Cumberland College, a school in Lebanon, Tennessee, had discontinued its football program before the season but was not allowed to cancel its game against the Engineers. The fact that Cumberland's baseball team had crushed Georgia Tech earlier that year 22–0 (amidst allegations that Cumberland used professionals as ringers) probably accounted for Georgia Tech coach John Heisman's running up the score on the Bulldogs. He insisted on the schools' scheduling agreement, which required Cumberland to pay $3,000 ($60,349 in inflation-adjusted terms) to Tech if its football team failed to show. So, George E. Allen (who was elected to serve as Cumberland's football team student manager after first serving as the baseball team student manager) put together a team of 14 men to travel to Atlanta as Cumberland's football team.
Another reason for Heisman's plan to run up the score was that collegiate rules at the time ranked teams based on how many points they scored. Heisman did not consider that statistic a true mark of a team's success, and may have unleashed his players on Cumberland to make his point.
↑Davis, Parke H. (1916-10-15). "Yellow Jackets-Cumberland Score Was Record One; Tops the List According to Statistics Compiled Showing All Scores Past the Century Mark". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. pp. A3.