When Xavier University Ruled the Gridiron

December 01, 2018 6 Comments

Corcoran Stadium Xavier

While the University of Cincinnati has lately had a respected and successful football program, many forget that crosstown rival Xavier was once a powerhouse on the gridiron.

The nation’s fourth-oldest Jesuit University fielded its first football team in 1901 when the school was known as St. Xavier College. Back then, the team was nicknamed the Saints. In its first few seasons, the football team played mostly area high schools like Walnut Hills, Woodward, and Hughes. After a few years, games against other colleges were scheduled and St. Xavier soon developed a fierce rivalry with St. Mary’s Institute, now the University of Dayton.


In 1929, Corcoran Stadium (above) opened on campus as the home of the newly renamed Musketeers. That was the same year the Governor’s Cup was awarded to the winner of the St. Xavier College/University of Dayton game. A year after that, the college was renamed Xavier University. At some point, the Mayor’s Cup became the prize for the annual contest against the University of Cincinnati.

It was the late 1940s when the team saw its greatest success, finishing 10-1 in 1949 and in turn was invited to play in the Salad Bowl (yes, it was really called that) in Phoenix, AZ against Arizona State University (ASU). After falling behind early, the Musketeers stormed back to win 33-21 gaining a win in their one and only bowl appearance.

Xavier tops ASU in the 1950 Salad Bowl in Phoenix, AZ.


The game was played in Montgomery Stadium on the campus of Phoenix Union High School. The Salad Bowl was played from 1947 to 1955 with proceeds going to local charities. Miami University beat ASU the following year by an almost identical score (34-21).  Contrary to other reports, the Salad Bowl has no connection to the Fiesta Bowl which began in 1968 in nearby Tempe. Today, Montgomery Stadium is still in use, minus the stands, as an athletic field on ASU’s campus.

In 1951, Xavier’s football team achieved its only perfect season, going 10-0. Oddly, it still could not crack the AP Top 20 college football poll. Nonetheless, the team’s winning ways continued through the 50s, even as clouds formed on the horizon.

The team’s post-war success was aided by returning military personnel who used their G.I. Bills to cover tuition costs. This swelled the ranks of even the smallest schools and their sports programs. By the middle of the '50s, though, those students had graduated. And while college football remained popular, especially among big schools, pro football was starting to attract more fans. Across Ohio, including the Cincinnati area, the Cleveland Browns became the team to follow.

Still, Xavier’s football team continued to play well into the 1960s, but costs were becoming a concern. The program was running a deficit of some $200,000 by the early 1970s. When the Bengals arrived in 1968, the local sports pie had to be divvied up even more, further hurting attendance at Corcoran Stadium.

In December of 1973, the university chose to dissolve the football program, a move made by many fellow Catholic universities years earlier. Seton Hall folded its program in 1981, while, St. John’s and St. Mary’s soldiered on until 2002 and 2003 respectively. Today, Notre Dame, Boston College, Villanova, and X’s old gridiron rivals Dayton are the only Catholic schools that field football teams in the NCAA’s Division I.

At Xavier, the stands at Corcoran Stadium were removed in 1988, making it Corcoran Field which is still in use by the university, primarily by the school’s other outdoor sports teams. In 2006, the Xavier football team was featured in the film We Are Marshall which chronicled the rebuilding of that West Virginia school’s football program after a plane crash claimed the lives of most of the team in 1970. The new Marshall squad captured its first win by downing  Xavier 15-13 in September of 1971.

Miami University has some archival footage online of their football team’s game films from the 1950s, including contests against Xavier. Overall, Xavier was 10-19-3 against Miami University, 12-18 against UC.




6 Responses

Morgan
Morgan

January 29, 2023

With so much in my heart I am here to express myself on how Priest Salami saved my marriage from divorce. Myself and my husband were having some misunderstanding and it was tearing our marriage apart to the extent my husband was seeking a divorce. So I have no option other than to go to the internet to seek a solution to my problem. It was there I came across Priest Salami details and about how he has helped a lot of people by restoring their relationship. I contacted Priest Salami and in less than 48 hours my husband cancelled the divorce papers. Now myself and my husband live together in peace and harmony all thanks to Priest Salami for saving my marriage from breaking up. Priest Salami contact information are via email: purenaturalhealer@gmail.com. Whatsapp number: +2348143757229

Aira
Aira

January 20, 2023

A very insightful article to highlight a much valid point, however I would have appreciated if some recommendations for the solution were also presented here.
사설 카지노
소셜 카지노
카지노 게임 종류
카지노 먹튀 검증
호텔 카지노
https://j9korea.com

Albert Walker
Albert Walker

January 06, 2023

Good day to all viewer online, my name is Albert Walker I am so overwhelmed sharing this great testimony on how i was checking for solution in the internet while miraculously i came across Dr Kachi who brought my ex Girlfriend back to me, This is the reason why i have taken it upon myself to thank this great spell caster called Dr Kachi, because through his help my life became more filled with love and i am happy to say that my ex Girlfriend who has been separated from me for the past 2years came back to me pleading for me to accept her back, This was a shocking to me my partner is very stable, faithful and closer to me than before, because before i contacted Dr Kachi i was the one begging my ex Girlfriend to come back to me but through the assistance of Dr Kachi, I now have my relationship restored. You can also have a better relationship only if you Contact Dr Kachi Website, https://drkachispellcast.wixsite.com/my-site OR Email: drkachispellcast@gmail.com You can reach him Call and Text Number:+1 (209) 893-8075

Thomas Gibson
Thomas Gibson

December 15, 2022

I want to use this opportunity to tell the whole world on how I become rich and famous. I’m 93 years old. I was passing through difficulty in business and there was no hope of me coming out of my debt. I borrow money in my bank to do my business and I run at lost on the business I got frustrated and decided to be playing lottery to see if I can win and make my business grow and I have played for years now nothing good is coming my way on till I meet someone online talking about Dr Ayoola on the internet. He was taking about how this Dr Ayoola help him to win mega million lottery game. I said to myself if this is true and decide to contact him and told him to help me as well I later read more about this man and see how he has been helping people all over the world. I have faith in him and choose to work with him. After working with him he told me what I need to do for the number to be given to me which I did after he finish working he said I will have a dream and the number will be review to me in the dream. That night has I was sleeping I dream a number immediately he call me and gave me the same number I dream of and ask me to go and play the number. Today I’m here testifying of the good work he did for me I played the number and I won the sum of 1, 000,000 million dollars in a lotto max. You can contact Dr Ayoola for help if you want to win big in lottery game he has the gift of giving right number contact him today and thank me email him today Via email: drayoolasolutionhome@gmail. com or https://www.facebook.com/Dr-Ayoola-105640401516053/ text or call +14809032128

Kevin O Donovan
Kevin O Donovan

December 22, 2018

Tom Cecchini had the team at 5-5-1 and heading in the right direction then Fr. Mulligan pulled the rug out from under him. Xavier should have gone DIII like Dayton. Miss the games at Corcoran field. Heck, X could be playing in the PFL. And no, football doesn’t hurt Villanova BB either.

Peter Mense
Peter Mense

December 04, 2018

My dad, William Mense was one of the athletic trainers for the ‘73 team.

Leave a comment


Also in Cincy Shirts News

My first memories as a Cincinnati Reds Fan
My first memories as a Cincinnati Reds Fan

March 19, 2024 61 Comments

As the 2024 season draws near, I find myself reflecting on the journey that led me to become a devoted Cincinnati Reds fan. For many of us, our passion for this team and the game itself runs deep in our blood, often cultivated by the experiences shared with family and friends. 

Learn More

Cincy Shirts Student Spiritwear Design Contest!
Cincy Shirts Student Spiritwear Design Contest!

February 16, 2024 304 Comments

Learn More

Banana Splits at Kings Island
Remember the Banana Splits Movie That Was Filmed at KI?

April 04, 2023 1200 Comments

Learn More