Back in 1907, the Illinois State Normal University Teachers (the nickname would be changed to “Red Birds” in 1923 and then “Redbirds” as one word about a decade later) finished the season undefeated against college-level competition—9 wins and 0 losses. The Teachers earned victories over Wesleyan (twice), Milliken, Monmouth College, Knox College, Northern Illinois, Bradley, Western Illinois, and Eastern Illinois.
The team was led by captain Chester Dillon (back row, holding the football). Check out the “shiner” under Dillon’s left eye! Head Coach John A. Keith (back row, far right) left during the season to become president of the Wisconsin State Normal School at Oshkosh (now the University of Wisconsin—Oshkosh).