Originally written on Crystal Ball Run  |  Last updated 10/16/14

The debate that seems to be the topic du jour in college football today: Who will, or who should, play LSU? Who is going to this bowl, or that bowl?

If it's not, you can bet the discussion is centered somewhere around the Penn State and Syracuse scandals. Maybe who’s hiring who and who’s firing. As a public, we all seem to thrive on the dirty, the scandals, the dark clouds. (I am as guilty as anyone else. No matter how satirical it may be, I write a weekly column here at Crystal Ball Run focusing on “The Ugly” of college football.)

Perfection is the goal of every college football team. As it should be.

Alabama, Michigan, Oklahoma, Florida State, USC are all teams synonymous with having undefeated seasons. However, in 1951 there were five teams that completed undefeated seasons. Michigan State, Maryland, Northern Illinois and Princeton all had remarkable years. There was one team, though, that stands out above all others, in my eyes. Not for the nine wins that they went to war for, but for the war that was waged off the field. If you do not know their story, you should.

Meet - and remember - the Dons.

In the age of college football we now live in, it may be more difficult to not go to a bowl game than to stay at home.  For the players, they're nice rewards for all the hard work put in over the season and a chance to steal some time in the spotlight.

Sixty years ago, the San Francisco Dons, the best college football team in America, chose against playing in a bowl game.

The Dons finished the 1951 regular season 9-0. They clearly  were the best team in the country. How good? Ollie Matson, Gino Marchetti and Bob St. Clair, all future Hall of Famers, all played for that version of the Dons.

The University of San Francisco never was a superiorly strong football program. A bowl game, even then, would have meant a great deal to the Dons. It would have given the program a much-needed boost to its bottom line. It would have given a much-needed spotlight to an under-funded, under-appreciated group of players.

When Orange Bowl officials extended an invitation to the Dons, it was met with great excitement, as well as great reservation. In 1951, racial strife was running rampant across the country, including the college football world. It shouldn't be a surprise, then, that the Orange Bowl invitation was contingent on the Dons not bringing along their two African-American teammates.

The Dons had a decision to make. It wasn't a tough one at all. The Dons turned their back on the money, the fame, the once-in-a-lifetime chance at becoming 10-0.

It turned out to be the Dons' final season.

What came of seemingly an indirect death penalty to the Dons, was awareness, and, better yet, change. More astute minds would rise from this situation, and as a result, teams with African American players would soon be invited to bowl games.

Some teams in college football stand the test of time. The Dons are example number one.

 

Be sure to follow Regie on Twitter @CFBROCKER and the entire Crystal Ball Run staff at @CrystalBallRun

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Aaron Rodgers wins NFL MVP

VCU G Briante Weber suffers major knee injury in loss

Short selling leaves hundreds of fans without S.B. tickets

Hamilton, Edmonds' spouses to appear on 'Real Housewives'

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix trolls LSU over Kevin Steele hire

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jerome Bettis elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame

Report: Duncan suing financial adviser, lost $20 million

Bret Bielema wanted Dolphins to draft Russell Wilson early

Nick Diaz apologizes to fans for skipping open workout

NFLPA President compares Goodell to a 2-year-old

NFL explains how Super Bowl balls will be prepped

2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame class announced

Anderson Silva beats Nick Diaz in return to octagon

WATCH: 'SNL' mocks Super Bowl

Sabres had a horrific month of January

Ole Miss uses Katy Perry as prop in recruiting

PHOTO: Ezekiel Elliott gets new national title tattoo

WATCH: Rondo takes brutal knee to face from teammate

Pig auctioned off at halftime of college basketball game

Should the Super Bowl be played on a Saturday?

Underwear company shows support for Marshawn Lynch

WATCH: WVU player flips opponent the double-bird

Five NFL players who could be cap casualties in 2015

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

2015 Hall of Fame class announced

Aaron Rodgers wins NFL MVP

Tim Duncan suing financial adviser?

Five likely cap casualties of 2015

Making the case for NFL co-MVPs

WATCH: Tom Brady sings about balls

Missy Elliott to join Katy Perry at SB?

Obama zings Pats over Deflate-gate

Each major conference's POY candidates

Super Bowl XLIX preview and predictions: Patriots vs. Seahawks

The 13 things we want to see in Super Bowl XLIX

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.