A Fictional History of Football : A DDSPF20/DDSCF20 dynasty

Re: A Fictional History of Football : A DDSPF20/DDSCF20 dyna

Postby Tiger Fan » Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:45 pm


Despite being one of only two franchises to have played in the same city every year since 1920, the Green Bay Packers entered 1948 having never won an NFL championship. The Packers have only made the playoffs 5 times in 27 years and reached the NFL title game just twice. The team was coming off three straight losing seasons including a 3 win season a year ago.

So when the Packers shot out the NFL West Division lead by winning their first 4 games it was, to say the least, a surprise. In a year in which it appeared parity was taking over (8 of the league's 12 teams had 2 victories after week four) the Packers were 2 wins better than anyone else as the season completed it's first third. Green Bay did finally lose, to Detroit in week five, but the Packers led by veteran RB Gene Babb's league leading 1,174 rushing yards and an aggressive defense bolstered by rookie CB Jerry Biddy, a 2nd round pick out of North Carolina State, who had 4 interceptions, made the playoffs for the first time in 4 years.

A Week 12 10-9 loss against the Bears cost Green Bay homefield advantage in the Semi-Finals as the red-hot Bears won their final seven games to finish a half game up on Green Bay. The Bears relied on their running game which still featured veteran Mack Johnson (956 yds) but gave much more time to former Heisman Trophy winner and last year's first overall draft pick Gene Stokes (689 yds) but it was an early season quarterback trade that turned the team's fortunes around.

After a Week Five loss to Baltimore that dropped the Bears record to 2-2-1, Chicago and the Colts swapped quarterbacks with the Bears sending starter Whitey Riddle to Baltimore in exchange for the Colts veteran backup Buck Haff. Haff, a 7th year pro out of Pittsburgh, became the starter for the Bears and led the team to 7 straight victories. The club, which had been very conservative with Riddle under center, opened things up for Haff and it was a high-risk, high-reward offense that paid off with Haff throwing 9 touchdown passes in those 7 games but also getting picked off 5 times. Regardless, the plan worked as the Bears topped the NFL in scoring and reached the playoffs for the second straight year.

The two time defending NFL champion Chicago Cardinals also returned to the playoffs, utilizing much the same script as a year ago with the UCLA connection playing a prime role. Running back Stew Crimmins (1,034 yards) joined Green Bay's Babb as the only backs to top 1000 yards while QB Biggs Holley was outstanding until he went down with a season ending ankle injury in Week Nine. Gene Ontiveros, a long-time Cardinals backup who rarely saw game action, took over and the ex-Colorado State Ram did enough to help Chicago wins it's final 3 games and clinch the East Division.

The Pittsburgh Steelers were battling the Cardinals for top spot until suffering 2 losses and a tie in Weeks 9-11 which forced them to settle for second place but the Steelers did earn a second trip to the playoffs in the past three seasons. The Steelers finished last in the league in rushing yards but had the season's highest rated passer in long-time QB Beauty Ellard. The Notre Dame graduate was a third round pick in 1939 and has been the Steelers starter since his second season.

Ellard seemed perfectly suited for the new-NFL, as coaches looked to pass the ball more. Pass attempts certainly did not match carries yet but it was getting closer and the Steelers, as well as the Cleveland Browns and Los Angeles Rams seemed to be at the forefront of the movement. The 5-7 Rams had defensive issues but their offense was certainly explosive led by veteran Mose Sawicki, who became the first player in NFL history to have over 1000 yards receiving. The 34 year old former Texas Longhorn caught 69 passes for 1,062 yards. Sawicki's 69 receptions also tied Cleveland's Blondy Anson for a new single season record.

The quarterbacks also got into the record books with Cleveland's Elmer Welch setting a new mark with 2,326 passing yards while Bobby Brophy of the Rams and Pittsburgh's Ellard also surpassed the 2,000 yards passing plateau.

Code: Select all
Chi Cardinals  8  3  1   Chi Bears     9  2   1
Pittsburgh     6  4  2   Green Bay     9  3   0
Philadelphia   6  6  0   Detroit       6  6   0
Cleveland      5  7  0   Baltimore     6  6   0
Washington     4  7  1   Los Angeles   5  7   0
New York       2  8  2  San Francisco  2  9   1


Homefield certainly made a difference in the East Division final as the Chicago Cardinals benefitted from a very wet and rainy day in the Windy City to beat Pittsburgh 19-7. The weather hindered the Steelers pass happy offense, and although Steelers QB Beauty Ellard still had a strong game, he was limited to short throws and the Steelers lacked the ability to move the ball downfield. The Cardinals, meanwhile, were even more run focused than usual with a back-up QB in the lineup and Stan Crimmins dominated, rushing for 100 yards on 19 carries while veteran backup Pinch McWilliams chipped in with 55 yards rushing.

The weather, while the same, was not as much of a factor in the West Division playoff game as both Green Bay and the Bears liked to run the ball. Gene Babb was pretty successful at it for Green Bay, gaining 106 yards on the ground, but the Bears got 203 combined from Mack Johnson and Gene Stokes. Johnson and Stokes each scored a touchdown and that was the difference as the Bears prevailed 20-3 to set up another all-Chicago NFL Title Game.


For the third year in a row the Chicago Cardinals were crowned NFL champions after a 17-14 victory over the cross-town Bears in the title game. The Cardinals wore down the Bears, dominating the time of possession and putting up nearly double the total yardage. The only thing that made the score closer was Cardinals quarterback Gene Ontiveros, still in for injured starter Biggs Holley, threw a pair of interceptions including a pick-six in the fourth quarter that made things interesting.

Stan Crimmins ran for exactly 100 yards for the second consecutive game and scored one of the Cardinals touchdowns while Pinch McWilliams had the other and gained 80 yards on the ground. The Bears combination of Mack Johnson and Gene Stokes were limited to 96 yards by the Cardinals defense and the magic ran out for QB Buck Haff, who's 8 game winning streak came to an end after a 9-for-17 day that saw him pass for just 102 yards.

For the second year in a row, Crimmins was named the playoff MVP. Not a bad two years to start his NFL career with 1912 yards rushing, two playoff MVP's, two league titles and a rookie of the year award. The League MVP was rushing leader Gene Babb of Green Bay. It was the third time that the 31 year old Babb has been named MVP. Also, not bad for a player who was undrafted out of West Virginia and failed to sign anywhere in his rookie season of 1938.
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Re: A Fictional History of Football : A DDSPF20/DDSCF20 dyna

Postby Tiger Fan » Thu Jan 02, 2020 11:10 pm



It was another strong recruiting year for Notre Dame as Ival Scarbrough once again landed the top recruiting class although Texas A&M and Oklahoma fared nearly as well. Among the Irish recruits included a pair of top ten prospects in #8 Rocky Hawks - a tackle from Illinois - and it was a mild surprise to see the top rated QB, #3 overall Bucky Sylvester from Kentucky, also choose Notre Dame. The Irish have a logjam of quarterbacks with 3 year starter Hugo Puckett returning for his senior season and last year's top QB Dave Grosse, coming off his redshirt year. In all, Notre Dame has 10 quarterbacks on their roster including 5-star recruits in Grosse and Sylvester.

Oklahoma also landed two players ranked in the top ten including #1 recruit Bill Klosterman, a strong safety from New Hampshire. Sticking with secondary help, the Sooners also added a free safety in 8th ranked Robin Callahan. It was a big year for the state of Georgia, which produced 3 top tens including Callahan, DE Mike Gaines and RB Charlie Harris. UCLA has had a good tradition of producing strong running backs, with Chicago Cardinals Stan Cremmins being the most recent example, so I will add Harris to the list of players I will keep track of.

Here are the top ten recruits and where they ended up

1- SS Bill Klosterman from Gilford, NH OKLAHOMA
2- DE Mike Gaines from Tyrone, Ga VIRGINIA TECH
3- QB Bucky Sylvester from Springfield, Ky NOTRE DAME
4- RB Charlie Harris from Bainbridge, Ga. UCLA
5- WR Harry Price from Boise, Id OHIO STATE
6- CB Bobby Meier from Mesa, Az BROWN
7- C Steve Byington from Lakeside, Cal TEXAS A&M
8- T Rocky Hawks from Oak Forest, Ill NOTRE DAME
9- FS Robin Callahan from Buford, Ga. OKLAHOMA
10-WR Howie McKeen from Provo, Ut. NORTH CAROLINA

The Top Five Recruiting Classes this year belong to:
1- Notre Dame
2- Texas A&M
3- Oklahoma
4- Baylor
5- Virginia

No Head Coaching changes at any of the top ranked schools but Stew Mall at New Mexico will have a new coach as the Lobos hired Lee Rockhill to run the program. Rockhill was previously the offensive co-ordinator at Yale.


After a perfect 12-0 season Notre Dame entered the 1948 campaign as the number one ranked school. Nebraska is second in the preseason polls followed by Texas A&M, USC, Oklahoma with their strong recruiting class, Michigan, Georgia, Florida, Penn State and Cal to round out the top 10.

I had planned on following Dave Grosse but once again this season it does not look like he will play for Notre Dame. Hugo Puckett, who has started each of his first three years and led the Irish to an undefeated season, is not starting either. Instead incoming freshman Bucky Sylvester won the job with Puckett the backup and Grosse relegated to the third time. You cannot question the decision by Coach Scarbrough after week one, as the Irish thumped Auburn 33-6 behind a 2 touchdown day for Sylvester, who completed 19 of 26 attempts for 160 yards.

By week five the Irish were 5-0 and one of 9 teams that had yet to lose a game this season. However, Sylvester only started the first three of those games before suffering a broken finger. Puckett replaced him for the next two including a 48-14 romp over Michigan.

Sylvester would return for Notre Dame's sixth game and the winning streak would continue throughout the season as the Irish ran the table and finished 11-0. Entering the final two weeks of the season a number of other teams had a chance to join Notre Dame at 11-0 but only SEC champ Georgia managed to accomplish it. For the Bulldogs, it was the third perfect season in school history as they won the National Championship in 1945 and finished second to Virginia in 1940.


Georgia's strength was it's running game - they had two backs surpass a 1000 yards and a third come just 7 yards shy of that mark - Seniors Jack Hipple (1055) and Hawk Sowell (993) were joined by an outstanding true freshman by the name of Jim Courts, who not only gained 1110 yards but finished tied for second in the nation with 16 touchdown carries. Georgia also benefitted from not playing Tennessee this year, as the 10-1 Vols finished second in the SEC with their only loss coming to 8-3 LSU.


North Carolina State (10-1) won the ACC title, finishing unbeaten in conference play for the first time since 1937. Only a late season loss at Penn State denied the Wolfpack their first unbeaten season since 1917. Virginia was second in conference play at 5-1 (9-2 overall) as the Cavs fully embraced a passing game that was led by junior QB Morrie Baham, who led the nation in passing yardage and QB rating. His two favourite targets, senior wideouts Cliff Lewis and Mike Smith, finished 1st and 3rd in the country in receiving yards.


Oklahoma, so highly touted coming in, had a great start to the season but the Sooners were tripped up by Nebraska, a school that has always given them fits. Oklahoma is 14-20 all-time vs the Cornhuskers and this most recent loss cost the Sooners a perfect season. 9-2 Nebraska had some struggles of their own, falling to Kansas State to finish with one loss in conference play (their other loss came at home to Texas A&M). Entering the bowls Oklahoma was ranked third behind Notre Dame and Georgia while Nebraska was tenth.


The Big Ten has not received a lot of National Title talk through the years and that is mostly due to the teams beating each other up during the regular season. A Big Ten team has not won the National Title since Wisconsin went 12-0 in 1916. Michigan came close in 1934, when the Wolverines went 12-0 including a Rose Bowl win but finished second to an unbeaten Notre Dame in the polls. Since 1932 the Wolverines have only failed to be selected for a bowl once and have been to 9 Rose Bowls in that stretch. You can change that number to 10 as Michigan won the Big Ten with a 6-1 conference record including a 45-10 waltz past Ohio State(8-3) in the game that decided, as it often does, the conference winner. The 9-2 Wolverines enter the Rose Bowl ranked 4th with losses coming to Notre Dame and Indiana.


Columbia won the Ivy League with a perfect 7-0 record but the Lions dropped both of their non-conference games. As for the two young QB's we were following, well both of their teams finished in a 4-way tie for second at 4-3. Penn was 6-3 overall as sophomore QB Rip Tipton threw for a career best 1374 yards and 12 touchdowns while Doug Cheek had 1335 yards passing and 7 touchdowns for 5-4 Dartmouth.


USC(6-5) and UCLA(7-4) both had down years as Cal won the Pacific 8 title with an 8-3 overall record and 6-1 in conference play. USC's woes can be attributed to the fact that they went 2-3 while starting QB Jimmie Laird was sidelined with a broken foot. Cal had some quarterback problems of their own as well, but rather than injury it was because each of the three players that started games at QB had a propensity for throwing interceptions. The rushing game, led by redshirt freshman Lee Amsler's 1336 yards and 12 touchdowns was enough to carry the Bears to their first Rose Bowl appearance since 1937.


Texas A&M entered their season ending showdown with Texas at 10-0 and ranked second in the nation. However, the Longhorns pulled out a 16-6 victory to improve to 8-3 and claim the conference title with a 6-1 record to match the Aggies. Despite A&M being a powerhouse and often in the National Title hunt (but only winning it once in 1920) the Longhorns have dominated the series, winning 24 of 34 meetings and, more often than not, being the reason A&M was denied a National Title. Although it should be noted a dismal 1-6 record in Cotton Bowl games against Notre Dame, with the National Title often on the line, clearly hurt A&M as well. Texas, on the other hand, despite being 4-5 overall against Notre Dame, was 2-0 in the Cotton Bowl against the Irish.


Wyoming (7-4) and UTEP (8-3) tied for the WAC lead at 6-2 but the conference crown went to the Cowboys due to a 37-7 win over the Miners during the season. New Mexico, with a new coach and our other young quarterback in Stew Mall, finished just 4-3 (5-6 overall) but the Lobos beat both UTEP and Wyoming this season so perhaps there is hope before Mall graduates. As for Mall, he threw for 1737 yards and 8 touchdowns but also was picked off 5 times for the second straight year.


Notre Dame of course led the way at 11-0 but Penn State (10-1) and Virginia Tech (9-2) also had strong years. The Hokies were lead by Dutch Dorn, who entered the Bowl games as the NCAA rushing leader with 1635 yards and averaged nearly 7 yards per carry.


The 4 big New Year's Day Bowls all looked like great matchups. #1 Notre Dame would once again go to the Cotton Bowl to play SWC champion Texas while #2 ranked Georgia accepted a date with 10th ranked Nebraska in the Orange Bowl. The Bulldogs would need a solid victory combined with an Irish loss to try and secure the National championship. The Sugar Bowl also looked interesting with a pair of 10-1 teams in #3 Oklahoma vs #4 Tennessee.


Freshman QB Bucky Sylvester had the worst day of his young career, completing just 6 of 20 passes for 98 yards but thanks to 4 Texas fumbles the Irish came away with a 29-16 victory and their second straight National Title. Notre Dame kicker Ken Johnson ended up being the offensive hero as he connected on all five of his field goal attempts while sophomore defensive end Pete Brunswick forced 3 fumbles and made 7 tackles in the game.


Georgia needed a last minute field goal to beat the Cornhuskers 20-17 and go 12-0 but they had to settle for #2 in the rankings. Georgia's three running backs combined for over 200 yards on the ground and Jack Hipple scored a pair of touchdowns. The Bulldogs had led 17-3 at one point but Nebraska tied the game with 3 minutes left thanks to some key completions from senior QB Jack Vidmar, who threw for 209 yards in his final game as a Cornhusker. Georgia won it with a 39 yard field goal from Ralph Job with :13 seconds remaining.


Tennessee scored 24 points in the second quarter and coasted to a 27-13 victory over Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl. Junior RB Garth Hall led the Volunteers with 88 yards rushing, 15 receiving and a pair of touchdowns.


Michigan improved to 10-2 overall and won the Rose Bowl for the third straight season with a 30-7 victory over Cal. Redshirt freshman QB Carl Burkey passed for 193 yards and 2 touchdowns to lead the Wolverines attack while junior halfback Mike Isenhour rushed for 103 yards.

SUN BOWL - North Carolina State (11-1) 23 Texas A&M (10-2) 10
GATOR BOWL - Virginia (10-2) 44 Illinois (9-3) 23
PEACH BOWL - Wisconsin (9-3) 34 North Carolina (8-4) 7
TANGERINE BOWL - Penn State (11-1) 52 LSU (8-4) 7
BLUEBONNET BOWL- Wyoming (8-4) 44 Georgia Tech (7-5) 14

1- Notre Dame 12-0
2- Georgia 12-0
3- Tennessee 11-1
4- North Carolina State 11-1
5- Michigan 10-2
6- Virginia 10-2
7- Oklahoma 10-2
8- Penn State 11-1
9- Texas A&M 10-2
10-Virginia Tech 9-2


The Heisman Trophy went to running back Dutch Dorn of Virginia Tech. Dorn, a redshirt sophomore, led the nation with 1635 rushing yards, despite not playing in a bowl game. He also had 20 touchdowns including 19 rushing td's. Dorn becomes the second Hokie to win the Heisman. RB Phil Teel won it twice: in 1918 and again in 1920

TOP QB - SR Stan Labbe North Carolina
TOP RB - SO Dutch Dorn Virginia Tech
TOP RECEIVER - SR Cliff Lewis Viriginia
TOP OLINE - FR Red Buker Texas A&M
TOP DLINE - SO Elmer Wootten North Carolina State
TOP LB - SO Tommy Franklin Florida State
TOP DB - SR Frank Todd Penn State
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Re: A Fictional History of Football : A DDSPF20/DDSCF20 dyna

Postby Tiger Fan » Sat Jan 04, 2020 12:03 am


Going into the season many experts had pegged the Washington Redskins to dethrone the 3-time defending champion Chicago Cardinals atop the East Division. The Redskins had added MVP running back Gene Babb from Green Bay during the off-season and were poised to make a run at the division title. Unfortunately, things couldn't have gone worse as Babb lasted less than a half before suffereing a season-ending injury in the opening game. Washington proceeded to lose 5 of it's first six games and although they got things together in the second half of the sesaon, finished out of a playoff spot.

The Chicago Cardinals started slow, with just 2 wins in their first 5 games, but a strong finish allowed the Cardinals to claim the East Division crown yet again. It was much tighter this time around as the Cardinals, Giants and Browns all tied for top spot at 7-4-1 but Chicago was awarded first and New York second based on their record's within the division.

The Cardinals once again relied on their UCLA connection as a now healthy Biggs Holley led the NFL in passing yardage while back Stan Crimmons rushed for 963 yards. The Cardinals defense was also very good, as was that of the second place Giants. New York, which had won only 8 games over the last three combined, ended with 7 this season including a season ending 16-10 victory at Cleveland to take a playoff spot away from the Browns. Veteran QB Bing Collum did not have an outstanding season for New York, but his years of playoff experience and 3 championships provided a steadying influence. Collum's main job was handing the ball of and the primary receipiant was Harry Robinson, a 7th year pro out of Oregon State, who carried the ball 218 times for 907 yards.

The Browns look like a team that is just a piece or two away from contending for a title. QB Elmer Welch, a 1944 3rd round pick out of Oklahoma State, had a strong season and combined with 1947 first round pick WR Jerry Boullard for 49 catches and 725 yards, both figures third highest in the league for a receiver.

In the West Division the big story was the San Francisco 49ers, who finished first for the first time since 1940 (when they were still in Brooklyn) and ended a 6 year playoff drought by improving by 7 victories over last season. The 49ers offense revolved around RB Mike Neville, a former Oklahoma Sooner, who rushed for a career best 1023 yards. Despite missing QB Bob Chapdelaine for the final 5 games (but he would be healthy for the playoffs), San Francisco finished the season on an 8 game winning streak.

The second place Chicago Bears needed a final week victory over their rival Cardinals and a Green Bay loss in order to edge the Packers out for second place and the playoffs. With the retirement of veteran back Mack Johnson prior to the season, third year pro Gene Stokes became the centerpiece of the Bears offense. The 1947 first overall pick and former Heisman Trophy winner was up to the challenge, leading the NFL in rushing with 1105 yards. The Bears also had a new QB as veteran Buck Haff, who led them to the title game a year ago after being acquired from Baltimore, was waived. Bert Fitzgibbon, a second year player out of nearby Northwestern, earned the starting job and passed for 1961 yards and 13 touchdowns. Fitzgibbon's TD number was only surpassed by Green Bay's Bob Vetter, who looked like he had clinched the Packers a playoff berth in Week 10 with a 26-10 victory over the Bears. However, Chicago won it's final two games and the Packers dropped both of theirs to miss out on making the playoffs two years in a row - an accomplishment that would have been a first in team history.

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Chi Cardinals  7  4  1  San Francisco  9  3   0
New York       7  4  1  Chi Bears      7  4   1
Cleveland      7  4  1  Green Bay      7  5   0
Washington     6  6  0  Baltimore      4  7   1
Philadelphia   4  7  1  Detroit        3  8   1
Pittsburgh     4  7  1  Los Angeles    3  9   0


The New York Giants returned to the playoffs for the first time since 1945, when their streak of 5 straight playoff appearances (which included two league titles) came to an end. The Giants fall had coincided with the rise of the Chicago Cardinals. The Cardinals were in the playoffs for the 6th time in the past seven years and had won the last two NFL titles. The Cardinals were riding a 4 game post-season winning streak and that streak would remain intact, at least for one more week, because they were just a little too much for the Giants in a 16-5 victory.

Rinty Martins kicked 3 field goals for the Cardinals while Biggs Holley, who was 16-for-25 for 110 yards, hooked up with fullback Nick Meade for a 3 yard touchdown to round out the Chicago scoring. Stan Crimmins had a strong day as well, pacing the Chicago running game with 87 yards. New York's veteran QB Bing Collum completed just 12 of 32 pass attempts for 84 yards and the Giants running game was also held in check. A field goal and a sack of Holley in the Chicago end zone for a safety accounted for the New York scoring.

In San Francisco, the 49ers miracle season continued with a 29-10 victory over the Chicago Bears in a game that featured a most unlikely hero. With their backup already sidelined, 49ers QB Bob Chapdelaine was injured in the first quarter prompting San Francisco to have to go with third stringer Sam Goulet under center. The 31 year old former Purdue Boilermaker had been in the league for a decade but always as a backup and had only played in 10 games in his career and never in the post-season. The playoff stage did not phase him and Goulet threw a pair of touchdown passes while completing 17 of 21 to lead the 49ers to the win. Another back up also came up big as well for the winners, as RB Hank Sowell, an undrafted rookie out of Georgia, gained 90 yards to lead all rushers. San Francisco's defense did a terrific job on the Bears, intercepting QB Bert Fitzgibbon twice and holding RB Gene Stokes to just 13 yards on 9 carries before Stokes left the game in third quarter with an injury. Veteran LB Jack Outland also deserves a mention as he had 8 tackles, 2 sacks, a safety and an interception for the winners.


The San Francisco 49ers went from 2-9-1 the previous season to a berth in the NFL title game. The success of the team caused professional football's popularity in the Bay Area to grow exponentially. It was just the third season on the coast for the team that moved from Brooklyn but the 49ers had the opportunity to do something their southern neighbours, the Los Angeles Rams, had failed to accomplish and the Rams had been on the West Coast since 1937. Los Angeles had made it to the championship game twice, in 1937 and again in 1943, but they lost both times.

Unfortunately, like their California neighbours, the San Francisco 49ers were also unable to win the final game of the season. On this occasion the powerful Chicago Cardinals thumped the 49ers 38-6 to win their third straight NFL title, equaling the 1934-36 Chicago Bears record.

Biggs Holley threw for 142 yards while Nick Meade and Stan Crimmins combined for 137 on the ground to lead Chicago to victory. The Cardinals defense held San Francisco off the scoresheet until late in the fourth quarter, picking off a pair of Sam Goulet passes and hounding the 49ers quarterback every time he dropped back to pass. Unlike the Bears the week before, the Cardinals defense had little trouble exposing Goulet's inexperience.

Holley was named the Playoff MVP and despite being in just his 4th season, the Cardinals QB owns 3 NFL titles, although he sat out last year's game with an injury. The regular season MVP came from Chicago also as Bears running back Gene Stokes captured the award after leading the league in rushing.
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Re: A Fictional History of Football : A DDSPF20/DDSCF20 dyna

Postby Tiger Fan » Sat Jan 04, 2020 2:32 am


I found it interesting to discover that 3 of the 12 starting running backs in the NFL last season played their college ball at UCLA. All 3 enjoyed very strong seasons, prompting me to search the history of the pro league to see if this was something new or an ongoing trend. As expected it is quite new for UCLA as the Bruins, and other west coast teams, rarely had players enter the pro draft in the first two decades of the league. (Prior to the Rams move from Cleveland to the West Coast I was editing out a lot of the players from Western US schools in my draft files. I still edit the files as I prefer to have my draft class be no more than 400-500 players instead of the 1500 or so generated by the game each year but now I leave all the top players in - including the western school players - and just remove those who saw little to no playing time in college).

So because of that editing it really wasn't a surprise that prior to the 3 current UCLA running backs in the NFL there were only two other former Bruins RB's who played pro ball. Below is a brief write-up on the college and pro careers of each of them. I may do this with other positions and schools at various times as I did notice that Notre Dame and Michigan, among others, sent a lot of RB's to the NFL in my league.

The three Bruins represent 25% of the starting running backs in the NFL today and all 3 enjoyed very productive 1949 seasons. They are Stan Crimmins of the Cardinals, Green Bay rookie Arnold Kraut and veteran Cleveland Brown Hal O'Neal. Here is a brief bio of each:


I have already written a fair bit about Crimmins. He was a 4th round pick in 1947 and has helped the Cardinals win 3 straight NFL titles. He was offensive rookie of the year in 1947 and playoff MVP in both 1947 and 1948. In 36 regular season games over 3 seasons, he has rushed for 2875 yards.

In college, Crimmins was a 3 star recruit out of Mission Vejo, California ranked 312th in his class. He would end up starting three seasons with UCLA (1944-46) and set the Bruins single season rushing record with 1662 yards as a senior. In all he gained 4252 yards and scored 47 touchdowns in 34 college games. He was a key piece along with QB Biggs Holley on UCLA's Rose Bowl winning 1945 team that finished 11-1 and ranked 2nd in the nation. That was UCLA's only 11 game winning team.


Kraut was a 6th round pick of the Packers this year (1949) and earned the starting job out of training camp. He went on to rush for 981 yards and 6 touchdowns and was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year this season.

From Hawaii, the 3 star recruit (757th overall in his class) played 3 seasons for the Bruins (1946-48). His best year came as a junior in 1947 when he rushed for 1317 yards and started all 12 games helping UCLA to a Sun Bowl appearance. He was bothered by injuries as a senior, starting just 2 games but carried the ball for 718 yards on the season.


The 11th year pro has bounced around the league but started for Cleveland last season, gaining 605 yards on the ground. He was originally a 4th round pick of the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1939 but played just one season with them before being dealt to the New York Yanks(which eventually moved to Cleveland). In 1943 he was moved to Pittsburgh and also had stops in Los Angeles and San Francisco before coming to Cleveland this season. He has played in 118 career games, starting 40 and rushing for 6318 yards but is likely very close to the end of his career.

O'Neal was a highly touted 5 star recruit out of South Jordan, Utah in 1934. He was ranked 23rd in his class and would play all four seasons for the Bruins, starting 34 games and rushing for 4532 yards. His career ended with a Rose Bowl loss in 1938, the only bowl game UCLA reached during his time at the school.

Prior to these three only two other UCLA running backs ever played in the NFL. They were:


Hulsey was undrafted out of college and had a three year stint as a backup with the Cleveland Rams from 1922-24. He would end his career with just 40 rushing yards.

In college, Hulsey was a 3 star recruit out of Rancho Cucamonga, California. After redshirting in 1917, he would play in all 44 games from 1918-21 but never started, finishing with 702 career rushing yards.


Also undrafted after his college career, Northrup did manage to spend 6 seasons in the pros playing for Green Bay, the Chicago Bears and New York Giants. In all, he rushed for 2149 yards including a career best 613 for the 1932 Bears.

Northrup was a 3 star recruit from Encinitas, California who red-shirted in 1921. Over the next four seasons with the Bruins he played in 44 games and gained 3979 rushing yards while scoring 24 touchdowns. His career highlight came in the 1924 Rose Bowl when he rushed for 138 yards and was named the game's Most Valuable Player despite a 24-21 loss to Michigan. Northrup remains UCLA's career leader in rushing attempts.

There have been some very good Bruins players make the NFL at other positions including current Cardinals star QB Biggs Holley and Roxey Gillum, also a QB who played for a decade starting in 1921 with Green Bay and the Giants. Wide receiver Ralph Gulley was a first round pick in 1923 who ended up having 289 career catches for Rochester, Green Bay and Brooklyn. The 1923 draft was a banner class for the Bruins as two defensive ends joined Gulley as first round selections. Les Pohlman spent over a decade with Cardinals, Packers and Frankford while Stan Armstrong played 12 years for the Boston/Washington Redskins.

Despite the pro success of Gulley, Pohlman and Armstrong the 1922 Bruins team, which all 3 were seniors on and Northrup was a redshirt freshman, had one of the worst records in school history as the Bruins finished 4-7 that year.

The 1949 College Season will be up next. UCLA is not expected to have a great season. The Bruins, who finished 7-4 overall and 4th in the Pacific 8 Conference a year ago, are projected to do about the same this time around. However, UCLA may have the next great pro running back in sophomore Charlie Harris. As a freshman Harris rushed for 811 yards and 11 touchdowns and is projected to be one of the best running backs in the nation next season. He is right up there with Minnesota's John Broomfield, a junior who is considered a Heisman Trophy candidate.

Broomfield, you might recall was the #1 ranked recruit two years ago and had a great freshman year, gaining over 1000 yards for the Golden Gophers. He missed much of last season due to injury but still ran for 372 yards in 4 and a bit games.
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Re: A Fictional History of Football : A DDSPF20/DDSCF20 dyna

Postby Tiger Fan » Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:58 am

Before I continue with the 1949 college season I thought I would take a look at the top college head coaches in this universe. The head coach with the most National Champions is Chet Hazlett, who spent 16 seasons at the University of Texas and won 6 National Titles. Here are the head coaches with multiple National Titles.

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NAME         TITLES  TEAM            YEARS
Chet Hazlett     6  Texas    1921, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1928
Joe Lachance      4  Notre Dame    1934, 1935, 1936, 1937
Jerry Theriot     4  Tennessee     1938, 1941, 1944, 1946
Punch Stone       3  Virginia      1940, 1942, 1943
Elmer Hannon      3  NC State      1917, 1918, 1919
Ival Scarbrough   2* Notre Dame    1947, 1948

*Interesting to note that Scarbrough was an assistant at Notre Dame under Joe Lachance for three more titles from 1935-37.

Here are the all-time leaders in career wins as a head coach only. Five coaches on this list are currently active as head coaches entering the 1949 season led by Penn State's Herb Hackney with 151.

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   NAME          W      L   YEARS    TEAMS             
Elmer Hannon      229   55   15-38   NC State/Nebraska       
Molly Cloyd      197   73   15-37   West Virginia          
Stump Bundy      192   94   18-42   Auburn/Michigan       
Ray Trumbo      188   68   15-36   Florida
Bobby Louviere      183   79   15-37   Georgia   
Duke Lewandowski   181   45   15-33   Iowa/Nebraska
Ike Baker      175   57   15-34   Alabama         
Chet Hazlett      163   27   15-30   Texas         
Bernie Burton      158   62   15-33   Tennessee/Penn State   
Herb Hackney      151   45   32-ACT   Yale/Tenn/Penn State      
Punch Stone      145   45   33-ACT   Virginia       
Claud Tobey      144   72   15-33   Colorado/Va Tech       
Fritz Lewandowski   144   82   29-ACT   New Mexico/Purdue/Georgia   
Jesse Gardener      141   75   15-33   CAL         
Les Napier      141   76   15-33   Auburn/Ohio State
Chuck Jeter      137   90   24-43   UTEP/Mississippi St/Stanford
Len Black      134   42   15-29   Notre Dame   
Jerry Theriot      131   20   36-ACT   Cornell/Tennessee
Jesse Thornton      125   39   35-ACT   North Carolina
Van Escobar      116   87   31-ACT   South Carolina/Texas   
Paul Null       90   67   39-ACT   Florida St/Minnesota
Tony Widener       83   22   40-ACT   Nebraska

If you count time as a co-ordinator, current Nebraska coach Tony Widener is the all-time wins leader with 259. Prior to taking the Cornhuskers head job in 1940, Widener had spent 19 years as an offensive co-ordinator- 2 in Dartmouth followed by 17 with West Virginia.

There is also a family connection on the this list as Duke Lewandowski coached at North Carolina State and Nebraska in the early days of college football and his son Fritz, who is currently coaching Georgia, started with New Mexico in 1929 and moved to Purdue in 1934 before joining the Bulldogs in 1938. Between them, the two Lewandowski's have 325 career victories and two National championship -one for the elder Lewandowski in his final season at Nebraska (1933) and son Fritz got one with Georgia in 1945. (I did not edit anything in the league, just letting things play out but both had the same last name so I decided it made sense to make that connection.)
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Re: A Fictional History of Football : A DDSPF20/DDSCF20 dyna

Postby Tiger Fan » Sun Jan 05, 2020 12:15 pm


Notre Dame once again dominated the recruiting news heading into the 1949 season. The Irish led the nation in landing five-star recruits with a total of 9 of them committing to the two-time defending National Champions. Included in their winfall was the #1 overall rated player in Lake Forest, Illinois quarterback Mickey Grochowski. Grochowski was one of two top-ten ranked QB's to choose Notre Dame as Soup Schmidt (#7 overall) from Crozet, Virginia will also join the Irish.

It was a very strong year for the Pac 8 as well with four schools from that conference finishing in the top ten recruiting class rankings. Stanford, which landed top ten recruits Chappy Kay and Fred Roach, topped the Pac 8 in finishing #3 overall in recruiting this season.

Here are the top ten recruits and recruiting classes.

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               TOP 10 RECRUITS
1-  QB  Mickey Grochowski     Lake Forest, Ill  Notre Dame
2-  CB  Gene McCuthceon       Aiken, SC      Wake Forest
3-  CB  Lou Stogner           Danville, Ky   Notre Dame
4-  SS  Chappy Kay         Suwanee, Ga.   Stanford
5-  QB  Putsy Marino         Mount Holly, NC   Virginia Tech
6-  LB  Jesse Orozco         Baker, La.    Indiana
7-  RB  Doc Henegar         Roebuck, SC       Georgia Tech
8-  QB  Soup Schmidt         Crozet, Va   Notre Dame
9-  WR  Fred Roach         Sacramento, Ca    Stanford
10- T   Cobe Brownell         Madison, Tx.      Arizona State

1- Notre Dame
2- Nebraska
3- Stanford
5- Texas A&M
6- Texas
7- Georgia
8- Auburn
9- Oregon State
10- USC

Notre Dame, which did not lose a game either of the past two seasons, enters 1949 ranked #1 in the nation with Nebraska, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and USC rounding out the preseason top five.


Notre Dame once again got off to a strong start as the Irish were one of five unbeaten teams as the season reached the midway point. All of that changed in Notre Dame's 7th game of the season as their 31 game winning streak came to an end with a 13-9 road loss to 6-1 USC. The Trojans capitalized on 3 turnovers, including a pair of interceptions thrown by Notre Dame sophomore QB Bucky Sylvester.

The Notre Dame loss vaulted 7-0 Michigan to number one, a position the Wolverines had never finished a season in and had not been ranked #1 at any point since 1921. Michigan, which has won 3 straight Rose Bowl games, had the briefest stay possible at #1, immediately dropping a 24-10 decision at The Big House to Minnesota (4-4). Turnovers again made the difference as despite rushing for a game high 139 yards, Michigan senior running back Mike Isenhour put the ball on the ground twice and Gopher DB Linc Hinckley clinched the win with a 68 yard interception return.

With Michigan's loss we were down to 3 unbeaten teams, all at 8-0. They were Virginia, led by legendary coach Punch Stone, Nebraska and surprisingly Syracuse was the third team. The Orangemen were not playing the toughest schedule this season, although they did beat Penn State, and their 8 wins were the most in a full season for the school since they went 10-2 in 1934 and won the Sun Bowl.

Syracuse would drop two of their final three games to fall out of National Title contention but Virginia and Nebraska would each run the table. Notre Dame did not stumble again and was also in the mix heading into the Bowl games. There would be plenty of excitement on New Year's Day as #1 ranked Virginia would go to the Cotton Bowl to play #4 Texas A&M while 10-1 Notre Dame, which sneaked ahead of 11-0 Nebraska and into second in the polls, would meet the Cornhuskers in the Orange Bowl.


Virginia would run away with the ACC as they had an unbeaten season moving long-time Coach Punch Stone to 10th all-time in career victories. Stone, who already has 3 National Titles with the Cavaliers would enter the bowl games just a win away from earning his fourth. He once again relied on QB Morrie Baham, now a senior, to lead the Virginia offense. Baham threw for over 2200 yards for the second straight season and tossed 15 touchdown passes, tied for tops in the nation.

North Carolina finished second in the ACC at 4-2 (6-5 overall) in a down year that yielded the Tar Heels worst result in 5 seasons. North Carolina State (3-3, 7-4) also slumped badly after going 11-1 a year ago but the Tar Heels did get a bowl invite, to the Peach Bowl where they will face Wisconsin.


Nebraska ran the table thanks to a dramatic overtime victory in their traditional season finale against Oklahoma. The Cornhuskers are guaranteed their 3rd 11-win season in the past four years but are looking for more - their first National Tile since 1933. Oklahoma and Kansas State shared second place in what was a down year for the Sooners but a very good one for the Wildcats. The Sooners finished 6-5 overall, including a loss to Kansas State for just the 6th time in 35 meetings between the schools. The Wildcats 7-4 record was their best finish since 1932.


Ohio State and Michigan finished with identical 6-2 conference records but the Buckeyes ended the Wolverines 3-year Rose Bowl run by virtue of a season ending 31-17 victory at home over Michigan. Michigan still leads the all-time series between the schools 20-15 and had the better overall record this year (9-2 vs 8-3 for the Buckeyes) but the season had to be a bitter disappointment for Michigan after winning their first 8 games. Senior Mike Isenhour, despite the turnovers in the loss to Minnesota, had a great season as he finished second in the nation with 1382 yards rushing. While Ohio State would face Stanford in the Rose Bowl, Michigan would still get a bowl game with an invite to face 8-1 Dartmouth in the Gator Bowl. Wisconsin (8-3) also earned a bowl invite, a trip to the Peach Bowl and a meeting with North Carolina.


Dartmouth was the story with an 8-1 season that included a sweep of the conference plus a win over Virginia Tech to earn a bowl appearance for the Big Green for the first time since 1922. Our Dartmouth QB recruit Doug Cheek, had a decent but not spectacular season, passing for 1019 yards and 4 touchdowns as Dartmouth relied more on a ground game by committee. Following the season Cheek would decide to forgo his senior year and turn pro.

Meanwhile Penn's Rip Tipton, the other Ivy League QB from that recruiting class, had a terrible season for the 4-5 Quakers. He passed for 1175 yards and 6 touchdowns but was picked off 12 times, third most in the nation.


Stanford continued to build on their strong recruiting class with an outstanding 9-2 season and a perfect run through the conference including a 37-0 beating of USC. Stanford finished the regular season ranked #5 while USC, also 9-2, was 6th in the polls and UCLA (7-4) was ranked 14th. Only USC would get a bowl bid to go along with Stanford's trip to the Rose Bowl and the Cardinal had to be happy to not be facing Michigan, a team they lost to each of the past two seasons. It would be the first ever meeting between Stanford and Ohio State.

Despite the down year for UCLA, you can't blame freshman QB Babe Gatlin. Despite being just a 3-star recruit, Gatlin earned the starting job and went on to lead the nation in passing yardage with 2265. The offense as a whole was not a concern, as sophomore RB Charlie Harris, who I mentioned last season as well, finished in the top ten in rushing with 1139 yards. It was tough losses to Stanford and USC, which always seems to give the Bruins fits based on their 12-23 record against the Trojans, that doomed UCLA.


The SEC was a dog fight all year and with 4 teams tying atop the standings with 4-2 conference records all they did was ruin each other's seasons. LSU and Georgia were two of the four - joining Auburn and Kentucky in a surprising result for the Wildcats as conference leaders but only 6-5 Auburn, who were awarded the conference title based on tiebreakers, would earn a bowl invitation. Georgia and Tennessee (3-3 in conference) both finished 8-3 while LSU was 7-4, records good enough to allow all 3 to sneak into the top 25 rankings.


Texas A&M (10-1 overall) went unbeaten in SWC play and finished the season ranked 4th and with an invite to face #1 Virginia in the Cotton Bowl. Arkansas (8-3) and TCU (6-5) were both 5-2 and tied for second in the conference with Texas Tech in fourth. Where was Texas you ask? The normally dominant Longhorns went 7-4 overall but their 4 losses all came in conference play. The Razorbacks would earn a bowl game, where they will meet Arizona (9-2) in the Tangerine Bowl.


Wyoming went 10-1 and finished the regular season ranked 8th in the nation, earning a Bowl bid for the second straight season. 10 wins represented a record for a Cowboys team a year after they equalled their previous high water mark by going 8-4. The other QB we had been following, Stew Mall, suffered through a tough season with 3-8 New Mexico. Mall was benched for 2 games but really didn't play that badly in his junior season, passing for 1303 yards and 7 touchdowns while only getting picked off twice. New Mexico's problem was a defense that ranked among the worst in the nation against the run.

Speaking of running, I should go back to Wyoming and talk about senior back Johnson Breshears. He led the nation with 1712 yards on the ground and scored 21 touchdowns including 198 yards in a season ending win over Boston College. I looked to see if that was a record and it certainly wasn't as somehow a Penn State back by the name of Russ Jordan ran for 379 yards and 4 touchdowns in a 1943 game against Maryland.


Notre Dame had it's usually strong season, but finished with a blemish thanks to the loss to USC, ending at 10-1. Penn State was 8-3, and ranked 16th in a bit of a drop-off for the Nittany Lions while Syracuse (9-2), Pitt (7-4) and West Virginia (7-4) all cracked the top twenty five.


Three teams had eyes on the National Championship entering New Year's Day. Virginia just need a victory over #4 Texas A&M to earn Coach Punch Stone his fourth National Title. However, 11-1 and #2 ranked Notre Dame had title hopes of it's own as Ival Scarbrough's squad was looking for it's third straight championship. #3 ranked Nebraska was 11-0 and still had a shot at winning the Cornhuskers first title since 1933.


Before we get to the game's with title implications let's talk about the grand-daddy of them all, the Rose Bowl. Stanford had lost two straight to Michigan but this year the Ohio State Buckeyes replaced the Wolverines in the New Year's Day game. The first-ever meeting of the two schools was tight for a half as the Buckeyes led 7-6 at the break but Stanford caught fire in the second half and romped to a 40-13 victory. Stanford freshman receiver Fred Roach - a top ten recruit - had the best game of his young career, catching 5 balls for 123 yards to help the Cardinal earn the victory.


Despite their long history of battling each other for National Champions (in which the Irish almost always seemed to come out on top) the two schools had only met once before in a bowl game. That was back in 1919 when Notre Dame won in the Orange Bowl to finish 3rd in the rankings. This time Nebraska turned the tables on the Irish with a 26-9 victory that allowed the Cornhuskers to finish perfect at 12-0 for the first time in school history.


Unfortunately for Nebraska, Virginia took care of business in the Cotton Bowl by blanking Texas A&M 29-0 and also finishing 12-0. The Cavs held on to #1 forcing the Cornhuskers to settle for second in the polls. Morrie Banham threw for 216 yards which gave him 2443 on the season, tops in the nation for the second straight year. For 77 year old coach Punch Stone, it was his 4th National Championship and 157th career victory. Stone would go out a winner as he announced his retirement from coaching following the game.


After missing out on the Rose Bowl yet again (USC has not played in Pasadena on New Years Day since that last of 5 straight appearances in 1944) the Trojans beat Auburn 24-15 in the Sugar Bowl to finish the season with a 10-2 record and a #6 ranking.

In other Bowl action, Syracuse exposed WAC champion Wyoming with a 47-7 Sun Bowl victory that left both schools at 10-2. Michigan took out it's frustrations on missing the Rose Bowl with a 68-17 thumping of Doug Cheek and Dartmouth in the Gator Bowl. Wolverines back Mike Isenhour ran for 162 yards to put himself over the 1600 mark for the season but he still trailed NCAA leader Johnson Breshears of Wyoming for the overall lead. Breshears, also a senior like Isenhour, gained 87 in the Sun Bowl to finish with 1799.

Wisconsin dominated North Carolina in the Peach Bowl, claiming a 44-0 shutout victory. Arizona topped Arkansas 21-14 in the Tangerine Bowl while Pitt beat Colorado State 31-17 in the Bluebonnet.

Here are the end of season Top 25 rankings.



The Heisman Trophy went to Wyoming senior running back Johnson Breshears as he outpointed Virginia QB Morrie Baham and Michigan RB Mike Isenhour. In his 4 year career at Wyoimng, Johnson started 44 games and rushed for 5614 yards while scoring 65 touchdowns. As a senior he led the nation with 1799 rushing yards.

TOP QB - SR Morrie Baham Virginia
TOP RB - SR Johnson Breshears Wyoming
TOP RECEIVER - FR Marv Chipman Virginia
TOP OLINE - SO Snipe Cypher Washington
TOP DLINE - JR Pete Brunswick Notre Dame
TOP LB - SO Clyde Alton Mississippi
TOP DB - JR Tony Bullock Wisconsin

I pretty much covered all of them in the conference recaps with the exception of the Notre Dame QB. The Irish are just loaded at QB with at least one top ten QB recruit coming in every year so it is looking like Dave Grosse, who was the top QB 3 seasons ago, will never play for Notre Dame. He redshirted his first season and now finishing his sophomore season has yet to take a snap in a game. I am surprised he has not transferred elsewhere as true sophomore Bucky Sylvester has started every game since he arrived on campus. Sylvester was pretty consistent both years, passing for 1121 yards with 12 td's and 1 interception in a 12-0 season as a freshman and went for 1190 yards with 10 td's and 2 picks in 11 games as a sophomore, sitting out a win over Michigan State with an injury.

I also talked about Minnesota running back John Broomfield, who was the number one ranked recruit in the same class as Grosse and the other 3 QB's. Broomfield had a big rookie season with the Gophers, gaining over 1000 yards but has been bothered by injury each of the past two years. He played just 5 games as a sophomore and picked up 372 yards. This year as a junior he played in 9 games and ran for 824 yards.

Colorado State +4
Syracuse +2
UCLA, Auburn and Wyoming +1
Clemson and Colorado -2
Cornell -1

Penn State 75
Texas A&M 74
Notre Dame 74
Georgia 74
Michigan 74
Oklahoma 73
USC 73
Virginia 72
Tennessee 71
Stanford 71
Cal 71
NC State 71
West Virginia 71
Wisconsin 70
North Carolina 70
Alabama 70
Ohio State 70
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Re: A Fictional History of Football : A DDSPF20/DDSCF20 dyna

Postby Tiger Fan » Sun Jan 05, 2020 3:19 pm


The big news heading into the 1950 season was coming out of Chicago, where the question was could the 3-time league champions continue their dominance without running backs Stan Cremmins or Pinch McWilliams?

McWilliams announced his retirement over the off-season. He was a 13 year veteran out of Brigham Young who had spent his entire NFL career with the Cardinals. He was MVP of the 1944 NFL Championship game, one of 4 title teams he would be a part of. McWilliams rushed for 6767 yards in his career including a 1084 yard season in 1946 but he had spent the last 3 seasons as a backup to Cremmins. However, it was the loss of Cremmins that will most hurt the Cardinals as the back bolted to division rival Green Bay after 3 championship seasons in Chicago that saw him rush for 2875 yards, win a rookie of the year award and 2 playoff MVPs. To replace Crimmins, the Cardinals snapped up another former UCLA running back in Arnold Kraut. Kraut, who rushed for 981 yards and won Offensive Rookie of the Year last season, was made expendable by Green Bay when the Packers added Crimmins.

Another team making waves in the off-season was the Pittsburgh Steelers. Despite a pretty solid season under center from veteran Beauty Ellard the Steelers tied Philadelphia for last place in the East Division. Pittsburgh management decided an upgrade at QB was needed so they signed Bobby Brophy, a gunslinging 5th year pro out of TCU, who led the league in QB rating last season and was second in passing yardage the year before while with the Rams. And if two QB's is good, the Steelers felt three must be better as they also signed free agent Buck Haff, who led the Cardinals to a title two years ago when Biggs Holley was hurt, but did not play last season.

The loss of Brophy left the Rams, who were at the forefront of the new emphasis on the passing game, scrambling to find a signal caller. The Rams were unable to find a replacement so they had to look to Spider Grant, the 9 year pro out of Cornell, who was their starter in 1947 before being relegated to backup status with the emergence of Brophy. With 1000 yard rusher Jay Akers also bolting Southern California - he signed with Philadelphia - the Rams offense appeared to be in deep trouble heading in to the 1950 campaign.

With all of the changes the preseason predictions had the Cardinals falling out of the playoffs and continued low expectations for the Rams. The New York Giants replaced Chicago as the East favourite while in the West Chicago's other team - the Bears - and San Francisco were both expected to return to the playoffs.


As it turned out the experts were pretty much right on the money. The San Francisco 49ers won their first 7 games and, led by a balanced offense that featured RB Mike Neville (907 yds) and QB Bob Chapdelaine (1784 yds passing, 13 TDs), finished the season with the league's best record at 8-2-2.

Stan Crimmins (1032 yds) was just as good for Green Bay as he had been for the Cardinals but the Packers QB Bob Vetter was not quite what Biggs Holley was for the Cardinals so Crimmins found it was up to him to carry the offense. With Crimmins perhaps tiring a bit, the Packers dropped 3 of their last 5 games - including a loss to the lowly Rams - and allowed the Chicago Bears to overtake them for second place. The Bears returned to the playoffs for a fourth straight year thanks to Gene Stokes, the former Heisman winning back from North Carolina, providing a league best 1,111 yards rushing. Young QB Bert Fitzgibbon also had a strong season in his second year as the starter.

Fourth place Detroit improved on a dismal 3-8-1 campaign a year ago but the best the Lions could do was get to .500. The Rams did get a decent year for Spider Grant at quarterback but a porous defense and a lack of a running game doomed them to another poor season while last place Baltimore was just plain awful - spared the embarrassment of a winless season only by a 20-10 victory over Detroit in week nine.

Pat Holm has been the Philadelphia Eagles starting QB for 7 years and quietly went about his business. This year things just seemed to click for Holm, who led the NFL as the only passer to surpass 2000 yards, and his teammates as the Eagles returned to the playoffs after a 4 year drought. The Eagles had a dominating defense led by veteran linebacker Ike Earl, who came over from Washington and led the league in tackles with 104, and it was Earl as well as another Washington pickup - the early season trade that sent newly signed ex-Ram Jay Akers to the Redskins in exchange for veteran running back Gene Babb- that paid instant dividends. Babb, a former league champion and 3 time MVP, was fine with sharing the carries with rookie Herb Borman (from National Champion Virginia) and the duo combined for nearly 1700 yards rushing and helped propel Philadelphia to the top of the East Division.

The New York Giants earned a playoff spot for the 7th time in the past ten years as long-time QB Bing Collum had another steady year. It was a tight race for second place but New York held off 3 teams to earn the berth. Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Washington all finished 6-6 while the 3-time defending champion Chicago Cardinals finished last despite a fairly respectable but deceptive 5-6-1 record. Deceptive because the Cardinals won their final 3 contests to somewhat salvage a bad season. Newcomer Arnold Kraut did come close to equalling his rookie of the year rushing totals from last season, gaining 941 yards on the ground, but lacked the explosiveness of the now departed Stan Crimmins. Without his backfield tandem of Crimmins and the retired Pinch McWilliams, Cardinals QB Biggs Holley endured a subpar season that saw him briefly lose his starting job to Gene Ontiveros, only to regain it when Ontiveros struggled terribly.

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Philadelphia   8  4  0  San Francisco  8  2   2
New York       7  5  0  Chi Bears      7  5   0
Cleveland      6  6  0  Green Bay      6  5   1
Pittsburgh     6  6  0  Detroit        5  5   2
Washington     6  6  0  Los Angeles    4  8   0
Chi Cardinals  5  6  1  Baltimore      1 11   0


The San Francisco 49ers returned to the NFL championship game with a second straight convincing victory over the Chicago Bears in the East Division final. Bob Chapdelaine completed 14 of 17 pass attempts for 159 yards and Mike Neville ran for a touchdown but it was a veteran receiver out of USC that stole the show. Grey Galasso has been very steady through his 10 seasons in San Francisco (he caught 59 passes this year, 2nd most in the league) but had only played in one playoff game as he was injured and missed the post-season last year. This time he was healthy and Galasso made 7 catches for 101 yards and a touchdown to play a key role in the 49ers victory. San Francisco's defense was equally as strong, holding Bears running back and NFL rushing leader Gene Stokes to just 48 yards on 19 carries after Stokes had averaged 98 yards per game in two regular season meetings between the clubs.

In Philadelphia, the Eagles beat the visiting New York Giants 25-14 to earn a trip to the NFL Championship game for the first time since 1939. The Eagles rushing duo of Babb and Borman combined for 157 yards but could score just 1 touchdown. The Giants were great in the redzone, but not so good in keeping the Eagles out of it as Philadelphia had to rely on 6 field goals from rookie kicker Sam Asaro, out of Oklahoma, to earn the victory.


San Francisco would host the NFL Title Game for the second straight season but the 49ers were obviously hoping for better results than a year ago when the Chicago Cardinals hammered them for Chicago's 3rd straight title. Philadelphia last appeared in the championship game in 1939 and also played in the first one involving a west coast team when they beat the Los Angeles Rams in 1937.

This game quickly turned in to the Bob Chapdelaine show as the 49ers quarterback had the game of his career. The 7th year pro from UTEP rewrote the playoff record book, setting new marks for completions and passing yardage in a game while equaling the touchdown mark with 3 scoring passes in a 41-14 romp over Philadelphia. When the dust settled Chapdelaine had completed 25 of 30 pass attempts for 282 yards as the Eagles normally solid secondary had no answer for Grey Galasso (8 catches) or Beauty Joseph (7 catches, 115 yards). San Francisco linebacker Sparky Sojka also had a career day, leading the game with 11 tackles and getting one of two interceptions that San Francisco had on the day, both of which were returned for touchdowns.

It was vindication for Chapdelaine who had signed with the 49ers in 1944 after being drafted but cut in camp by the Chicago Cardinals. Chapdelaine had been through some bad seasons in San Francisco, suffering through a pair of 2-win seasons in 1944 and 1948, but also played a key role in the turnaround that began last year and culminated in the first title for a west coast team. The franchise had won 3 NFL championships prior but the first two came in Duluth and the third in 1938 when the franchise was still based in Brooklyn.

It would be a clean sweep of the major awards for San Francisco as well. Chapdelaine, of course, was named playoff MVP while San Francisco RB Mike Neville captured the regular season offensive MVP award and Sojka was named top defensive player.

The rookie awards went to Philadelphia's Hank Borman on offense and Los Angeles LB Jesse Morrison. Borman, a 4th round pick out of Virginia, rushed for 627 yards and scored 5 touchdowns. Morrison, who was selected first overall by the Rams out of Duke, had 91 tackles including a personal best 12 tackle, 1 sack day against Baltimore in week 10. Morrison narrowly edged out Colts 2nd round pick Joe Dear for the defensive award. Dear, out of Iowa, had 73 tackles, 3 sacks and a pair of interceptions.
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Re: A Fictional History of Football : A DDSPF20/DDSCF20 dyna

Postby Tiger Fan » Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:33 pm


The big news is after his 4th National Championship Coach Punch Stone retires from Virginia. Gaylord Read leaves the Head Coaching job at Oregon for the opportunity with the Cavs. Read was just 12-21 in 3 seasons at Oregon after going 9-13 in two years as the head man at Iowa. He got his start as a defensive co-ordinator with 4 different schools. Texas also gets a new coach as Bart Frost comes over from Pitt, where he was the head coach the past three years and last season led the Panthers to an 8-4 season and their first bowl appearance in a decade.

I had a hunch that QB Grosse might leave Notre Dame and sure enough he did decide to transfer. Grosse went to the Ivy League, signing with Cornell. Below are the top 10 recruits, 3 of which decided not to attend a college.
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          [b] TOP 10 RECRUITS[/b]
1-  RB Cuno Reardon  Warsaw, Va.      NOTRE DAME
2-  QB Terry Dollar  Fayetteville, NC      YALE
3-  FB Jim Burke  Gardner, Mass         NEBRASKA
4-  FS Sam Desimone  Pearl, Ms.         PITT
5-  CB Walter Doyle  East Longmeadow, Mass   COLORADO STATE
6-  CB Art Bryant    Santa Paula, Ca      did not sign
7-  QB Pete Dedmon   Moore, Ok         did not sign
8-  WR Jesse Beaty   Wesley Chapel, Fl      ARKANSAS
9-  QB Steve Resser  Tolono, Ill      did not sign
10- C  Biddy Bagwell Desden, Oh         DUKE

1- Pitt
2- North Carolina St
3- Nebraska
4- West Virginia
5- Notre Dame

Entering the 1950 campaign the Notre Dame Fighting Irish were once again tabbed as the preseason number one, followed by Nebraska, Texas A&M, USC and Virginia rounding out the top five as the experts did not feel the loss of long-time coach Punch Stone would hurt the defending champs that much. LSU, Michigan, Oklahoma, Georgia and Penn State are 6-10 in the preseason poll.


The coaching change had no negative impact on Virginia, at least early in the season, as the Cavaliers started the season with 8 straight victories and replaced Notre Dame, which suffered a week four loss to Michigan, at the top of the polls. With a new QB in junior Tige Roby, Virginia relied on it's three-headed rushing attack led by seniors Buck Pinston and Bill Ratliff along with redshirt freshman Nelson Bottorff who had the school leading the NCAA in rushing yards after week 8.

However, the Cavs stumbled in week nine, falling to in state rival Virginia Tech 27-17 to leave both schools at 8-1. It also meant there would be no unbeaten school this season as everyone had lost at least one game. Notre Dame, with only the Michigan loss to mar their record, was back to 1st in the polls followed by Texas A&M and Virginia. The top 3 teams would remain the same as the final two games played out leaving all three of them at 10-1.

The result was we would get a 1 vs 2 showdown as Notre Dame and Texas A&M would meet up in the Cotton Bowl while #3 Virginia would go to the Orange to face 4th ranked Nebraska.


For the second straight season Virginia (10-1) was perfect in conference play with North Carolina State (9-2) suffering just the loss to Cavs and North Carolina (8-3) coming in third at 4-2 in ACC play. North Carolina looked to have a bright future with the play of redshirt sophomore QB Don Goll, who led the nation in both passing yardage and touchdowns thrown.


Nebraska's dominance of the Big 8 continued as the Cornhuskers were 7-0 in conference play and 9-2 overall. Nebraska has at least shared the conference title each of the past five seasons and gone 33-2 vs Big 8 opponents over that time. Oklahoma was also 9-2 on the year but the Sooners lost their season ending game 27-10 at Nebraska.


Wisconsin won it's first Big Ten title since 1943 as the 9-2 Badgers went 7-1 in conference play to finish a game up on Indiana and Michigan. Michigan was a disappointing 7-4 overall as, after handing Notre Dame it's only loss, the Wolverines lost to Virginia and UCLA as well as conference games to Indiana and Iowa. As bad as the year was for Michigan, it was even worse for 6-5 Ohio State as the Buckeyes finished tied for 7th in the conference and had their lowest win total in a decade.


Yale won it's first Ivy League since 1940, which was the year the Bulldogs went undefeated during the season and earned their only Bowl appearance. There won't be a bowl game this time, but Yale did go 7-2 overall including 6-1 in Ivy play to finish a game up on both Penn and Dartmouth. Yale's 5-star true freshman QB Terry Dollar missed three games with injury but still threw for over 1000 yards and 7 touchdowns.


UCLA(8-3) and Washington State (7-4) tied for the conference lead with 5-2 records but the Bruins claimed the Rose Bowl bid thanks to a 55-14 blasting of the Cougars early in the season. A 9-7 season ending loss to rival USC cost UCLA the title outright. Junior running back Charlie Harris, a 3 year starter, led the Bruins offense by rushing for 1094 yards and 10 touchdowns. Washington State was led by senior CB Dick Monaco, who led the nation with 6 interceptions and had a pair of pick 6's


The SEC was once again the most competitive conference in the nation with 4 teams ranked in the top 20 and a 3-way tie for first place in the conference at 5-2 between Florida, Georgia and LSU. The Gators(9-2) earn the title and a trip to the Sugar Bowl, while Georgia(9-2) goes to the Sun Bowl and LSU (8-3) gets the Tangerine Bowl.


Only a 23-20 loss to Texas Tech denied Texas A&M a perfect season, but the 10-1 Aggies won their second straight conference title and finished the regular season ranked #2. Texas Tech (8-3) tied Texas (6-5) for second place in the conference at 5-2 but it was a bitterly disappointing season for the Longhorns, who will miss out on a bowl for the second consecutive year.


Wyoming was not quite as good as last season when the Cowboys went 10-1 before getting blown out in the Sun Bowl but they did finish 9-2 and earn a bowl bid for a school record third consecutive season. Colorado State was also 9-2 overall and like Wyoming 6-1 in WAC play but the Cowboys beat the Rams during the season to claim an invitation to the Tangerine Bowl.


Notre Dame is always strong and finished 10-1 with the only loss coming to Michigan but Virginia Tech was the real surprise among independent schools. The Hokies also went 10-1, including a win over ACC champ Virginia, with their only loss coming to Ole Miss by a 28-24 score. Senior running back Don Dorn led the nation in rushing yards with 1573 entering the bowl games. It was Virginia Tech's best season since going 12-0 and finishing ranked 3rd in 1935.


All of the focus on New Year's Day was centered on Dallas where Notre Dame and Texas A&M met in the Sugar Bowl with the National Title on the line. With Junior QB Bucky Sylvester sidelined since late in the season, Notre Dame started sophomore Mickey Grochowski for the fifth time this season.

Grochowski would connect with sophomore receiver Earl Alford for an 18 yard touchdown early in the game but the Aggies would get that one back on a 2 yard plunge from FB Don Robertson in the second quarter. Notre Dame would regain the lead just before the break, going up 10-8 on Mickey Taylor's 36 yard field goal.

Taylor would get 2 more field goals in the third quarter to increase the Irish lead to 16-7 but the Aggies would close the gap on an 11 yard TD run by senior back Pryor Thames. It was Thames 13th touchdown run of the season. That would be as close as Texas A&M would get as Taylor added a fourth field goal with 3 minutes to play and the game would end 19-14 giving Notre Dame another National Championship - it's 3rd in four years and 7th overall.

Nebraska would finish ranked 2nd for the third time in 4 years and 7th time in school history (the Cornhuskers owned just one National Title - which came in 1933) after beating Virginia 30-27 in overtime. The future looks bright for Nebraska as a pair of sophomores led the offense - QB Hank Eye threw for 184 yards and 2 touchdowns while RB Jake Ethier ran for a pair of scores and 119 yards. It was new Virginia coach Gaylord Read's first taste of bowl action since he was a defensive co-ordinator at Florida State in 1942.

The Rose Bowl was a shootout with Wisconsin topping UCLA 41-33 behind 135 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns from senior RB Harry Callahan. UCLA had a pair of backs top the 100 yard mark led by Cliff Harris' 111 while backup John Audette added 107. It was the first ever meeting between Wisconsin and UCLA but 6th Rose Bowl for the Badgers and fifth for the Bruins.

Florida and Virginia Tech each finished the season at 10-2 after the Gators doubled the Hokies 28-14 in the Sugar Bowl. A pair of sophomores led the Gators as QB Ken Upshaw passed for 212 yards and a pair of touchdowns while wideout Wally Amato had 4 catches for 127 yards.

In other Bowl Game action Georgia beat up North Carolina State 47-27 in the Sun Bowl, Oklahoma downed Colorado State 34-10 in the Gator Bowl, Indiana knocked off North Carolina 23-3 in the Peach Bowl, LSU topped Wyoming 23-16 in the Tangerine Bowl and UTEP beat Pitt 22-7

Here are the final rankings.



The Heisman Trophy went to Wyoming senior running back Johnson Breshears as he outpointed Virginia QB Morrie Baham and Michigan RB Mike Isenhour. In his 4 year career at Wyoimng, Johnson started 44 games and rushed for 5614 yards while scoring 65 touchdowns. As a senior he led the nation with 1799 rushing yards.
Code: Select all
TOP QB -    JR Leo Tatro         Wake Forest
TOP RB -    SR Duth Dorn         Virginia Tech
TOP RECEIVER -    JR Buddy Junk         Oregon State
TOP OLINE -    SR Marv Young         North Carolina State
TOP DLINE -    SR Mel Tierney         USC
TOP LB -    FR Tex Martinez         Colorado State
TOP DB -    SR Monte Coy         Nebraska


The lone QB from the freshman class of 4 years ago that played this season was Stew Card in New Mexico. Both Rip Tipton and Doug Cheek left their Ivy League schools a year early but neither caught on with an NFL team in 1950. The final player from that group was the highest rated of the 4 in Notre Dame recruit Dave Grosse. As mentioned at the beginning of this recap Grosse never took a snap for the Irish and has transferred to Colgate where he should start next season.

As for Mall, his college career comes to an end after starting all four seasons at New Mexico. He missed two games with an injury and the Lobos got progressively worse with him, going 6-5 his freshman season, 5-6 each of the next two years and finishing with a 3-8 record this season. Mall does leave as the school's all-time passing yard leader with 5,578 and also leads the Lobos in career completions and attempts. He threw 24 touchdown passes but had 21 interceptions.


Colorado State has another big game, going up 4 for the second year in a row. The Rams are now up to 53 for prestige as they made their second straight Bowl Game appearance after only making one bowl prior to that - and it was back in 1922.

Michigan and Georgia each went up 1 point moving both to 75 overall while the following teams lost points:
Illinois -2 down to 63
Oregon -2 down to 63
Rice -2 down to 52
Duke -1 down to 57
Iowa -1 down to 58
Auburn -1 down to 61
New Mexico -1 down to 54
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Re: A Fictional History of Football : A DDSPF20/DDSCF20 dyna

Postby Tiger Fan » Fri Jan 10, 2020 1:22 am


The defending champion San Francisco 49ers were the preseason favourites to win the title again in 1951. The 49ers returned virtually the exact same roster from a year ago and were picked to win the West Division with the Chicago Bears again finishing in second place. The experts felt the East playoff teams would also be the same as last year but most believed the order would be reversed with the New York Giants coming in first and the Philadelphia Eagles second.

Four weeks later it looked like the experts could not have been more wrong as the Eagles started 0-4, the Giants 1-3 and the Bears 2-2 with only the 3-1 49ers looking like a playoff calibre club. The big surprise was the Los Angeles Rams, who won only 7 games in the past two seasons combined, started the year 4-0 including wins over both the Bears and 49ers.

The Rams would extend their winning streak to 10 games before losing their final two contests of the year, falling 9-8 to San Francisco in week 11 and losing 31-24 in a snowy contest in Chicago against the Bears to end the season. Still, the Rams 10-2 record was good enough to finish first in the entire league and top the defending champion 49ers by a half game in the West Division.

The Rams were led by a terrific season from QB Spider Gantt as the ex-Cornell star led the NFL with 17 touchdown passes, including 4 to his favourite receiving target Ernie Stolp, another former Ivy Leaguer, who led the NFL with 62 catches. The Rams lacked a dominant running back but made up for it with 2 very underrated runners in Katsy Brunner and Walter Coelho, a pair of undrafted 3rd year pros who each ran for over 700 yards on the season.

The second place 49ers were led once again by QB Bob Chapdelaine and RB Mike Neville but their real strength this season was a defense that allowed the fewest points in the NFL.

In the East Division both Philadelphia and New York struggled, allowing the Chicago to return to the playoffs for the 7th time in the past 9 years. The Cardinals are still led by QB Biggs Holley but gone are the pair of running backs that helped the team to 3 straight titles in Pinch McWilliams (retired) and Stan Crimmins (still in Green Bay). The new feature running back for the Cardinals is fourth year pro Nick Meade, who paced the coub with 799 yards on the ground.

For the first time in many years the league did not have a 1000 yard rusher with Jim Coggins falling just short at 999. It was the best season of Coggins career as the 8th year pro out of Oregon State helped lead Pittsburgh to a second place finish.
Code: Select all
Chi Cardinals  9  2  1  Los Angeles   10  2   0
Pittsburgh     7  4  1  San Francisco  9  2   1
Cleveland      6  6  0  Chi Bears      6  4   2
Philadelphia   5  6  1  Detroit        4  8   0
New York       2  9  1  Baltimore      3  9   0
Washington     2  9  1  Green Bay      3  9   0


The Chicago Cardinals defense carried them to victory in the East Division playoff as Chicago pulled out a 13-3 victory over the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers, who have not won a playoff game since 1940. The hero was Bears defensive end Ralph Maldonado, who had 9 tackles, a sack and most importantly a fumble recovery deep in Steelers territory in the third quarter that he was able to carry in to the endzone for the final score of the game. It was the second touchdown for Maldonado, a former first round pick from Penn, in his 10 year career which has been spent entirely with the Cardinals.

The Los Angeles Rams also benefitted from a defensive touchdown as DB Vic O'Farrell returned an interception 12 yards for a score to help the Rams down San Francisco 21-3. The other two scores came courtesy the strong right arm of Spider Gantt, who threw for 152 yards in the game. 49ers signal caller Bob Chapdelaine actually threw for more yardage then Gantt, and was only picked off the 1 time while Gantt tossed a pair of interceptions but the Rams still won handily.


The Rams franchise had not won an NFL Championship since 1921 - 30 years ago when they were based in Cleveland - but this proved to be their year as Los Angeles hosted the title game and won the contest thanks to a 4th quarter touchdown pass from Gantt to Ernie Stolp to give the Rams a 21-17 victory. It was the first game in NFL history where all of the points (excluding converts) came through the air as Gantt tossed 3 touchdown passes with Biggs Holley had 2 for the Cardinals. Los Angeles running back Katsy Brunner, in his 4th year in LA out of Texas A&M, was named the game's Most Valuable Player. Brunner rushed for 51 yards and added another 67 yards on 3 catches including a 20 yard touchdown grab in the second quarter that tied the game at 7.

Gantt would win the regular season MVP award as Los Angeles, more than any other team in the NFL, continued it's reliance on the passing game. Larry Lenehan of the New York Giants, a former Syracuse running back, was named the offensive rookie of the year after rushing for 887 yards as he outpointed Cleveland back Buck Pinkston, who was a key piece in a National Championship at Virginia in 1949, for the award. Gale Perez, a defensive end from Arizona State who was selected 9th overall by the Bears, was named defensive rookie of the year after a 58 tackle, 7 sack season.
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Re: A Fictional History of Football : A DDSPF20/DDSCF20 dyna

Postby Tiger Fan » Sat Jan 11, 2020 12:02 am


Despite winning 3 National Titles in the past four seasons, 1951 was not kind to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on the recruiting trail. The Irish landed just 1 top ten recruit in free safety Buck Rico from Katy, Texas, and failed to finish among the top ten in recruiting classes for the first time in years. The top class actually belonged to long-time Nebraska coach Tony Widener, with Texas A&M, Georgia, Michigan and Cal rounding out the top five classes.

Here are the top ten recruits for the 1951 season.
Code: Select all
              TOP 10 RECRUITS
1- SS Jennings Romanelli   Tampa, Fl      PITT
2- T  Carl Bennett      Washington DC   UCLA
3- LB Hughie Stults      Redmond, Wa      TEXAS TECH
4- CB Glenn Barnhart       Payson, Ut      UTAH STATE
5- FS Buck Rico         Katy, Tx      NOTRE DAME
6- C  Dutch Thibodeaux     Arlington, Tx   WASHINGTON ST
7- QB Doc McNeil      Socord, NM      USC
8- T  Phi Parker      San Jose, Ca      OREGON
9- SS Woody Elbert      Plymouth, Pa.   MISSOURI
10-C  Milt Stroup      Yorktown, Va.   BROWN

Despite the less than stellar recruiting class, Notre Dame once again possessed more then enough talent to warrant selection as the pre-season number one. As they were for much of the history of college football, Nebraska was just behind Notre Dame at number two. Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Virginia, USC, Georgia, Alabama, West Virginia and Penn State rounded out the preseason top ten rankings.

Nebraska stumbled very early in the season, falling 31-17 on the road at Oregon in their season opener. As we passed the midpoint of the college season, Notre Dame, at 7-0, was one of five teams that remained unbeaten. The Irish were joined by Michigan, North Carolina State, Georgia and USC.

Two weeks later it was down to just two unbeatens in Michigan (9-0) and Notre Dame (8-0) as the other three each were upset by conference rivals. The Wolverines were getting a great season from sophomore running back Earl Brown, who had rushed for 895 yards and 11 touchdowns in the first 9 Michigan games. With non-conference wins over Colorado, Navy and Stanford and a perfect run through their conference so far all that stood in Michigan's way for their third 11-0 season in school history were conference games at Purdue and then the traditional Big Ten season ender with Ohio State, which would be played in Ann Arbor this year.

Notre Dame, meanwhile, still had 3 games to play as the Irish would face Pitt and Florida State in South Bend before going to Pasadena to end the season at USC. Notre Dame was so often known for it's punishing defense and this year was no exception. Through their first 8 games the Irish had surrendered an average of less than 6 points against per game.

In mid-November they would both remain unbeaten as Michigan struggled early but hung on to beat Purdue 20-12 while Notre Dame just destroyed 4-6 Pitt buy a 50-14 score, allowing just a pair of late touchdowns by the Panthers while most of the starting Notre Dame defense was on the bench.

Ohio State visited Michigan with little on the line at the end of November. The Buckeyes struggled with a 7-3 mark entering the game and long out of the Big Ten race as all 3 of Ohio State's losses coming in conference play. For the Wolverines, while they had already clinched the Big Ten title and the Rose Bowl bid that comes with it, they entered the game with the number one ranking on the line.

It was a defensive struggle for the first 30 minutes as Ohio State went to the locker room at half with a 3-0 lead. Michigan took over in the third quarter as Earl Brown rushed for a 10 yard touchdown and had 48 of his 84 rushing yards in that quarter. A Putsy Barr field goal late in the third put Michigan up 10-3 but the Buckeyes tied the game early in the fourth quarter on a Steve Campbell 13 yard run. The teams traded punts as time wound down but with just under two minutes to play Campbell broke free for a 31 yard scamper putting the Buckeyes in range of a long field goal attempt. It would a 40 yard attempt for 5th year senior Ernest Walla, but the Buckeyes kicker split the uprights with 21 seconds remaining lifting Ohio State to a 13-10 victory and all but ending Michigan's National Title dreams.

Notre Dame would take care of business, beating Florida State 37-3 before going west and scoring 10 fourth quarter points to rally past USC 24-20 and finish the season 11-0 and at the top of the rankings heading into the bowl games.

North Carolina State would win the ACC with a 10-1 overall record, finishing a game ahead of 9-2 North Carolina and 8-3 Virginia in conference play. Nebraska, with just the early loss to the Ducks in Oregon, ran the table the rest of the way, finishing 10-1 and at the top of the Big 8, ahead of 8-3 Oklahoma. The Pac 8 had a 3-way tie for the conference with UCLA getting the Rose Bowl nod over Cal and USC as all 3 were 6-1 in conference play and 9-2 overall.

LSU won the SEC title after finishing 6-0 in conference play and entered the bowl season ranked #2 overall following a 10-1 campaign that saw them lose only to Rice. Only a conference loss to Florida prevented Georgia from a perfect season. The 8-3 Gators lost to LSU, Mississippi State and a non-conference game to Miami.

For the first time in school history, Texas Tech won the Southwest Conference title. The Red Raiders went 10-1 on the season, suffering only a 39-37 upset loss at Arizona. It was a bad year for the two traditional SWC powers as Texas A&M finished 8-3 on the season while Texas endured a terrible 5-6 campaign. It is a disturbing trend for the Longhorns, who won 10 games in 1946 and 1947, and then dropped to 8-4, 7-4, 6-5 and now 5-6 over the past four years.


Most of the attention was focused on the Cotton Bowl where Notre Dame, whenever it is ranked #1 goes to face the SWC Champion which in this case was Texas Tech in what was the first ever Cotton Bowl appearance for the Raiders and their first bowl game since 1936. Texas Tech entered the contest with one of the top offenses in the NCAA and Notre Dame had the best defense in the nation. Most expected the Irish D would shut down the Red Raiders but what happened instead would shock the football world.

It would become known as the Upset of the Century - and certainly was the biggest one in college football history to date - as Texas Tech somehow put up 429 yards of offense and 27 points against the highly touted Notre Dame defense and the result was a 27-16 victory for the Red Raiders. Texas Tech QB Stan Termini, a redshirt freshman, would play the game of his college career passing for a record 344 yards and 2 touchdowns to lead his team to the victory. Meanwhile, on the other side of the field, Notre Dame junior Mickey Grochowski, a former National #1 recruit, completed just 9 of 17 passes for 99 yards and 2 interceptions. Termini, by the way, was ranked 635th in his recruit class.

Even with Michigan bouncing back from the Ohio State loss to beat UCLA 23-3 in the Rose Bowl and Nebraska, pasting LSU 30-0 in the Orange Bowl, and Penn State nipping Georgia 31-27 to claim the Sugar Bowl (which made Michigan, Nebraska, Penn State, Notre Dame and Texas Tech all 11-1) the voters were so impressed with the Raiders upset that Texas Tech won the National Championship.



The Heisman Trophy went to West Virginia running back Lou Lewis. The senior gained 1331 yards on the ground this season and led the nation with 18 rushing touchdowns. For his career, Lewis ran for 4208 yards and he becomes the first Mountaineer to win the Heisman.

TOP QB - SO Stan Termini Texas Tech
TOP RB - SR Lou Lewis West Virginia
TOP RECEIVER - FR Dib Vang Texas Tech
TOP OLINE - SO Ollie Klingbell Georgia
TOP LB - FR Hal Jackson Oregon
TOP DB - SO Wingo Ruffin North Carolina State

After so many years on the sidelines, first at Notre Dame and last year sitting out his transfer season, Dave Grosse finally got a chance to play in a college game. Grosse, led Cornell to a 6-3 record and second place behind Penn in the Ivy League. He threw for 1292 yards and 7 touchdowns on the season. Grosse was the final player from that original group of 4 quarterbacks. He will enter the NFL draft next season, but seems a long shot to be selected.


Texas Tech +2
Penn +2
Cornell +1
Princeton +1
Mississippi St +1

Iowa -2
Wake Forest -1
Maryland -1
Miami -1
Pitt -1
Oregon State -1
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