Monday, October 15, 2007

Dropping the Silver Ball

I've been running some trivia over the Silver Ball contest, which is the focus of the entire college football world as Auburn carries the grand old trophy to LSU this weekend, and come up with a few fun facts.

Auburn's 9-7 defense of the ball on Saturday was the first time a team had successfully defended the ball with a single digit score since... Auburn's 9-7 win in the 1984 Sugar Bowl.

The team with by far the most shots at the ball and no wins is Wesleyan, having played for the ball 30 times, the last in 1910. In the midst of that 0-30 nightmare (they failed even to tie the holder once) the Cardinals scored 20 points and gave up 1,390, the worst game being a 105-0 thrashing at the hands of Princeton. Fortunately, since the NESCAC now plays no non-conference football games, Wesleyan is unlikely to have to relive the horror.

Yale has by far the most success, walking away with the trophy some 132 times. Beginning with a shutout of Princeton to wrest away the ball at Eastern Park in 1890, Yale blanked the opposition in 35 consecutive Silver Ball matches, while scoring 1,259 points themselves.

USC has left the stadium with the Silver Ball 76 times to lead modern day I-A programs. Oklahoma, by contrast, has won just once, over Tennessee in the 1968 Orange Bowl. Other I-A programs of interest:

Ohio State: 57
Ole Miss: 47
Miami (FL): 45
Alabama: 45
Army: 39
LSU: 36
Michigan: 36
UCLA: 35
Auburn: 32
Tennessee: 26
Georgia: 24
Washington: 22
Navy: 22
Penn State: 21
Notre Dame: 21
Nebraska: 17
Texas: 16
Syracuse: 15
Florida State: 15
Arizona State: 14

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