The 1937 NCAA football season ended with the Panthers of the University of Pittsburgh being named the nation’s #1 team (and "mythical national champion") by 30 of the 33 voters in the Associated Press writers' poll. The AP poll was in its second year, and seven votes were taken during the final weeks of the 1937 season, starting with October 18. Each writer listed his choice for the top ten teams, and points were tallied based on 10 for first place, 9 for second, etc., and the AP then ranked the twenty teams with the highest number of points. With 33 writers polled, Pitt received 30 first place votes and 3 second-place, for a total of 327 points.
The NCAA began keeping official game statistics in 1937.
Conference and program changes
September 25 The defending champion Minnesota Gophers opened their season with a 69-7 win over visiting North Dakota State. LSU beat Florida, 19-0. Alabama beat Samford 41-0. California won 30-7 over St. Mary’s. In Seattle, Washington beat Iowa, 14-0. The day before, Pittsburgh had opened with a 59-0 win over Ohio Wesleyan.
October 2 Minnesota lost at Nebraska, 14-9. LSU defeated Texas 9-0. Pittsburgh won at West Virginia, 20-0. In Birmingham, Alabama beat Sewanee, 65-0. In Los Angeles, Washington defeated USC, 7-0. California beat Oregon State, 24-6. Yale beat Maine, 26-0.
October 9 In Houston, LSU defeated Rice, 13-0. Pittsburgh beat its cross-town rival, Duquesne, 6-0. Alabama beat South Carolina, 20-0. All three teams had held their opposition scoreless. California defeated Washington State 27-0. Washington lost to Oregon State, 6-3. Yale beat Penn, 27-7. Minnesota recovered from its Nebraska loss to beat Indiana 6-0.
LSU registered its fourth shutout in four starts, a 13-0 win over Ole Miss. Pittsburgh and Fordham played to a 0-0 tie in New York.
Alabama yielded its first points, but won at Tennessee, 14-7. California beat (later UC-Davis) 14-0 and Pacific, 20-0, in a doubleheader. Yale defeated Army, 15-7. Minnesota won at Michigan, 39-6. In the first poll taken, California was #1, followed by Alabama, Pittsburgh, Minnesota and Yale. LSU, despite a 54-0 scoring edge over its opposition, was sixth.
#1 California beat #11 USC 20-6. In Washington, #2 Alabama defeated GWU, 19-0. #3 Pittsburgh won at #16 Wisconsin 26-6. #4 Minnesota was idle. #5 Yale beat #19 Cornell, 9-0.
The next top five was 1.California 2.Pittsburgh 3.Alabama 4.Minnesota 5.Yale
October 30 In Los Angeles, #1 California defeated UCLA 27-14, while in Pittsburgh, the #2 Pitt Panthers beat Carnegie Tech, 25-14. #3 Alabama beat Kentucky, 41-0. #4 Minnesota lost to Notre Dame, 7-6, and #5 Yale and #9 Dartmouth played to a 9-9 tie. #6 Baylor, which reached 6-0-0 with a 6-0 win over TCU, and #10 Fordham, which won at #15 North Carolina, 14-0, reached the next Top Five.
The next top five was 1.California 2.Alabama 3.Pittsburgh 4.Baylor 5.Fordham
November 6 #1 California and Washington played to a 0-0 tie. In New Orleans, #2 Alabama beat #19 Tulane, 9-6. #3 Pittsburgh won at #12 Notre Dame, 21-6 to take the top spot in the next poll. #4 Baylor lost to unranked Texas, 9-6. #5 Fordham beat Purdue, 21-3. #9 Dartmouth, which beat Princeton 33-9, reached the next Top Five: 1.Pittsburgh 2.California 3.Alabama 4.Fordham 5.Dartmouth
November 13 #1 Pittsburgh defeated visiting #11 Nebraska, 13-7. In Portland, #2 California beat Oregon, 26-0. In Birmingham, #3 Alabama beat Georgia Tech, 7-0. #4 Fordham was idle. #5 Dartmouth and Cornell played to a 6-6 tie. #6 Yale returned to the Top Five with a 26-0 win over Princeton: 1.Pittsburgh 2.California 3.Alabama 4.Fordham 5.Yale
November 20 #1 Pittsburgh beat Penn State, 28-7. #2 California won at #13 Stanford, 13-0, to finish at 9-0-1. #3 Alabama was idle. #4 Fordham beat St. Mary’s, 6-0. #5 Yale lost its final game of the season, 13-6, at Harvard. #7 Minnesota closed its season with a 13-6 win over Wisconsin to return to the Top Five: 1.Pittsburgh 2.California 3.Fordham 4.Alabama 5.Minnesota
On Thanksgiving Day, #4 Alabama beat #12 Vanderbilt 9-7 in Nashville. Then, on November 27
#1 Pittsburgh closed its season unbeaten (8-0-1) with a 10-0 win at #18 Duke. #3 Fordham closed its season unbeaten (7-0-1) with a 20-7 win over NYU at Yankee Stadium. #2 California and #5 Minnesota had completed their seasons.
The following is a potentially incomplete list of conference standings:
Awards and honors
The consensus All-America team included:
||Elkins, West Virginia
||Mill Valley, California
||Jersey City, New Jersey
||South River, New Jersey
||New York, New York
- Rushing yards (total): Byron White, Colorado, 1,121 yards
- Rushing yards (per carry): Dick Cassiano, Pittsburgh, 9.0 yards/carry
- Passing yards (total): Billy Patterson, Baylor, 1,109 yards
- Receiving yards (total): Jim Benton, Arkansas, 814 yards
- Points scored: Byron White, Colorado, 122 points
- Punting: Johnny Pingel, Michigan State, 42.9 yards/punt