THE FOOTBALL ISSUE: I PREDICT...
Every sports fan in the country is indebted to you for your Special Football Issue (SI, Sept. 24) as the most comprehensive, interesting and, I predict, reliable preseason coverage on collegiate football ever published. Herman Hickman's article recognizes the fact that great football is played and outstanding players are to be found in every section of the country. The statistical sketches of 120 outstanding teams is certainly a masterpiece of reporting. It will provide your readers with a ready reference as to information covering the teams they will watch in action during the fall.
Louis R. HARRINGTON
FOOTBALL ISSUE: OUT ON A LIMB
I have just finished reading over your Special Football Issue, and I must say I enjoyed it greatly. SPORTS ILLUSTRATED seems to lead the field in special issues.
Condolences and best wishes for a speedy recovery to Herman Hickman, who was a victim of circumstances and was caught up in a whirl of upsets on that first Saturday and managed to miss almost half of his HUNCHES. [Actually, Herman got 18 right, missed 7—ED.] But it seems to me that he is going way, way too far out on a limb to predict that Oklahoma will suffer the humiliation of defeat during the year. And Armageddon will certainly not be at South Bend when OU meets Notre Dame.
FOOTBALL ISSUE: SUPERB TRAVESTY
Apparently Hickman's service to Yale did not end with his resignation. Yale ahead of great teams like Maryland, Pittsburgh and Syracuse? Never! Despite Hickman's travesty, the Special Football Issue is really superb.
G. M. PELLETIER
FOOTBALL ISSUE: HANDY REFERENCE
The completeness of your comprehensive analysis of the college football picture in your Special Football Issue was remarkable. I am sure that all involved or interested will keep this Special Issue handy for frequent references.
WHAT FOOTBALL ISSUE?
...What football issue? Newsstands here are sold out. Where can I get one?
•With those Northwestern Wildcats on hand, a sellout in Evanston was inevitable. Send 25¢ to Department 990, 540 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago.—ED.
FOOTBALL ISSUE: IMPARTIAL REPORT
Thanks for the wonderful football issue. I never saw a more clear or concise job done in football, including very impartial reporting. Especially liked Rip Engle's comment about his team being better than rated.
KENNETH J. VAN WIR
FOOTBALL ISSUE: MISSISSIPPI
While I realize that you can't keep everybody happy, I sincerely believe that I have a just complaint concerning your treatment of Ole Miss in the Special Football Issue.
The report states in part: "...Ole Miss starts easy against N. Texas State. The rest of the Rebel schedule is a setup even for sophomores, so another bowl game may be in the offing." (Emphasis supplied.) I feel that the statement is most unfair, not only to Ole Miss but also to the stronger teams on their schedule.
Admittedly, the Rebels have a couple of breathers, but for the most part their games are against capable teams in a strong, highly competitive [SEC] conference. I notice that Maryland always gets a good press despite a favorable schedule. Why pick on the Rebels?
Anyway, I'm very proud of this Special Football Issue, and you can bet that it will be well worn by season's end.
I have long admired Herman Hickman as a football player, coach, wrestler, after-dinner speaker, TV performer and motion picture actor, but after reading the football issue I believe (if you'll pardon the expression) that he has blown his top.
He says (The Eleven Best Elevens) and I quote, "Mississippi may again win the SEC championship and possibly have an undefeated season, but—through no fault of their own, except possibly being too strong—they again do not have a representative schedule." Yet he picks Yale in the top 11 teams in the country. Why, there isn't a team that Ole Miss plays that wouldn't have a winning season against the teams on Army's and Yale's schedules and most of them would against Oklahoma's schedule.
Congratulations on the beautiful and graphic photographs of the Ole Miss football team and Coach John Vaught in your Special Football Issue. Frankly, I didn't expect you to do it.
Let me tell you about Mississippi Southern College. It is Mississippi's largest college. Larger than either Ole Miss or Mississippi State. It is the college that beat the University of Alabama (25-19) in 1953 when Alabama was ranked as high as fifth in the nation. They also knocked off Georgia, another Southeastern Conference team, that year.
In 1954 the Southerners proved it was lot just a fluke by taking Alabama again, 7-2. Last year they didn't play Alabama, out it would have been a runaway because Southern was at its best with a 9-1 record.
So much for the past. This year Southern is really moving. It is enlarging its stadium to seat 32,000, has an application in for membership in the SEC, and has Don Owens, a tackle, who is Mel Allen's preseason choice for first-team All-America in another sports magazine, which I am seriously considering taking after your subscription runs out.
•SPORTS ILLUSTRATED looks forward to scouting Mississippi Southern (SI, Oct. 4, 1954) on its admission to the Southeastern Conference—ED.
FOOTBALL ISSUE: WHY AND WHEN
Why was there no mention of Trinity College and its last two fine teams?
ALTHEA G. HOUGH
•See page 104.—ED.
And where is my Alma Mater—Lehigh?
•...on page 47.—ED.
With the help of Herman Hickman's inside information plus my own views, here is an advance All-America football team:
E Tom Maentz, Michigan
T Lou Michaels, Kentucky
G Jim Parker, Ohio State
C Ed Szvetecz, Army
G Bill Glass, Baylor
T John Witte, Oregon State
E Joe Walton, Pittsburgh
QB Claude Benham, Columbia
HB Jimmy Brown, Syracuse
HB Jim Swink, TCU
FB Don Bosseler, Miami (Fla.).
PROPHET WITHOUT HONOR
How very true and how very sad was SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S description of the reception given our Braves here in Milwaukee on returning from their series with the Pirates. If there were a few sleepy wives on hand to greet their hubbies it was more than I could see. But in defense of the local fans it must be admitted that performances of Adcock, Burdette, Crandall and teammates were enough to sour the enthusiasm of us all. Perhaps if our boys would at least give the appearance of trying a little harder the fans would try a little harder too.
•Seems the only ones who are trying are the loyal reporters. When the Braves left Milwaukee three days later for Cincinnati only about 200 never-say-die supporters were on hand to wish the boys well, a loyal handful that in published reports became a multitude of roaring fans whose spontaneous and unbridled enthusiasm deeply moved the departing team.—ED.