only losses had been on the road, out of the state of Kentucky; DePauw in Indiana, Harvard in Massachusetts, and Georgia Tech in Georgia.
There was no doubt that the Colonels had become the most storied team in college football. They played to standing-room only crowds everywhere that they went. They were the darlings of the sport's media, garnering headlines and photo spreads all over the country.
In the last four years, Centre College, little Centre College of Kentucky, had truly become America's "Wonder Team," and the best was yet to come.