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Original Issue



HERMAN HICKMAN SAYS: To put it bluntly, the football situation in the PCC is a mess. Torn by dissensions over ineligibilities, bowl bans, scholarship aid and "round-robin" schedules, the conference could wind up with the fifth best team as its representative in the Rose Bowl. UCLA, USC and Washington are banned, while Oregon State is ineligible because of the agreement with the Big Ten which precludes the same team playing in Pasadena for two straight years. As mentioned previously (see "The Eleven Best Elevens"), it looks as if the end of the PCC is drawing near.

Oregon State seems to be the best team on the Coast again this season. Tommy Prothro has done a magnificent job at Corvallis. He got a jump on the leaders his first year and surprised them by finishing second. Then came 1956 and the championship. The Beavers could be summed up this way for 1957: stronger than last year, with experience and good speed in the backfield.

USC, like UCLA, will be playing without seniors this fall because of the PCC ruling. The Trojans have suffered real losses in Fullback C.R. Roberts, Left Halfback Ernie Zampese and Right Halfback Don Hickman. Center Karl Rubke was also caught in the conference action. The new coach, who succeeds Jess Hill, Don Clark, has junked the multiple offense for the balanced-line T, and is very satisfied with the results of both spring practice and the early-September work. Three tough openers—with Oregon State, Michigan and Pitt—will be a mighty rough test for Clark, but I believe the Trojans will have enough left to be a contender for Coast honors.

Washington, with the accent on defense under new Coach Jim Owens, might very well be a much improved team. While they were the top-scoring team on the Coast last fall with 232 points, the Huskies also gave up 206 points in return. Material is a little thinner than last season, but with an explosive backfield and an improved defense they will be tough in their own league.

California, with another new coach—Pete Elliot, fresh from Nebraska via Oklahoma—should show some improvement. The line is monstrous, headed by Tackles Proverb Jacobs and Harley Martin, and an excellent flanker in End Ron Wheatcroft.

Stanford has the most optimistic coach in the country, Chuck Taylor. Having lost 1956's top passer, John Brodie, by graduation, he says: "We will not be weakened at the quarterback position. This will be a better club than last year's. It will be at least as good offensively and a whole lot better defensively."

UCLA, specializing in stubborn defense and a foolproof kicking game, will still be hard to beat even though there is not a senior on the squad. In Kirk Wilson the Uclans had the top punter in the nation last year. He broke collegiate records with a fabulous 49.3-yard average for 30 kicks. Wilson, operating in the vital single-wing tailback spot, is a good passer but rather slow runner.

Berkeley, Calif.

COLORS: Blue and gold
1956 RECORD: Won 3, lost 7
WATCH FOR: Passing from halfbacks, rugged defense

THE DOPE: The Bears have shifted to the split-T under Oklahoma ex Pete Elliott, and if junior Joe Kapp, the only experienced quarterback on hand, can shift to his new duties comfortably, Elliott could inaugurate his coaching regime with a trip to the Rose Bowl. He has good, but not brilliant, veterans in the backfield in Jack Hart and Darrell Roberts and a sound fullback in Art Forbes. Following the Bud Wilkinson policy of rating players first for their defensive ability, Elliott moved a couple of beefy tackles—245-pound Proverb Jacobs and 240-pound Harley Martin—over to guard to anchor the defensive line, and he has veteran tackles and ends, too. Roger Ramseier and Ron Wheatcroft are the best of the ends and both missed spring practice with injuries but should be hale for the season ahead. A 225-pound sophomore, Bob Chiappone, will likely start at center. The starting California line will be big and should be good; Elliott is afraid, however, that there is an over-all lack of line depth. The Bears' principal lack on the attack appears to be a breakaway back. They may be able to compensate for this lack of an offensive weapon with a very strong defense and bulldozing running from fine fullbacks.

1957 SCHEDULE (1956 score):

SEPT. 21 Southern Methodist (no game)
SEPT. 28 at Washington State (13-14)
OCT. 5 Michigan State (no game)
OCT. 12 Navy (no game)
OCT. 19 USC (7-20)
OCT. 26 at Oregon (6-28)
NOV. 2 at UCLA (20-34)
NOV. 9 Oregon State (13-21)
NOV. 16 Washington (16-7)
NOV. 23 at Stanford (20-18)

Moscow, Idaho

COLORS: Silver and gold
1956 RECORD: Won 4, lost 5
WATCH FOR: Pass receiving of End Larry Aldrich

THE DOPE: The Vandals last year came within two minutes and four points of upsetting Rose Bowl-bound Oregon State and they should be a much stronger team this season. Coach Skip Stahley has no real weakness on his team. The line is big and manned from end to end with veterans. He has two senior quarterbacks to run his spread T—a T with a flanker back spread one way or the other on every play. Howard Willis, the No. 1 quarterback, throws well and is one of the best kickers in the Pacific Coast Conference; Gary Ken worthy, his relief, trails Willis only in defensive ability. The two first-line deep backs are 195-pound Larry Norby, the team's leading ball carrier last year, at halfback and Ken Hall, a 190-pound junior who averaged four yards per carry, at fullback. Stahley might have had a weakness at the flanker back spot, but he acquired Bob Dehlinger, a fast, deceptive runner and a good receiver, from El Camino Junior College to erase the soft spot. The best man in a very big line is Co-captain Jerry Kramer, a 226-pound senior guard who gained honorable mention as All-America last season and was placed on the second all-Pacific Coast team.

SEPT. 21 Oregon (14-21)
SEPT. 28 at Arizona State, N (0-41)
OCT. 5 Utah at Boise (27-21)
OCT. 12 at Oregon State (10-14)
OCT. 19 at College of Pacific, N (no game)
OCT. 26 Fresno State (24-12)
NOV. 2 Montana (14-0)
NOV. 9 at Utah State (42-20)
NOV. 16 at Washington State (19-33)

Eugene, Ore.

COLORS: Yellow and green
BASIC OFFENSE: Straight and split-T
1956 RECORD: Won 4, lost 4, tied 2
WATCH FOR: Brilliant elusive running by Jim Shanley

THE DOPE: The Ducks, equipped with lettermen at every position and the best running back on the Pacific Coast in Jim Shanley, might make the Rose Bowl an Oregon affair for the second season in a row. Coach Len Casanova has shuffled personnel in an effort to strengthen the team at guard and tackle; his experiments looked like they might be successful during spring practice. Will Reeve, a converted fullback, moved into the right guard spot readily, and Bob Grottkau, a former tackle, proved capable of relieving Reeve. The other guard is Harry Mondale, who carries 198 pounds packed tightly on a 5-foot 6-inch frame and is regarded as one of the best on the Coast. Elsewhere in the line, the Ducks are supplied with quality in plenty. The running backs, as a set, rank with any in the country. Shanley is the leading ground-gainer returning to Pacific Coast action; second to him in the PCC is Jack Morris, a 9.5 sprinter who is returning at fullback. A trio of strong prospects battled for the other halfback post, with Charlie Tourville, a breakaway threat, winning. Jack Crabtree, for the last two years a reserve quarterback, passes well, may lack confidence needed to provide strong leadership.

SEPT. 21 at Idaho (21-14)
SEPT. 28 Pittsburgh at Portland, N (7-14)
OCT. 5 UCLA at Portland, N (0-6)
OCT. 12 San Jose (no game)
OCT. 19 at Washington State (7-7)
OCT. 26 California (28-6)
NOV. 2 at Stanford (7-21)
NOV. 9 Washington at Portland, N (7-20)
NOV. 16 at USC (7-0)
NOV. 23 Oregon State (14-14)

Corvallis, Ore.

COLORS: Orange and black
BASIC OFFENSE: Single wing, balanced line
1956 RECORD: Won 7, lost 2, tied 1
WATCH FOR: Running and passing of Tailback Joe Francis

THE DOPE: The Beavers should have a stronger team than last year's Pacific Coast champions. Oddly enough, the team may be strongest at tackle, despite the loss of All-America John Witte. The only thing which could surely wreck Oregon State hopes would be injury to Tailback Joe Francis, who gained 203 yards rushing and passing against Iowa in the Rose Bowl last year and who is a strong prospect for All-America this season. Graduation knocked out the whole left side of OSC's starting line, but Coach Tom Prothro has more than adequate replacements. He has senior lettermen at end, backed up with good reserves; only lack here is a really good pass receiver. The tackles are numerous, big and good, led by Dave Jesmer, a 226-pound senior. Prothro has only two really first-line guards—Jim Brackins, 195-pound starter, and Bob McKittrick, who understudied both starting guards last year. Over-all, the position lacks depth. At center, Buzz Randall actually played more than the starting center last season. Only real weakness in the backfield is the lack of a replacement for the brilliant Francis. Earnel Durden and Sterling Hammack return at wingback; Durden was all-Coast last season and Hammack played a fine game in the Rose Bowl. Blocking back is manned by two capable veterans, Ted Searle and Garry Lukehart.

1957 SCHEDULE (1956 score):

SEPT. 21 USC at Portland, N (13-21)
SEPT. 28 at Kansas (no game)
OCT. 5 at Northwestern (no game)
OCT. 12 Idaho (14-10)
OCT. 19 at UCLA (21-7)
OCT. 26 at Washington (28-20)
NOV. 2 Washington State (21-0)
NOV. 9 at California (21-13)
NOV. 16 Stanford (20-19)
NOV. 23 at Oregon (14-14)

Palo Alto, Calif.

COLORS: Cardinal and white
1956 RECORD: Won 4, Lost 6
WATCH FOR: Hard-running Halfback Lou Valli

THE DOPE: The Indians lost All-Americas John Brodie and Paul Wiggin to graduation, but Coach Chuck Taylor, a gentleman who could find a silver lining in a pauper's purse, thinks the team will be better this year than last. He has two candidates for Brodie's T quarterback post in Jack Douglas, who passed beautifully during spring practice, and Jack Taylor. Neither of them can throw as well as Brodie could, but both are better runners. Elsewhere the backfield looks stronger, with Archie Schmitt at fullback and Lou Valli, one of the best running backs on the Coast, shifted from fullback to half. Taylor, who depends on the pass as a primary attacking weapon, has fine receivers at end in Gary Van Galder, Ben Robinson and Joel Freis. Stanford, which has led the Pacific Coast in offense for three seasons, may do so again this year but Taylor has been devoting a good deal of his time and his team's energies to devising adequate defenses against the Oklahoma-style split-T. California, Washington and Oregon on the Pacific Coast and Northwestern and Rice among nonconference foes will use this offense against the Indians, who were something less than effective in stopping it last year.

SEPT. 21 San Jose State (40-20)
SEPT. 28 Northwestern (no game)
OCT. 5 at Rice, N (no game)
OCT. 12 Washington State (40-26)
OCT. 19 at Washington (13-34)
OCT. 26 UCLA (13-14)
NOV. 2 Oregon (21-7)
NOV. 9 at USC (27-19)
NOV. 16 at Oregon State (19-20)
NOV. 23 California (18-20)

Los Angeles

COLORS: Blue and gold
BASIC OFFENSE: Single wing, balanced line
1956 RECORD: Won 7, lost 3
WATCH FOR: Over-all speed and the punting of Kirk Wilson

THE DOPE: The Bruins, devastated by the conference recruiting penalties, will field what may be the only major college team in the country devoid of seniors. Says Coach Red Sanders: "How do we look? Just like the situation at Oklahoma, Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Iowa or any other top university if you took away all their seniors." Sanders does not have a starter who has earned more than one letter, but UCLA is not hurting as bad as his quote would indicate. They have, for instance, the largest tailback in memory in John Adams, who stands 6 feet 3, weighs 230, runs the hundred in 10.2 but cannot pass well enough. Sanders also has Kirk Wilson, who led the nation in punting last year with a tremendous 49.3-yard average. The UCLA line will lack experience, a defect more easily overcome on offense than on defense. Six of the returning lettermen played less than 60 minutes all last season; among those who played enough to be considered veterans are Barry Billington, one of the better runners on the Coast, at fullback; Jim Dawson, a small but agile tackle; Bill Leeka, a carbon copy of Dawson, and End Dick Wallen, who has the fine, quick hands and the ability to escape usually found only in pro offensive ends.

SEPT. 20 Air Force Academy, N (no game)
SEPT. 27 Illinois, N (no game)
OCT. 5 Oregon at Portland, N (6-0)
OCT. 12 Washington (13-9)
OCT. 19 Oregon State (7-21)
OCT. 26 at Stanford (14-13)
NOV. 2 California (34-20)
NOV. 9 Wash. State at Spokane (28-0)
NOV. 16 at Col. of the Pacific, N (no game)
NOV. 23 USC (7-10)

Los Angeles

COLORS: Cardinal and gold
1956 RECORD: Won 8, lost 2
WATCH FOR: Oklahoma-style go-go-go hustle

THE DOPE: The Trojans, under new Head Coach Don Clark, will play race-horse football this fall, much in the style of the relentless Oklahoma teams. Clark, who stepped up from assistant when Jess Hill retired, has had the players running back to the huddle, flying out with a clap of the hands and the shout of "Five!," indicating the determination to make at least five yards. As an assistant coach explained, the theory is that race-horse football forces the defense to commit itself immediately, eliminates the defensive huddle and reduces gang tackling and pursuit by the defense. The Trojans lost 19 lettermen from the 1956 squad—11 by normal process of graduation and eight who owed the conference a year's ineligibility in the wake of last season's recruiting penalties. The 1957 Trojans have 10 juniors on the first team. The halfbacks—Tony Ortega and Rex Johnston—lack great speed, but both are big and strong. Quarterback Jim Conroy is a letterman, but played only 166 minutes last year. At center in an otherwise strong line, the loss of Karl Rubke by ineligibility has left the Trojans shy experience and size. Ken Antle, his replacement, is a 184-pound junior who played only 44 minutes in 1956.

SEPT. 21 Oregon St. at Portland, N (21-13)
SEPT. 28 Michigan (no game)
OCT. 4 Pittsburgh (no game)
OCT. 19 at California (20-7)
OCT. 26 Washington State (28-12)
NOV. 2 at Washington (35-7)
NOV. 9 Stanford (19-27)
NOV. 16 Oregon (0-7)
NOV. 23 UCLA (10-7)
NOV. 30 at Notre Dame (28-20)


COLORS: Purple and gold
1956 RECORD: Won 5, lost 5
WATCH FOR: Great speed of Halfback Luther Carr

THE DOPE: The Huskies will be playing their first season under a new coach, Jim Owens, who moved over from assistant to Bear Bryant at Texas A&M. This should pose no real problem to the team, however, since Owens is Oklahoma- and Bud Wilkinson-trained, as was his predecessor, Darrell Royal, now at the University of Texas. Owens has two fine running backs in Luther Carr and Jim Jones, who is one of the best all-around backs in the nation. At the key position of quarterback, Al Ferguson, who was injured most of last season, could make a tremendous difference if he is durable enough. There is no strong replacement for him. Don McCumby and Dick Day, a couple of 240-pound tackles, should lend stability to the defensive line, and a sophomore guard named Bill Austin, who weighs 230, makes this one of the heftiest lines in the Pacific Coast Conference. Owens has another problem at end, where only 195-pound junior Duane Lowell gives promise of extraordinary ability. The Huskies attempt a very ambitious schedule, too; the first three teams on the list are Colorado (Orange Bowl winner) and Big Ten power-house Minnesota and Ohio State.

SEPT. 21 Colorado (no game)
SEPT. 28 at Minnesota (14-34)
OCT. 5 Ohio State (no game)
OCT. 12 at UCLA (9-13)
OCT. 19 Stanford (34-13)
OCT. 26 Oregon State (20-28)
NOV. 2 USC (7-35)
NOV. 9 Oregon at Portland, N (20-7)
NOV. 16 at California (7-16)
NOV. 23 Washington State (40-26)

Pullman, Wash.

COLORS: Crimson and gray
1956 RECORD: Won 3, lost 6, tied 1
WATCH FOR: Passing of Quarterback Bobby Newman

THE DOPE: The Cougars lost fewer lettermen than any other school in the Pacific Coast Conference, but they operated last year on the theory that it is more blessed to give than to retrieve. The Cougar offense, during the rare times when it had possession of the ball, moved well; the defense, unfortunately, usually retrieved the ball only after the opposition had kicked the extra point. This year Coach Jim Sutherland has concentrated on defense and, with a team a year older returning practically intact, it is likely that the defense will improve. The Cougars had strong passing, inadequate running last season. Half of the passing combination—Quarterback Bob Newman to All-America End Bill Steiger—returns, and State should have better running this year. Steiger suffered a broken neck in a diving accident and will not play. Sutherland came up with one new twist last spring when he had all of his backs and ends tested for peripheral vision. The ones who showed less than wide-screen vision took exercises designed to allow them to see farther out of the corners of their eyes so that they can, presumably, reduce the blind side area responsible for the sudden end to many runs.

SEPT. 21 at Nebraska (no game)
SEPT. 28 California (14-13)
OCT. 5 at Iowa (no game)
OCT. 12 at Stanford (26-40)
OCT. 19 Oregon (7-7)
OCT. 26 at USC (12-28)
NOV. 2 at Oregon State (0-21)
NOV. 9 UCLA at Spokane (0-28)
NOV. 16 Idaho (33-19)
NOV. 23 at Washington (26-40)