HERMAN HICKMAN SAYS:

On alternate years second place in the Big Seven assumes a position of importance nationally. This is one of those years. Oklahoma is not eligible to represent the Big Seven at Miami in the Orange Bowl because of the conference's no-repeat rule, so the Kansas-Nebraska Act could be invoked or the Missouri Compromise-long lost in the files—be revived. Anyway, the stampeding Sooners will not be seen in the Sunshine State come January next year.

Oklahoma enters this season with a 30-game winning streak going and a potentially better squad than last year's, which was placed No. 1 in the country in all the postseason polls. Their prospects, covered in detail in The Eleven Elevens, are so frighteningly good that it will take all the coaching genius of Bud Wilkinson to maintain the proper equilibrium and guide this talent-laden squad through another undefeated season. Saturday after Saturday, year after year, Bud has been able to sell his players the idea that the next game was the most important one on the schedule. His task this season will be more difficult than ever. I'm going way out on a limb and predict that somewhere along the line, starting with "Cousin" Jim Tatum's visit to Norman with his Tar Heels on Sept. 29 through the visit to their country kinfolks, the Oklahoma Aggies, at Stillwater on Dec. 1, some team will surprise the Sooners. Armageddon will be at South Bend on October 27.

Second-finishing Nebraska could repeat. Pete Elliott has been lured away from Wilkinson's staff to take over his first head coaching assignment. Reports on him are good, and his new regime at Lincoln may give the bickering Cornhuskers the necessary lift.

It would be poetic justice for Don Faurot, the innovator of the split-T, now in his 21st year at Missouri, to have his-coming-of-age party in the environs of Miami this New Year's—and Missouri will be improved.

Chuck Mather, at Kansas, has had his troubles since leaving the fertile breeding ground of football players at Massillon High School, Ohio, from which he has imported many products of the area. He hopes for the proper germination of this imported seed. Beautiful crop reported, and improved season in prospect.

NEBRASKA
LINCOLN, NEB.

COLORS: Scarlet and cream.

BASIC OFFENSE: Split-T.

1955 RECORD: Won 5, lost 5.

LETTERMEN RETURNING: 16 of 39.

WATCH FOR: Willie Greenlaw, B; La Verne Torczon, G; Don Erway, B.

THE DOPE: The Cornhuskers emerge from the turbulence of two years of strife under ex-Coach Bill Glassford into the ordered existence of Oklahoma-style organization. Says Coach Pete Elliott: "Nebraska will play Oklahoma's split-T offense this year, but it won't look like Oklahoma's." Obviously, the Huskers lack the wealth of talent owned by the Sooners, but there are bright spots. The defensive line, tackle to tackle, is strong; All-Conference Halfback Willie Greenlaw is an exceptionally deceptive runner and a good left-handed passer; Senior Don Erway is a seasoned quarterback, always a help.

1956 SCHEDULE (1955 score):

Sept. 22—South Dakota (no game)
Sept. 29—at Ohio State (20-28)
Oct. 6—Iowa State (10-7)
Oct. 13—Kansas State (16-0)
Oct. 20—Indiana (no game)
Oct. 27—at Colorado (37-20)
Nov. 3—Missouri (18-12)
Nov. 10—at Kansas (19-14)
Nov. 17—Baylor (no game)
Nov. 24—at Oklahoma (0-41)

COLORADO
BOULDER, COL.

COLORS: Silver and gold.

BASIC OFFENSE: Single wing, T, wing T.

1955 RECORD: Won 6, lost 4.

LETTERMEN RETURNING: 20 of 35.

WATCH FOR: Dick Stapp, T; Jerry Leahy, E; Wally Merz, E; John Bayuk, B.

THE DOPE: The Buffaloes, devotees of single-wing power along the ground in the past, may go aloft, necessity again serving as the mother of invention. With line strength only at end and with two passers in Dick Hyson and Boyd Dowler, who were spectacular in spring training, Coach Dallas Ward may have to concede the middle of the road to his opponents. The team speed is below average, and there is a serious lack of interior line reserves. According to Ward: "We're going to depend on several sophomores for starting and reserve line strength, and that always makes your chances highly problematical."

1956 SCHEDULE (1955 score):

Sept. 22—Oregon (13-6)
Sept. 29—Kansas State (34-13)
Oct. 6—at Kansas (12-0)
Oct. 13—Colorado A&M (0-10)
Oct. 20—at Iowa State (40-0)
Oct. 27—Nebraska (20-37)
Nov. 3—Oklahoma (21-56)
Nov. 10—at Missouri (12-20)
Nov. 17—at Utah (37-7)
Nov. 24—at Arizona, N (14-0)

KANSAS STATE
MANHATTAN, KANS.

COLORS: Purple and white.

BASIC OFFENSE: Split-T.

1955 RECORD: Won 4, lost 6.

LETTERMEN RETURNING: 20 of 30.

WATCH FOR: Ralph Pfeifer, B; Ellis Rainsberger, G; Dick Corbin, B.

THE DOPE: The Wildcats have plenty of speed and depth in the backfield, but lack of troops to man the line may hobble the backs. Ralph Pfeifer, a bangaway, hard-to-chop-down fullback, provides power up the middle; he is flanked by senior Halfbacks Tony Addeo and Kenny Nesmith, with Dick Corbin, a junior, at quarterback. The team will lean heavily on their running. The inexperienced line is small but may make up for that with extra speed. Coach Bus Mertes says: "Unpredictable, that's us. I'm not sure we can win a ball game. But we could win 'em all—including Oklahoma! That's how unpredictable I think this ball team is. We won't have a lineman who shaves more than once a week, but they don't know they're less than man-sized."

1956 SCHEDULE (1955 score):

Sept 22—Oklahoma A&M (0-28)
Sept 29—at Colorado (13-34)
Oct. 6—at Oklahoma (7-40)
Oct. 13—at Nebraska (0-16)
Oct. 20—Missouri (21-0)
Oct. 27—at Wyoming (20-38)
Nov. 3—Kansas (46-0)
Nov 10—at Marquette (42-0)
Nov 17—Iowa State (9-7)
Nov 24—at Michigan State (no game)

KANSAS
LAWRENCE, KANS.

COLORS: Crimson and blue.

BASIC OFFENSE: T.

1955 RECORD: Won 3, lost 6, tied 1.

LETTERMEN RETURNING: 20 of 35.

WATCH FOR: Frank Black, C; Dave Preston, B; Wally Strauch, B; Galen Wahlmeier, C.

THE DOPE: The Jayhawks, souped up by a strong infusion of transfers from the Massillon, Ohio home and former stamping ground of Coach Chuck Mather, are just about ready to surprise some folks. Mather has the core of last year's team and the core of last year's team and the 1956 club is improved everywhere except at guard. The transfers furnish the conjectural quality at the Lawrence campus: they could be great or they could prove woefully inadequate. The line wheels around a great center—a T must—in Captain Galen Wahlmeier; the ends, a bit doubtful defensively, are strong on offense, the tackles deep and sturdy. The guards appear to be the soft spot. Wally Strauch, a good passer, gives Mather two legs on the up-the-middle strength needed for T maneuvers; the third leg, fullback, looks better than last year.

1956 SCHEDULE (1955 score):

Sept 22—Texas Christian (14-47)
Sept 29—College of Pacific (no game)
Oct. 6—Colorado (0-12)
Oct. 13—at Iowa State (7-7)
Oct. 20—Oklahoma (6-44)
Oct. 27—at Oklahoma A&M (12-7)
Nov. 3—at Kansas State (0-46)
Nov. 10—Nebraska (14-19)
Nov. 17—at UCLA (no game)
Dec. 1—at Missouri (13-7)

IOWA STATE
AMES, IOWA

COLORS: Cardinal and gold.

BASIC OFFENSE: T, unbalanced line.

1955 RECORD: Won 1, lost 7, tied 1.

LETTERMEN RETURNING: 14 of 27.

WATCH FOR: Jack Falter, C; Jerry Bartelt, E; Oliver Sparks, T.

THE DOPE: The Cyclones, in the third year of a rebuilding program, are, for the first time, two deep everywhere. Coach Vince DiFrancesca purposely blooded his sophomores last season, starting nearly all of them at one time or another. Veteran Oliver Sparks, a 223-pound senior tackle, ballasts a junior line which makes defense the strong point of the team. Lack of speed in the backfield, however, will hamper the offense, and poor punting could keep the team off balance. Yet DiFrancesca says: "This is our best team in our three years. If our young players arrive on schedule, we'll contend with all 10 foes." Fred Rippel, who ran well last season before a broken leg stopped him, looks like the answer to the backfield riddle if he has recovered completely.

1956 SCHEDULE (1955 score):

Sept 15—at Denver, N (7-19)
Sept 29—at Northwestern (no game)
Oct. 6—at Nebraska (7-10)
Oct. 13—Kansas (7-7)
Oct. 20—Colorado (0-40)
Oct. 27—at Missouri (14-20)
Nov. 3—Drake (21-27)
Nov. 10—Oklahoma (0-52)
Nov 17—at Kansas State (7-9)
Nov 24—at Villanova (no game)

MISSOURI
COLUMBIA, MO.

COLORS: Gold and black.

BASIC OFFENSE: Split-T.

1955 RECORD: Won 1, lost 9.

LETTERMEN RETURNING: 19 of 26.

WATCH FOR: Jimmy Hunter, B; Jim Martin, G; Frank Czapla, T.

THE DOPE: The Tigers, for the first time in years, may provide Coach Don Faurot with all the raw material needed to operate the split-T he invented. Senior Quarterback Jimmy Hunter, who engineered the 12-13 scare against Maryland last year and looked fine against Oklahoma, is a consistent passer and also drives for good yardage off the split-T keeper and option plays. A couple of big, fast sophomore halfbacks, Hank Kuhlman and Charlie James, lend authority to the Tiger running attack, but Faurot still needs a breakaway boy. Guard Jim Martin and Tackle Frank Czapla provide the main starch in a line of old hands. Only at end is there a question, and it's not a serious one. The Tigers are the dark horse for the Orange Bowl.

1956 SCHEDULE (1955 score):

Sept. 22—Oregon State (no game)
Sept. 29—at Purdue (no game)
Oct. 6—Southern Methodist (6-13)
Oct. 13—North Dakota State (no game)
Oct. 20—at Kansas State (0-21)
Oct. 27—Iowa State (14-20)
Nov. 3—at Nebraska (12-18)
Nov. 10—Colorado (20-12)
Nov. 17—at Oklahoma (0-20)
Dec. 1—Kansas (7-13)

ILLUSTRATION PHOTOELLIS RAINSBERGER, KANSAS STATE CAPTAIN PHOTOGALEN WAHLMEIER, KANSAS' MIDDLE MAN PHOTOOLIVER SPARKS ANCHORS CYCLONE LINE PHOTOJIMMY HUNTER POURS SPLIT-T FOR TIGERS
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)