It’s a record that will never be broken, because it is a record that can never be broken. In 1901, the Michigan Wolverines entered a new era of college football, and quickly established its program as one of the greatest in the history of the sport.
First-year head coach Fielding H. Yost took the helm in Ann Arbor, and Michigan completed arguably the most dominant season ever by a college football team. With what would come to be known as on of Yost’s “Point-a-Minute” teams, Michigan raced to an 11-0 record in which the Wolverines beat their opponents by a combined score of 555-0. Michigan beat everyone by at least three touchdowns, with the closest score of the season being a 21-0 decision over Ohio State. Capping off the historic campaign, Michigan defeated Stanford 49-0 in the first Rose Bowl – which also happened to be the first bowl game in college football history.
There have been other teams that went through an entire season unbeaten, untied and unsecured upon, though just three since 1920. One of the most famous is the 1932 Colgate Red Raiders team that finished the season 9-0 and won their games by a total score of 264-0, but did not receive an invitation to play in the Rose Bowl. The 1939 Tennessee Vols came incredibly close to tying Michigan’s record. In a 10-0 regular season, the Vols beat their opponents 212-0. However, Tennessee lost 14-0 to USC in the Rose Bowl to end their shot at a perfect, perfect season.
Looking at the unlikelihood another college football squad will ever repeat a season’s worth of shutouts, Ole Miss led the nation in scoring defense with 16.0 points allowed per game in 2014. The Rebels recorded just one shutout in 13 games.
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