September 20 Tennessee beat Furman 32–6 and Boston College beat St. Anselm, 78–0.
In Seattle, defending champion Minnesota beat Washington 14–6, while in New Orleans, Boston College fell to Tulane, 21–7. Stanford beat Oregon 19–15, Michigan beat Michigan State 19–7, Texas won at Colorado, 34–6 and Duke beat Wake Forest 43–14. Tennessee was idle
October 4 Minnesota was idle. Tennessee lost at Duke, 19–0. In New York, Fordham beat SMU 16–10. Elsewhere, it was Stanford over UCLA 33–0, Michigan over Iowa 6–0, Northwestern beating Kansas State 51–3 and Texas defeating LSU 34–0.
October 11 Minnesota beat Illinois 34–6, Northwestern beat Wisconsin 41–14, and Michigan beat Pittsburgh 40–0. In Baltimore, Duke beat Maryland 50–0, while in Dallas, Texas beat Oklahoma 40–7. Fordham won at North Carolina 27–14. Stanford lost at Oregon State 10–0.
In the poll that followed, Minnesota was ranked No. 1, followed by Texas, Duke, Fordham, and Northwestern.
October 18No. 1 Minnesota beat Pittsburgh 39–0. No. 2 Texas defeated Arkansas 48–14. No. 3 Duke beat visiting Colgate 27–14. In Ann Arbor, No. 6 Michigan beat visiting No. 5 Northwestern 14–7. No. 7 Navy beat Cornell 14–0 in Baltimore. The next poll featured No. 1 Minnesota, No. 2 Texas, No. 3 Michigan, No. 4 Duke, and No. 5 Navy. Fordham dropped from No. 4 to No. 6 despite a 27–0 defeat of West Virginia.
October 25 The biggest game of the year[according to whom?] took place in Ann Arbor, Michigan, as No. 1 Minnesota defeated
No. 3 Michigan, 7–0.
No. 2 Texas beat Rice 40–0. No. 4 Duke won at Pittsburgh 27–7. No. 5 Navy and Harvard played to a 0–0 tie. No. 6 Fordham beat TCU 28–14, while No. 9 Texas A&M won at Baylor 48–0, to reach 5–0–0. In the vote that followed, Minnesota received 60 first place votes, and Texas received 53. When the points were tallied, they both had 1,161 points and were tied for No. 1. Fordham, Duke, and Texas A&M rounded out the top five.
November 1 In Dallas, No. 1 Texas beat No. 20 SMU 34–0, while in Minneapolis, the other No. 1, Minnesota, edged No. 9 Northwestern 8–7. In New York, No. 3 Fordham defeated Purdue 17–0, and in Atlanta, No. 4 Duke won at Georgia Tech 14–0. In Little Rock, No. 5 Texas A&M beat Arkansas 7–0. Texas was alone at No. 1 the following week, followed by Minnesota, Fordham, Duke and Texas A&M, all unbeaten and untied.
November 22No. 1 Minnesota closed its season with a 41–6 win over Wisconsin in Minneapolis. No. 2 Texas A&M was idle as it prepared for its Thanksgiving game. No. 3 Duke won its season closer at N.C. State 55–6 to get a bid to Pasadena’s Rose Bowl. No. 4 Notre Dame beat USC 20–18. No. 5 Michigan closed its season with a 20–20 tie against No. 14 Ohio State. The top four remained the same, but No. 6 Duquesne (which had finished its season at 8–0–0) replaced Michigan at No. 5.
On Thanksgiving DayNo. 2 Texas A&M lost to No. 10 Texas 23–0. The top five in the final AP Poll were No. 1 Minnesota, No. 2 Duke, No. 3 Notre Dame, No. 4 Texas, and No. 5 Michigan.
The bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7 called into question whether Southern California would be safe from a Japanese attack on New Year's Day. On December 15, bowl officials and U.S. Army officers met in San Francisco and decided to hold the game at Duke's stadium in Durham, North Carolina.