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Original Issue



HERMAN HICKMAN SAYS: First, a few words about the complicated situation in the far-flung Missouri Valley Conference. Bradley does not compete for the championship in football. Drake, which has been out of the conference since the famed Johnny Bright injury incident, has rejoined the ranks but has decided not to compete for the championship until its football program has been built up. Oklahoma A&M, recently renamed Oklahoma State University, has withdrawn officially from the MVC to become a member of the Big Seven—making it the Big Eight—but not in football until 1960, when schedule commitments are straightened out. Although neither fish nor fowl and ineligible for the title, Oklahoma State's games will be counted by the Missouri Valley Conference members for the championship. Two new members have been admitted in Cincinnati and North Texas State College. If this sounds a little complicated, it is.

Despite the loss of key personnel and their coach, Bill Meek, who switched to SMU, things are not too dark at Houston. Meek has been replaced by Hal Lahar, who did such an outstanding job at Colgate. So with a fine backlog of "red shirts" and a number of excellent sophomores on hand, the Cougars should be regarded as the favorites to repeat for the crown.


COLORS: Red and black
1956 RECORD: Won 4, lost 5
WATCH FOR: Passing and versatility of Quarterback Joe Morrison

THE DOPE: The Bearcats, on the strength of seven returning regulars, good all-round team speed and a steady band of sophomores, may well spring an upset or two around the conference. Coach George Blackburn is genuinely excited after two losing seasons. His attack, which began to roll late last year, is built around Quarterback Joe Morrison. Morrison had his hand in 11 touchdowns as a sophomore last season. He throws well, runs well and is especially harmful on the punt return. The halfbacks are chancy. The best is Barry Maroney, a savage blocker and good pass receiver but only a middling runner. The fullbacking is securely anchored by Bob Del Rosa and Walt Gordon, the top rushers a season ago. The line is fast and extremely deep at tackle and guard. All in all, if Blackburn can get all he expects from Morrison and the sophomores, Cincinnati is at the edge of a golden era of football.

1957 SCHEDULE (1956 score):

SEPT. 21 Dayton, N (13-19)
SEPT. 28 at Wichita, N (21-0)
OCT. 5 Houston, N (no game)
OCT. 12 Xavier (14-34)
OCT. 19 Marquette, N (33-13)
OCT. 26 College of the Pacific (15-21)
NOV. 2 Detroit (33-7)
NOV. 9 at Indiana (no game)
NOV. 16 at Tulsa (17-6)
NOV. 28 Miami (Ohio) (13-27)


COLORS: Scarlet and white
1956 RECORD: Won 7, lost 2, tied 1
WATCH FOR: Wide-open offense and speed running of Hal Lewis

THE DOPE: The Cougars, now under the tutelage of Coach Hal Lahar, appear headed for their second straight conference title. But don't bet on a runaway. The team was crippled by the graduation of Quarterback Don Flynn, Fullback Donnie Caraway and Tackle Dalva Allen. Backfield woes are lightened by big Hal Lewis, who runs the 100 in 9.7. At fullback is the capable journeyman, Owen Mulholland. But at quarterback, Lahar must go with Sammy Blount, who is cool enough, runs well but is weak on passing. The line is strong in the middle but weakened by graduation at the ends and tackles. The end problem would be eased greatly if converted Guard Joe Glass, a sophomore, works out and if Charlie Mallia's recurrently injured knee has been mended by surgery. The over-all instability of the line and the lack of backfield depth and experience will keep Houston from a banner year.

1957 SCHEDULE (1956 score):

SEPT. 21 Miami, N (no game)
SEPT. 28 at Baylor, N (no game)
OCT. 5 at Cincinnati, N (no game)
OCT. 12 at Texas A&M, N (14-14)
OCT. 19 Oklahoma State, N (13-0)
OCT. 26 Auburn, N (0-12)
NOV. 2 Mississippi at Jackson, N (0-14)
NOV. 9 Miss. Southern at Jackson, N (no game)
NOV. 16 at Wichita (41-16)
NOV. 23 at Tulsa (14-0)

Denton, Texas

COLORS: Green and white
BASIC OFFENSE: T and split-T
1956 RECORD: Won 7, lost 2, tied 1
WATCH FOR: Varied attack, elusive Halfbacks Bill Groce and Abner Haynes

THE DOPE: The Eagles, in recent years a team that ground out its yardage in bits and chunks, now has the personnel to mount a more dramatic offensive, with the use of flashy running and a steady passing game. Coach Odus Mitchell feels his team will be "a threat from anywhere on the field" and supports this notion with a nod to the following players: Halfback Bill Groce, a 195-pound sophomore whose speed and brutish force stole the show in spring practice; Halfback Abner Haynes, another fleet and elusive sophomore; Halfback John Darby, a whippet-thin trackman and a standout at the close of 1956; Quarterback Ray Toole, leading Eagle passer and scorer last season. The weakness with North Texas is in the line. Mitchell prefers two units but unhappily, more than half of last year's linemen have been graduated. This means that Mitchell will be forced to shunt in either two medium-strength lines or one that is predominantly sophomores. Solid play, however, will come from Center Garland Warren, 222-pound Guard Charles Cole, both third-year athletes, and Jim Sherburn, a junior. If he has recovered from his leg injury, expect to see a lot of C.R. Daffern at center. The ends are fair, the tackles weak.

1957 SCHEDULE (1956 score):

SEPT. 21 at Texcas Western, N (13-6)
SEPT. 28 Oklahoma A&M, N (no game)
OCT. 5 Drake, N (no game)
OCT. 12 at Abilene Christian, N (20-7)
OCT. 19 at Tulsa, N (no game)
OCT. 26 at San Jose State, N (no game)
NOV. 2 at Trinity, N (7-7)
NOV. 9 Chattanooga (20-7)
NOV. 15 Youngstown (19-12)
NOV. 23 McMurry, N (23-7)


COLORS: Red, blue and gold
BASIC OFFENSE: T and belly series
1956 RECORD: Won 7, lost 2, tied 1
WATCH FOR: Strong first line, Quarterback George Cagliola in the belly series

THE DOPE: The Golden Hurricanes have nothing wrong with them that a big, healthy crop of reserves wouldn't cure. Nine starters return from last year's surprisingly successful team—but then Coach Bobby Dobbs must go to a well of untried sophomores and shaky upperclassmen. Chief replacement problem on the line comes at center. Either Lloyd Day, one of the area's best guards last year, or Frank Hagedorn, a bright sophomore prospect, will plug the pivot spot. Offensively, there is little doubt that the Tulsa belly series will work well off George Cagliola, a 175-pound quarterback from Norristown, Pa. Cagliola led the conference in passing as a sophomore last year and is being advertised as Tulsa's first All-America back since Athletic Director Glenn Dobbs in 1942. The backfield switch contemplated by the Hurricanes is to move All-Conference Ronnie Morris from right to left half. Barney Iles is slated to go at the other halfback post, and Duwayne Gandy at full. The brothers Beaube, a pair of lean and quick sophomores, should also see lots of play at halfback. With a schedule which is tougher than last year's, Dobbs must develop a second unit to spell the first.

1957 SCHEDULE (1956 score):

SEPT. 21 Hardin-Simmons, N (27-0)
SEPT. 28 at Arkansas (no game)
OCT. 5 at College of Pacific, N (14-13)
OCT. 12 at Oklahoma State (14-14)
OCT. 19 North Texas State, N (no game)
OCT. 26 Air Force Academy, N (no game)
NOV. 9 at Texas Tech (10-7)
NOV. 16 Cincinnati (6-7)
NOV. 23 Houston (0-14)
NOV. 30 at Wichita (14-6)

Wichita, Kan.

COLORS: Black and gold
BASIC OFFENSE: T and split-T
1956 RECORD: Won 4, lost 6
WATCH FOR: Savage defensive work of Harry Horton

THE DOPE: The Wheatshockers may expect good football at Wichita now that Coach Woody Woodard has returned to the fine, flat lands of Kansas. Woodard's chief concern is with team defense; 'Shocker opposition scored an average of three touchdowns last season. "Your defense and kicking must be sound, and if they are you can do a lot of things offensively," is the maxim he goes by. His defense is sound. Mark down senior End Harry Horton as the particular standout. At 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, he's sound as a silo. At the other flank is a big sophomore, Curtis McClinton, a good blocker and pass catcher. Anchoring the middle line is senior Guard Bruce Bierig. The rest of the line is firm, with the possible exception of tackle, where sophs must shoulder the responsibilities. The sound kicker of the team is Ted Dean, a mammoth halfback and one of several sophomores from Pennsylvania. Now for the backfield which must "do a lot of things offensively." The 'Shockers, sadly, are shy here. The biggest offensive threat is Ray Vogl, a stocky, all-round back. Wichita may not do much offensively, but with such a sturdy line they should worry the rest of the Missouri Valley all season.

1957 SCHEDULE (1956 score):

SEPT. 21 Arizona State, N (9-37)
SEPT. 28 Cincinnati, N (0-21)
OCT. 5 at Oklahoma State (6-32)
OCT. 12 Detroit (19-13)
OCT. 19 at Hardin-Simmons, N (7-20)
NOV. 2 Dayton, N (14-6)
NOV. 9 Drake, N (27-14)
NOV. 16 Houston (16-41)
NOV. 23 at Villanova (no game)
NOV. 30 Tulsa (6-14).