During the war years of 1943-45 the male enrollment of Carleton College in Northfield, Minn. dipped to an alltime low of 55, and the school that had once defeated the University of Chicago when it was a power in the Big Ten was forced to give up football. The game was revived after V-J Day, but in the years that followed Carleton teams were so hopelessly outclassed that some school officials considered giving up football permanently. The Carls won only three games in 1952, two in 1953 and were so bad, said one player, "that even the freshmen were beating us."
But the feeling was different when the Carleton football team assembled on campus in the hot September of 1954. "Five of us seniors," remembers End Dick Grein, "were getting awfully tired of getting beat so bad so often. We decided to cut out all our griping, set an example for the sophomores, and—for the first time—pay a little attention to the coaches."
The change was apparent immediately. On the first play from scrimmage in the first game against Cornell College, Carleton Halfback Don Voss took a handoff, broke off right tackle and sprinted down the far sidelines 59 yards for a touchdown. The Carls won 21-6 and, before anyone knew it, had caught Knox and Monmouth by surprise and entered the traditional game with crosstown rival, St. Olaf, unbeaten in three games. "It began to look as if we were getting better each week as our schedule got better," says Mel Taube, then an assistant coach. "Often a young team—as we were—gets beaten so badly by good teams in its early games it never recovers. Fortunately for us, we played the weaker teams first."
September 18, 1966
Northfield, a dairy town in southern Minnesota where Jesse James was once foiled in an attempt to rob a bank, prides itself in two things—its cows and St. Olaf College's football teams. The Oles in 1954 were on a 13-game winning streak and expected little more trouble from Carleton than they had had the year before, when they won by seven touchdowns.
They couldn't have been more mistaken, although with minutes remaining in the game, they were still ahead 13-7. But Carleton had the ball and was driving for the tying touchdown. "We thought we were going to win," says Halfback Bill Kelly. "Bob Scott, our sophomore quarterback, told us in the huddle that he had never played on the losing side against 'those guys,' and he didn't intend to now." On the very next play Halfback Voss got down to the St. Olaf two, but there he rumbled and the Oles apparently had pulled the game out when they recovered. Not quite, however. "We were determined to get the ball back," said Grein. "On the next play we all overshifted at the last minute. Eight of us hit their ballcarrier, Lee Simso, and the ball squirted out of his hands and into the end zone." Carleton's John Sheagren pounced on the ball for the touchdown that tied the game, and Ted Smebakken, later named the team's most valuable player, kicked the point to win it.
For Carleton, the victory set up the whole season. "After that we knew we could do it," says Kelly. "We thought we were better than St. Olaf, and that game proved it, especially to us." Even Coe College and its slick quarterback, Shady Day, could not stop the Carls. Day was an expert ball handler who often faked officials into blowing apparent running plays dead while he rolled out—the ball hidden on his hip—and rifled passes to his ends. But Coe and Day fell, 20-14.
Next came Grinnell and a neat ploy. Grinnell was a big team; Carleton was not. When the Carls marched off their bus, they were careful to lead with their biggest and heaviest—including 6-foot-7, 270-pound Radio Announcer Tom Fisher, who was not a player—in an attempt to intimidate the Pioneers. Final score: Carleton 16, Grinnell 6. Lawrence fell the next Saturday 14-7, and Carleton wrapped up its first unbeaten season since 1916 by defeating Ripon 20-6.
The season was not quite over. A surprise awaited the team back on the Carleton campus. "At about midnight on November 6," reports the Algol, the school yearbook, "the Carleton College campus witnessed an event the like of which the oldest inhabitant never hoped to see. The occasion was the uproarious 'Victory Celebration' let loose to welcome home the undefeated, untied Carleton football team...."
Even the freshman girls were allowed to skip the midnight curfew to join in the torch parade that greeted the team bus as it turned into the campus road leading down past Gridley Hall. Flares and bombs exploded over the Bald Spot, students sang and chanted and rang bells and sirens, and everybody congregated up at the campus tearoom for hamburgers, potato chips and coffee until the early hours of the morning.
Coach Taube, now the school's football and baseball coach, and athletic director as well, vividly remembers that night and his team. "Those boys were an unusual group," he says. "Four or five of them were Phi Beta Kappas, and many are now ministers. Most of them went on to get extra degrees. And look at that Bob Scott, our quarterback. He's a doctor in Vietnam now. One of them, I won't mention his name, was a fellow you'd never think would have remained in school—but now he's outearning most of his former teammates.
"You know, it sure would be nice to have a season like that again, now wouldn't it?"
Sure would be, but Coach Taube might as well stop dreaming. In the happy world of small-college football, where there are numerous unbeaten teams, Carleton will be among them only in spirit this year. St. John's of Minnesota, San Diego State and Akron may be the ones this time to enjoy the kind of season every coach prays for.
Just a fly pattern down the San Diego Freeway from the major-college powers at UCLA and USC is simmering what could be the small colleges' best football team of the year. In his sixth season at SAN DIEGO STATE (which, with 16,132 students, is not really a small college) Coach Don Coryell has the sort of native wealth his neighbors to the north might envy. There is, only to begin with, Don Horn, who in his first year as a starter last season completed 123 of 206 passes for 1,688 yards and 21 touchdowns. As Coryell puts it, "There's really no telling what he'll do now that he has some experience." What he most likely will do is rely even more than he did last year on a withering running game. Nate Johns and Don Shy, who combined for 1,796 yards on the ground, are back and, what's more, neither is as good as Ted Washington, a newcomer, who was the Aztecs' best ballcarrier in the spring game. Craig Scoggins (48 catches for 597 yards and eight touchdowns) and Tom Nettles head up a fine set of returning receivers which will not be hurt in the least by the presence of 6-foot-1, 218-pound Ron Flisher, a tight end who blocks with authority. And the line is its customary big, fast self. Guard Dennis Aiken, in his second year, will play alongside 6-foot-3, 216-pound Dave Ogas. Jeff Staggs, 232, has switched from defense, where he starred at linebacker, to offensive tackle, where he'll team with 6-foot-3, 235-pound Steve Duich, a junior with an exceptional hankering to do well.
But with the points coming freely—as they always do at San Diego—it still will be up to the defense to carry this Aztec band over North Dakota, North Dakota State and the rest of the best of the small colleges. Coach Coryell at last appears to have the players he needs. Bob Howard, Hershel Whitefield and John Williams all played together in the secondary last year. They will be joined by Ambrous Jacobs, who may be the best of all. Up front there will be four new faces, all impressive in the spring, to help the defensive end, 6-foot-6, 250-pound Leo Carroll. The linebacking will be there to smooth over any mistakes of the newcomers, with most of the leveling to be done by smart, experienced Jon Wittler and Ray Schamutz.
With that much talent it is only right that Slate will be playing its toughest schedule in years. The Aztecs meet four teams that finished in the nation's top ten last year—North Dakota State, Los Angeles State, Weber State and Long Beach State.
What makes San Diego State's picture rosier and LOS ANGELES STATE's dimmer is the defection of Coach Homer Beatty, who led the Diablos to three California Collegiate Athletic Association titles and 25 wins in 27 games. Homer walked out of his coaching job because, as he put it, "I've never seen an athletic department that was so apathetic to athletics. Around here they don't seem to care whether you win or lose."
To further complicate life for the new coach, Red Williams, he will be without the services of Quarterback Ray Jones, Fullback Ray Chavez and Tackle Don Davis, who graduated. Jones passed and ran for 1,159 yards last year. Slight Alex Sotomayor, a transfer from Arizona State via East Los Angeles JC, will try to fill his shoes. Other help must come from Halfbacks Phil Spiller and Tom Rainey and Tackles Rich Cooper, 260, and Ernie Horn.
Fresno State, in the pass-happy CCAA, has Quarterback Dan Robinson. He probably was the most effective sophomore on the West Coast last year when he completed 117 of 211 passes for 1,177 yards and seven touchdowns. For targets he has Gil Mendosa, a big end with fine hands, and Bill Aston, who switched from fullback. Tackles Gary Cohagen, 245, and Bill Valoff, 225, are tough. The Bulldogs are defense-poor, however. If they get enough good junior-college transfers, they have a chance to win the title.
So has LONG BEACH STATE, which, except for a loss to L.A. State last year, would have won it. Quarterback Jack Reilly, who led the team to a 9-1 record while hitting receivers for 2,002 yards and 21 touchdowns, is around for more throwing, especially to Wingback Jack Tucker, who caught 27 for nine touchdowns. All-Coast Middle Guard Bob Johnson and All-CCAA Guard Joe Young are back. The 49ers' weakness is a shortage of running backs and offensive linemen. If they find them, watch out.
"Again, our strength will be in the line," predicts SAN FERNANDO VALLEY STATE Coach Sam Winningham, and that may be the bravest statement of the new season. Nine of the Matadors' opponents scored at least three touchdowns against them last year (three hit 50 points or more), and they were shut out six times.
San Francisco State, in the Far Western Conference, was a pleasant surprise in 1965 when it took the championship in what was to have been a rebuilding year. Fully rebuilt, the Golden Gators should repeat. Coach Vic Rowen has eight starters from last year's defensive team, led by Tackle Terry Oakes, End Bill Peters and Middle Guard Lyle Baucom. Defensive Backs Harry Gualco and Jim Gray are smart and fast. Offensively only two starters return, but, happily—for the Gators, anyway—Little All-America Guard Elmer Collett (a San Francisco 49er future) is among them. Jim Patterson and Bill Pollock are fine receivers, although Rowen is still looking for someone to throw the ball to them.
Should the Gators slip, NEVADA and SACRAMENTO STATE expect to be close enough to step ahead. Nevada's Wolf Pack ran second in the FWC last year, and among some fine returnees are Quarterbacks Chris Ault and Nick Walters, Backs Art Bayer, Dan Anderson and Lou Cooper and Ends Brian Hardy and Mike Smithwick. Sacramento State, though 23 lettermen are in camp, needs some muscle at the tackles in order to spring a swift backfield. Quarterback Larry Zenker looks good. He will be abetted by little Rich Falk, who, at 155 pounds, led the Hornets in rushing last year, and Mike Clemons, an All-FWC fullback two years ago who is well again after sitting out last season with an injury.
University of California at Davis has 23 lettermen back, "and that makes us feel good," says Coach Herb Schmalenberger. Among them are Quarterback Dennis Bunting, Halfbacks Dick South (All-FWC) and Glen Dufour and Fullback Jack Edwards, which is backfield enough, and the defense isn't all that bad with Tackle Tom Russell and Linebacker Paul Fiack. A break here, one there and the Aggies could move up in a close Far Western Conference race.
Frank (Bud) Van Deren has moved from the University of California at Berkeley, where he was offensive line coach, to HUMBOLT STATE, where he'd like to be offensive. He may be in time, but right now he is looking for a few more backs like Mel Oliver.
Tough little LINFIELD began last season with only seven starters, but the Wildcats hitched up their hip pads and went all the way to the NAIA finals. This year they have 16, including four All-Northwest Conference players. Quarterback Terry Durham completed 59 of 124 passes for 767 yards, most of them to Roger Ishizu (34 catches for 381 yards). Tackle Gene Forman is big (255) and fast, as is his defensive counterpart, Jack Ostlund, 6 feet 4, 260. Everything will be decided, however, when powerful WILLAMETTE comes to McMinnville, Ore. on Nov. 5. The pride of the Bearcats is a superb offensive line built around Center Wayne Looney and Guards Walt Looney and Gary Hertzog. With two sophomore passers, Mike Shinn and Terry Harrison, Willamette will throw more than it did in 1965. Little All-America Tackles Bruce Anderson and Bob Burles will be missed defensively, however. Just how much should determine the conference champion.
Although its schedule is much, much tougher, look for WEBER STATE to repeat as Big Sky titlist. In his first year at Ogden, Utah, Coach Sark Arslanian took the Wildcats to an 8-1 finish, and this year, with 27 lettermen, his team is even better. Henry Owens, the Big Sky scoring leader with 17 touchdowns, is back, as is Fullback Lee White. Quarterback Tim Jones was the best in the league, and he should have another year of fun throwing to Lawrence Hunsaker and Tony MacKinnon. Bruce Handley returns at guard. IDAHO STATE has defensive aces like John Montes and Rich Carrillo, MONTANA STATE 22 lettermen and MONTANA a good freshman crop, but not one of these threatens Weber State.
A wide-open race is in store for the Evergreen Conference, with WHITWORTH and its fine end, George Elliott, awarded as good a chance as any. Among the best of the independents are California Lutheran, the University of California at Santa Barbara and the University of San Francisco. CALIFORNIA LUTHERAN has exceptional balance and fine players in Tim Roettger, Pete Olson and Mike McLean. SANTA BARBARA'S Jack Curtice was voted the College Coach of the Year when the Gauchos won eight of nine for the second best season in the school's history. Twenty-five lettermen should improve on SAN FRANCISCO'S 3-5 record. WHITTIER is expecting big things from its sophomore quarterback, Roy Scaffidi, and Linebackers Mike Younger and Norm Lytle will head up a good defense.
North Dakota State meets North Dakota at Grand Forks on Oct. 22 in a game that should decide the North Central Conference championship and possibly clarify the national picture as well. State, unbeaten in 10 games, was the nation's No. 1 small-college team last year. The Bison seem to be missing too many all-conference players to match that performance, but who knows? Coach Ron Erhardt again has that crunching ground game which features the belts of Halfback Ken Rota, who carried for 857 yards last year, scored 16 touchdowns and was voted the best back in the Pecan Bowl. Split End Lowell Linderman was the best lineman in that game and he's still around, as is Defensive Tackle Walt Odegaard, and Bob and Dick Sciacca, one of the better sets of pulling guards in the country. Indeed, the only newcomer to crack the offensive line is Larry Anderson, a 220-pound junior. If the Bison have a visible weakness, it is in the defensive backfield, which lost two top linebackers.
That may be the only edge NORTH DAKOTA needs. Corey Colehour will be running the Sioux again this fall, and all he did last year was throw for 1,832 yards and 10 touchdowns as North Dakota won nine of 10. The loss? To State, of course. Pete Porinsh is probably the best back in the conference, and he'll run alongside another good one, Jerry Quaderer. Roger Bonk, 225 pounds, is back, and he was the team's best lineman last year. Colehour will miss his three favorite receivers, Dave Lince, Ron Green and Dennis Olson, but North Dakota is deep in likely replacements and Tackle Wayne Welter, 6 feet 2,235 pounds, is back to lead a rugged defensive unit that is largely intact.
The only possible conference threat to the northern Dakotas—and it is not a serious one—will come from SOUTH DAKOTA STATE. "We have a young squad, and it's eager and has a lot of enthusiasm," says SD State Coach Ralph McGinn. With only 11 lettermen, so does he.
Stan Sheriff has his youngest team in seven years at STATE COLLEGE OF IOWA. To make things worse, Little All-America Fullback Randy Schultz is gone. SCI will have to count more heavily than ever on Ray Pederson, who could be the best guard in the league, and Rick Price, the fine senior end.
St. John's of Minnesota, the maverick outfit that does everything wrong, or differently, and wins, must again be ranked as the favorite in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Conference. But close behind will be CONCORDIA, with End Paul Sannes, and ST. THOMAS.
Akron has the look of a football team that is finally ready, but, unfortunately, the Zips have no place to go. This year Akron decided to drop out of the Ohio Conference because the school has grown too big for it. In previous years the Zips came up with speedy backs and impressive linemen, but they always found a way to lose when they should not, rather like Purdue. Last season, for example, for the first time in seven years Akron defeated Wittenberg, the OC's perennial winner, and achieved this by holding the Tigers to a mere 34 yards on the ground, where Wittenberg has always been able to make yards. After that dreamy 17-0 victory, what looked like a big year became a nightmare the very next Saturday. The Zips failed to score from inside the 13-yard line three times and lost to Ball State 16-14. They had four plays from the six against Capital the following week, gained nothing and lost 15-6. As an afterthought, Akron won its last four in a row.
This year everything will be different, claim 29 lettermen. Quarterback Mike Martin, who ran and passed for 1,274 yards in 1965, can't wait for the opener against Northern Michigan and Fullback Ron Tyson, 6 feet 2, 205 pounds, who as a freshman wound up with 484 yards rushing (best on the team), is eager even for a sophomore. End Craig Hartz (26 passes for 241 yards) and Flanker Wayne Fox (17 passes for 278 yards) expect more of the same. In the line, knowledgeable every place but at center, there are no problems, offensively or defensively.
With Akron out of the way, look for WITTENBERG to be at the top of the Ohio Conference for the fourth time in five years. The Tigers feel they belong there, even though Coach Bill Edwards expects to field his smallest team in five years. Nineteen of 22 Tiger starters who won six of eight games are back again, including Quarterback Gene Laughman, who took over for Chuck Green, the Little All-America of two years ago, and threw for 1,083 yards. Halfback Bob Harvey carried for a 4.8 average, caught 23 passes and ran back punts and kickoffs, and Fullback Octavian Pechar led the team in scoring with 42 points. They return, too.
The offensive line could use a little work, but a gutty defensive team, which allowed only 58 points, recorded four shutouts and picked off 15 enemy passes, is just about intact.
Muskingum would like nothing better than to repeat as OC champ, but few think it can. Coach Ed Sherman has too much patching to do in the offensive line. Also, he must find a running mate for Rick Harbold who, after missing the first six games with an injury last season, scored seven touchdowns in the Muskies' last three. But Sherman is high on men like Carl Lambert, Mark DeVilling and Steve Aller, who led the league in interceptions. Though two all-conference selections have graduated, Muskingum's strength will be on defense.
Baldwin-Wallace, as always, will be representatively dangerous. Twenty-five lettermen have returned at Berea, but the team's two best linebackers and two best defensive backs are not among them. Coach Lee Tressel has made some sweeping position changes, the biggest of which sent Quarterback John Terakedis to halfback, where he will start alongside Fullback Joe Yore, a power runner who can block. But players, not changes, make winning football teams, and the Yellow Jackets could use some of the former.
Denison's offense will again center around Fullback Eric Ivary and Quarterback Dain Birkley, but the Big Red is weak at the tackles. Halfback Jim Moats and Tackle Bob Chisholm will be missed the most, although 34 lettermen could bring Denison a season much like last year's 6-3.
The only thing HILLSDALE really needs is a place-kicker, and whoever winds up with the job will keep busy. The Dales, the winningest team in Michigan for the last 10 years, never seem to recede under Coach Muddy Waters (88-21-4), even though the schedule gets progressively meaner. Hillsdale won its last five in a row in 1965 and, with 31 lettermen in camp, the momentum could well carry into this fall. Little All-America Bruce McLenna is gone, but sophomores Jimmy Jackson, Joe Brown and Fred Wicht, who averaged 6.2 yards per carry last year, are well equipped to take over. Senior End Larry Fowler will start breaking school-career receiving records, making the quarterback job a laugher for Bill Taylor. Center Jerry Rigelman, 280-pound Middle Guard Les Mallery and Defensive Tackle Pat O'Toole are back, as is just about everybody else.
The best team the Dales will meet is NORTHERN ILLINOIS on Oct. 22 at Hillsdale, and Huskie Coach Howard Fletcher promises: "Everywhere we go, we'll throw the ball." With a quarterback like Mike Griesman, he should. Griesman stepped right in when Ron Christain was hurt in the Mineral Water Bowl game and promptly completed four of seven passes for 81 yards. There is no telling what he will do now that he has full command of the Huskies. There is a raft of talented runners (Tom Baumgaertl, Russell Dudley, Jerry Nicolas, Pete Parker and Fullback Leight Gilbert) and all the Huskies need really do is add strength at the defensive tackles and replace Corner Back Bill Kessler.
Central Michigan is the favorite in the Interstate Intercollegiate Athletic Conference since Northern Illinois resigned—that is, if the Chippewas come up with a quarterback to replace Pat Boyd. Coach Bill Kelly has 38 lettermen, including two-way Paul Verska, who could be a Little All-America. Lyle Teal and Jim Acitelli will run from the halves, and Wally Hempton is a superb flanker. Defensively, the Chips will again be stout, with Lyle Spalding, Don Krueger and Verska the stoutest of all.
Albion has 29 lettermen, and that fact just about assures the Britons of another Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association championship. Co-captain Barry Siler is a fine two-way performer at end, and Bill Wentworth is coming off a good sophomore year at defensive tackle. Lloyd Harper, Siler's counterpart, is so versatile he also runs back punts and kickoffs. KALAMAZOO and HOPE arc the only MIAA teams with a chance of catching the Britons—and, in both cases, the chance is slim.
Ball State, 9-0-1 last year, looks to be the best team in the Indiana Collegiate Conference again. Ray Louthen had to scurry to replace Jim Todd, the ICC's MVP the past two years, but he came up with two prizes in Amos VanPelt and Don Kostler. The offense as a whole is big and fast, and Quarterback Frank Houk knows how to run it. Louthen must strengthen his defensive secondary, but the line and linebacking are in the good hands of Chuck Streetman, 272 pounds, Tim Freeman, John Hostrawser and Bob Burkhardt.
Indiana State will be right there behind Ball State and Albion, with End John Truitt, Halfback Rich Bortone and Tackle Dave Matz leading the way—perhaps all the way to the ICC championship. Improvement is expected from Quarterback Mike Hoke, and the defense is backed up by Bob Pychinka and Don Wright, both rugged and capable. Tony Hinkle at BUTLER is still moaning over the loss of Quarterback Joe Purichia. However, Dan Warfel is back at fullback and End Steve Sadler could be in for a sparkling year if the Bulldogs come up with a quarterback.
Back at ILLINOIS WESLEYAN is Steve Laub, and that just about assures the Titans of another College Conference of Illinois title. In two years Laub has passed for 2,934 yards and 34 touchdowns, leading Wesleyan to 15 wins against a loss and a tie.
Kearney State's five top scorers and four of the five top ground-gainers return, including Quarterback Neil Kaup and Halfback Lannie Shelmandine. So whom must Laub beat? Kearney State, most likely.
Ripon, defending the Midwest Conference championship, will count on Guard Scott Mathott and a passing attack built around Quarterback Dick Kuehl. GRINNELL has improved offensively and defensively, and this year has experience. Fullback Dick Lamb could be in for a fine year, and so could Halfback Bob Watt and Defensive Ends John Lawson and Nord Brue. ST. OLAF is fast, but it should be because the Oles, for a change, are not big. Dave Krahn carried for 942 yards in six games last year, and Mike Gorton was all-league as a sophomore center. Paul Anderson can run and throw, especially to End Steve Refsell. CARLETON must find a quarterback, and it looks like Printice Gary, a flanker last year, will get the nod. This is not one of those miracle years for the Carls.
Marlin (The Magician) Briscoe should again take OMAHA to the Central Intercollegiate Conference title. A fine scrambler who could play quarterback for many a major school, Briscoe passed and ran for 2,181 yards in total offense last year and, with 28 other lettermen returning, he has what little help he needs. Also look for good performances from Fullback Bill Dodd, Tackles Bill Jansen and Dave Rak and Linebacker Larry Von Tersch. Little KANSAS STATE COLLEGE at Pittsburg does not have enough to challenge Omaha for the title, but the Gorillas have spirit and Fred Held and Jerry Hudon are among the finest running backs in the school's history.
Northeast Missouri State Teachers will have to go some to repeat as Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association champs, but Coach Maurice (Red) Wade thinks the Bulldogs are the going kind. Rich Gorzynski was an all-league quarterback last year, and speedy Sharron Washington is still around. What Wade must do is refurbish his offensive and defensive lines.
All of the College Athletic Conference coaches believe CENTRE, under new Head Coach Steele Harmon, is the team to beat this fall, although WASHINGTON AND LEE and single-wing SEWANEE, CAC titlists the last four years, will be in hot pursuit. Fullback Geoff Monge is the only regular in WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY'S backfield, while Gordon Ankney, Bill Hovland and Mike Busenhart are strong defensive holdovers. The Battling Bears, with a serious depth problem, will have to play End Terry Steinkoetter and Guard Paul McKee both ways.
The WILLIAM JEWELL-Missouri Valley game has decided the Missouri College Athletic Union championship for the last 16 years. It will again when the two close out the season against each other. Jewell has 24 lettermen back from the Cardinal team that whipped Missouri Valley last fall. Among them is Halfback Terry Bashor, a tough, smart runner and single-wing Fullback Phil Colwell, whom Coach Norris Patterson calls the best he's had in his 16 years at WJ. Gary Beets returns at blocking back, and T. J. Brown and John Modeer are both top hands up front. All in all, it appears that the 22 returning lettermen at MISSOURI VALLEY are destined for second place again, even though Tom Venice and John DiMuzio, two players who make the defensive unit one of the better ones in the area, once more are aboard. Richard Bittle is a good end, and Bob Thomas has the size and speed to make a fine halfback.
Parsons won eight of nine last year and again should be hard to handle. Quarterback Daynor Prince and runners George Smith, Allen Marcelin and Charles Moore form a potent offensive backfield and the Wildcats' defense is always tough.
Bradley is without Bob Caress, and he finished fifth, sixth, second and first among the nation's small-college passers in his four years at Bradley. His absence portends a long season for the Braves.
Even though Allen Smith, the nation's leading scorer last year with 146 points, is gone, FINDLAY has enough talent parcelled among its 16 returning lettermen to be optimistic. Jim Culler will be in his fourth year at quarterback, and By Morgan Jr. and Bill Bingle are strong up front. Dave Bethany returns to the defensive team.
Lack of reserves at guard and tackle is a problem at GEORGETOWN, but 275-pound Tom Seals, who tied the NAIA field-goal record, will go both ways, and Jim McKenzie and Willis Tolliver can run. At player-poor NEBRASKA WESLEYAN, Coach Ray Westover would gladly settle for another 7-2 record like 1965's.
Both lines will be stronger at YOUNGSTOWN and Jake Ferro, who plays offensive guard and defensive tackle, is as good as they come. An inexperienced secondary could hurt ST. NORBERT, maybe too much for the play of Tackle Tim Houlton and Al Groves to bail the Knights out. NORTHERN MICHIGAN has a lot of ability in the line, but no speed in the backfield or a proven quarterback.
Southern Colorado State lost 14 lettermen and must now depend more heavily than ever on Tackle Dan Godinez and Halfback Frank Hester. NORTHEASTERN STATE in Oklahoma has its best offensive line in years, so Quarterback Dale Runyan can expect a splendid season of passing and running.
In a preseason poll conducted by the Gulf States Conference, every coach except SOUTHWESTERN LOUISIANA'S Russell Faulkinberry voted for Southwestern Louisiana—Faulkinberry was not allowed to vote for himself. It is no secret in and around Lafayette, La. that the Bulldogs have their best, though smallest, team in 10 years. A grand total of 26 lettermen are back, and Faulkinberry says, "We'll be awfully good on offense and awfully good on defense. We should only lack depth." With players like Quarterback Bill Bayard, Halfback Gerald Landry, Split End Leonard Kleinpeter and Guard Brad Hamilton on offense and Mike Neustrom, Jimmy Edney, Edward Pratt and Brad Hamilton on defense, it is hard to understand what the Bulldogs would do with depth if they had it.
Everything went wrong at LOUISIANA TECH last year. But if Southwestern Louisiana becomes overconfident, Tech will be right there to pick up the Bulldogs' ungnawed pieces. Tech's only trouble is its new stadium. It isn't quite ready yet, and Joe Aillet's team will play eight of its 10 games on the road. The worst will be the second one—Alabama, yet, at Tuscaloosa. All will be downhill after that for Tech's fast running backs—Robert Brunet, Lynn Cavanaugh and Richie Golman. A good secondary is back, but help is needed in the defensive line or strong Linebackers Joe Peace and Bob McKinnon may collapse from overwork.
Southeastern Louisiana is set everywhere in the line except at guard, where Fred Gary is the only returnee. Coach Pat Kenelly will go with a wide-open attack, featuring the passing of Quarterback Bobby Cotten and the catching of Duane Floyd, Tommy Arbour and Wayne Sullivan. McNEESE, bitten into deeply by graduation, will not be its old Wild West self. Most missed will be Merlin Walet, the Cowboys' finest runner last year, and Quarterback Rich Guillory, a two-year starter.
"We're going with two units this season instead of three," says FLORIDA A&M's Jake Gaither, and that means no more Tears, just Blood and Sweat, as Gaither labels his units. A&M, says Gaither, does not get the players it used to. Preston Johnson and Henry Scott will tote the leather this fall, however, and they are not bad. Neither are Tackles Don Smith and Freddie Woodson. TENNESSEE STATE cannot wait to get started, mainly because Quarterback Eldridge Dickey will be running the Tigers again. There are runners, too, in Halfbacks Gene Bowen and Bill Tucker, and Tackles Claude Humphrey and Tommie Davis to spring them loose.
Unbeaten MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE will defend the Ohio Valley Conference title it won on the passing of Teddy Morris. Larry Mathews, Bob Hlodan and Pat Morrison seem up to the assignment. WESTERN KENTUCKY should finish a step behind the Raiders. The Hilltoppers need help at linebacker and offensive halfback, but the return of Dickie Moore, Jim Garrett, Jim Old and Walt Heath should help. AUSTIN PEAY cannot be ignored. Fullback John Ogles was an all-conference pick last year, as was End Ronnie Parson. And the Governors, with good defenders on hand, will not be easy to score on.
Lenoir Rhyne lost only three lettermen, 35 are back, and the Bears are defending Carolinas Conference champs. Look for Wayne Bell, Mike Campbell, Sam Holcombe and Eric Vivian to lead the team to the top of the conference again and close to the top of all small-college teams.
Grambling's schedule gets harder every year, and so does Grambling. Eddie Robinson, who always has the athletes, now has Norman Davis ("The best college lineman I've seen in 10 years," says Scout Em Tunnell of the New York Giants). As ballplayers, LeRoy Carter and Jimmy Harris are not far behind Davis.
Delta State will go with a tough defensive team led by Linebacker Joe DeMelfi. FAIRMOUNT won eight games, the West Virginia Conference title and went to the NAIA playoffs, where it lost to St. John's, Minn. 28-7. Coach Harold Duvall has 21 lettermen back, including most of his best ones. A repeat performance seems likely.
"Everybody's going to be after us," warns SUL ROSS STATE Coach Dave Slaughter—and why not? The Lobos won out in the extraordinarily proficient Lone Star Conference and went all the way to the NAIA semifinals last year. Slaughter knows Sul Ross will sorely miss Quarterback Luz Pedraza; so he will rely heavily on his team speed which, with Jacob Henry and Elliott Wright, is exceptional. Coach Ernest Hawkins says he has one of his finest teams at EAST TEXAS STATE, primarily because of a powderkeg backfield headed by Tailback Curtis Guyton, who could well be better than Sid Blanks, a conference star a few years ago. Jerry Reeder and Mike Kline are ready to go, as is Quarterback Jim Adams.
Southwest Texas will have speed and experience in the backfield with Jesse Perkins and Fred Frieling, but the Bobcats will be weak in linebackers and defensive backs. STEPHEN F. AUSTIN also must be reckoned with, while TEXAS A&I has, in the words of Coach Gil Steinke, "its biggest rebuilding job in years." With Randy Johnson gone to the Atlanta Falcons, that comes as no surprise. Halfback James (Bear) Brown also graduated, and he was the LSC's leading rusher, so the Javelinas will try to regroup around Guard Carl Smith, Tackle Eugene Upshaw and Halfback Herb Pennick.
If it can get its offensive line rebuilt in time, SAM HOUSTON STATE will throw more, mostly with Quarterback Dennis Gann pitching to John Mathews. If not, Billy Arlen will run. The defense is outstanding, as usual. PRAIRIE VIEW A&M, with End Ray Scott and Linebacker Ken Houston, will be respected.
Lamar Tech, which won its second straight Southland Conference championship last year, will go for No. 3 with Quarterback Phil Primm, and runners Darrell Johnson, Tom Smiley, Ken Montgomery and Lee Spears leading the way. ARKANSAS STATE lacks experience, and that means a lot will depend upon Safety Dick Ritchey and Guards Truman Moore and Bill Bergey.
Abilene Christian, 4-5 last year, hopes to improve with All-Conference Halfback Mike Love and Quarterback Jacky Roland doing the most work.
Ithaca ran riot over and through some of the best small-college teams in the East in 1965, rang up 204 points and was unbeaten in eight games. With 26 lettermen back and most of last year's best among them, the Bombers could wreak more havoc. In fact, Coach Dick Lyon cannot wait to see what Frank Slattery, an adept passer and field general, can do in place of Quarterback Jim Harris, last year's MVP. Slattery has a wealth of targets to shoot at, including Al Guenther and the team's leading scorer, Frank Fazio, both of whom run as well as they catch. A big, strong offensive line, led by Tackle Bob Burnham, should give Slattery the time and Bomber runners the holes they need. End Bob Congdon heads up a stiff defensive platoon. But Ithaca is in for three searching Saturdays with West Chester, Bridgeport and Cortland.
West Chester's Rams, the last team to defeat Ithaca (in 1964), have a small defensive line that capitalizes on exceptional quickness and pursuit. Brian Mulhearn and Ray Kurowski are sure, hard-hitting tacklers. Quarterback Jim Haynie is smart and throws well enough to complement perfectly the power smashes of Fullback Burt Nye.
Bridgeport was 3-6 last year, but the Purple Knights play as many good small colleges as any team in the East. One touchdown was the difference in losses to Ithaca, Southern Connecticut and Montclair State. If little (5 feet 3, 140 pounds) Paul Mandeville, who sneaks by tacklers before they can see him, has another fine year, the Knights may turn the tables on the others.
Cortland's Red Dragons will fill the air with footballs, with Quarterback Dick Speckmann doing the filling and Ron Verkey doing the catching. The defensive end of the game will be Cortland's strongest suit, with Jim Okesson and Dick Rowceroft leading the way.
C. W. Post needs only to refurbish an offensive line to spring loose Bob Archer, who ran for 922 yards last year, Saul Sindell and Chuck Spear. Jim Stewart, who started five games at quarterback, should enjoy throwing to Split End Tom Cassese and John Rustmann, an exceptional sophomore flanker.
Up in Boston, NORTHEASTERN's Bob Cappadona, All-New England fullback, is around no more, and that means the Huskies are minus at least 500 yards rushing and an armful of touchdowns that Cappadona supplied gratis each of the past three years. Joe DeBella, a sturdy senior who ran for 327 yards, moves from halfback to Cappadona's old slot, leaving the sprinting to Jack Martinelli, Don Mills, Bill McCarthy and Paul McAullife. The Huskies will throw more, too, the combinations being Quarterbacks Lou Tomasello and Mike Rodgers to Ends Dick Wilcox, Fran Haugh. Paul Donnelly and Craig MacDonald.
RPI beat Middlebury 28-14 to snap its losing streak at 43 last year, and now the Engineers are greedily looking forward to more successes. Twenty lettermen have returned, including Quarterback Bob Nicotera (17 for 33 against Middlebury) and Halfback Roger Sundin, the team's best runner.
East Stroudsburg, out for its third straight Pennsylvania State College Conference championship, will have to work for it. Gone is the whole Warrior backfield, including all-conference Quarterback Glen Ray.
Upsala is not as deep as was hoped, but Halfback Richie Davis and Guard Sibby Sica are capable of leading the Vikings to the Middle Atlantic Conference northern division title.
Drexel was stripped of some key performers in its offensive line, but Quarterback John Kuzan is back along with End Tony Godonis and stalwarts like Larry Colbert and Tony Stonis. Seiko Murono is no longer quarterback at FRANKLIN AND MARSHALL, and that is too much of a loss for the Diplomats to overcome.
Southern Connecticut's new coach, Harry Shay, has 24 lettermen in camp from last year's Eastern Conference champs, and the best of them all, Dick Nocera, was fourth in the nation in rushing with 1,166 yards. Shay will enjoy his new association. MONTCLAIR STATE was hit hard at halfback, so Tony Caiazzo, Bill Neal and John Harrington will have to pick up the slack in front of Quarterback Jim Carovillano.
Albright could return to its former heights on the arm of Quarterback Roy Shallhammer and the hands of End Carmon Comunale. WILKES won the northern division MAC title last year and is again a threat. JUNIATA may have the MAC's best quarterback in Don Weiss, but MORAVIAN will be hurt with so many of its players going both ways. It really doesn't matter that SUSQUEHANNA is not eligible for the conference title again (not enough league games)—the Crusaders are rebuilding after 1965's 0-9 performance.
Otto Graham left the COAST GUARD ACADEMY football team to Line Coach Frank Kapral and enough lettermen are around (31) to hope for something better than last year's 4-4. Quarterback Ron Sharp can pass, and Halfback Steve Schemder heads up a fine running attack.
When the Alabama-LSU score is in and digested, along with Michigan-Michigan State, Arkansas-Texas, UCLA-Southern Cal, etc., everybody waits to know what happened to old SLIPPERY ROCK. The answer this year will be lots. The Teachers, 4-3-1 last season, are looking for even better things, particularly from Quarterback Greg Klein, a transfer from West Texas State, Linebacker Mike Cullin and Halfback Tim Wilt.
Because Dave Bennett, SPRINGFIELD'S All-New England quarterback, is still around, the 9-0-0 Maroons of last fall expect something similar this year. Because Bob Post, the U.S. MERCHANT MARINE'S own prize quarterback, is not around, the 4-4-1 Cadets expect only trouble, even though 24 lettermen return. TRINITY will miss Quarterback Rick Rissel and his prime target, Bill Gish.
"I know this job is a real challenge, but I'm confident I can meet it," says TUFTS' new coach, Rocky Carzo. A challenge it is. The Brown and Blue were 1-7 last year, and the team lacks the depth to play two platoons. But Carzo is high on sophomore Ken Rosenthal and veterans Ed Sevetz and Frank Hekimian, an All-New England center. It should not take a jumbo-sized effort to win two games.