1899 University of the South Football Team

Significant  Historical Achievement

Year Honored: 2016

Category: Football


The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee made its place in the history of College Football in 1899. That year the Sewanee Tigers went 12-0-0, produced a College Football Hall of Famer HB Henry G. Seibels, and outscored their opponents 322 to 10. The 10 points were scored by a John Heisman coached team at Auburn. Ten of their twelve victories were against Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association opponents, which put Sewanee in the record books for most conference games played and most won in a season.  What further distinguishes the Sewanee Iron Men in college football history is the remarkable schedule they played. Sewanee took the ultimate road trip to play five games in six days, and all five games were won in shutouts. The Tigers travelled over 2500 miles on a train defeating Texas, Texas A&M, Tulane, Louisiana State, and Ole Miss.  This amazing team shut out the five best teams in the southern half of the United States.  The iron men of Sewanee accomplished defeat that will be hard to match. Though not the most famous, they are the greatest football team of all time. How could they accomplish what they did was a question asked of team captain Diddy Seibels in 1931. He replied,”To what was Sewanee’s brilliant success due? I attribute it to one thing alone and it is the greatest thing any team can have: teamwork. … There were no jealousies, only the indomitable will to win, that unconquerable never-say-die Sewanee spirit.”

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