This Day in History — October 29, 1921

On October 29, 1921, the Centre Praying Colonels defeated Harvard in what has been called the “upset of the [20th] century in college football.” In 1921, Harvard was king of the gridiron. Undefeated since 1918, the Ivy-league team beat Centre at home in 1920. When the Harvard captain offered Bo McMillin, Centre’s captain, the game ball, McMillin declined by saying, “We’ll be back next year to take it home with us.” The following year, a rematch was scheduled, again at Harvard. The game was a tie, 0-0, at halftime. Centre was able to score the only touchdown of the game and Bo McMillin rushed to the endzone. The Praying Colonel’s defense was able to hold off the Crimson’s offense to prevent a Harvard touchdown. MIT students who had come to cheer against Harvard stormed the field, lifting McMillin onto their shoulders as they tore down the goal posts. News of C6H0 reached Danville and Centre students reveled in it. They painted C6H0 on everything in sight, even a few cows. The last remaining evidence of this is at the campus post office, a reminder of the glory days of college football.

On the 75th anniversary of the game, Centre challenged Harvard to a rematch, but they declined.


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