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1932 Colgate Red Raiders football team

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1932 Colgate Red Raiders football team

1932
National Championship[1]
Conference Independent
1932 record 9–0
Head coach Andrew Kerr
Offensive scheme Double-wing

The 1932 Colgate Red Raiders football team represented Colgate University in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) intercollegiate competition. Fourth-year head coach Andrew Kerr led Colgate to a perfect record, and the team did not allow an opponent to score throughout the entire season.

Nevertheless, Colgate did not receive an expected invitation to the , and as such, the team was called "undefeated, untied, unscored upon, and uninvited".[2] The 1932 Colgate eleven is one of only three college football teams since 1920 to have finished a perfect season without being scored upon. The new maroon uniforms adopted by this team inspired the nickname for the school's athletics program: the "Red Raiders".

Season

Colgate was led by fourth-year head coach Andrew Kerr, who had a previous stint at Stanford at the request of Glenn "Pop" Warner. Kerr employed a complex offensive scheme built around Warner's double-wing formation with an additional emphasis on trick plays using reverses and laterals.[2][3] In 1932, Colgate joined a very small number of football teams to have ever compiled an undefeated, untied, and unscored upon season. Since 1920, only Duke in 1938 and Tennessee in 1939 have matched the feat.[4] Colgate was also the first Eastern team to have accomplished the deed since 1910 when both Navy and Pittsburgh did so.[3] Colgate won its nine games by a combined margin of 264–0.[5] Throughout the season, Colgate recorded a total of 99 first downs to their opponents' 21; 1,581 yards of total offense to 255; and 45 pass completions to 13.[3] The closest match was a 14–0 victory over the NYU Violets at Yankee Stadium.[5] Time magazine described the NYU defense as porous against Colgate's short-range passing and ground attack, and said the Violets' line "seemed to have a hinge in the middle."[6] In that game, Colgate also debuted new uniforms that featured maroon trousers and a new nickname: the "Red Raiders of Chenango".[6]

In the final game, the likewise undefeated and untied Brown Bears came the closest of any opponent to scoring against Colgate. At the end of the second quarter, with the score at 6–0, the Bears were at the Colgate one-yard line with time for one final play in the half. Brown's quarterback, , held onto the ball on a rushing attempt. He was brought down close to the goal line, and the referees measured it and determined the ball was still two inches shy of the end zone. Instead of playing conservatively to preserve their lead and unblemished record, Colgate took an aggressive approach in the second half. This included a blocked punt which Colgate converted for a safety. Later, Colgate halfback intercepted a pass on his own 20-yard line, and Colgate scored again. In a desperate attempt to score, Brown attempted a fourth down pass, but it fell incomplete and the Bears turned over on downs. Colgate scored on their next possession with a pass from Conroy to Bodganski, for the final score of 21–0.[3]

Postseason

Upon the season's conclusion, Colgate felt there was the possibility of a Rose Bowl invitation.[7] However, despite the team's remarkable record, they were not invited to participate in the . The team reportedly had their bags packed to go to the Rose Bowl, but the call never came. This led some observers to refer to the team as "undefeated, untied, unscored upon, and uninvited."[2] Pittsburgh was the eastern team to appear in the Rose Bowl, where they lost to USC, 35–0.[8]

Parke H. Davis, an NCAA-recognized selector, named Colgate a national championship team (co-champions with Michigan and Southern Cal).[9] After the season, Colgate guard Robert Smith was named a first-team All-American by the All-American Board, the International News Service, and Liberty magazine. Quarterback Charles R. Soleau was named an All-American Quarterback[10] and was also named to the 1932 "All-Scout" team by Boys' Life magazine.[11]

The 1932 team's use of maroon uniforms led to Colgate's nickname, the "Red Raiders", although in 2001 this was expurgated to simply "Raiders" due to a perceived racial connotation.[12]

Schedule

Date Opponent Site Result
September 24, 1932 St. Lawrence* Hamilton, New York W 42–0  
October 1, 1932 Case Tech* Hamilton, New York W 27–0  
October 8, 1932 Niagara* Hamilton, New York W 47–0  
October 15, 1932 Lafayette* Easton, Pennsylvania W 35–0  
October 22, 1932 NYU* Yankee StadiumNew York, New York W 14–0  
October 29, 1932 Penn State* Hamilton, New York W 31–0  
November 5, 1932 Mississippi College* Hamilton, New York W 32–0  
November 12, 1932 Syracuse* Archbold StadiumSyracuse, New York W 16–0  
November 19, 1932 Brown* Brown StadiumProvidence, Rhode Island W 21–0  
*Non-conference game. Homecoming.

References

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