Brad Robinson, one of college football's more influential personalities, developed the forward pass while playing for Saint Louis. Photo: Wiki Commons
The Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals will open the 2013 World Series tonight in chilly Boston in a clash of two of baseball's most historic franchises. The Red Sox are now long removed from the dreaded Babe Ruth curse and the Cardinals will look to avenge their sweep defeat to the Red Sox from 2004. But if you want to read more about the World Series I recommend you visit our friends over at The Outside Corner. Here, we talk college football.
I actually feel sorry for sports fans in St. Louis. They may have the National League's equivalent to Alabama, a program with a great history and championships upon championships, but they do not have their own college football team. Sure, maybe they have Missouri and Illinois and whoever else to cheer for, but St. Louis is just another big city in this country without a major college football team calling it home. But that does not mean St. Louis is without it's share of college football history of course.
College football owes a bit of a debt of gratitude to the role the Saint Louis University has played in changing the way the game is played, but the university stopped playing college football after the 1949 season. The program was unable to keep up with funding for the football program after putting the entire football program on a hiatus during World War II. When they tried to return it was too much of a struggle as football became more popular at other schools and Saint Louis fell behind and was unable to catch up. Before putting the program on hiatus during World War II, other programs were already catching up and beginning to pass Saint Louis on the field. Had Saint Louis kept up with football during the war, who knows where they might be today. Would they be in the Big Ten or Big 12? Might they be in the SEC instead of Missouri? Just another game of "What if?"
This year's World Series cities have crossed paths on the college football field before though. In the history of Boston College's football program, there is one game played against Saint Louis University. According to Gridiron History, that game was played on October 13, 1926. Boston College played on the road in St. Louis but returned home with a 61-0 victory, although records of the game are tough to come by, but that came during Boston College's second undefeated season on record. The Eagles were 6-0-2 in 1926, outscoring their opponents 222-34.
After doing some quick digging around, I could not find any previous games on record between Saint Louis and Boston University or Harvard. Boston College has never played Missouri either. Missouri is nearly two hours away from Saint Louis, but I figured I would look it up anyway. this means we have just one college football game between a team from Boston and a team from Saint Louis in the history of the sport.
For comparison's sake, this year's World Series will be the fourth World Series played between the Red Sox and Cardinals, dating back to 1946.