MTSU Notes

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Ready or not, the 2020 college football season is here and though a lot of leagues and teams shut down football  operations, there is still a lot to play for in terms of crowning the king of eastern football. Considering BYU and UTEP are by far the two westernmost teams this year, this would be a great year for Army to take it personal and win back the Lambert Trophy.

The last time college football had such an eastern center of gravity was probably some time in the 1916-1919 range. Here is an article highlighting the end-of-season rankings for the 1917 season.  Included is an interesting description of Denver University's 9-0 season - from which you can see how even winning teams out west were received.

We have another token (sic) team, 9-0 Denver University, Rocky Mountain champs, but they were almost completely ignored by the national press this season, and I suspect that most writers would have known nothing about them until they read the football annuals after the season. Furthermore, Denver repeatedly struggled to beat mediocre-to-bad teams, including an egregious 20-19 win at 0-8-1 Tulsa, a team that lost to Oklahoma State by 39 and to Oklahoma by 80 over the following 2 weeks.

At this point, the Pacific Coast Conference was just starting to expand adding Washington State and Stanford in 1917 and 1918. Idaho, Stanford and USC would all join the league by 1922. 

Though Cal and USC would go on to become legit powerhouses in the coming years, the young Pacific Coast league was less competitive back then and wasn't really that influential in terms of national football. You can look at the All-America rosters for those years and you will detect an eastern selection bias.

If the Lambert trophy is meant to honor the glory days of eastern football, then this season should further heighten the importance of the award. It's a lot of time and a lot of football between now and when the Lambert trophy is awarded. I don't know how things are going to play out this year, but I will let you know that I really like the idea of Eastern-only college football, and I hope the trend sticks. 

Anyway the journey starts here. Available now are the Middle Tennessee game notes for their trip to West Point. 

Update: Army game notes are up. 




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