Page from UW yearbook summarizing the Idaho game

One thing is for certain – the PCC was never short on controversy.  In 1948 the Oregon Ducks and California Golden Bears tied for the football championship.  Therefore, it was up to the faculty athletic representatives to choose who would represent the league in the Rose Bowl.  The voting was highly secret and individual votes were not published.  However, Idaho head coach Dixie Howell suggested that Idaho voted for the Ducks. The Ducks even offered to play a game against Cal to determine the true champion of the PCC.  The offer was rejected by the bears.  Ultimately the Bears won the vote but would go on to lose the game to Northwestern.

Another recurring theme throughout the history of the Idaho Vandals has been the lack of adequate facilities and the remote location.  Over 60 years ago the problem was the same.  One of the Vandals biggest rivals, Utah, was unsure whether they would continue to play the Vandals.  The stadium in Boise had inadequate team facilities and Neale Stadium was much too small.  The Vandals tried to keep the Utes on the schedule and they would be successful until the 1960’s in a rotation that included Boise and Salt Lake City.  In the 1948 tilt, the Redskins got sweet revenge on the Vandals after Idaho spoiled Utah’s undefeated season in 1947.  Over 18,000 fans were on hand in Salt Lake to see the game.  Dignitaries in attendance included Idaho’s governor.

On a lighter note, Idaho fans successfully kidnapped Butch, the Washington State mascot.

Idaho lost 19-14

The cougar was swiped just before WSU’s game with their arch-rival Washington, so the suspicion was on the Huskies.

On the field Idaho finished with a 3-6 record including another victory over PCC doormat Montana.

In the video and photo below you can see that Idaho sported maroon jerseys for at least this one game.  The crowd appears to have maroon Vandal gear as well.  Although there are theories about why and how this happened, nobody is quite sure of the origin.  One of the more popular theories is that Idaho and WSU  decided to save money by ordering together.  If you would like to view some of these historic sweaters in person you can view them through the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences’ Margaret Ritchie School of Family and Consumer Sciences.

Idaho lost a close one to Oregon in Moscow

Idaho lost a close one to Oregon in Moscow

The Idaho Vandals and home crowd don maroon against the Oregon Ducks during homecoming 1948.

The Idaho Vandals and home crowd don maroon against the Oregon Ducks during homecoming 1948.


About gomightyvandals

A sports fan interested in the history of Vandal Athletics
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