Friday, February 02, 2007

Malamute on the 1960-61 National Champs

The 1961 Rose Bowl team is going to be honored at next years USC game. Reportedly the Huskies are considering wearing retro uniforms for the game which would be pretty cool. The early Jim Owens Rose Bowl teams were very special, and a source of great pride in the Northwest. Washington's back to back wins over Wisconsin, and regular season champion Minnesota in the Rose Bowl turned around the perception of West Coast football after almost two decades of domination by the Pac Ten.

Dick Linde of the Malamute website gives his take, and it is a very good read. The University is refering to the 1960-61 Huskies as national champions because the polls in those days only voted on the results of the regular season. The Huskies however were voted National Champs by the Helms foundation after the bowls.

Washington has four football teams with claims to the National Championship in football, but only one AP national championship, and that was for the 1991 team.

1960-61 National Champions and the Polls

Iowa (8-1, lost to Minnesota): Berryman, Boand, Litkenhous, Sagarin
Minnesota (8-2, lost to UW, Purdue): AP, FB News, NFF, UPI
Mississippi (10-0-1, tied by LSU): Billingsley, DeVold, Dunkel, Football Research, FW, National Championship Foundation, Williamson
Missouri (10-1, lost to Kansas): Poling
Washington (10-1, lost to Navy): Helm

As you can see it was quite a mess at the end of the season, but the consensus was Washington, and Mississippi were the two best teams after the bowls were completed. Minnesota however is recognized as the official national champion by the AP, and UPI.
Washington has a legitimate claim to a piece of the championship because they beat Minnesota 17-7 in the Rose Bowl.

Gil Dobie's National Championship

Washington was first declared National Football Champions in 1910 by the Libby foundation which voted on National Champions through the 50's. The coach was none other than the legendary Gil Dobie who led the team to a 6-0 record. Dobie of course never lost a game while at Washington. Washington still owns the longest non losing streak in the history of college football.

The 1910 Huskies played Lincoln HS, Puget Sound, Whitman, Idaho, Washington St, and Oregon St and outscored them a combined 150-8. Not exactly an impressive schedule, but obviously someone was impressed enough to name this obscure outfit up in the Northwest corner of the country national champs.

Dobie being fired in 1916 by the President of the university was a tragedy. Husky Stadium opened in 1920, and the Huskies started playing the California schools for a spot in the Rose Bowl. Dobie moved on to the Naval Academy, and after leaving Navy, Dobie won two NCAA Division I-A national football championships with Cornell, in 1921 and 1922. His overall coaching record was 179 wins, 45 losses, and 15 ties, a .780 percentage. Of the 33 years he coached, he had 14 undefeated seasons. Dobie continued to coach till 1938 finishing up his career at Boston College.

A Great Article on Gil Dobie

The 1984 Teams Claim

The 1984 team beat Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl, but undefeated BYU was the pick of the AP, and UPI polls. The 11-1 Dawgs only loss was to USC 16-7. The Huskies went to the Orange Bowl while USC played in the Rose Bowl. BYU was tied into the Holiday Bowl and beat a very average Michigan team. UW still was voted National Champions by the following publications, Berryman, The Football News, and the National Championship Foundation. This team was distinguished by the best defense in the country, and a terribly mediocre offense that finally got caught against USC. Backup quarterback Hugh Millen came off the bench in relief of Paul Sicuro to lead Washington to a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns.

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