As Robert Calvin Hubbard walked across the tree-lined Pennsylvania campus of Geneva College one day in 1926 he saw a pretty coed ahead of him. He instantly decided he would like to meet her, and instantly did. Overtaking the girl, he demanded sternly: "What's your name?"
"Ruth Frishkorn," she replied without a whimper, or any attempt at evasion.
"That name's too hard to pronounce," Hubbard announced. "I'm going to change it to Hubbard." Whether Miss Frishkorn said "yes" at once is not recorded, but the marriage is—which is not surprising, because Cal Hubbard had a way of impressing people. He was, of course, infinitely more impressive when he was helping opposing ballcarriers etch their stricken images more or less permanently in the turf of football fields. Paul (Pip) Booth, who roomed with and played on the same team as Hubbard at Geneva, recalls this about the 6-foot-4, 245-pound Missouri farmboy:
"Hubbard moved like a cat and always smashed into the ballcarrier with his face or chest. Once I saw him smash down the whole side of a defensive line by himself. He was six to eight years older than most of us, and we looked up to him more as a father than as a teammate. No man had cleaner living habits, either. His only bad one was sitting up all night to drink coffee and talk sports. Baseball and football rules were his hobby; he spent days and nights studying them and drinking coffee."
In 1926 Cornell had scheduled Geneva College as an easy first game. Even so, the coach of the Big Red, Gil Dobie, took the precaution of looking over the Geneva team when it arrived in Ithaca. Dobie's eyes fell on Hubbard as he stepped off the train. Dobie said, "I think I made a bad mistake when I booked this team."
Cornell won the game 6-0, but it needed a little help. Geneva's passer was ejected in the first quarter, and before the game had ended the team had been penalized 300 yards to Cornell's 15. Harvard, which was stronger than Cornell that year, made the mistake of scheduling Geneva, too. It lost 16-7 when the officials could come up with only 30 yards of penalties for the Pennsylvanians and the same for Harvard. Leland Schachren, Geneva's quarterback, recalls the former New York Giant, Green Bay Packer and now umpire in chief of the American League like this:
"I was only 5 feet 8 and 131 pounds. Whenever things were going tough in a game or when we needed a first down or something, Cal would lean over to me in the huddle and say, 'Look, little boy, just get the ball and follow me.' I always did, too."
Hubbard got to Geneva by a circuitous route. He admired Bo McMillin, the original small-college hero who quarterbacked and kicked the Prayin' Colonels of Centre College to the famous 1921 victory over undefeated Harvard. McMillin became coach at Centenary in 1922, and Hubbard enrolled there. When McMillin pulled up stakes three years later to go to Geneva, Hubbard followed. Shortly before he died, someone asked McMillin to describe Hubbard. He answered, "The greatest football player who ever lived was Cal Hubbard, lineman or back, college or professional."
The small-college player who could perform in the Hubbard tradition this year is Quarterback Randy Johnson of Texas A&I. The chances are good he will become a professional very soon, continuing the tradition, more often fiction than fact, that the best pro players are unknowns from small colleges. Says Gil Steinke, his coach: "He's extremely-quick as a runner. He has an abnormally quick arm. He's an unusually good scrambler. He runs all over and throws left or right, off balance—he doesn't have to worry about where his feet are. He can throw long or short." In three years at A&I, Johnson has thrown for 3,241 yards and added 431 more by dipping from the pocket and running with the ball. Last year he completed 117 of 222 passes for 1,664 yards and finished with 1,989 in total offense. In the off season, proving his versatility, he was a starter on the A&I basketball team and a member of the golf team.
East Texas State's Earnest Hawkins, whose teams must play against Johnson once more, compares the 6-foot-3, 195-pound passer to Joe Namath. "Of course Namath is the best I've seen," says Hawkins, "but I've had pro scouts tell me they think this kid is right next to him. I know from films and the experience we've had in playing against him, there aren't many kids who throw the ball better. He can be running full speed and throw it back across. He can lead a man out, throw it deep."
"He has the size," says Red Hickey of the Dallas Cowboys, "and he has very quick hands, quick action and a good motion. A lot will depend upon what he does this year, but he'll go high in the draft. He'll open a lot of eyes, I'm sure."
One of the games people play in the football season—besides football—is small-college name-dropping. Anyone who wishes to excel at that popular sport this fall would be wise to note the name and location of a city of 16,500 in the green hills of northern Louisiana. This is Ruston, a place whose industries range from polystyrene to broom handles. Interstate 20, a four-lane superhighway, skirts the northern edge of town and links Ruston with Minden, Arcadia, Choudrant and Monroe. On weekends in the summer most Rustonites travel the 13 miles to D'Arbonne Lake to sail, ski, swim and sleep in the sun; but on Saturdays in the fall they cram into LOUISIANA TECH's ancient stadium and eagerly watch the Bulldogs wallop whatever team happens to be unfortunate enough to be visiting that afternoon. Tech has not lost a conference game in Ruston since 1954, and the last time it lost any game at home was a squeaker with Southern Mississippi in 1961. The townsfolk are so proud of their Bulldogs that 1,000 of them are planning to make the 265-mile train ride to Houston this week for the big game against Rice. Yes, Rice. Tech Coach Joe Aillet has won so often (67% of the time) for so long (24 years) that teams like Rice and Alabama are no longer embarrassed to schedule his team. And he, in turn, is not afraid of them. "We'll play anybody who'll play us," says Aillet—and with Bear Bryant on the schedule (September 24, 1966) you have to believe him.
The Bulldogs won nine of 10 games in 1964 and for the 13th time in 24 years finished on top of the Gulf States Conference. Tech was fourth in the small-college ratings and thought it should have been first. This year, if Aillet can replace—of all things—his defensive line coach (George Doherty is recovering from a heart attack), Louisiana Tech could be first and not lose in Ruston, Shreveport, Houston or anywhere else. "Right now, with George out, it's an impossible situation," says Aillet. "However, from a realistic point of view we'll be as good as we were last year."
Realistically, Quarterback Billy Laird threw for 1,361 yards and nine touchdowns last year. He is back, as are 250-pound tackles like Jim Boudreaux and Dan Irby and guards like Bob McKinnon and Corky Cassity, both over 200. Fullback Gerry McDowell is being pushed by sophomores Bob Brunet and Richie Golman, who both run the 100 in under 10 seconds. Flanker Corky Corkern is gone but freshman Butch Daniels may be better yet. Wayne Davis and Maurice Greer are back at the ends. The biggest loss of all was punter David Lee (signed by the Cleveland Browns), but with an attack like the Bulldogs' who needs to punt?
Tech meets McNEESE STATE October 2 in Lake Charles, and that should settle the Gulf States race almost before it begins. McNeese has 24 lettermen left, but with Chuck Anastasio (twice All-Conference at tailback) among the missing, Coach Les DcVall says, "We won't have the football team we had last year." Rich Guillory, a swift, heady runner, returns at quarterback, and Merlin Walet, a 220-pound fullback, is probably the best back in the GSC: he played in just three games last year and gained 312 yards. Without more players like these, however, McNeese probably will be good enough only to beat out SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA for second place.
That, however, is a pretty big "only." Southeastern is something of a powerhouse itself. "If the line improves and the backs come through and the quarterback situation shapes up and one or two freshmen surprise, the Lions could be a contender," is one evaluation of Southeastern. This comes from Hammond, La., where the school is located, but do not be misled. The Lions have Harry Nunez, a four-year man, at fullback and two All-Conference picks, Ronnie Frederick and Earl Dieterich, in the line. If half their "ifs" come through, the Lions will be quite a decent little team.
There are few ifs about Charles (Bubber) Murphy these days. His MIDDLE TENNESSEE Blue Raiders haven't finished lower than second in the Ohio Valley Conference for 10 years and have won or shared the title six of the last nine. Murphy will not surprise the good people of Murfreesboro with anything less in 1965. Quarterback Teddy (Thunderbolt) Morris, holder of every MTSU total-offense and passing record, will strike again—as will Halfback Bob Hlodan (the Raiders' leading rusher and MVP in the 20-0 win over Muskingum in the Grantland Rice Bowl), Middle Guard Keith Atchley, Fullback Larry Mathews and 18 other lettermen.
If four transfers from major football schools can steady Nick Denes' line at WESTERN KENTUCKY STATE, the Hilltoppers could make things sticky for Middle Tennessee on that big day for little football in the South, October 2, when the two teams meet. Center Tom Ruby, Tackles Ralph Edwards and Jack Crangle and Guard Wes Simpson could be good enough to produce an OVC title. One of the Burt brothers, John, is back again, and he led the Hilltoppers in rushing last season.
Stokley Fulton will be awfully unhappy if his HAMPDEN-SYDNEY Tigers are not Mason-Dixon champs in 1965. "This team could be one of our best ever," he says flatly and emphatically. He is probably right. Whitey Lipscomb is the best small-college quarterback in Virginia, and Jimmy Null may be the best linebacker—small or big college. Then there's Ty Tysinger; Ty tries to go all the way every time he gets the ball—and just might do it in 1965. Quarterback Eldridge Dickey, one of 25 lettermen at TENNESSEE STATE, is talented enough to pass the Tigers to the Midwestern Athletic Association title.
Florida A&M is the annual host of the Orange Blossom Classic and nobody argues about that because the Rattlers are always the team to beat among Negro colleges. This is true because A&M Coach Jake Gaither places the emphasis on speed, speed and more speed. The fact that lately he has been getting size with speed has not hurt him either although it has brought him problems—too many pro scouts cluttering up his front lawn. This is a vintage Rattler year, even without Olympic gold-medal winner Bob Hayes, Bobby Felts and Quarterback Ernie Hart, who made sprint-outs really sprint-outs and could throw as well. At Tallahassee, in the face of such losses, they merely ask "Who's next?" Who's next, for the information of pro scouts and unhappy opponents, is a stable of sophomores who can run the 100 in 10 seconds or less. The starters should be Quarterback Elroy Morand, Halfbacks Eugene Thomas and Jim Cambridge and Flanker Back Eugene Milton. The finest, fastest and biggest Rattlers up front are 257-pound Tackle David Daniels and End Arthur Robinson, a 1964 Negro All-America.
Prairie view will be tough to beat again in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, even though Quarterback Jimmy Kearney, the league's total-offense leader, and End Otis Taylor are gone. But if the Panthers are to be beaten, it will happen at GRAMBLING on October 2. Grambling lost six lettermen who signed professional contracts—but the Tigers will be as huge and fast as ever and will make Prairie View hustle plenty. Among players returning to the team this season are Henry Dyer, who was the nation's co-leader in college-division scoring.
That dust billowing from Pritchett Stadium in Huntsville, Tex., on hot autumn Saturdays is nothing to be alarmed about unless you happen to belong to the Lone Star Conference—and are not SAM HOUSTON STATE. The Bearkats of State live up to their name. Last year they called only one time out, and that was to stop the clock on a touchdown drive. There will be no letup this season, and if there is one threat to Louisiana Tech's hopes of finishing first among the country's small colleges, it is Sam Houston.
The perpetual-motion Bearkats won eight of nine regular-season games in 1964, defeated Findlay 32-21 in a playoff and then tied Concordia (Minn.) 7-7 for the NAIA championship. Only seven men are missing from that team, and all but three of the best ones are back. Among the returnees are Tackle A.J. Veselka, End Lloyd Long and Linebackers Dave Martin and Mike Bobo. Billy Aden and Joe Ed Lynn are 215-pound halfbacks so swift they could rustle cattle on foot, and Halfback Ronnie Menn, a transfer from Texas A&M, is right with them. There is a problem. Norm Peterson, admired for his all-round abilities as a quarterback, is being pushed by a transfer from Rice, Dennis Gann, who throws so well he could wind up with the job. In the eyes of the coach, Dr. Paul Pierce, that is a dilemma.
Should the Bearkats get to squabbling among themselves, the LSC team with an outside chance to catch them is SOUTHWEST TEXAS STATE, otherwise known as the Bobcats. The night of the big confrontation is October 23 in San Marcos. The Bobcats lost a 15-14 thriller to Sam Houston last year (they finished 8-2 for the season), and new Coach Billy Miller hopes to celebrate his first year with a conference championship. He almost has the team to do it. Quarterback Jesse Perkins threw for 699 yards as a freshman, Fullback Reece Morrison averaged 11.1 yards per carry on 39 tries last year and Tailback Lewis Simmons led the team in rushing. Tackle Wilbur Aylor, at a stout 245 pounds, and 220-pound Center Lindy Lyles are two of the finest linemen in the Lone Star, and Corner Back Rich Suffel is the best. Even the kicking is superb. Jon White averaged 40 yards a punt in 1964.
Still farther on the outside, but always a threat to Sam Houston, is STEPHEN F. AUSTIN. The Lumberjacks lost their leading ground-gainer and their top pass receiver from last year's team. But they have 25 lettermen left, among them a healthy Jerry (Hawk) Clement, a 9.8 sprinter who was hurt most of 1964. A Clement for a full season makes the Lumberjack running game better than it was. Both lines are rough, big and quick, with Fred Calhoun, Lynn Graves, Bill Henderson, John Owens and Don Lorenz all among the best in the conference. Backing them at safety is Larry Minter, All-LSC last year.
But there is a fourth good team in this remarkably strong conference, and if TEXAS A&I's Javelinas can escape the injuries that plagued them in 1964 they might surprise everybody. Their chances begin, of course, with Randy Johnson, the LSC's most valuable player in 1964 and sure to make Little All-America in 1965. Johnson's impressive statistics from last season should be equally formidable this year with the return of four receivers, each of whom caught passes totaling 200 yards or more. They are L. J. Rolf, Gerry Pargmann, Terry Oglesby and Jimmy Hill. But Coach Gil Steinke still has not forgotten those injuries and sums it up: "With a good amount of luck we could have a topnotch football team."
East Texas state, expecting big things from Tailback Curtis Guyton (All-America at Wharton Junior College) and Guard Bill Plunkett, is the best of the rest.
The LAMAR TECH-ABILENE CHRISTIAN game in Abilene on October 16 should settle first place once and for all in the Southland Conference. Tech won the title last year, but Abilene is better in 1965 with improved running and the return of four All-Conference players, Halfback Mike Love, Tailback Dennis Hagaman, Guard Ron Anders and Tackle Larry Cox.
Lamar Tech has 22 lettermen back, of whom 17 were regulars. Quarterback Phil Primm completed 62 of 120 passes for 893 yards and he still has his favorite targets—Steve Bailey and Frazer Dealy.
Arkansas state plays both contenders, however, and is capable of complicating matters enough to wind up with the title itself. The Indians (7-0-2) still have All-Conference Linebackers Dan Summers and Dave Werner, while Tackle H. K. Reeves has size (232 pounds) and speed. Sadly, however, both quarterbacks are gone and the replacement, Bryan Caplinger, was a defensive specialist last year.
In and around Springfield, Tiffin, Berea, Westerville, Akron and other hopeful towns, the teams of the Ohio Conference have been trying, without success, to beat WITTENBERG for nearly four years. During this time Wittenberg has won 29 games in a row, enjoyed three unbeaten seasons and taken four OC titles. The 1964 team was the best of all: it was voted the national small-college champion, outscored its opponents 281-60, outrushed them 1,371 yards to 798 and outpassed them 1,947 to 1,045.
But lo, Baldwin-Wallace, Muskingum, Denison, Akron and the others are taking heart this year; their retaliatory powers appear stronger—and Wittenberg's weaker—than at any time since 1959. Thirteen of Wittenberg's starters—including Little All-America Quarterback Chuck Green and nearly the whole offensive line—have graduated and left Coach Bill Edwards with nothing but glittering memories. "Replacing men who were able to do so much so well is going to be no easy task," he says. Edwards will start with four very good Tigers, however, and build from them. End Rod Miller, Fullback Octavian Pechar, Halfback Bob Harvey and Guard Fred Musone are as good as they come. Defensively, six regulars are left, but the quarterback situation is the bleakest it has been since Edwards arrived in 1955. Gene Laughman and Steve Wise have played just long enough to throw 11 passes.
If Edwards cannot finagle Wittenberg's fifth OC championship in five years, BALDWIN-WALLACE looks ripe enough to win its first in more than 20 years. The Yellow Jackets have three good linebackers in Dave Dourm, George Kapcar and Mike Martin, and there are six lettermen ready for five positions in the defensive line. The offense is not flashy, but it will move the ball. Quarterback John Terakedis is ably supported by Jim Jones. Fullback Joe Yore runs hard and blocks well. Bob Balogh heads a fine selection of ends. These and the rest of 26 lettermen could fly the Yellow Jackets past Wittenberg and everybody else in the way. Coach Ed Sherman has a 124-41-7 record at MUSKINGUM and because Sherman always seems to get the most out' of what he has, the Fighting Muskies will be near the top of the OC again. Twenty lettermen return, including All-OC Fullback Donn Foutz, Tackle Mark DeVilling and Middle Guard Tom Dillard. The defense will be sound, and if Muskingum gets past Baldwin-Wallace on September 25, it could be a championship year at New Concord.
At Granville, Ohio, Coach Keith Piper has 30 lettermen to fortify DENISON's single wing. Tailback Denny Price is among them, and Price led the OC in rushing and scoring last season. Fullback Sam White will be missed, but sophomore Eric Ivary could supply needed inside power. As usual, the Big Red has a stingy defense, but the fact that it does not have to play Wittenberg could prove a curse in disguise.
Coach Gordon Larson has 26 lettermen left at AKRON but insists he faces his biggest rebuilding job since he arrived in 1961. "If our youngsters don't develop quickly we're in real trouble," he says. The Zips lost five starters in the offensive line in addition to All-Conference choices Darrington Seals at halfback and Jim Wehner at defensive tackle. Halfback Jim Braccio and Tackle Doug Thompson must take the initiative.
It looks like another year of fun, fun, fun at FINDLAY, Ohio. Coach Byron (By) Morgan's Oilers won nine of 10 games before losing to Sam Houston State in the NAIA semi-finals—and there are at least 24 reasons (two dozen lettermen) why Findlay should be just as good in 1965. The biggest reason of all is Halfback Allen Smith, who as a sophomore led the NAIA in rushing (1,070 yards) and scoring (102 points) and made the Little All-America team. Now that he has experience it is anyone's guess what he will do. No less important reasons for optimism are Quarterbacks Jim Culler and Martin Terry, who combined for 12 touchdown passes, and Defensemen Bill Bingle and Jerry Savoy, who tossed opposing ballcarriers around like wadded newspapers.
If the Oilers are going to grin just a little less, it probably will be HILLSDALE of Michigan that dampens the fun. Their November 6 game at Hillsdale should be a Michigan vs. Ohio State in miniature. (Findlay won last year 34-12). The Dales have yet to lose more than three games in a season under Coach Muddy Waters (82-18-4) and rarely have they done that, dazzling opponents with T, wing T, single wing, balanced and unbalanced lines and spread formations. "We just don't have any glaring weaknesses this year," admits Waters, whose strengths, he does not admit, are glaring. Thirty-three lettermen have returned and Little All-America Halfback Bruce McLenna is among them. McLenna is a 6-foot-3, 220-pound 9.9 sprinter who transferred from Michigan, gained 553 yards last season, scored 13 touchdowns, caught 10 passes for 223 yards and was drafted as a future by the Detroit Lions. End Larry Fowler, Quarterbacks Pat Brown and Tom Zientek, Tackle Bob Mallendick (drafted by the New York Jets), Guard Gary Hills and 250-pound Center Jerry Rigelman make the Dales almost too good for everybody they play—except Findlay.
Ever since Hillsdale urned independent in 1961, ALBION'S Britons have enjoyed delicious success around the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association. Coach Morley Fraser makes predictions like, "It will be another dogfight for the title this year," but more than likely the Britons will fare as well as they did in 1964, when they won all eight starts and outscored the opposition 226-41.
The days of George Bork are gone at NORTHERN ILLINOIS, but the Huskies still managed to tie Western Illinois for the Interstate Intercollegiate championship in 1964. As usual the Huskies are the team to beat, but one may look for surprises from CENTRAL MICHIGAN. The Chippewas have steady quarterbacking in senior Pat Boyd and steady running in Bob Foldesi, Joe Welton and Jamie Gent. It is up to the Chip defense to make Central a titlist.
Either WESTERN ILLINOIS' Art Dufelmeier is preparing his co-champions for a hard fall or he has plans that depend upon surprise. During spring practice Dufelmeier said—loud enough for everyone to hear—"Western Illinois will need to pull some great upsets to stay out of the cellar. Only spirit will keep the Leathernecks from finishing last."
The Indiana Collegiate Conference is about as even as it can get. BUTLER, a perennial leader in the league, had to defeat Evansville in the last game of 1964 merely to share the title with four other teams. INDIANA STATE and BALL STATE will be the strongest contenders this time, but Butler—big, mobile and well coached under Tony Hinkle—is the one they must beat. Quarterback Joe Purichia threw for 874 yards in 1964, and Halfback Dick Dullaghan was the Bulldogs' most valuable Bulldog. VALPARAISO'S Crusaders will miss Quarterback David Lass, but the defense is bigger.
Bradley and DRAKE are both hardworking members of the Missouri Valley Conference except during the football season, when for three months they play the role of carefree—or careless—independents. Both teams throw the ball every chance they get. Bradley has one of the best passers in Quarterback Bob Caress, who completed 161 of 288 attempts last year for 1,964 yards and 17 touchdowns (second in the nation). Ron Royer of Drake is less spectacular, but he is no addict of the quarterback sneak, either. In two years he has completed 123 of 234 passes for 1,623 yards.
At Carbondale, Ill. there is another fine passer, but if he misses, watch out! Defense is nowhere to be found. Jim Hart of SOUTHERN ILLINOIS has thrown for 2,635 yards and 27 touchdowns in two years and, without bothering to add the bloody totals, his opponents have done more in return. But look for marked improvement over last year's 2-8 record.
Sewanee is in Tennessee, but it plays in the College Athletic Conference, and lately it has played well. It was tied for first place last year by WASHINGTON OF ST. LOUIS, but the Tigers appear to have too much quality to suffer a similar indignity this fall. Washington lost Quarterback Claude Frazier, Fullback Jerry Maher and Halfback Jim Powers, among others, but it does have a defense, for all but Sewanee.
Shortly before the opening game last year NORTHEAST MISSOURI STATE'S Maurice (Red) Wade said: "I feel the coming season can be classified only as a rebuilding year." The Bulldogs "rebuilt" with seven wins in nine starts, and that means a second straight Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association title is imminent, if only because Halfback Mike Richardson has been All-League three years running. Tackle-End Rich Rhodes made it last fall and Halfbacks T. J. Jackson and Sharron Washington ran for 1,161 yards.
Parsons College of Fairfield, Iowa is an independent that acts like one. The Wildcats really get around. Parsons will meet teams from seven different states in 1965 (Texas, New Mexico, Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, South Dakota and Iowa) and can assure a rough Saturday for every one of them. The Wildcats won six of nine last year and have 22 experienced players back. Quarterback Gary Gardner is gone, and he threw for 1,566 yards and 11 TDs before he hurt his knee and missed the last four games of 1964. Daynor Prince, however, learned quickly enough when he took over: Prince completed 91 of 135 for 1,092 yards and 10 touchdowns. But, of course, there were receivers. End Steve Gilliatt topped the NCAA's college division with 81 catches for 984 yards and 12 touchdowns, while Halfback Charlie Moore ran for 240 and caught passes for 373 more. They are both back. The line is big. Enough said?
State College of Iowa tied North Dakota and North Dakota State for the North Central Conference championship—and so impressed a selection committee that it won the right to beat Lamar Tech in the Pecan Bowl. Fullback Randy Schultz is ready for his senior season at SCI, and he is good enough to make any team he plays on the conference favorite. Big, blond and bruising, Schultz has gained 1,899 yards so far—and, with a pro contract just around the corner it is doubtful that he will ease up in 1965.
South Dakota State and NORTH DAKOTA will be fast on Iowa's heels. State's Jackrabbits have the passing in Quarterback Ron Meyer (176 of 334 for 2,476 yards and 35 touchdowns in two years) and receiving in Ed Maras (55 catches, 757 yards and 10 TDs in two years). What the Rabbits lack most is, of all things, adequate running. North Dakota will make everything close—and just could win the title with its defense, annually hard as the frozen plains. The Sioux lost their top four running backs, but Quarterback Corey Colehour appears ready for a superior year, and in the line the Sioux look like the Packers.
Following the three-way NCC tie, NORTH DAKOTA STATE went on to beat Colorado Western in the Mineral Bowl. The line, led by Ends Lowell Linderman and Center Gene Gebhards, will be even better than it was—but 10 lettermen backs are gone, including both experienced quarterbacks, and that's enough to cost the Bisons a shot at the championship unless the defense is strong enough to earn them one.
Concordia won the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title last year, beat Linfield in the NAIA playoff and tied Sam Houston State 7-7 in the championship game. Though five teams may fight it out this year, look for the Cobbers to win again simply because 32 lettermen are back, including Little All-America Fullback Dave Heide. The burly 225-pounder steamed for 993 yards last year, averaged 5.6 yards per carry and may be expected to elaborate on that in 1965. The most formidable opposition will be furnished by ST. JOHN's, which welcomes 26 lettermen back this fall and plays Concordia at home November 6.
St. Norbert, 5-2-2 last year (including a tie with Hillsdale), will be fortunate to match that record again. Little All-America Dave Jauquet heads a strong front four on defense, but that is all the Green Knights have going for them.
Coe, Cornell and RIPON—Midwest Conference tri-champions last year—are the teams to watch again. GRINNELL may make the first division if its sophomores come through. For CARLETON, 0-8 last year, any victory would be an improvement. Almost three dozen lettermen are back at KEARNEY STATE, and if they are not enough to make the Antelopes the best in the Nebraska College Athletic Conference, Quarterback Neil Kaup is. He completed 87 of 160 passes for 1,287 yards in 1964.
In the California Collegiate Athletic Association the football coaches act out a charade called musical transfers. Each summer they scurry about the state persuading junior-college stars to play for their team in the fall. The trick of the game is to land an unknown beauty and then to profess complete ignorance of his abilities. When the boy runs back the opening kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown in the first game and kicks the extra point, the practical CCAA coach looks around deadpan and asks, "Where'd he come from?"
The current champion at musical transfers is LOS ANGELES STATE'S Homer Beatty—but he had an edge. When Beatty came to L.A. State in 1963 he brought with him the best players from his Santa Ana Junior College team, the 1962 national champions. The Santa Ana group won two straight CCAA championships, 16 of 17 games and the last 12 in a row. Beatty's quarterback was Dunn Marteen, a 6-foot 185-pounder who set seven school records for passing and total offense and was the finest quarterback in the league both years.
Marteen is gone now, as are 14 other lettermen from last year, among them four (besides Marteen) who signed pro contracts. The Diablos do have 17 experienced men back, the best of whom is Ray Jones—an All-Conference halfback who hopes he can play quarterback this year with equal efficiency. Jones averaged 6.5 yards per carry last year and showed flashes of the same brilliance in the spring game when—as a quarterback—he carried 12 times for 125 yards and ran back a kickoff 55 more. Behind him in the backfield are Allan Roman and Tom Rainey at the halves and 210-pound Ray Chavez at full. Tackles Don Davis (All-League) and Jim Weatherwax, both 255 pounds, and Guard Bill Reece lead a line that will average something over 220 pounds per man. At the conclusion of spring practice, Beatty said: "We hope to solve our depth problem with some junior-college transfers." Assuming he will, the Diablos should have enough to repeat as CCAA champions and even run their winning streak to 22.
Before he left on a little recruiting trip of his own, SAN DIEGO STATE'S Don Coryell said, "We'll have to get three more good offensive linemen if we're going to beat our best opponents." It was certainly not ends Coryell was after—the Aztecs have two of the finest anywhere in the country in Leon Standridge (drafted by San Francisco) and Gary Garrison (drafted by Philadelphia and San Diego). Garrison caught 78 passes last year for 1,272 yards and 15 touchdowns. The defensive line will be refurnished around 268-pound Middle Guard Larry Martin, who is the fastest man on the team except for Garrison and 9.7-sprinter Bob Jones, a starting halfback. The I-formation Aztecs led the nation's small colleges in scoring (averaged 42.3 points a game) and total offense (averaged 422.6 yards a game) in 1964, but the backfield was all but leveled by graduation. The man San Diego will miss most—Tailback Jim Allison—led the NCAA's college division in rushing. But—you guessed it—help will come from JC transfers. A JC transfer of a year ago, Don Horn, had a fine spring at quarterback. The nucleus of an excellent team is there, but whether San Diego can upset the Diablos in the league race—and in their October 16 game—depends upon the success Coryell had during this summer's junior-college tour.
Frenso state has 20 junior-college transfers. State starts with three nonconference games, and this might give it time to develop into the kind of team that can challenge the two leaders. "Everything—our offense in particular—depends upon how quickly the transfers come along," says Coach Phil Krueger. All-League selections Paul Warkentin at center and Tailback Dave Plump (a San Francisco future who intercepted seven passes last year) both return, as do 220-pound Fullback Bill Aston and Harry Miller, another fine tailback.
Long Beach state finished third last year and could be there again or higher. Long Beach's proudest transfer is Quarterback Jack Reilly, who was the best junior-college passer in the country last year, completing 173 of 301 passes for 2,207 yards and 18 touchdowns. Seventeen lettermen were lost, but the same number return, among them Halfback Les Shy and Tackle Roy Schmidt, a Green Bay future.
Sacromento state lost Little All-America Tackle Bill Fuller and Little All-Coast End Gary Kelley. But 19 lettermen are back, and they're good enough for the Hornets to repeat as winners in the Far Western Conference. Quarterback Bob Miller and Fullback Mike Clemons supply the desired blend of passing and running. Close, however, will be HUMBOLDT STATE with Joe Sarboe. SAN FRANCISCO STATE, titlist three years running, missed its fourth in 1964 when it could only tie Sacramento State in the final game. Seventeen of the Golden Gators' 24 best players are gone, and it looks like a year of reconstruction for Coach Vic Rowen. He will build around All-FWC Halfback Tom Piggee, End Mike Meyer and Quarterback Don McPhail. UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT DAVIS will have the running in Glenn DuFour and Phil Stewart and the passing in Jim Wilcox. But the Aggies do not have the linemen or defense to improve much on last year's 3-6.
Quarterback Terry Durham will throw more at LINFIELD, but not well enough or far enough to catch WILLAMETTE in the Northwest Conference.
"If you can have a sound team when you don't have enough tackles, then we have a sound team," says Coach Jim Sweeney at MONTANA STATE. The Bobcats out-scored Big Sky opposition 74-6 last year and finished 7-4 overall, including a 28-7 win over Sacramento State in the Camellia Bowl. Tackle shortage or not, Quarterback Ray Foley, Center Terry Albrecht and five good halfbacks are enough to earn the Bobcats another Big Sky championship.
Owning a good quarterback is like having more water than you need: both are sometimes taken for granted, as WAGNER COLLEGE of Staten Island is now finding out. It has neither Dan Coughlin (who was more than a good quarterback, he was the best the school ever had) nor water. Coughlin was so good, in fact, that Wagner didn't lose a game last year, won the Middle Atlantic Conference championship (Northern Division), outscored the opposition 202 points to 67 and finished third in the balloting for the Lambert Cup. Were Coughlin back this year the Seahawks would win the title again with ease. With an even better defense they probably will win it anyway and lead the East's small colleges—but it won't be easy this time around.
Coach Bob Hicks has two men trying out for Coughlin's job—Lou Moskal and Rich Salinardi. The chances are he will choose Salinardi because he can throw a football better than Moskal. This is important because Little All-America End Dick Kotite is still around and Hicks wants a quarterback who can get the ball to him, the way Coughlin did.
Even with Kotite playing, Wagner sooner or later is going to find it necessary to move the football on the ground. When it does, Halfbacks Chuck DiStaulo, Ed Martin and Mike Kelly, fine runners all, should respond admirably. On defense the Seahawks are stout, and it may be this stoutness rather than the running or passing that returns the MAC championship to them.
Albright and UPSALA will contest for second place, unless Albright's new quarterback, Roy Shellhammer, does even better than expected. In that case Wagner will be contesting for second place. Albright won eight of nine games in 1964, and the only one they lost was to the Seahawks 27-8. The interior line is as strong as before, with All-League Center George Gamber returning, along with Guards Bill Kopp, Dick Hoist and Paul Chaiet. The Lions are thin at tackle and end, but Coach John Potsklan is hoping for help from some fine newcomers. The problem: the help has to arrive in time to upset Wagner in the homecoming game October 23.
"Our chances are good for a good season," says UPSALA's John Hooper. What the Vikings need is a power runner, and Hooper is hoping 190-pound Jim Konzelman, a freshman fullback, is his man. Otherwise, the backfield is in able, experienced hands with Joe Valenzano at quarterback and Richie Davis and Tom Papa at the halves. The offensive line is also experienced, but some Vikings may have to go both ways. If so, the lack of reserves would hurt.
Junita has a good quarterback in Gary Sheppard and a good end in Bob Pascale and will make a fourth-place finish exciting. Just about all MORAVIAN has is Halfback Bill Dry and Fullback Hank Nehilla. The season may seem awfully long for the Greyhounds by the time they reach mid-October.
Franklin and Marshal, unbeaten in eight starts last year, will be MAC Southern Division favorites again. The reason? Quarterback Seiki Murono, described by his coach, George Storck, as "the offense." He led the division in passing, punting and total offense last year.
Drexel's backs are small and quick, so the Dragons will put the ball in the air to keep them from getting racked up. Both lines should be strong—stronger than last year's if Drexel can replace All-League Guard Chuck Niessner. Don Harmatuck started three games at quarterback in 1964 and completed 46% of his passes. End Chuck Farrell has led the team in receiving for two years now and expects to do it again—maybe enough for Little All-America consideration. Fullback Skip Lombardi is the best of the backs, but not good enough to pull the Dragons to a Southern Division championship.
It matters little that SUSQUEHANNA is not eligible for an MAC title (not enough league games), because the Crusaders are not about to win it. Susquehanna lost everyone in its starting backfield and that includes 1,600 yards' worth of rushing provided by Halfbacks Larry Erdman and John Vignone. Sophomore Quarterback Nick Lopardo has a fine arm and chances are the Crusaders will throw a lot more in 1965.
Independent NORTHEASTERN, 5-3 last year, is due for improvement. Fullback Bob Cappadona, drafted by the San Francisco 49ers and Boston Patriots, carried for 842 yards and eight touchdowns in 1964. "He is the most powerful runner I have ever coached," says Northeastern's Joe Zabilski. The Huskies' big problem is finding a quarterback; he will come from three candidates—Mike Rogers, John Pedroli and Joe Zapustas. The line is as good as it was last year—when it was not bad.
East Stroudsburg STATE, noted for its fine defensive teams, is no different this year. The Warriors won the Pennsylvania State College Conference title last year, but to repeat again they will be dependent on sophomores. Glen Ray, at 5 feet 5 perhaps the smallest quarterback in the country, was All-League last year and might be all-something-bigger this season. Halfback Barry Roach is the Warriors' best runner and pass receiver, and he, too, was All-League. With 17 lettermen around, the nucleus is there for another championship team this season.
If East Stroudsburg does not repeat in the PSCC, then look for WEST CHESTER STATE to take over first place. The Rams are green—they lost 26 players and play East Stroudsburg on the road in their second game—but their sophomores are enormously talented. CORTLAND STATE lost five starting linemen and will be lacking on defense this year. The passing and running might be enough, however, if the sophomores come through. TRINITY will have to outrun its opponents to win consistently. ITHACA has power, speed and savvy in the backfield, but a green line. The rookies must develop. If Quarterback Ed Barrett can carry the COAST GUARD ACADEMY, the season will be a pleasant one for Otto Graham. C. W. POST, 4-5 last year, is taking on a tougher schedule yet.
At TUFTS, Harry Arlanson has installed the wing T. It will be built around a 6-foot-4 quarterback, Ed Sevetz; a tiny halfback, Billy Alston; and a powerful halfback, John Cluney; but it will take Arlanson at least a year to get the wing T winging. SLIPPERY ROCK has 19 lettermen back, among them Halfback Tom Wilt, Guard Frank Lucido and Tackle Bob Wingenroth. As usual, however, the schedule is difficult.