January 7: This Date in American Football History

Bronko Nagurski

Everyday RoadTripSports.com celebrates the past, present and future of American football including birthdays, deaths, and important games and events that have occurred in the past through our daily feature This Date in American Football History. Get to know the legends of American football – the sport’s greatest heroes including players and coaches, and relive some of the greatest plays and moments in the game’s history.

Then be sure to check out our Legends Library for historical profiles on the game’s greats or research your favorite schools or players in our databases for College Football Hall of Fame inductees, All-Americans and major award winners. Or take a moment to explore the various branches of the internet’s most complete coaching tree!

You can also follow your favorite teams here as well by selecting the appropriate division on our College Football Teams page or by locating your favorite professional team page. Team pages for all divisions of college football are available including NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS)NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, NAIA, NJCAA, CCCAA and CIS (Canada). Also, independent team and club team pages are available including teams holding associate membership in the USCAA and NCCAA.


1868 – Consensus All-American Roscoe Channing was born. Channing played halfback for Princeton, and was one of 11 players selected by Caspar Whitney to the first-ever college football All-America team in 1889.

1884 – College Football Hall of Fame Class of 1970 member Albert Exendine was born. Exendine played end for the Carlisle Indian School (1902-1907) before embarking on a coaching career. His head coaching stops included Otterbein (1909-1911), Georgetown (DC) (1914-1922), Washington State (1923-1925), Occidental (1926-1927), Northeastern State (1929) and Oklahoma A&M (1934-1935, now Oklahoma State).

1930 – College Football Hall of Fame Class of 1980 member Eddie LeBaron was born. LeBaron played quarterback and safety for the College of the Pacific Tigers beginning in 1946 in legendary Hall of Fame coach Amos Alonzo Stagg’s final year as a head coach. He wrapped up his college career in 1949 before he was selected in the 10th round of the 1950 NFL Draft by the NFL’s Washington Redskins. His pro career was delayed two seasons by his military service in the Korean War, but he finally joined the Redskins for a two-year stint (1952-1953) before playing one season for the CFL’s Calgary Stampeders (1954). He returned to the Redskins for a second stint (1955-1959) before retiring at the end of the 1959 season. The expansion Dallas Cowboys made a trade for LeBaron, however, coaxing him out of retirement to be the team’s first quarterback. After four seasons in Dallas (1960-1963), he retired a second time for good. He later served as an executive in the Atlanta Falcons organization.

1938 – College Football Hall of Fame Class of 1962 member Philip King died. King played quarterback for the Princeton Tigers (1890-1893). He then embarked on a coaching career and served as the head coach at Wisconsin (1896-1902) before taking over for one season at Georgetown (DC) (1903). He returned to Wisconsin for one final season as a head coach in 1905.

1973 – Biletnikoff Award 1994 winner Bobby Engram was born. Engram played wide receiver for Penn State (1991-1995). Engram won the first-ever Biletnikoff Award during his 1994 junior season when he caught 52 passes for 1,029 yards and 7 touchdowns.

1990 – College Football Hall of Fame inaugural Class of 1951 member Bronko Nagurski died. Nagurski played fullback and defensive tackle for Minnesota (1927-1929). He continued his football career professionally as a member of the NFL’s Chicago Bears (1930-1937, 1943). His final season came during World War II when professional teams were short of players. Nagurski starred on both sides of the ball for the Bears, too, as a running back and defensive tackle and even played some offensive tackle. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in its inaugural Class of 1963 making him a charter member of both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame. He is the namesake for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy which has been handed out to the best defensive player in college football since 1993.

2003 – College Football Hall of Fame Class of 1981 member Vic Bottari died. Bottari played halfback for California (1936-1938). Bottari was drafted by the NFL’s Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1939 NFL Draft, but chose not to pursue an NFL career.

Games, Plays and Events

2008 – The 2008 BCS National Championship Game was played at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana, and featured the No. 2 home state LSU Tigers against the No. 1 Ohio State Buckeyes. Under the direction of head coach Les Miles, the Tigers won the national championship with a 38-24 win over the Buckeyes.

2010 – The 2010 BCS National Championship Game was played at the Rose Bowl stadium in Pasadena, California, with the No. 2 Texas Longhorns taking on the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide. The game featured the winners of college football’s top two awards that season with Alabama running back Mark Ingram having won the Heisman Trophy while Texas quarterback Colt McCoy took home the Maxwell Award. McCoy, however, was injured on the Longhorns’ fifth play of the game on offense while Ingram was able to help the Crimson Tide carve up the top-ranked Texas rush defense with 116 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries to go along with the 109 yards and two scores on 19 carries by Trent Richardson. Alabama would go on to win the national title with a 37-21 win over the Longhorns.

2013 – The 2013 BCS National Championship Game was played at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, between the No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide and the No. 1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Despite the rankings, Alabama was heavily-favored and lived up to the expectations with a dominating 42-14 victory.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *