1920 Centre Praying Colonels football team

The 1920 Centre Praying Colonels football team represented Centre College in the 1920 college football season. The Praying Colonels scored 546 points while allowing 62 points and capped off their season by defeating TCU, 63–7 in the Fort Worth Classic.

1920 Centre Praying Colonels football
Fort Worth Classic, W 63–7 vs. TCU
ConferenceSouthern Intercollegiate Athletic Association
1920 record8–2 (4–1 SIAA)
Head coachCharley Moran
Offensive schemeSingle wing
Home stadiumCheek Field
Uniform
1920 SIAA football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Georgia + 7 0 0  8 0 1
Tulane + 5 0 0  6 2 1
Georgia Tech + 4 0 0  8 1 0
Alabama 6 1 0  10 1 0
Centre 4 1 0  8 2 0
Furman 3 1 0  9 1 0
South Carolina 3 1 0  5 4 0
Tennessee 5 2 0  7 2 0
Auburn 4 2 0  7 2 0
Mississippi A&M 4 2 0  5 3 0
Sewanee 3 3 1  4 3 1
Vanderbilt 3 3 0  4 3 1
Transylvania 2 2 0  3 4 0
Howard 2 3 0  3 5 1
Mississippi College 2 4 0  3 5 0
Florida 1 2 0  6 3 0
Clemson 2 6 0  4 6 1
LSU 1 3 0  5 3 1
Chattanooga 1 3 0  3 4 1
The Citadel 1 4 0  2 6 0
Ole Miss 0 2 0  4 3 0
Kentucky 0 3 1  3 4 1
Georgetown (KY) 0 2 0  0 3 0
Millsaps 0 3 0  0 3 0
Mercer 0 4 0  2 7 0
Wofford 0 4 0  0 8 1
  • + Conference co-champions

Schedule

DateOpponentSiteResult
October 2Morris Harvey*
W 66–0
October 9Howard
W 120–0
October 16at TransylvaniaLexington, KYW 55–0
October 23at Harvard*L 31–14
October 30at Georgia TechL 24–0
November 6at DePauw*Indianapolis, INW 34–0
November 13at KentuckyLexington, KYW 49–0
November 20vs. V. P. I.*Louisville, KYW 28–0
November 25Georgetown (KY)
  • Cheek Field
  • Danville, KY
W 103–0
January 1, 1921at TCU*Fort Worth, TX (Fort Worth Classic)W 63–7
  • *Non-conference game

[1]

Season

Centre opened the season with three straight wins by a combined score of 241–0, beating Morris Harvey (now Charleston), 66–0; Howard (now Samford), 120–0; and Transylvania, 55–0.

A prequel to the 1921 Centre vs. Harvard football game followed; Harvard had not lost a game since 1918[2] and defeated visiting Centre 31–13, finishing with a record of 8–0–1. With the Harvard game tied 77, it was 4th down and 6 at the 30-yard line. Instead of punting, McMillin "defied every "don't" in the football book" and tossed a touchdown pass.[3]

A loss at Georgia Tech followed, 24–0; Georgia Tech finished its season 8–1, having outscored its opponents 312-16.[4] One writer recalled he heard a story that Tech tackle Bill Fincher sought to knock Bo McMillin out of the game, taking with him brass-knuckles or "something equally diabolical."[5]

Centre then defeated DePauw, 34–0, in Indianapolis; Kentucky, 49–0, at Lexington; Virginia Tech, 28–0, in Louisville; and Georgetown, 103–0.

Postseason

Centre then traveled to Fort Worth, Texas for a bowl game, the Fort Worth Classic, against undefeated TCU. TCU entered the game with a record of 9–0, including wins at Arkansas (19–2) and at Baylor (21–9).[6] Texas Christian had attained its perfect record while outscoring its opponents 163-46.[6] Centre won the game handily. Accounts of the final score vary; some sources say Centre won 63-7[6] and other sources give the final score as 77–7.[7]

Centre finished the season with a record of 8–2. McMillan was named to the 1920 College Football All-America Team.

References

  1. "Centre College Football Records (1920-1939)".
  2. Harvard footballs scores
  3. Yust, Walter (1952). "Encyclopaedia Britannica: A New Survey of Universal Knowledge".
  4. 1920 Georgia Tech football scores
  5. "Fincher, Guyon, Strupper-and Shaw Hardy". The Miami News. November 3, 1943.
  6. 1920 Texas Christian football scores
  7. John Y. Brown, The Legend of the Praying Colonels, J. Marvin Gray & Associates, Inc., Louisville, Kentucky
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