The 12th Man, Pre-1922 (Iowa)

by Travis Normand

While Texas A&M is known as the “Home of the 12th Man,” it appears as if the term “12th Man” (as a reference to a team’s fan base, student section, or alumni) has been used prior to the famous 1922 Dixie Classic.

In a 1912 issue of “The Iowa Alumnus,” E.A. McGowan (captain on the 1905 Iowa team), recalls the 1903 Iowa victory over Illinois.  You will notice that he gave credit to the “twelfth man on the team (the loyal spirited Iowa rooter)” for the victory.

The Iowa Alumnus
Volume X, November, 1912, Number 2
Page 30
By EA McGowan, Captain 1905

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College Football Documentaries/Movies

by Travis Normand

(1)  365 Days:  A Year in Happy Valley (by The Porterfield Group, LLC)

(2)  The Joe We Know (by The Porterfield Group, LLC)

(3)  Ole War Skule Movie ( or

(4)  SEC Ready (by TexAgs Films at

(5)  Breaking Tradition: Ride for the Brand (by Wellborn Road Productions – to be released Fall 2015)

(6)  The Burning Desire (by Texas A&M 12th Man Productions)

(7)  Aggies: The True Story of Texas A&M

(8)  We’ve Never Been Licked 

Know of any others?  Please let me know in the comments below and I will add them here.

Princeton vs. Yale – Nov. 19, 1903

by Travis Normand

The caption below states that this is the “oldest collegiate football video footage on record.”  While I am not sure if that claim is true, I still find this clip from 1903 pretty amazing.  The game itself still looks a lot like Rugby Union only with stoppage of play after each tackle (as Rugby Union play doesn’t stop after the player is tackled).

Princeton and Yale’s 1903 battle wasn’t just a match-up of undefeated teams. It also served as the site for the oldest collegiate football video footage on record, thanks to a Thomas Alva Edison-sponsored production company. The result is a remarkable recording of a game previously witnessed by only the 50,000 spectators on hand.

Random Research: Cumberland Football

by Travis Normand

Everyone has heard of 1916 Cumberland vs. Georgia Tech football game that ended with Georgia Tech shutting out Cumberland, 222-0.  However, what you may not know about is Cumberland’s football troubles that came immediately before and after that famous defeat.

Cumberland’s game with Georgia Tech was their last game of the 1916 season. However, before Cumberland traveled to Atlanta to play Georgia Tech, they were defeated in a game by Sewanee.  That game ended with a final score of 107-0.  In other words, Cumberland closed out the 1916 season with back-to-back losses and a combined score of 329-0.

Unfortunately, the 1917 season didn’t go so well either.  Cumberland only played one game in 1917 and it was against “Tennessee.”  Cumberland was defeated by a score of 105-0.

Mystery Opponent of 1917:  You will notice above that I wrote “Tennessee” (in quotes) when referring to Cumberland’s 1917 defeat.  This is because Cumberland’s 2011 football media guide lists their 1917 opponent as “Tennessee.”  I had assumed that this was the University of Tennessee but the 2014 Tennessee football media guide (page 156) says that Tennessee didn’t field a team in 1917 or 1918 because of World War I.  However, Tennessee did have two unofficial teams during the 1917 and 1918 seasons (see page 162 of the 2014 Tennessee football media guide), but according to the media guide, neither of those teams played Cumberland in 1917.  Therefore, at this point in time, I don’t know who the “Tennessee” team was that defeated Cumberland in 1917.

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SWC: 100 years old

by Travis Normand

The following article appeared on on 10 May 2014.  It is a great article by Barry Horn, detailing many historical aspects of the SWC.  For this reason I am reposting the entire article here on this site, however, please do visit to see the original article.

Odd as it may seem, reform was in SWC’s DNA at its birth 100 years ago

Barry Horn
Staff Writer
Published: 10 May 2014 08:31 PM
Updated: 10 May 2014 08:31 PM

A familiar story for a May day in ’14?

College athletics running amok!

Shaky academic standards!

Academically unqualified players on the field commonly known as “ringers,” or “tramp athletes” representing schools!

Minimal safety standards!

Only the year was 1914.

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