Turning Back the Calendar -- Cal Week Version 901 Club Junior Member Joined: Aug 24, 2017 Messages: 6,193 Likes Received: 8,561 Nov 9, 2018 #1 Just a day until Cal, one of our long standing rivals. What are your memories? Of course, the 2004 game stand out this century. But this thread is open to anything Cal. Have at it. I'll start with a time before all your memories. It's been a few years since Cal produced a champion (as noted before, WWII is more recent than Cal's last Rose Bowl win), but Cal was once a football power. To look at then, strap yourself in for a trip on my way-back machine. Way back to 1920, before the Coliseum, Howard Jones or the Notre Dame series. Way back. That's the year of the “Wonder Team” at California, which changed the entire picture of Western football and moved the balance of power to the three California schools – Cal, Stanford and USC. As Maxwell Stiles says in his book on the Rose Bowl: “Until the advent of this so-called California ‘Wonder Team’ – and in many ways it was exactly that – the Northwest had been looked upon as the citadel of football power on the West Coast. Teams from the University of Oregon and Washington State had played in the Rose Bowl and acquitted themselves with valor.” “Overnight, there was born in California a football hysteria the like of which had never been seen anywhere. There was a bright new flame in the sunset skies and its name was Harold ‘Brick’ Muller. The scorcerer’s apprentice had become a journeyman named Andy Smith, stirring a brew of gridiron magic so potent that to meet it, Stanford, the arch foe across the bay, began to think in terms of Glenn ’Pop” Warner, and within a few years the University of Southern California, also feeling its oats and unable up to then to scale the heights, was importing Howard Harding Jones.” During Smith’s regime at Berkeley, Cal did not lose a game from 1920-1924. They were tied four times in that five year period, but they remained undefeated until 1925. Cal had terrific teams from 1921-1924, but they were never rated above the 1920 Wonder Team by the historians. Its record – 1920, 9-0; 1921, 9-0-1; 1922, 9-0; 1923, 9-0-1; and 1924, 8-0-2. Five consecutive undefeated seasons – quite impressive. In the first four of those years, it was recognized as National Champion by at least one selector. However, the 1920 team was considered the finest. It compiled a magnificent record of ten wins and no losses, with 510 points to only 14 against The Bears victory over a fine Ohio State team in the Rose Bowl was probably the first “prestige win” in the history of the P.C.C., Great players like Muller, Brodie Stephens, Olin Majors, Dan McMillan, Charles Erb, Pesky Sprott and Archie Nisbet made this Smith team famous This “Wonder Team” of 1920 was superior to the Cal teams that followed in ’21, ’22, ’23 and ’24. It put P.C.C. football on the national gridiron map. USC's was coached by Gus "Gloomy" Henderson, who compiled a record of 45-7 record (although 0-5 against California), from 1919 to 1924 and still has the highest winning percentage of any USC coach at .865. It was his inability to beat Cal that cost him his job. Little history. Portions adapted from “The Old P.C.C. (Part I)” by Joe Marvin, which appeared in the February, 1996 issue of the College Football Historical Society.