THE QUESTION: Is the best football in the U.S. played in the Big Ten?

Nov. 24, 1958
Nov. 24, 1958

Table of Contents
Nov. 24, 1958

Wood Sounds
International Confusion
Wonderful World Of Sport
On Field And Campus
Scouting Reports
  • ARMY 40

    The Cadets have been the standout team in the East all fall, and only a tie with Pitt slightly mars their record. Their backfield is tremendously fast but no more dangerous than their passing

  • NAVY 41

    The Midshipmen are not as big and tough as Army, but Coach Eddie Erdelatz' team boasts one of the nation's best passing attacks. Navy has lost only twice despite many serious injuries

Pro Football
Horse Show
Motor Sports
Sporting Look
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over
Pat On The Back

THE QUESTION: Is the best football in the U.S. played in the Big Ten?

Commissioner Southern Conference
Durham, N.C.
Not always. This changes from year to year. The Pacific Coast Conference was very strong years ago. Now the Southeastern is as strong as any. True, the Big Ten was very strong last year, but this year Illinois played Ohio State a close game, and Duke in the Atlantic Coast Conference beat Illinois, which shows you can't really generalize.

This is an article from the Nov. 24, 1958 issue

Co-donor of football's Lambert Cup and Trophy
New York City
Judging by the care with which the scouts for the professional teams comb the Big Ten, I guess you could say they played the best football. However, the most spirited football I've seen is played in the Ivy League and other smaller colleges throughout the country, and I find that it is just as interesting and colorful to watch as the big teams.

Former Army All-America
New York City
No. True, the teams in the Big Ten play superb football, but high-quality football is played in every football-conscious section of the country. Oklahoma, Army, Navy and teams in the Southwest Conference can play the Big Ten teams on even terms year after year, and it's all good ball.

President, Louisville Touchdown Club
Yes. I rate the Big Ten first and the Southeastern Conference second. I've often seen Notre Dame play as well, but you can't beat the over-all excellence of the Big Ten. However, to me it's not the ideal system. They get the greatest players through their terrific recruiting tactics.

Director of Marketing Miller Brewing Company
Although I'm prejudiced, coming from the Midwest, all you have to do is follow the late Al Smith's formula of "Let's look at the record." The Big Ten has more good coaches and more top players than any other conference. And more pros played in the Big Ten than in any other conference.

One of Notre Dame's Four Horsemen
Scranton, Pa.
Yes, as a whole. Oklahoma is terrific, but it plays in a conference which is not as good as the Big Ten. Since 1947 Big Ten teams have lost only one game out of their 12 trips to the Rose Bowl. Other groups, like the Ivy League, don't compare with the Big Ten teams, which play a superior game.

Wilton, Conn.
No. While the Ivy League may have suffered by the elimination of spring practice, by and large the champions of all the large conferences are about on a par. However, I think that there is no greater game to watch than one between two evenly matched, high-spirited Ivy League teams.

TV star
Years ago, the best football was played in the East when Harvard, Yale and Princeton were the Big Three. Then the emphasis swung to the Big Ten and the West Coast. Now, with the Big Ten and the West Coast so greatly concerned about academic requirements, the best football has now switched to the South.

Sports editor, The Macy-Westchester Newspapers, Inc.
Tuckahoe, N.Y.
Yes. Everyone knows the Big Ten does the greatest recruiting job and gets the greatest players. This conference plays a brand of football almost as good as the professionals. When you watch them play on television, they even look like professionals. There isn't a poor team in the entire conference.

Halfback, New York Football Giants
Bakersfield, Calif.
No. The best football is played in the Southwest and Southeastern Conferences. Over the years they have had better teams—not the entire conference, but the individual teams like Texas, SMU, Mississippi and LSU. The Big Ten plays good football, but I bet 50% of the players in the pro league are from the South.