C6-H0 remains in national media spotlight
RELEASED: September 6, 2007
DANVILLE, KY—After nearly 86 years, Centre's 1921 defeat of Harvard University remains in the mind of sports fans as if it happened last weekend. Appalachian State University's recent upset of the University of Michigan has sparked sports writers across the nation to remind everyone that Centre's 6-0 defeat of Harvard is still one of the greatest upsets in college football history.
On Oct. 29, 1921, Centre entered the contest a major underdog. Mighty Harvard, at that time a football powerhouse, had not been defeated in five years.
But the Praying Colonels of Centre, who obtained their nickname by regularly praying together before each game, were up for the challenge at Cambridge, Mass.
In front of an estimated 50,000 fans in Harvard Stadium, Centre did the unimaginable that day by downing Harvard 6-0. Centre won on a second-half touchdown run by legendary quarterback Bo McMillin.
Today, sports writers from the west coast to the east and in between can't talk about Appalachian State's defeat of Michigan without mentioning C6-H0.
USA Today chronicles the media history of C6-H0 throughout the 20th century: "In 1950, the Associated Press voted Centre College of Kentucky's 6-0 win against Harvard in 1921 as the greatest upset of the first half of the 20th century. Last year, ESPN Classic show named it the greatest upset of all time. Harvard had won the 1919 Rose Bowl and owned a 25-game unbeaten streak. A 1996 USA Today story referenced the now-defunct Boston Post calling Centre 'perhaps the smallest college that ever tackled a Big Three team (Harvard, Yale or Princeton).'"
The San Francisco Chronicle, in a "Top 10 upsets in college football history" article, ranks Centre's "end[ing] the 25-game winning streak of the national powerhouse Crimson" as the No. 4 upset of all time.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution calls C6-H0 "the first and greatest upset in college football."
According to college football upsets rankings by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, C6-H0 is the second biggest upset in history: "It turns out Centre was no slouch." After the Harvard victory that year, Centre went on to beat Clemson, Kentucky, Auburn and Arizona to finish the season 10-1.
The Charlotte Observer contained a letter to the editor from a reader who says that, "While nothing can diminish the [Appalachian State] Mountaineers' victory over Michigan, the greatest college football upset of all time has to be the top-ranked Harvard's 6-0 defeat by Centre College in 1921."
In Louisville's The Courier-Journal, a sports writer says that several readers had written in to ask whether Appalachian State's defeat of Michigan eclipsed C6-H0, to which the writer replied: "That game will always have its place as 'Upset of the (20th) Century,' as termed by The New York Times."
C6-H0 also was mentioned by The Associated Press and in The Dallas Morning News and The Blade in Toledo, Ohio.
Click here for more about the history of C6-H0.
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Consumers Digest ranks Centre No. 1 in educational value among all U.S. liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
For news archives go to http://www.centre.edu/web/news/newsarchive.html.
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