Eric Cantor (R-Va.) became the first and only sitting House Majority Leader to lose in his party’s primary since 1899. Since this is a college football blog and not political (thankfully), here’s some context on just how monumental Cantor’s defeat is, through a gridiron lens:
In 1899, Ivy League members Harvard and Princeton split the national championship. No word on if the SEC is concocting a plan to somehow split a national title between two members in the modern era.
Brandon Weeden was in his freshman season at Oklahoma State.
Chicago went 16-0-2. That’s not a typo; under legendary head coach Amos Alonzo Stagg, the Maroons played 18 games, including a stretch of four in eight days from Sept. 15 to Sept. 23. All four were high schools. However, Chicago’s most lopsided win didn’t come against a team of preps. It blasted Northwestern in a crosstown matchup 76-0.
No word on if Northwestern students laked the posts.
Illinois finished in last place of the Western Conference, forerunner to the Big Ten.
…OK, bad example for providing historic context.
Michigan did not give up a single point until its eighth game, an 11-10 loss to Penn. Wolverine fans blame the loss on Rich Rodriguez.
Wisconsin also saw its perfect start blemished against an Ivy League opponent, as head coach Philip King’s Badgers lost to Yale, 6-0. Shortly after the final whistle, the wife of former Wisconsin head coach Hiram O. Stickney, who was then at Oregon Agricultural (Oregon State), telegraphed: “HASHTAG STOP KARMA STOP”
Jim Thorpe would not suit up for Carlisle Indian Industrial School for another decade, but his predecessor, Isaac Seneca, earned All-American honors. Seneca helped Carlisle defeat Cal in a game played in San Francisco, 2-0.
Sally Jenkins wrote an incredible piece on Carlisle’s program for Sports Illustrated in 2007 that is well worth your time. No bad punch line here, just read the article.
Since 1899, 115 college football championships have been awarded to 58 programs. Alabama claims 97 of those 115.
Indeed, Eric Cantor suffered a defeat of truly historic magnitude. But in the former House Majority Leader’s defense, it could have been–he wasn’t facing Appalachian State.