99 for 99 - #85: 1903 UB's 50th Game & the Last Game of the 1st Era

99 for 99 takes a look at the 99 biggest moments in UB Football history in anticipation of the 99th Season of UB Football which begins on September 1st, 2012. These moments are not in any order, however the top 10 moments have been saved for last.

1903 - UB plays it's 50th game a 23-0 loss to Allegheny. The 51st game, a 14-0 victory against Westminster would be their last game for 12 years.

Between 1897 and 1901, UB compiled 4 winning seasons in 5 years, including two undefeated seasons. In 1902 and 1903, UB fought to a respectable 5-7-1 record. In the 10 years of the 1st UB era, Buffalo saw victories over Syracuse, Columbia and Penn State.

The city was also at it's apex. Buffalo hosted the 1901 Pan-American Exposition. Buffalo, was a top 3 finalist to host the 1904 Summer Olympic Games (eventually awarded to St. Louis). 50 games into football competition, with a growing metropolis, and the rising popularity of College Football the 1904 season could have been the start of Buffalo's football dynasty.

Instead, 1903 marked the first, but not last time the UB Football program ceased operations. The 2-2 team lost their 50th game in school history to Allegheny. The team avoided a second straight losing season, by rebounding with a win over Westminster to finish 3-3. Ultimately, the football team folded due to lack of funds and players.

College football during the 1st UB era was dominated by the Ivy League. Only 6 teams had a claim to a national championship during UB's 1st 10 years of play, 4 were Ivies:

Yale: 6
Princeton: 5
Penn: 3
Michigan: 3
Harvard: 3
Lafayette: 1

In 1901, UB played Michigan, only to lose 128-0...which gives the impression that UB was very far away from building a competitive team nationally. However the landscape broadened during UB's Football hiatus. In the 12 years UB's team was dormant, 14 teams staked a claim to a national championship, including nearby schools who UB outperformed on the field, Penn State and Pittsburgh.

Harvard: 4
Yale: 4
Penn: 2
Chicago: 2
Penn State: 2
Princeton: 2
Michigan: 1
Minnesota: 1
LSU: 1
Pittsburgh: 1
Auburn: 1
Army: 1
Illinois: 1
Texas: 1

When UB returned to Football, they had much stiffer competition. Cornell would win 4 championships between 1915 and 1923, Pitt and Penn State continued to build dominant programs, and the Western and Southern states established championship caliber teams.

One can only wonder where UB would be today had someone stepped up and kept Buffalo football alive in 1904.

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