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When Davidson scored its third touchdown to surge out in front of the Crimson for the third last Saturday, football writers began to dig back in to the records.
They recalled a remarkable upset scored over author Crimson eleven--the 1921 squad--by the Praying Colonels of little Centre College. The Colonsis were facing a Harvard team that had gone undefeated for three years, that had won the Rose Bowl from Oregon two years before, that had since the beginning of the century, compiled the impressive record of 157 victories only 19 losses and nineties
Bo McMillan's 32-yard dash was the only score of the game. It gave Centre College a 6 to 0 victory, and "the greatest upset of the half-century," according to a sportswriters poll taken in 1950.
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In coming from behind three times to gain the victory over Davidson, the Crimson assured itself of its first winning year since 1948, and of its 61st victorious season in 79 campaigns. Ten losing years and eight even ones are also on the ledger.
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Although Davidson was unable to manage a retake of the Center performance, the Wildcats did set a record of sorts, Davidson is the first team to score as many as 26 points against the Crimson and lose.
The previous high was set in 1948, by Columbia. Art Valpey's first team--flashing black satin pants and a sensational offense--took the Rossides--Kusserow-Nork powerhouse by surprise and upset the Lions, 33 to 24.
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Comparative scores provides us with an interesting sidelight. By gaining a nine-point edge over Davidson, the Crimson becomes the superior of top-ranking Michigan State by 40 points, and of Notre Dame by 35.
It works this way: Davidson lost to Furman by one point; Furman topped West Virginia by eight, giving Davidson a seven-point edge over the Mountaineers; West Virginia, in turn, defeated Pittsburgh by 16 points; and the Panthers obliged, upsetting Notre Dame by a three-point margin. The total differences give Davidson a 26-point advantage over the Irish, and the Crimson a 35-point edge.
Since Notre Dame downed Purdue by 12 points, and Michigan State did the same by seven, the Irish rank five points higher than the Spartans, and the Crimson ranks 35 and 40 points higher, respectively, than both.
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