Archive for the ‘Archives’ Category

Retro Champions/Carroll Widdoes Was Robbed

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

There once was a Buckeye football coach named Carroll Widdoes.  He was born in 1903 in, like Manny Pacquiao, Corazon Aquino, Efren Reyes, and Tim Tebow, the Philippines.  He went to Otterbein College, then he became an assistant coach to a young man named Paul Brown at Massillon Washington High School and later at The Ohio State University.  When Brown joined the Navy in 1944, Widdoes became the Buckeyes’ head coach.  His team went undefeated in his first year (9-0), and went 7-2 in his second year.  Then he left and eventually became the coach and athletic director at Ohio University (which will confuse Brady Hoke to no end).

Here’s the thing.  Widdoes’ 1944 Buckeye team went undefeated.  They beat three teams in the top 20, two in the top 6.  They had on their team the pride of Parma Senior High School, Les Horvath, the Heisman Trophy winner that year.  They had some of the same players who won the 1942 national championship, including Les Horvath.  They also were playing at the same time as Army’s dominant team (which included future Heisman winners Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis), with whom they were retroactively given a share of the title.  But Ohio State doesn’t officially claim it.

Well I think we should.  Maybe it’s the disappointment of losing the Big Ten Championship this year.  Maybe I’m just trying to grasp at something positive.  But I think we should claim it.  We were undefeated and beat three top teams.  The only decent way to compare the teams is not great for us, but it’s not damning.  We both played Pittsburgh that year.  Army won 69-7, while OSU won 54-19.  Plus there’s a little bit of a conspiracy involved.  Ohio State’s All-Americans from the 1942 title team Lin Houston and Gene Fekete (and probably others) joined the army and did not play for the Buckeyes in 1944.  Now I’m not saying that the Army Black Knights football team started World War II to better their chances in the football world, but…..

There are precedents for claiming retroactively applied titles.  All polls and rankings before Frank Dickinson named Stanford champion in 1926 (with the brief exception of Caspar Whitney’s rankings from 1905-1907, each of which crowned Yale champion) were retroactively applied.  Here is a list of cases where schools only had retroactively applied titles and they officially claim them:

1926 – Alabama:  BR, CFRA, HAF, NCF & PS

1926 – Navy:  BS & HS

1927 – Texas A&M:  SR

1927 – Georgia:  BS & PS

1930 – Alabama:  CFRA & SR

1944??? – Ohio State:  NCF & SR

1950 – Kentucky:  SR

(Polls and systems used in abbreviations above:  Billingsley Report, Boand System, College Football Researchers Association, Helms Athletic Foundation, Houlgate System, National Championship Foundation, Poling System, and Sagarin Ratings.)


From 1953 to today, no one has claimed a title when it was only given by retroactively applied polls or rankings.  But some SEC schools claim their retroactive titles.  Why can’t we?

From the NDNS Archives: “We Are Penn State!” Speak For Yourselves

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

The following was originally posted at NDNS on October 17, 2006. Given this week’s opponent it seemed like a good time to bring it back. It’s kind of funny to see what a difference six years makes, and what a difference it sometimes doesn’t.

I’ve wanted to write something about this for awhile. Specifically, ever since I made a little trip to Pennsylvania about a year ago. I had one of my Ohio State shirts on – as is my habit, always feeling the need to represent The Ohio State University (est. 1870 in accordance with the Morrill Act of 1862) – and I was really surprised at the amount of vitriol that was slung my way that day.

Apparently Penn State fans think they have some sort of huge rivalry with The Ohio State University (est. 1870 in accordance with the Morrill Act of 1862.)

It’s sad to say, but the feeling is not mutual. Personally I hate Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Miami (a.k.a. either “The U” or “Thug University” depending on how many were involved in their latest on-field riot,) and even USC more than I hate Penn State. I think most Buckeye fans also feel this way.

As I watched That School Up North dominate Penn State on Saturday, I was reminded of this fact. There was never any question of who I wanted to win that game. That was also true when Notre Dame played the Nittany Lions. You can’t have a serious and heated rivalry with a team if you don’t have to do some serious soul searching when deciding whether or not to root for them.

I think the problem for Penn State is that their football program has been irrelevant for so long – I mean, before last season when was the last time they were really considered good let alone elite? I believe it was probably around 10-12 years ago when they featured the likes of Ki-Jana Carter and Kerry Collins. Discounting last season under the “even a stopped clock is right twice a day” theory, of course.

And it’s really sad news for a football program, if you ask me, that I sat in front of the television Saturday night and openly mocked Joe Paterno as his quarterback was being pummeled time and again, “That ain’t Kerry Collins you’ve got back there.”

I mean, really. Kerry Collins?

When that’s the best quarterback to come out of your football program in the last twenty years, you’ve got problems. And much more serious problems than ol’ JoePa’s inability to control his bodily functions.

Of course, the decline of Penn State probably was set in motion when they left the ranks of the independents and joined the Big Eleven Ten. Once again, outside of last season and the Kerry Collins Era, the sledding got much tougher for them when they started having to play six-to-eight games against quality opponents. No longer could they schedule three-quarters of their games against cupcakes (Indiana, Northwestern, and Illinois not included.) No, they had to play with the big boys, and all of a sudden ten win seasons turned into eight win seasons. And in college football that’s a huge difference.

One of the teams responsible for that extra loss or two per season? None other than the Fightin’ Buckeyes of the Olentangy, representing The Ohio State University (est. 1870 in accordance with the Morrill Act of 1862.) Not to mention That School Up North, with whom I’m sure Nittany Lion fans have also deluded themselves into believing they had a major rivalry.

Long story short, and you’ll have to forgive me for rambling as I haven’t written a substantive blog post in ages, Penn State is – at best -a second-tier rival to the Killer Nuts compared to the really heinous football programs out there.

Plus that little “kitty roar” sound they play in their stadium after big plays is stupid.