Yearbook: Penn State

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Here's another installment to the yearbook collection:

Penn State has their yearbooks available online and it's another decent addition to the list. While their football history isn't quite as decorated as Pittsburgh's - their yearbook is certainly on par with their western Pennsylvania counterpart. The Penn State La Vie is complete from 1890 through 2000 and PSU has made the collection searchable, which makes for leisurely reading and effortless study.

Some of the items I have been checking out are a few of State's unheralded, yet noteworthy undefeated seasons.

In 1909 PSU went 5-0-2 capping their season with a win at Pittsburgh. In today's football the participants may not even remember ties in football - but if you don't think Penn State partisans were pumped about their first undefeated season - think again.

1911  The pages of the La Vie list 1911 as Penn State's best season to that date - Penn State went 8-0-1 with wins over strong Cornell and Penn teams plus a win against rival Pittsburgh. This undefeated season gave PSU a Pennsylvania state championship and bragging rights as eastern champion.

1920 was another unbeaten season for PSU - 7-0-2 with a notable 0-0 tie against unbeaten 6-0-2 Pitt. I mention that 1920 tie because Pitt and State played in another scoreless tie the following year - and in 1922 shut the Panthers out again 14-0. When I see those back to back 0-0 ties I am reminded of the three straight scoreless ties between Pitt and Fordham in 1936, 1937 and 1938.

1921 gave the (8-0-1) Nittany Lions back to back undefeated seasons for the second time (1911-1912). While Penn State tied Pop Warner's Pitt team and avoided unbeaten Lafayette and John Heisman's 4-3 Penn squad, State still had a commendable undefeated season. 1921 also had a one loss Notre Dame team, an undefeated Washington and Jefferson team and a perfect 9-0 Lafayette team. It is understandable that Penn State wasn't invited to the Rose Bowl this year, but less understandable that PSU would be invited to Pasadena the next year with just a 6-4-1 record. 

The season recaps in Penn State's La Vie  are fantastic and well worth the time put into looking back.

In all, another great yearbook from a classic Pennsylvania football school.


It is the mission of The Unbalanced Line Online Library to present important and interesting historical texts to college football fans. Items will be added regularly as blog postings and can be easily indexed in the Yearbooks button on the site bar.

Copyrighted material is used expressly under the fair use guidelines of U.S. Code 17 #107 through #118 stating that the criticism, comment, news reporting, educational use or research of copyrighted material is not held in violation of copyright laws.

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