Jan. 10, 2000
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The College Football Hall of Fame unveiled its “Dozen Dynasties”
exhibit Friday at the world-class sports museum in South Bend, Ind.
Alabama, Florida State, Harvard, Miami (Fla.), Minnesota, Notre Dame,
Oklahoma, Southern California, Texas and Yale are the schools represented in
the exhibit honoring the 12 greatest dynasties in college football history.
Notre Dame and Oklahoma are the only schools recognized as achieving
“dynasty” status in two different eras. Notre Dame’s first dynasty, from
1919-1930, featured head coach Knute Rockne, 101 victories and three
national titles. Eleven years later, until 1955, the Fighting Irish had a
stretch where they claimed four national titles amongst their 119 victories.
Oklahoma’s twin dynasties ran from 1948 to 1958 and from 1971 to 1980. The
first run includes Oklahoma’s 47-game winning streak that was a NCAA record
until this season and three national titles. The second run was highlighted
by back-to-back titles in 1974 and 1975.
The longest-running, and earliest dynasty, belonged to Yale from 1880
to 1909. In that span, Yale rang up 302 victories and 16 national titles.
Harvard carried the Ivy League torch from 1906 to 1920 with 110 wins and
national titles in 1908, 1910, 1912, 1913 and 1914.
In between the two Notre Dame dynasties, Minnesota ruled the college
football world. From 1933 to 1941, the Golden Gophers notched 58 wins and
The Texas Longhorns were the team of the 1960s as coach Darrell Royal’s
troops won 123 games and were voted the nation’s top squad three times from
1959 until 1972.
Sharing the college football spotlight with Oklahoma in the 1970s was
Bear Bryant’s Alabama teams and the Southern California teams of John McKay
and John Robinson. From 1971 to 1980, the Crimson Tide tallied as many wins
as the Sooners but scored one more national championship with three. From
1967 to 1979, the men of Troy rolled on to victory 122 times and to four
Two Florida schools, Miami and Florida State, are the most recent
juggernauts featured by the exhibit. From 1983 to 1994, the Hurricanes blew
through the college football landscape with 116 wins and four national
titles with three different coaches – Howard Schnellenberger, Jimmy Johnson
and Dennis Erickson. The Seminoles, the only team currently listed as a
dynasty, started its run in 1987 and has claimed two crowns and won 141
games under Bobby Bowden.
In addition to written material supporting the teams, the exhibit is
rich with memorabilia from the respective eras. A letter sweater by Heisman
Trophy winner Leon Hart of Notre Dame, a jersey worn by Texas Longhorn great
James Saxton and a coaching shirt worn by Erickson are featured in the case
along with a book on the Split-T formation written by legendary Oklahoma
coach Bud Wilkinson and a Yale game program from 1889.