YALE 1920

 44 Carnegie Tech    0
 21 North Carolina   0
 13 Boston College  21
 24 West Virginia    0
 21 Colgate          7
 14 Brown           10
  0 Princeton       20
  0 Harvard          9
---                ---
137    (5-3-0)      67

Did you ever find yourself working on a project that no one else cared about? That's how I feel whenever I go back and study Yale of 1920.

And why would anyone care about Yale of 1920? What made them so special?

To answer that, let's review first the season of 1971. Nebraska finished first in the AP poll at 13-0-0. That is a logical place to start. Oklahoma finished second at 11-1-0, losing only to Nebraska. Again, this is logical. Colorado finished third at 10-2-0. Since they lost only to Nebraska and Oklahoma, this also seems logical.

Now here is the question, and why Yale of 1920 ties into all of this. Suppose in 1971 there was a team that finished 9-3-0, losing only to Nebraska, Oklahoma and Colorado. Could a team with three losses ever finish as high as 4th in the polls? Or in any math formula rating system?

In 1920 Yale lost to Princeton and to Harvard. Princeton finished 6-0-1 and Harvard 8-0-1. They played a 14-14 tie. Suppose at the end of the season Princeton is rated first and Harvard second. In 1920 Yale lost to Boston College, who finished 8-0-0. Now suppose Boston College is rated third. And now, of course, we come to Yale of 1920. They lost to only three teams all year, but what if those three were the best in the nation? Doesn't this demonstrate that Yale, despite their 5-3 record, could have been the 4th best team of 1920? But would anyone with a subjective ranking system put them 4th?