Despite their air of tinseled festivity, the postseason bowl games (see cover) often serve a purpose beyond gaudy entertainment, as on those occasions when they produce the only real confrontation of conference champions. In the absence of an actual playoff, they come closer to determining the nation's No. 1 team than does the prejudicial coronation-by-ballot of the wire-service polls. This New Year's, for example, four conference champions will be matched: Michigan State of the Big Ten vs. UCLA of the West Coast in the Rose Bowl and Alabama of the SEC vs. Nebraska of the Big Eight in the Orange Bowl. Coaches can tell you in certain terms that for that kind of opposition you do not have to put up posters to remind a team to keep its mind off the partying and on the game. Whether or not they help settle a national title, however, bowl games seldom lack in drama. A handful of memorable ones are recalled in photographs on these pages.
THE BEST OF THE BOWL CROP
Nebraska is the kind of football team one does not appreciate until the ball is snapped. Between plays the Cornhuskers look as if they would rather be somewhere else, and their normal posture in these interludes is one of lazy, slouching disorder. Even when backed up to their goal or on the verge of scoring a touchdown themselves—moments which leave most college teams fidgeting like flamenco dancers—the Cornhuskers appear to be about as emotional as a group of plumbers touring the Louvre.
Nor do the uniforms contribute much to the Nebraska image. Both sets of jerseys—one red, one white—feature the same kind of thin numerals that were fashionable in the '30s, and the numbers on the sides of the helmets, for some curiously unesthetic reason, are black. Quarterback Fred Duda even wears three-quarter-top shoes, which in this day and time is the equivalent of having pleats in your trousers.
If any of this really mattered, however, Nebraska would not have won 10 games during the regular 1965 season, it would not have won its third straight Big Eight Conference championship under Coach Bob Devaney and would not now be headed for its fourth consecutive bowl appearance. As impressive as their recent history is, though, one cannot help remembering that the Cornhuskers' nonchalant attitude almost cost them a perfect record—the school's first since 1915.
It was no disgrace when Nebraska was played tough by Missouri, a sound team that proved good enough to earn a spot in the Sugar Bowl. Missouri, although outmanned, was fired up on its home field, and rode an early 14-0 lead into a 14-13 advantage in the fourth quarter. Then Nebraska gathered itself for a last push and won 16-14, proving at least that it was capable of coming from behind. The distressing thing about big, deep, agile, talented Nebraska was the way it performed against Oklahoma State and Oklahoma, two teams so weak by comparison that they hardly belonged on the same field. Both played the Cornhuskers almost to a standoff. The Cowpokes, in fact, did not collapse until just 38 seconds remained in the game. They lost 21-17, but the Cornhuskers lost some of their stature. The Sooners were equally unawed. They ripped to a surprising 9-0 lead, clung to a 9-7 edge at half time and eventually surrendered by only 21-9.
But Devaney claims he keeps Nebraska loose on purpose. "We are not a rah-rah team," he has said. "We know if we execute our assignments, we will win." That's fine when you have your opponents as outgunned as Nebraska has the Big Eight, but the Orange Bowl game will be different.
Alabama will be the best team Nebraska has seen since it met Arkansas last January in the Cotton Bowl—a game, incidentally, that the Cornhuskers lost. Alabama is reminiscent in many ways of Arkansas and is completely unlike Nebraska. Coach Bear Bryant's team is younger and smaller, but it is also quicker, more alert and notoriously aggressive. It is the kind of team that the Nebraskas of this world—big and lackadaisical—have always had a lot of trouble handling.
Yet if Alabama seems to have aggressiveness and spirit on its side, Nebraska has the better athletes. No Alabama back can run with Harry Wilson, the Cornhusker who best combines nimble feet, good moves and power. No Alabama back is as quick at squirting through a hole as Frank Solich, the 162-pound Nebraskan who can scoot from either fullback or halfback behind Devaney's mostly unbalanced line. No one in Alabama's defensive line is as big or mobile as Walt Barnes. And as good as the Tide's ends are—and Tommy Tolleson and Ray Perkins are very good—they are not Freeman White and Tony Jeter. Coupled with the leadership and passing abilities of Quarterbacks Duda and Bob Churchich, Nebraska's strong and deceptive ground game will provide a stern test for Alabama's famous swarming, stunting defenses. Either quarterback will fake and keep the ball to the weak side or will throw deep after splendid fakes into the middle. Both passers favor White, the 6-foot-5, 230-pound split end, but it is not unusual to find Wilson fleeing down a sideline as a receiver just when the defense thinks Nebraska is going for a short swing pass—another of its favorite weapons. Solich, quickest of the runners, is at his best on a trap play or counter. Nebraska is a most resourceful team, and perhaps the most important attribute of all is that it is accustomed to winning.
The Cornhuskers decided to allow themselves a display of frivolity after beating OU. They shoved Bob Devaney into the shower during the dressing-room celebration of the perfect season, and when he climbed out the coach admitted that this was the best team he had built. "Good enough to play anybody," he said.
Offensively, Alabama's biggest edge, if not its only one, is found in the presence of Quarterback Steve Sloan. Sloan, a splendid runner, was the best quarterback in the Southeastern Conference. He was also, as one of Alabama's few seniors, the steadying influence on a young team that continually improved. When it lost its opener to Georgia 18-17 and was tied by Tennessee 7-7 in the fifth game, there was reason to think that Bryant at long last was beginning to slip a little in Tuscaloosa. Nothing could have been farther from the truth. Sloan's throwing got better and better, Fullback Steve Bowman—while no Wilson—led the SEC in rushing with 770 yards and kept the defense honest and Center Paul Crane became an All-America in the old tradition—he played 50 minutes a game on offense and defense. (Bryant, ironically, felt that Alabama did not begin to jell until he designated eight players as two-way men—and he insists that next season, regardless of what other coaches do, he will forgo platoons.)
In the second half of its schedule Alabama was as murderous as ever. The crucial game with Auburn, which clinched the conference championship for Alabama for the second year in a row, could not have gone more ideally for the Tide if Bryant had officiated. Sloan hit 13 of 18 passes for 226 yards—stretching his string of tosses without an interception to 91—and the defense intercepted seven Auburn passes and recovered two War Eagle fumbles. At season's end Sloan had broken most of Joe Namath's records, and those of Harry Gilmer, too. Bryant unabashedly labeled him the best quarterback he has ever coached—he said the same of Namath the previous fall—and, in the excitement after the win, admitted in the Devaney vein that his team was finally acceptable. "We think we're as good as anybody now," he echoed.
They are, and so is Nebraska—only the Tide is slightly, slightly better. How can you tell? Well, Nebraska may have the talent to beat anyone, but Alabama will make up in effort what it lacks in muscle, proving that emotion is 50% of the college game. The Crimson Tide will be narrowly favored in Miami on New Year's night.
Just looking at it as a line of type, Michigan State against UCLA sounds more like a mismatch than a rematch. You have to think that if both teams play as well as they are capable of doing, the Spartans, with vastly superior players, will chase the Bruins all the way from Pasadena back to the Westwood lab where Coach Tommy Prothro conjured them up.
A couple of things will make the game interesting, however. First, UCLA Quarterback Gary Beban is not really the same sophomore today as the one who began his career against, of all teams, Michigan State in the season's opener back on September 25. State won that one 13-3. Beban may now be the best quarterback in the nation—and a better passer than the Spartans have seen. He is also charmed, one of those workers of miracles—like Doak Walker at Southern Methodist—who defies the odds Saturday upon Saturday and somehow wins when his team should be hopelessly outclassed. Second, the Spartans, not having played a game in 41 days, might—just might—take the field without the sharpness that whirled them to a 10-0 record, the Big Ten title and, in the eyes of one news agency (UPI), the mythical national championship.
A combination of these circumstances—a good day for Beban and a mediocre day for the Spartans—probably would result in a UCLA upset. But let us be realistic. What is more likely to occur is at least a fair day for the Spartans and something less than a sensational performance by Gary Beban. In this case, Michigan State would win by the two touchdowns the bookmakers foresee.
In any event Beban will be a good test for the defensive unit that all season long turned games in Michigan State's favor. Beban ran for 576 yards and passed for 1,336 more and, by doing one or the other, he chased in touchdown plays over such distances as 79, 78, 60 and 58 yards. But Michigan State has a defense that is virtually impossible to run against, as Notre Dame, Ohio State and Michigan found out. The three were held to minus yardage on the ground by the likes of End Bubba Smith (6 feet 6, 268), Middle Guard Harold Lucas (6 feet 2, 286), Linebacker Ron Goovert (6 feet, 205) and Rover George Webster (6 feet 4, 218). It was a defense that allowed the Spartans to come from behind in six of their 10 games by providing the field position for the offense, led by Quarterback Steve Juday (the wise, old head of the team) and junior Halfback Clinton Jones (the closest thing to a collegiate Jim Brown since...well, Jim Brown). Jones's best plays are counters back to the weak side and reverses to the short side of the field. He is a driving runner who breaks tackles, then needs only a step to be gone. Juday likes to send Gene Washington (a tall, fast end) down long to clear a zone, then hit Jones in the vacated area. He alters the pattern and throws to Washington when he spies only single coverage on him.
Juday is one of those first-rate college quarterbacks who does not have quite the ability to make it as a pro, or so the scouts believe. "Good mind, tactically," said one, "and a real leader, but only a so-so arm." An A student in marketing, Juday has been a coach-on-the-field for Duffy Daugherty—a boss who drove the team, often blistered it for missing blocks and allowed no nonsense in the huddles.
In one of Michigan State's most shocking victories of the season, the 32-7 rampage over Ohio State, Juday called his plays in the huddle but did not signal the direction they would go until after the team had lined up and he could spot the Buckeyes' roving linebacker. Running away from the rover most of the time, Juday almost personally shattered the Ohio State defense.
Juday's ability to make quick decisions made him a frequent runner—something UCLA will have to look out for. Often on pass plays, when he saw the receiver covered, he would quickly disregard any previous notions of throwing and run instead of waiting for a secondary target to get free. His sense of knowing when to run, rather than any fancy steps he had, made him a threat on the ground, where Juday continually picked up key first-down yardage for the Spartans.
No one made yards on the ground for Michigan State like Jones, however. He delivered 787 for the Spartans over the 10-game season. Here was the player Juday called upon when he needed yardage the most, as against Notre Dame, when the Cleveland, Ohio runner burst loose for 117 yards. At 6 feet 1 and 208 pounds, Jones has excellent balance and a stunning change of pace that, in his junior season, put him in a class with Jim Grabowski of Illinois among Big Ten ball carriers. But he is much faster than workhorse Grabowski. Jones has no weakness on the field, and the only one visible in his private life is in the direction of good works. He became a member of the Big Brother Society this year, and took charge of a young wayward boy in East Lansing. He met with him four nights a week and encouraged him toward a good, clean life.
"The first thing he did was get a haircut," Jones said during the season. "He really straightened up and even started going to church. Before each game he would tell me that he was going to pray for me and the team not to get hurt. Nothing I've done has been as rewarding to me as helping that boy."
The one quibble about State's defense is that it did not run into an array of uncommonly good quarterbacks during the season. Purdue's Bob Griese was the best of a so-so lot in the Midwest, and Griese nearly beat State. Purdue led 10-0 in the fourth quarter, then collapsed and lost 14-10. The Gary Beban that State beat in September has since stuffed himself with a whole pale-blue-and-gold uniform full of confidence, as evidenced by the game against USC that put UCLA in the Rose Bowl. Beban is a precise young man, completely poised despite his brief 19 years. He is good-looking, weighs 190 and stands 6 feet. His confidence is most unusual for a sophomore, and perhaps his most notable trait is that he never seems to get discouraged. The best example of this came in the showdown game against USC. There was Beban, stifled most of the afternoon before 95,000 people. Yet in the last four minutes he drilled in two touchdown passes to upset the Trojans 20-16 and win the Rose Bowl bid.
Mechanically, Beban is a beautiful thrower, probably the best of the sophomores in the country, although Tennessee's Dewey Warren might care to argue this, since he out-passed Beban in a game on December 4 which the Vols won 37-34. But Beban has a good, fluid motion, a quick-enough delivery and, while he does not throw rocks, as the pros say, he does not leave the ball hanging up in the air either. He throws either from the pocket or rolling out, and one of his best moves is to sprint to the outside, stop, take a couple of steps back, set up and throw to the opposite side of the field. He also runs—not with any devastating effect, but with good scrambling moves, fakes and durability. He is quick without being fast, as he showed when he ran for three touchdowns against Tennessee.
None of this is to argue that Gary Beban has no help. UCLA's Mel Farr, another sophomore, is a big, powerful (6 feet 2, 194) runner with excellent speed. He carries the main burden of the Bruins' ground game and will help keep Michigan State's defenses from concentrating solely on Beban. Farr is also a top receiver, though Beban prefers to throw to Split End Kurt Altenburg, who grabbed the winning toss in the USC game, and Flanker Dick Witcher. If Beban succeeds in keeping the State defense loose with his passing and running, the other Bruins—Altenburg, Witcher and Farr—may catch fire. Whether they do or not, there will always be the stinging UCLA defenders, who swarm and swarm and swarm.
Offensively, Michigan State was not the sort of team that cranked up long drives. It seized the field position that its defense provided, then hammered the ball in, with Juday throwing to Washington and with Jones and sophomore Fullback Bob Apisa, the Hawaiian, running. It did not flaunt the great variety of sets that Coach Daugherty has preferred in the past. It stuck to basics and kept pounding away at its foes until they gave in. As one Big Ten writer described Michigan State, "They come in waves, like Chinese Communists. The only thing they don't do is beat on garbage-can tops with bayonets."
Daugherty was being his usual humorous self when he said, "The secret of this team is that our good sophomores and juniors haven't had the full benefit of my coaching yet." People who are still mystified by State's success are inclined to think there is more truth in that statement than Daugherty realizes. If Duffy Daugherty has not gotten in too much coaching since the regular season ended, Michigan State will beat UCLA and Gary Beban, on Saturday—but not without some moments of crisis.
Arkansas has a terrible problem. Like Michigan State and Nebraska, the Razorbacks were 10-0 during the regular season and would like nothing better than to emerge from Dallas this Sunday as the only unbeaten, untied major team among the top 10—thus laying claim to the two national championship trophies yet to be awarded, those of the AP and the Football Writers of America. But the Razorbacks realize two things even before they meet LSU: if Michigan State wins by just one point, Arkansas can forget any championship, and if Nebraska wins big after State loses, Arkansas can forget the championship again. Arkansas' opponent, with a 7-3 record, is far less glamorous than either UCLA or Alabama, although the Tigers probably have as many fine football players as any team in the country and can, on a given day, be overwhelmingly good.
On the basis of its regular-season play, Arkansas looks as good as Michigan State—quicker, faster, almost as big and even more explosive, although not as smothering defensively—and better than Nebraska. Coach Frank Broyles's team ended up with the highest-scoring offense in the land, as Quarterback Jon Brittenum's passes and sprinting keepers, the darting runs of Harry Jones and Bobby Burnett and the superb catching of Bobby Crockett averaged 32.4 points per game. Burnett and Jones rushed for a total of 1,579 yards, 7.7 per carry, and they scored 23 touchdowns. Together they formed the greatest one-two punch the SWC had ever seen. Arkansas defeated three teams that made bowls, Tulsa, Texas Tech and TCU, plus Texas when the Longhorns were No. 1. And it also proved it could come from behind, as it overtook Texas (from 20-24), Tulsa (from 10-12) and Texas Tech (from 7-17).
With more speed, size and better quarterbacking, this Arkansas team is superior to last year's—the one that came through the bowl games as the national champion of the Football Writers when it defeated Nebraska 10-7 while Texas was upsetting Alabama in Miami 21-17. Arkansas has, in fact, now won 22 games in a row—the longest string in the nation. It is only the sixth team in the 42-year history of the SWC to get through the regular season with a perfect record. Others were SMU in 1935, TCU in 1938, Texas A&M in 1939, Texas in 1963 and the Razorbacks last year. All of those teams were justly rewarded with at least one national championship trophy. Frank Broyles has often joked about the fact that his Porkers do not have any voting power in the polls, and he has said, "We have to be 10-0 and everyone else has to lose twice for us to get any consideration."
Had it not been for Michigan State's success, the Razorbacks would have led the nation. They trailed the Spartans the last four weeks of the season in the No. 2 spot, and that was probably as it should have been, considering the merit of each team's schedule. Arkansas' 10 victims played three games below .500, winning 48, losing 51, tying one. Michigan State's 10 victims played four games above .500, winning 50, losing 46, tying three. The opponents of both of these schools were far better than Nebraska's, however. The Cornhuskers' foes won only 37 games, lost 58 and tied five.
LSU mainly poses a problem of incentive for Arkansas. The Razorbacks will find it harder to get up psychologically for LSU than Michigan State will for UCLA. Among other things, LSU lost the three big games it played. It dropped two of them by stunning margins (23-0 to Mississippi and 31-7 to Alabama) after having lost to Florida 14-7 in the third game of the season. It is almost impossible to get a 10-0 team up for a 7-3 team.
Looking at the game from the LSU side, it will take no great effort on the part of Coach Charlie McClendon to lift the Tigers for Arkansas. Historically, LSU has a malevolent disrespect for Southwest Conference teams. And LSU will be more than eager to atone for its disappointments. It is a team with a fine breakaway runner in little Joe Labruzzo, a strong line led by Tackle George Rice and an excellent place-kicker in End Doug Moreau. And it has the twin quarterbacking talents of senior Pat Screen and sophomore Nelson Stokely. Injuries to both were partly responsible for the Tigers' lopsided losses.
The Cotton Bowl promoters and most of the nation's football fans would have preferred Nebraska as Arkansas' opponent, but LSU just might produce a better game than anyone has a right to expect. The decisive factor will probably be Frank Broyles's ability to alert his Razorbacks to the dangers they face. Only Broyles knows what he will tell them, but it will be enough, and Arkansas will make it 23 in a row.
Sponsors of the Sugar Bowl, which once ranked second only to the Rose Bowl in importance, have of late grown accustomed to settling for leftovers. Fortunately for the innkeepers and barmaids of New Orleans' French Quarter, not to forget the TV audience, the leftovers are not all that bad this time. Missouri (7-2-1) and Florida (7-3) were teams that just missed, and the games they lost might easily have gone the other way.
Both are loaded with pro prospects. Missouri's offensive line features Tackle Francis Peay, the top draft choice of the New York Giants, and the defense sparkles with Halfback Johnny Roland and sophomore End Russell Washington (6 feet 7, 275), one of the future's best. Coach Dan Devine would not have to stretch his imagination too far to see where his Tigers might have had a perfect season. In their opener against Kentucky, Gary Lane drove the team 87 yards to the Wildcats' two-yard line, only to see Roland fumble into the end zone, preserving a 7-0 victory for Kentucky. The tie, 10-10, came against UCLA. And Devine has yet to forget a 15-yard penalty against one of his linemen for cursing, which put Nebraska in position for the field goal that cost Missouri the Big Eight title in the dwindling moments of that game. Curiously, all three blotches on Missouri's record came at the home stadium in Columbia.
Florida has enough gifted athletes—Quarterback Steve Spurrier, Guard Larry Gagner, End Charlie Casey, Defensive Back Bruce Bennett, among others—to make you wonder how in the world the Gators ever lost to teams like Miami and Mississippi State. But Coach Ray Graves's Florida teams do that sort of thing—lose unexpectedly to weaker opponents and wallop the big ones. LSU, Ole Miss and Georgia are the teams that would have been pleased to miss their game with Florida this year. Mississippi State felt itself fortunate to get the Gators on a down day. It won 18-13. Florida rolled nicely to three straight wins after that, crumpled before Auburn 28-17, won two more and was bushwhacked by unregarded Miami 16-13. The Sugar Bowl committee acted rather bravely to choose Florida before it had played Florida State, but fortunately the Gators were up to that one.
The most attractive aspect of the game will be the duel of quarterbacks. Missouri's Lane and Florida's Spurrier both run and pass, and the biggest differences between the two are the insignificant facts that Spurrier is smaller, he is a junior and he made one All-America team. They do not add up to a better ballplayer, however. Lane is strong, shifty and has a fine arm. Each quarterback can rely on a scooting runner to rip open the game: Charlie Brown for Missouri, Jack Harper for Florida. Lane's team plays better defense consistently, so he is apt to benefit from better field position. And, overall, Missouri's record is more substantial—it lost to better teams. It should not lose to Florida.
The most wide-open game of all on New Year's weekend may be played in Jacksonville, where Texas Tech and Georgia Tech are likely to keep the ball in the air so much that spectators will never get to see what color the turf is. The throwing contest begins early, the afternoon of December 31, to be exact.
Pitching for the Red Raiders will be senior Tom Wilson, who must have believed himself to be Sammy Baugh or Davey O'Brien or somebody like that, the way he broke records in the Southwest Conference. His counterpart from Atlanta will be Kim King, a left-handed sophomore who awakened the Engineers after a slow and dreadful start in which they were tied by Vanderbilt and beaten by Texas A&M. King hurled, and Lenny Snow, another good sophomore, ran, and Georgia Tech suddenly began to score points. Its most impressive victory was over Auburn 23-14, a team that made it to the Liberty Bowl and stayed in contention for the Southeastern Conference title until the final, fatal hours with Alabama. Tech was halted late in the season only by Tennessee and Georgia, two teams that play defense somewhat more aggressively and consistently than does Texas Tech.
The Red Raiders seldom came close to stopping anyone, least of all Texas and Arkansas, which unloaded on them by 33-7 and 42-24, respectively. But they outscored eight other teams, winning by such theatrical margins as 20-16, 28-24, 17-14, 34-22. Three of those victories came in the last two minutes of play. Overall, Texas Tech was one of the surprise teams of the year.
The player who will make the difference against Georgia Tech is Donny Anderson, a highly talented halfback with size, speed and hands. In the close games he was Texas Tech's margin—all 207 pounds, 6 feet 3 inches of him. He ran over tacklers and around them, advancing the ball 5,111 yards in his three varsity years—a record total among major college players. He caught enough passes (60) to tie for second on the Southwest's alltime list. In his area the only team that ever truly stopped him was Texas, and that was primarily because of Linebacker Tommy Nobis, the No. 1 draft choice of the NFL.
But if Texas Tech's Wilson and Anderson set the most records, Georgia Tech's two sophomores, King and Snow, compiled some impressive statistics of their own. King, who likes to roll out and throw or run, completed 112 passes for 1,331 yards and 11 touchdowns, even though he had not been discovered in time to play in Tech's opening tie with Vanderbilt. Snow, who was injured and missed the Tennessee loss, ran for 597 yards. His 4.8 average topped Anderson's 4.2.
Even so, Donny Anderson, either by running or catching, figures to help the Texans outscore the Engineers. The man least bothered by the fact that there may be no defense at all in the Gator Bowl is Red Raider Coach J. T. King. "I don't care if it's 151-150 as long as we win," he says. The man most interested in getting the game over in a hurry is Anderson. Waiting for him in the locker room, pens poised, will be proselytizers from the Green Bay Packers and the Houston Oilers falling over each other in their eagerness to give him half a million dollars.
What could well be just a game as the one in the Gator Bowl will begin two later on New Year's Eve in El Paso, a town noted primarily for its proximity to Juarez. Instead of two Techs it will bring together two Texas teams, Texas Christian University and Texas Western College, the home-town favorite.
For Texas Christian and its coach, Abe Martin, the Sun Bowl invitation came at an opportune time. A school with a big football name and poor football records during recent seasons, TCU for more than three decades was a prime influence in the Southwest, often producing the best team in the sector and more All-Americas than anyone. Never had it stayed down for very long; in fact, it had never gone more than five straight seasons without either a championship or a bowl team. After 1959, however, their last title year, the Frogs hit the depths, and in 1965, with so youthful a team, they threatened to drop straight out of the bottom of the league. Instead they came slowly to life, struggling up to the 6-4 mark that won the El Paso trip.
In helping Martin's team win its last four games and the postseason reward, the sons of two former TCU stars brought their names back to haunt old enemies. Bruce Alford Jr., whose father was a brilliant end in the early '40s and is now an NFL official, kicked four field goals in a single game to set an SWC record. That game just happened to be against Texas, and TCU won 25-10. Quarterback Kent Nix, whose father, Emory, once threw a touchdown pass to upset Texas when it was No. 1 (in 1941), came along a week after Texas Christian's latest Texas game to throw four scoring passes as the Horned Frogs humiliated Rice 42-14. Then in the final game it was Alford again, booting a 40-yard field goal into the wind to give his team a 10-7 escape from SMU.
All of these feats of heroism serve to bring to mind one of Abe Martin's colorful statements at the beginning of the season. "We're gonna be purty good," he said. "Don't exactly know why I think so—just ignorant, I guess."
Ignorant or not, TCU better get what fun it can out of meeting little-known Texas Western, because its first three games in 1966 are against Nebraska, Ohio State and Arkansas. It also had better be prepared for a game and not a workout, for Texas Western has sophomore Quarterback Billy Stevens, second in the nation as a thrower, and Coach Bobby Dobbs's pro-type attack—one that can move the ball and score. Dobbs took a team that managed only two ties in 10 games the previous year and twisted it into a 7-3 club, largely with Stevens passing and Flanker Chuck Hughes catching.
Texas Western was a surprise to everyone but Coach Dobbs's brother, Tulsa Coach Glenn Dobbs. Glenn has always contended that "Bobby is the smartest football man I know." Bobby went to Texas Western from Calgary in the Canadian League and, after discovering that Stevens had a good arm, instantly put in a pro offense.
Early in the season it looked as though the Dobbs brothers were trying to see whose team could throw more passes, as Stevens unloaded for the Miners and Billy Anderson did the same for Tulsa. Glenn's team finally won the national passing title, just as it did a year ago with Jerry Rhome, and went back to the Bluebonnet Bowl against Tennessee. Anderson broke several of Rhome's records, and his top receiver, End Howard Twilley, set a batch of receiving records and placed second to USC's Mike Garrett in the voting for the Heisman Trophy.
TCU has a quick defensive secondary, patrolled mainly by Frank Horak. And offensively its best weapons—Quarterbacks P. D. Shabay, a sophomore who runs, and Nix, who is a senior now and passes, Halfback Steve Landon, Fullback Kenny Post and Field-goal Kicker Alford—are more than Texas Western is used to coping with. Anyway, a big school can usually beat a little one, even with side visits to Juarez thrown in.