A Fictional History of Football : A DDSPF20/DDSCF20 dynasty

A Fictional History of Football : A DDSPF20/DDSCF20 dynasty

Postby Tiger Fan » Sun Dec 29, 2019 11:29 pm

A FICTIONAL HISTORY OF FOOTBALL

I am not sure how long I will keep this dynasty going as I am sure there will be some fixes I will want to take advantage of in future beta releases of DDSCF20 forcing me to restart it but I am really enjoying seeing how things are unfolding in my college league so I felt I wanted to start a dynasty report to document it.

I have done similar writings with the same style for baseball with OOTP in which my primary focus is on the history of the game over a longer period. I will follow a similar format here although I have not made too many attempts at a football dynasty in the past. I always like to build a history before I dive into things so in this one I quick simmed my college league from 1915 to 1945 (1920-45 for the NFL) to build up a history for my league. I then slow things down a bit in 1946 with the plan to look at things in a little more detail by focusing on a key recruit or two at the time and following their career through the college ranks and hopefully in to the pro game which I am also simming in the same manner.

My college league will have 82 teams set up in conference alignments from the early 1970s. I capped it at 82 teams primarily because I like to run a smaller pro league and prefer to have a few less rookies entering the draft each year but also because it made creating schedules for my 82 team college league a little easier than if there were another 40 or so teams. The college league will not evolve, it will always remain with the same alignment due to game restrictions.

My pro league will evolve somewhat close to what the real-life NFL did (but not exact). I am going with a 12 team league to start in 1920 and, while all but Green Bay, will move at some point, the same 12 team format will continue until we get to the AFL and expansion as we enter the 1960s.


To begin this dynasty let's start with a look at the early days (pre-1946) in both the college ranks and the NFL
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Re: A Fictional History of Football : A DDSPF20/DDSCF20 dyna

Postby Tiger Fan » Sun Dec 29, 2019 11:30 pm

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: THE EARLY DAYS 1915-1945

The first National Champion was the Oregon Ducks, who went 11-1 in a 1915 season that culminated for them with a 31-14 victory over Wisconsin in the first Rose Bowl. That would prove to be the high point for the Ducks who over the next three decades would only win the Pacific 8 Conference title two more times and lose in the Rose Bowl on both occassions, falling to Michigan State in 1917 and Michigan in 1936.

The Badgers would rebound from a loss in that first Rose Bowl to go 12-0 the following season and become the first school to go undefeated in a season. North Carolina State would duplicate that feat the following year and become a mini-dynasty with three straight National Titles starting in 1917. As impressive as the Wolfpack run was it would be the Texas Longhorns under legendary coach Chet Hazlett who became college football's first true powerhouse. Hazlett guided the Longhorns from that inaugural 1915 campaign until his retirement following the 1930 season. Under his tutilege, the Longhorns would go 164-24 and win 6 Nationals Titles while finishing second three other times. After his retirement, Texas would get one more title under new coach Bob Trice, but that was in 1932 with a team still dominated by Hazlett's recruits. Aside from a 10-2 1941 season that culminated in a Cotton Bowl loss to 12-0 Tennessee, Texas would never be relevant in National Title discussion again.

Nebraska had a strong program under coach Duke Lewandowski during the same period but the Cornhuskers could never surpass Texas. However, one of Lewandowski's co-ordinators would be the one to end the Longhorn dynasty. Joe LaChance joined Notre Dame as head coach in 1930 after serving as a co-ordinator for Lewandowski in the 1920s.

LaChance had nation's best recruiting class in 1932 and 1933, laying the foundation for powerful team with a #2 ranking and a Cotton Bowl loss to Texas in 1932. Texas went down from there while Notre Dame hit new heights with a 1933 National Title led by Heisman winning back Earl Beavers. It would be the first of 4 straight National Titles for Notre Dame that had 3 different backs win the Heisman in that period. Like Texas, Notre Dame's dynasty would come to an end when their coach retired. LaChance stepped down after the 1940 season. Long-time Texas A&M DC Stan Stidham took over for 1941 at Notre Dame but was gone after 1945 as the school struggled. The Irish would bring in Ival Scarborough for 1946. He was a co-ordinator under LaChance in Notre Dame from 1931-36 before going on to HC duties at Ohio State(37-41), Colorado (1943) and most recently Wake Forest (44-45). Scarborough was beneficiary of the #2 recruiting class (behind USC) going into the 1946 season so perhaps future is looking up for the Irish.

As the decade changed to the 1940's it was Tennessee and Virginia that emerged as the dominant teams in college football. Starting in 1938 the Vols and Cavs would combine for 9 National Titles in 9 years.

Punch Stone would bring up the revival at Virginia, leading them to 11 bowl games and 3 National Crowns in his 13 years at the school since 1933. Tennessee immediately saw its fortunes turn for the better whe Jerry Theriot took over as coach in 1938. The building blocks were in place after an 8-3 season in 1937, but Theriot led the Volunteers to an 11-1 season and their first National Title in his first season at the helm. Since then, Tennessee has won 2 more National Titles and made 8 straight bowl appearances including 6 New Year's Day appearances.

Ben Gentle won his second Heisman Tophy in 1944 and led Tennessee to a 20-10 win over Texas Tech in the Sugar Bowl and a 12-0 season, giving the Vols their third National Title in 7 years. Tennesse had some help that year as they won the title because two other unbeatens lost bowl games including Penn State falling to Oklahoma 31-7 in the Orange Bowl and #1 ranked entering the bowls Virginia losing 46-43 in overtime to Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl. It was the first loss in 3 years for Virginia, unbeaten in 1942 and 1943 winning back to back National titles and 3 in 4 years.


Here are the National Champions by year

Image


Next up will be a look at the early days of the NFL
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Re: A Fictional History of Football : A DDSPF20/DDSCF20 dyna

Postby Tiger Fan » Mon Dec 30, 2019 10:02 pm

THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
IT'S INFANCY 1920-1945

While the college game enjoyed a large following and a national footprint right from day one, in it's early days the National Football League was really nothing more than a glorified regional entity based primarily in the midwest and northeast. It can hardly be called a major league when a team from Duluth, Minnesota was crowned champion in the league's first season, beating the Decatur Staleys and Portsmouth Spartans in the playoffs to win the inaugural title.

In those early years the league also had difficulty convincing many of the top college stars to continue to play football as professionals due to the low salaries being offered but that would change by the mid-1930s with teams relocating to larger cities such as New York, Detroit and Baltimore causing in increase in attendance and league revenue. In 1937, the league became truly national when the Cleveland Rams franchise pulled up stakes and relocated to the west coast following a last place finish in 1936. With a revamped roster bolstered by some former west coast collegiate stars, the now Los Angeles Rams finished with the best record in the West Division in 1937 and reached the NFL title game before falling to the Philadelphia Eagles, themselves a recent transplant from Brooklyn, 17-12.

The Rams had some mediocre seasons on the field in the years that followed although they did make it back to another NFL title game in 1943. That year the Rams upset the first place Chicago Bears in the semi-finals, only to lose badly to the New York Giants in the title game. Despite the limited success on the field, football was a huge hit at the box office in Los Angeles and greatly increased the league's popularity and ability to pay enough in salaries to lure almost all of the top college stars.

The Rams success also paved the way for one of the league's most transient franchises to also find a home on the west coast as the San Francisco 49ers beginning in 1946. The team that ended up in San Francisco had it's beginnings in Duluth and as previously mentioned, won the first NFL championship 26 years earlier. In addition to Duluth, where they were known as the Eskimos, the team was also the Frankford Yellow Jackets from 1924-1933, the St Louis Gunners for one year in 1934, before moving to Brooklyn and being known as the Dodgers in 1935, two years after Brooklyn's first team - the Tigers - packed their belongings and headed to Baltimore citing too much competition for fans in New York with both the Giants and Yanks also in the city. The Dodgers were league champions in 1938 but ceded America's largest city to the wildly popular Giants following the 1945 campaign when both the Dodgers and Yanks moved out of the New York area. The Dodgers to San Francisco and the Yanks set up operations in Cleveland as the Browns filling a void created in that city 9 years earlier when the Rams went west.

The metro New York area was home to several different franchises between 1925 and 1946 but the first inhabitant was clearly the most successful both at the ticket window and eventually on the field as well. Prior to 1925 the Rochester Jeffersons shifted to New York City and were rechristened as the Giants. The Giants would make the playoffs that first season but even though the fan support was there, success on the gridiron was slow to come. It would be 1941 before they made the playoffs again but the team would then capture the imagination of Gotham with back to back league titles in 1942-43 and are riding a streak of 5 straight playoff appearances.

The Giants were led by a multi-faceted running game that featured former Notre Dame star Les Borden and ex-Kansas Jayhawk Happy Marshall. For the first title those two were joined in the backfield by a 34 year old Jackie Smith. The ex-Hoosier was dominant in the two post-season victories that year and gave the Giants an almost unstoppable trio. It would be the only season the much travelled Smith would play in New York as he would leave the game for the next two years before resurfacing in Baltimore last year. Smith, who is the game's all-time leading rusher with 10,579 yards has led a vagabond NFL existence over the past 18 years with stops in Green Bay, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles and with both Chicago teams - the Bears and the Cardinals as well as four years when he decided not to play at all.

Finally it warrants mentioning there was no better place for a football fan to be than in the Chicago area in the early to mid 1930s. To start with, fans in the area had a close up view of the legendary Joe LaChance building a dynasty at Notre Dame in nearby South Bend. Meanwhile, each of the Windy City's two professional teams were at their peak with the original tenant, the Cardinals, winning titles in 1932 and 1933 and the Bears, who moved from nearby Decatur prior to the 1922 seasons, claimed the NFL title each of the next 3 years including a pair of wins over the Cardinals in the championship game. The Bears and Cardinals would each win one more title in the forties but in the early thrities football belonged to Chicago.

Here is the complete list of NFL title game results:
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              [b]NFL CHAMPIONS BY YEAR
YEAR   WINNER             SCORE     LOSER[/b]        
1920 Duluth Eskimos      38-10     Portsmouth Spartans
1921 Cleveland Rams       16-13   Chicago Cardinals
1922 Chicago Bears     20-17   Rochester Jeffersons
1923 Duluth Eskimos     13-7    Portsmouth Spartans
1924 Brooklyn Tigers     17-14   Chicago Bears
1925 Canton Bulldogs     13-0    Brooklyn Tigers
1926 Columbus Panhandles  16-13   Brooklyn Tigers
1927 Portsmouth Spartans  24-3    Columbus Panhandles
1928 Columbus Panhandles  17-6    Portsmouth Spartans
1929 Canton Bulldogs     16-9    Brooklyn Tigers
1930 Boston Redskins      9-0    Chicago Bears
1931 Boston Redskins     19-0    Frankford Yellow Jackets
1932 Chicago Cardinals     10-0    Cleveland Rams
1933 Chicago Cardinals     16-3    Green Bay Packers
1934 Chicago Bears     27-7    Chicago Cardinals
1935 Chicago Bears     17-7    Philadelphia Eagles
1936 Chicago Bears     27-7    Chicago Cardinals
1937 Philadelphia Eagles  17-12   Los Angeles Rams
1938 Brooklyn Dodgers     31-17   New York Yanks
1939 Philadelphia Eagles  10-6    Chicago Bears
1940 Pittsburgh Steelers  14-3    Brooklyn Dodgers
1941 Chicago Bears     17-3    Washington Redskins
1942 New York Giants     27-10   Green Bay Packers
1943 New York Giants        30-7    Los Angeles Rams
1944 Chicago Cardinals     14-12   Baltimore Colts
1945 Detroit Lions     24-9    New York Giants     



Next up will be a recap of the 1946 college and pro seasons.
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Re: A Fictional History of Football : A DDSPF20/DDSCF20 dyna

Postby PointGuard » Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:58 pm

Great premise and write up. Loving it!
Dynasty Threads:
Fedora-CB;Town Crier-CB;FIve Friends/Foes-CB;Media Perspective-CB;Whatever It Takes-CB;Who's Bret Vandergard-CB;Gym Rat-CB;Repairman-CB;S. Mastroani-TPG;V. Stevenson-TPG
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Re: A Fictional History of Football : A DDSPF20/DDSCF20 dyna

Postby Tiger Fan » Tue Dec 31, 2019 1:11 am

PointGuard wrote:Great premise and write up. Loving it!

Thank you
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Re: A Fictional History of Football : A DDSPF20/DDSCF20 dyna

Postby Tiger Fan » Tue Dec 31, 2019 1:19 am

1946 COLLEGE

Notre Dame cut ties with head coach Stan Stidham after four poor (at least by their standards) seasons. The Irish were coming off back to back 8-4 seasons and losses in the Tangerine and Bluebonnet bowls. Stidham was unable to keep up the success the program enjoyed under Joe LaChance so Notre Dame returned to it's glory era by luring a former assistant under LaChance in Ival Scarborough to South Bend. Scarborough was part of 3 straight National Championship teams with LaChance before he moved on to Ohio State and later Colorado and Wake Forest. His first recruiting class was outstanding, second only to USC, but on the field Scarborough's first season was no better than what Stidham had done as Notre Dame finished with an 8-3 record and did not get a bowl invite.

After coming out of nowhere (actually 6-5 in 1944) defending National Champion Georgia followed up it's 12-0 season with a return towards normalcy for the Bulldogs program, finishing 8-3 and, like Notre Dame, failing to receive a bowl invite.

This year's Cinderella entering the bowls was North Carolina as the Tar Heels went unbeaten through the regular season and earned a berth as the #3 ranked school in the Sugar Bowl against 10-1 Florida. The Gators actually finished second in the SEC behind 11-0 Tennessee (the two schools did not meet this year) as Florida's lone loss came to Georgia. Tennessee won the conference as the Vols ran the table and bypassed the normal Sugar Bowl invite given to the SEC winner for a spot in the Orange Bowl against Big 8 runner-up Oklahoma (9-2). The Sooners went to the Orange, as conference champion Nebraska (11-0) selected the Cotton Bowl and a meeting with 9-2 Texas, the Southwest Conference Champ. The Rose Bowl would feature 10-1 Michigan against 9-2 Stanford.

Entering New Year's Day Nebraska, Tennessee and North Carolina were all 11-0 and ranked 1-2-3 in that order. Tennessee had 3 national titles in the past 8 years including one just two seaons ago. Nebraska won it's lone title in 1931 but had been second twice since then, most recently in 1941. Fourth ranked Michigan has never won a National Championship but entered the Rose Bowl with a slim chance, but the Wolverines would need to beat #8 Stanford and have each of the top three ranked teams lose.

As it turned out only Nebraska would lose, falling 20-13 to Texas. Tennessee took care of business in the Orange Bowl, scoring two fourth quarter touchdowns to beat Oklahoma 14-3 behind a 100 yard rushing day from junior tailback Karl Donham. That victory gave Tennessee it's second National Title in 3 years and 4th in 9 years. It also made North Carolina's 12-0 season, completed with a 38-14 win over Florida in the Sugar Bowl, only good enough to be ranked #2. It was still a big step forward for the Tar Heels, who had been ranked 11th a year ago and were 6-5 the year prior.

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The Top 10 would look like this:
1- Tennessee         12-0
2- North Carolina   12-0
3- Nebraska      11-1
4- Michigan      11-1
5- Penn State      11-1
6- Florida              10-2
7- Texas              10-2
8- Virginia              10-2
9- West Virginia           10-2
10-Stanford       9-3


Senior running back Gene Stokes, who rushed for 1,935 yards and led the nation in scoring with 25 touchdowns, was award the Heisman Trophy capping a tremendous career at North Carolina. Stokes would finish with a school record 6,142 career rushing yards, a mark good enough for 6th best in NCAA history. He becomes the third Tar Heel to win the Heisman, joining RB Jerry Smith who earned the nod in 1932 and Tony Classen, the 1915 winner.
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[b]
      HEISMAN TROPHY WINNERS[/b]
1946  RB  Gene Stokes      North Carolina
1945  RB  Jack Hipple      Georgia
1944  RB  Ben Gentle      Tennessee
1943  RB  Russ Jordan      Penn State
1942  RB  Ben Gentle      Tennessee
1941  RB  Thomas Rodriguez    Penn State
1940  RB  Gene Whitehead   Texas A&M
1939  RB  Cisco Ojeda      Virginia
1938  RB  Mack Johnson      Iowa
1937  RB  Larry Dominick   Oklahoma
1936  RB  Andy Emery      Michigan
1935  RB  Marv Gipe      Notre Dame
1934  RB  Walter Christofferson Notre Dame
1933  RB  Earl Beavers      Notre Dame
1932  RB  Jerry Smith      North Carolina
1931  RB  Ivan Pulido      Penn State
1930  RB  Walter Eisel      Dartmouth
1929  RB  Chet Williford   Texas
1928  RB  Chet Williford   Texas
1927  RB  Bobby Goldsberry      NC State
1926  RB  Chet Williford   Texas
1925  RB  Bobby Goldsberry      NC State
1924  RB  Larry Wiedemann   Georgia
1923  RB  Lena Levin      Texas
1922  RB  Nick Papp      Tennessee
1921  RB  Mike Simon      Clemson
1920  RB  Paul Teel      Virginia Tech
1919  RB  Al Lutz      Alabama
1918  RB  Paul Teel      Viriginia Tech
1917  RB  Ted Hickerson      NC State
1916  RB  Gus Grossman      Nebraska
1915  RB  Tony Classen      North Carolina


Next up a look at 1946 in the NFL.


EDIT- For the life of me I can not get tables to line up on this board using the code command. Works fine on other boards so I apologize if it is hard to read.
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Re: A Fictional History of Football : A DDSPF20/DDSCF20 dyna

Postby Tiger Fan » Tue Dec 31, 2019 1:26 am

1946 NFL RECAP

The New York Giants entered the 1946 season as the favourite to win the East Division but that was nothing new for the Giants, having a streak of 5 straight playoff seasons - best in the league - on the line. However, there was unfinished business for New York as the 1942 and 1943 NFL champions came up short in the post-season each of the last two years including a 24-9 loss to the Detroit Lions in last year's title game.

The Giants were led by quarterbak Bing Cullum, an 8th year pro out of Purdue and ex-Notre Dame star Les Borden, a 3-time National Champion with the Irish, was in his prime as the G-men's feature running back.

Despite the lofty expectations, New York got off to a slow start as it's offense sputtered. The Giants tied 3 of the first four games including a 13-13 encounter to start the season at home against Pittsburgh. In that 4th game, New York's struggling offense was dealt a critical blow when Borden went down for the season with an injury. The season still seemed salvagable when a 10-3 victory over the Chicago Cardinals in Week Six lifted the Giants record to 2-1-3 entering a showdown in Detroit. Things took a turn for the worse in the Motor City as the Lions doubled the Giants 20-10 starting a six game losing streak that would see New York plummet to the basement of the East Division. Quarterback Cullum would join Borden on the sidelines midway through that skid when the signal caller suffered a broken arm that ended his season 3 weeks early.

The Chicago Cardinals, despite losing one and tying the other of their two matches with the Giants, emerged as the East Division winners thanks in no small part to RB Pinch McWilliams, an undrafted 30 year old, surpassing the 1000 yard rushing mark for the first time in his career. McWilliams was greatly aided by the play of rookie QB Biggs Holley, out of UCLA. The third round pick won the job in training camp and joined Green Bay's Bob Vetter as the only two quarterbacks to throw for over 1000 yards on the season. As good as their offense was, the Cardinals real strength was a stingy defense that allowed the fewest points (99) in the East Division.

The second place Pittsburgh Steelers were the offensive juggernaut in this season, leading the NFL in scoring thanks to a dual threat backfield of Hal O'Neal and Jim Coggins, who combined to rush for over 1500 yards.

While the East featured a pair of new teams to qualify for the playoffs, it was status quo in the West with Baltimore and Detroit advancing for the second year in a row. The standings were reversed this year as while both teams finished at 8-3-1, the Colts were awarded home field for the playoffs thanks to a better divisional record. The two clubs were both hot down the stretch but the difference was Baltimore's Week 11 10-6 victory at home over Detroit.


Code: Select all
[b]FINAL 1946 NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE STADINGS
EAST DIVISION  W  L  T    WEST DIVISION  W  L   T[/b]
Chi Cardinals  6  2  4    Baltimore    8  3   1
Pittsburgh     7  4  1    Detroit      8  3   1
Washington     4  4  4  San Francisco  6  5   1
Philadelphia   5  6  1   Los Angeles   6  6   0
Cleveland      4  7  1   Green Bay     4  8   0
New York       2  7  3   Chi Bears     3  8   1


Detroit would get it's revenge for the Week 11 loss to Baltimore in the playoffs, building a quick 10-0 lead and, despite being dominated in most facets of the game, the Lions hung on for a 16-13 victory to punch their ticket to a return trip to the NFL title game.

In the East, the Pittsburgh Steelers were no match for the Chicago Cardinals diversified offense and stingy defense. Bing Holley threw a pair of touchdown passes and Pinch McWilliams ran for 79 yards and a score as the Cardinals won easily by 24-10 count.

The Championship game would feature the defending league champion Lions against the 1945 title winning Cardinals. It would also be the first playoff match ever between the two clubs. Chicago, an original 1920 entrant in the league, had 3 titles to it's credit (1932,1933 & 1945) while Detroit had just the one earned last year, although the franchise did win the 1928 title while based in Columbus.

With veteran quarterback Billy Denk unable to play due to a head injury, the Lions were forced to start backup Russ Bissell under center in the title game. Bissell did have some playoff experience, having started for the Bears for 3 years earlier in his career and he looked calm early.

The Detroit staff clearly did not have a lot of confidence in Bissell and it called just 8 pass plays all game. One of them came late in the first quarter and proved key as Bissell hooked up with end Tony Barge on a 4 yard touchdown strike to give the Lions an early lead.

Chicago did get on the scoreboard before the half as Eddie Briones cut the deficit to 7-3 at the break with a 19 yard field goal. The Cardinals would take the lead on the opening drive of the third quarter as back Buck Carrier scampered for a 14 yard score capping a 9 play drive that was the best of the game for Chicago. Carrier had a strong game, gaining 86 yards on the ground as Detroit keyed on stopping his backfield mate Pinch McWilliams. It was with only moderate success as McWilliams gained 99 yards on 31 carries.

Detroit did succeed in keeping the Cardinals off the scoresheet the rest of the game and the Lions offense did just enough to earn a victory as kicker Rinty Martins tied the contest at 10 late in the third quarter and would get the winning points on a 32 yard boot with 2:45 remaining in regulation, giving Detroit a 13-10 victory and a second straight NFL title.

The star of the game for the Lions offense was back Thurman Foran, who rushed for a game high 108 yards. A former 7th round pick by Green Bay out of the University of Minnesota, Foran found a home in Detroit and was the Lions feature back each of the past two seasons, gaining 1000 yards a year ago and 959 on the ground this season. It marked the second year in a row that Foran was named the playoff MVP.
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Re: A Fictional History of Football : A DDSPF20/DDSCF20 dyna

Postby Tiger Fan » Tue Dec 31, 2019 4:05 pm

Now that I have built up a history for my universe, I am now going to start looking at things a little closer in the college game by choosing a player or two each season to follow along. Until those players reach the NFL I will continue to do just a quick recap of each NFL season so I am reversing the order here and starting with the 1947 NFL summary before moving to the college game.



1947 NFL RECAP

There was plenty of hype surrounding Heisman Trophy winning back Gene Stokes from North Carolina so it came as just a mild surprise when the Chicago Bears nabbed him first overall. In 4 seasons as a Tar Heel, Stokes gained 6,142 yards and rushed for 62 touchdowns. As a senior, his 1,935 yards lead the Tar Heels to an undefeated season. The reason it was seen as a little unexpected was not to due to Stokes' obvious talents, but rather due to the fact that the Bears already had two very strong backs in Mack Johnson, who just prior to the draft was signed from Philadelphia where he rushed for 1,208 yards last season, and returning star Joe Aller, who carried the ball for 975 yards a in 1946. There just did not seem to be enough carries to go around for the three of them. (NOTE - Stokes likely would have gone in the second round as he was projected but as the author I wanted a good storyline so I made him the first overall draft pick, forgetting that the Bears had just signed Johnson in free agency. We will have to see how it plays out.)

The Bears cross-town rival Cardinals also added a quality college runner to their roster with the 4th round selection of Stan Crimmins out of UCLA. Crimmins had 3 consecutive 1000 yard rushing seasons for the Bruins including a school record 1,662 as a senior. He would be expected to push 10 year veteran Pinch McWilliams (1,084 yards last season) for playing time.

Despite winning back to back League Championships the Detroit Lions received little respect in the pre-season as Baltimore was heavily favoured to dethrone the Lions as West Division champs. The East was seen as being a wide open race with Pittsburgh, the Cardinals, Washington and the New York Giants all seen as contenders.

As it would turn out the two Chicago teams both enjoyed dominant years and each finished atop their respective divisions. The Bears took some time to get going, dropping two of their first three games but after that they did not lose again and finished with a league best 9-2-1 record. The Bears three pronged running attack worked as Johnson led the entire league with 1,193 yards rushing while Aller added 811 and the rookie Stokes was eased into the pro game with 211 yards on 60 carries.

The Los Angeles Rams ended a three year playoff drought by finishing second in the West Division at 7-4-1. Two losses and a tie in their final four games ended any hopes LA had of homefield advantage for the playoffs. Last year's top two teams in the West, Detroit and Baltimore, both stumbled to 5-7 seasons. After an opening week win over hapless San Francisco, the Colts dropped their next 5 in a row while the Lions started strong, winning their first three games and 4 of 5 but faded quickly.

In the East Division, the Chicago Cardinals raced out to a 5-0 start but then dropped 3 straight before righting the ship and finishing strong to hold off Washington for first place. A week eleven 23-6 victory at home over Washington in which rookie back Stan Crimmins rushed for a career best 115 yards and two touchdowns sealed the division for the Cardinals. For Crimmins it was like his college days all over again as he took hand-offs from former UCLA teammate Biggs Holley, who as a second year pro had a very strong season quarterbacking the Cardinals. Holley looks like he has the potential to become a star in the near future but a late season injury made him unavailable for the playoff opener.

As for Washington, veteran running back Marv Gipe, who won a Heisman Trophy and multiple National Championships at Notre Dame a decade ago,(Editor's Note: Likely prompting the phrase in Notre Dame to 'Win one for the Giper") led the Redskins resurgence and revitalized what was an anemic offense a year ago. The 8th year pro, who came over in the off-season from Los Angeles, failed to top the 1000 yard mark for the 5th consecutive season but came very close gaining 991 yards.

Code: Select all
FINAL 1947 NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE STADINGS
EAST DIVISION  W  L  T    WEST DIVISION  W  L   T
Chi Cardinals  8  3  1   Chi Bears     9  2   1
Washington     8  4  0   Los Angeles   7  4   1
Cleveland      7  4  1   Baltimore     5  7   0
Pittsburgh     5  6  1   Detroit       5  7   0
New York       4  8  0   Green Bay     3  6   3
Philadelphia   3  7  2  San Francisco  2  8   2


PLAYOFFS

The Chicago Cardinals and Washington had split their two regular season meetings with each team winning on homefield and the two squads were very familiar with one another when this one got underway. In a windy and wet afternoon in Chicago so both defenses dominated the contest. With fourth year quarterback Harry Maier ineffective, Washington's Marv Gipe could not seem to find any running room all game and was held to just 63 yards rushing. The Chicago offense, playing without injured QB Biggs Holley, also struggled early but the Cardinals did get a pair of field goals in the first half to go up 6-0 thanks in no small part to the running of rookie Stan Crimmins.

The second half was much the same for Washington and the best the Redskins could do was a single field goal to cut the Chicago lead to 6-3. That's how the game ended as the Cardinals, led by 118 rushing yards from Crimmins advanced to the title game for the second straight year.

Across town at Soldier Field, the West Division champion Chicago Bears were getting all they could handle from the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams led 13-7 late in the game but Chicago pulled out the victory thanks to a 6 yard touchdown pass from Whitey Riddle to Billy Beverage with just 3:51 remaining on the clock. Jim Moore's extra point, not a certainty in tricky weather conditions, split the uprights and lifted the Bears to the title game with a 14-13 victory despite an outstanding day from former Cardinals running back Buck Carrier, who had a game high 85 yards rushing for Los Angeles. The Rams dominated the time of possession and passing yardage as well with LA QB Spider Grant's 152 yards in the air more than double the passing yardage of the Bears Riddle but it was the Bears who would advance to the title game.

1947 NFL TITLE GAME

A Bears-Cardinals matchup was something that had already occurred twice in the past. The Bears had beaten their cross-city rivals on both occasions, in 1934 and 1936, by identical 27-7 scores. The Bears also hold the regular season bragging rights between the two teams, leading the all-time series 8 wins to 4. The Bears entered the game with everyone healthy while the Cardinals would be missing gargantuan tackle Chip Bickel, who was injured in the win over Washington. QB Biggs Holley was not at 100% but was determined to play.

Special teams played a key role early as a huge punt return gave the Cardinals excellent field position on their first drive and while they did have a first and goal on the Bears 7 yard line, the Bears defense held and forced the Cardinals to settle for an early 3-0 lead.

The Bears, having little success on the ground, tried to establish a passing game on their third series but on a second and ten from their own 19 Bears QB Whitey Riddle had a pass attempt picked off by Cardinals defensive back Norm Shaw. However, once again the Bears defense came up big, sacking Biggs Holley and forcing the Cardinals to come away empty as on 4th down they attempted a long field goal which was no good.

Midway through the second quarter the Bears finally strung together a few first downs, enough to get into field goal range and tie the game at three. However, as the half came to a close Biggs Holley completed 3 straight passes and, mixed in with a Stan Crimmins 14 yard scamper, allowed the Cardinals to kick a field goal of their own and go back ahead by a 6-3 count. It was just a terrible first half of offense by the Bears, who were outgained 162 yards to 60, but they could take comfort going into the locker room at the break down only 3 points.

The second half played out very much like the first. Howard Montague would add a third field goal for the Cardinals, who continously marched the ball in to Bears territory only to have the Bears stand tall and keep the Cardinals from further extending their lead. Meanwhile, the Bears offense could do very little. A last ditched Bears effort fell short when Riddle was sacked for the third time in the game on a 4th down at the Cardinals 27 yard line in the final minute, securing a 9-3 victory and an NFL Championship for the Chicago Cardinals.

With Riddle unable to complete passes with any sort of consistency the Bears were forced to rely on the ground game and the Cardinals were ready, holding Mack Johnson to just 55 yards rushing on 27 carries. Heisman Trophy winner Gene Stokes was only entrusted with the ball for a single carry. Meanwhile, fellow rookie Stan Crimmins gained 99 yards on 20 carries for the Cardinals and was named MVP of the title game. His former UCLA and current Cardinals teammate QB Bugs Holley, also had a strong game, completing 16 of 22 pass attempts for 172 yards.

Despite the poor showing in the title game, Bears running back Mack Johnson was named league MVP after rushing for a league high 1,193 yards. Crimmins was the offensive rookie of the year and with him, and Holley, the Cardinals looked to be in the running for several more titles.



Next up we begin the 1947 college season.
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Re: A Fictional History of Football : A DDSPF20/DDSCF20 dyna

Postby Tiger Fan » Wed Jan 01, 2020 2:55 pm

Now that I have a decent amount of backstory and history for my league I am going delve a little deeper in to each season, following it from the perspective of a key player or two. I have also tweaked my league modifiers a bit to slowly increase the amount of passing in the game. I had kept passing to a minimum throughout the history building pre-play but now things will begin to balance out a little as quarterbacks start to become more important. As a result I am going to choose a couple of quarterbacks to focus on this season.



COLLEGE FOOTBALL PRESEASON 1947

The game of football was slowly changing in the late 1940's. While teams still for the most part relied very heavily on running the ball, a good passing game was becoming much more important and a new wave of good young quarterbacks who could throw was emerging. No where was that change more noticeable than on the recruiting trail. Running backs and big mobile linemen had dominated the wish list for college coaches for decades, but now quarterbacks and wideouts were in demand. The top two recruits of the 1947 freshman class were still backs - running back John Broomfield from Leesville, South Carolina was #1 and Ashburn, Virginia fullback Carl Ancona was second - but there were also four highly touted signal callers in the top ten:

Dave Grosse: The #5 overall recruit is a 6'2" WB from Athens, Alabama who was said to be deciding between a number of SEC schools and Notre Dame.

Stew Mall: Right behind Grosse at #6 is the Miami, Florida native.

Rip Tipton: At #7 is the product of Buna, Texas who is being heavily recruited by the Longhorns.

Doug Cheek - Ranked #8 in his class, Cheek is the top prospect in the Northeast and heavily sought after from Westport, Conn.



Notre Dame second year head coach Ival Scarbrough returned to the Irish a year ago and was tasked with the chore of returning the school to the status they enjoyed during Scarbrough's first tenure with the school, when he was a co-ordinator under Joe LaChance and Notre Dame won 4 straight National Titles. Scarborough had little success to that end in his first season at the helm, the Irish duplicated their 8-4 record from the previous season and failed to crack the top twenty in the final rankings. However, Scarbrough's work on the recruiting trail the previous fall and this year may have laid the foundation for the next wave of Notre Dame titles.

For the second year in a row Scarbrough's recruiting class dominated the college ranks, landing ten Five-Star recruits featuring #2 overall FB Carl Ancona and one of the QB's we mentioned earlier in top rated signal caller Dave Grosse, grabbing the Alabama native right out from under the noses of the SEC powers including Tennessee.

Grosse was not the only surprise signing of the winter as two of the top ranked quarterbacks selected Ivy League schools while the third went to a WAC school despite big interest in all 3 from the traditional powers.

Here are the top 10 recruits and where they ended up
Code: Select all
1- RB John Broomfield from Leesville, SC     MINNESOTA
2- FB  Carl Ancona from Ashburn Va          NOTRE DAME
3- FS Joe Smith Sylvania Ga             MICHIGAN
4- RB Larry Lenahan Fort Smith Ark        SYRACUSE
5- QB Dave Grosse Athens, Alab         NOTRE DAME
6- QB Stew Mall from Miami Fl          NEW MEXICO
7- QB Rip Tipton from Buna Tx         PENN
8- QB Doug Cheek Westport, Ct           DARTMOUTH
9- WR Art Cook Jersey City, NJ        FLORIDA ST
10-WR Art Riche Dunedin, Fl             CAL

I was very surprised to see the final destination for those 3 QB's. Now, I did set my prestige a little closer when the league first started (top schools peaked at 72 and the bottom schools like the Ivy League and WAC had a low base of 48. Letting the game evolve on it's own Notre Dame is now tops at 83 with Nebraska next at 80. At the other end of the spectrum, years of getting beat up in the SEC have Vanderbilt at the bottom with a 38 followed by Harvard 40 and Princeton 41.) Dartmouth and New Mexico are both at 55 prestige - close to the best in their conference's but right about average overall and Penn is at 51 so it is quite surprising for them to each land a top ten QB, especially considering two of the three were from well out of the region they went to. Unexpected, but an interesting turn.

Notre Dame had the number one class with Texas A&M, Syracuse, Florida and Michigan rounding out the top five. Our 3 QB's were the only five star recruits those schools inked and helped boost Dartmouth's class to 12th, New Mexico's to 13th and Penn to #32.
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Re: A Fictional History of Football : A DDSPF20/DDSCF20 dyna

Postby Tiger Fan » Wed Jan 01, 2020 3:08 pm

1947 COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON

Notre Dame entered the season ranked third in the polls behind Nebraska and Texas A&M. Rounding out the top ten are Oklahoma, USC, Michigan, Penn State, Florida, Georgia and Virginia. Defending National Champion Tennessee is 14th while last seasons #2 ranked team North Carolina comes in at 11.

As for our 4 QB's. We won't see Dave Grosse at all this year as Notre Dame has decided to redshirt him. The Irish are loaded at QB including Hugo Puckett, a junior who started each of the last two seasons. Grosse was the one I had hoped to follow closely this year but with him redshirting I will look primarily at Mall this season while also keeping an eye on how Notre Dame does. It is not unexpected to see the decision to redshirt Grosse, just as it is also not a surprise to learn that each of the other 3 will be starting at their respective schools. Stew Mall had a great camp for New Mexico and will be relied on to lead a young Lobos team that is starting just 2 seniors on offense and 5 on defense.

Dartmouth and Penn both struggled each of the past two seasons in the Ivy League but were co-champions in a 3-way tie with Columbia in 1944. It will be a tough season for Cheek and the Big Green who have Michigan and Virginia Tech as their non-conference opponents this season. At Penn, Tipton will have things just a little bit easier with meetings against Mississippi and West Virginia but the Quakers are coming off a dismal 2-7 season.


As the season got underway, the early favourites began dropping from contention. Texas A&M was the first to lose, going down swinging but falling in a 1 vs 2 showdown to Nebraska in Week Two game that needed overtime to decide. The Cornhuskers stumbled in Week Four, upset 31-17 at Minnesota. Tennessee would lose to Florida in Week Six and again to Alabama the following week. North Carolina looked very good early, but they too stumbled against Florida, losing 24-17 to the Gators in Week 8.

Entering week 11 there were just two unbeaten teams remaining: #1 ranked Florida and #2 Notre Dame. The Irish won in Miami, beating the Hurricanes soundly by a 38-3 score but the Gators were shocked in Kentucky, losing 26-10 to the 3-7 Wildcats to drop all the way to 8th in the polls.

With two games remaining it was Notre Dame (9-0), Virginia (10-1), Nebraska (9-1), UCLA (9-2) and Penn State (9-1) comprising the top five. Notre Dame and Coach Ival Scarbrough were 3 wins away from their first perfect season since 1937. Standing in their way was Army(1-8) and USC (7-3).

Army made the game a lot tougher than it should have been (Notre Dame is 20-1 all-time against the Black Knights) as Notre Dame trailed 6-3 at the half before pulling out a 19-6 victory. The following week Notre Dame would beat USC 30-14 to finish the season at 11-0. The Irish accepted an invite to the Cotton Bowl where they would play #10 Arkansas (9-2) which had finished a game up on both Texas and Texas A&M to win the Southwest Conference. A trio of 1-loss teams were ranked 2nd through 4th in Big 8 Champ Nebraska, ACC winner Virginia and indy power Penn State. UCLA and Stanford were both 9-2 overall and 6-1 in conference and ranked 5th and 6th but Stanford claimed the Rose Bowl and a meeting with Big Ten champ Michigan(8-3) by virtue of their win over the Bruins.


BOWL GAMES

Despite the absence of QB Hugo Puckett, who was injured in the season ending win over USC, Notre Dame had little trouble with the Razorbacks, winning 30-6 and securing their first National Title in a decade. Nebraska and Virginia met in the Orange Bowl with the Cornhuskers scoring 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to pull out a 31-28 victory and just like a decade ago, an 11-1 Nebraska squad finished second to a 12-0 Notre Dame team. The Cornhuskers only National Title came in 1933 - the year before Notre Dame claimed the first of four. Since that time Nebraska has finished in the top 10 on 7 occasions but has failed to win a second title.

Penn State beat LSU 27-19 in the Sugar Bowl to finish 11-0 and 3rd in the rankings while Virginia dropped to #4 with the loss to Nebraska. Florida's win over UCLA in the Sun Bowl combined with Stanford's loss to Michigan in the Rose Bowl allowed the Gators to finish 5th in the polls. The remaining bowl games saw Texas beat North Carolina 45-17 in the Gator Bowl, Wisconsin stop North Carolina State 23-13 in the Peach Bowl, Texas A&M snuck back into the top 10 with a 49-10 hammering of Virginia Tech in the Tangerine Bowl and West Virginia beat UTEP34-3 in the Bluebonnet Bowl.

Here are the Final TOP TEN
Code: Select all
1- Notre Dame (12-0)
2- Nebraska (11-1)
3- Penn State (11-1)
4- Virginia (10-2)
5- Florida (10-2)
6- Texas (10-2)
7- UCLA (9-3)
8- Texas A&M (9-3)
9- Stanford (9-3)
10- LSU (9-3)

RECAP OF THE PLAYERS WE ARE FOLLOWING

The main quarterback I planned on following, Dave Grosse, was redshirted by Notre Dame. It will be interesting to see if Grosse, with starter Hugo Puckett still having another year of eligibility, sticks around or decides to transfer elsewhere.

Stew Mall, who chose New Mexico, had to endure a 5-6 season by the Lobos and they finished 6th in the 8 team WAC with a 3-3 conference record. Mall did not have a bad season considering he was a true freshman QB on a team that had only 2 senior starters on offense. He was third in the WAC in yards passing with 1273 and threw 7 touchdown passes, but was picked off 5 times.

Our two Ivy League QB's each also started all of their teams games. Rip Tipton threw for just over 1000 yards and had 4 TDs and 6 picks for Penn as the Quakers finished 5-4 overall and 4-3 in conference play. Dartmouth was 4-5 (2-5) but the highlight for Doug Cheek was beating Michigan and Virginia Tech, both bowl teams, in their non-conference schedule. It was a rough year otherwise for Cheek, who threw just 1 touchdown pass and was intercepted 5 times while passing for just 686 yards on the season.

I should also mention the number one rated recruit, RB John Broomfield, looks like a player to watch. The true freshman rushed for 1080 yards, including 132 yards and earning player of the game honours in the Gophers early upset win over Nebraska. Minnesota would finish the season 7-4 overall and mid pack in the Big Ten at 4-4 in conference play.

Finally, the 1947 Heisman Trophy was award to Penn State running back Chuck Clymer. The senior carried the ball 268 times for 1680 yards and 20 touchdowns to lead the Nittany Lions to an 11-1 season that was capped off with a Sugar Bowl win.


Next up, the 1948 NFL season
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