Fielding H. Yost, 1907 team postcards
From a post composed by John Fineran of gatorcountry.com:
Even Michigan’s legendary coach Fielding Yost might rise from his grave and pay Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops and his Sooners their due. Yost, you’ll remember, was the architect of Michigan’s “point-a-minute” team of 1901 that scored 550 points in 660 minutes of football in winning the national championship and the first Rose Bowl. Actually, that’s 0.83 points every 60 seconds, making the offense of Michigan’s Yost toast when compared to Oklahoma, where the points come whistling down the plains.
These 2008 Sooners, led by Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Sam Bradford, have scored 702 points in 780 minutes of play this year – 12 regular-season games and the Big 12 Championship – in running up a 12-1 record that has them in the BCS National Championship Game Thursday night at Dolphin Stadium against the potent Florida Gators.
Not quite a point-a-minute, mind you. But again, fathom the numbers – 702 points in 780 minutes of play. That’s 0.9 points every 60 seconds.
Clearly this isn’t meant to be a deep dive comparison on Yost vs. Stoops– the purpose is to highlight the prolific offense possessed by the Gators’ barrier to another BCS championship. That said, there’s an inaccuracy in those numbers. The Wolverines played 11 games in 1901 which Fineran equates to 660 minutes of play (11 games x 60 minutes). In 1901 games weren’t 60 minutes, they were 70 (composed of two 35-minute halves) although games were frequently cut short.
By writing this I’m not attempting to show that Yost was better/worse than Stoops or any other modern offense. The comparison is silly if not meaningless, save for the nostalgia and another mention of the great historical teams/figures like Yost’s 1901 team. FWIW, here’s a few other points that should be mentioned when comparing these eras:
- The field was 10 yards longer.
- Forward passing was not permitted.
- Touchdowns were worth five points, extra points one and there were no two-point conversions of course.