Although widely divergent in moods, temperament and coaching styles, these dedicated and successful men have at least two things in common. They have made a career of coaching football in what is traditionally the most competitive section of the nation, and their ultimate goal is identical—to make their teams the very best.
1959 RECORD: WON 5, LOST 5
Everywhere in the corn-filled plains around Lawrence, Jayhawker boosters are buzzing about their backfield. It is a rough and in some ways odd foursome, with Fullback Doyle Schick, at 190 pounds, the lightest but the best blocker of the group. All-conference Halfback John Hadl scored 48 points last year, caught seven passes, averaged 45.5 yards for 43 punts, but he will switch to quarterback and make room for a long-striding TCU transfer, Bert Coan. However, if five yards are needed Hadl will hand off to Right Half Curtis McClinton, a 212-pound battering ram who averaged better than five yards a try in 91 attempts. Coach Jack Mitchell isn't sure about the line, where he has lost an end, a tackle and a guard. Transfers and red shirts back up Ends Larry Allen and Sam Simpson, Tackles Dick Davis and Stan Kirshman, giving depth to these positions. Fred Hageman returns to spread his massive 6-foot-5, 220-pound frame over the ball for another all-conference season.
1959 RECORD: WON 2, LOST 8
New Coach Doug Weaver brought his guitar along with him from Missouri, and he will need it to strum away the blues. Last season the Wildcats suffered five shutouts. This year they may endure five more. There really isn't much that can be done when the linemen who will take over for the graduates, including new ends and tackles, are big and strong but move like tortoises. Center Al Kouneski and Guards Dave Noblitt, 5 feet 8, 205 pounds, and Marian Ray move about at a smarter pace, but they cannot range far enough to make up for inadequacies outside of their positions. In the backfield a return to a straighter T does not enhance the ball carrier's chances. Quarterback Ron Blaylock represents the only hope for improvement. He hit on 28 of 50 passes in 1959, and two of those were for touchdowns. He has strong receivers in Halfback Dale Evans (23 receptions, three for touchdowns last year) and Fullback Bill Gallagher, who had 10 catches.
1959 RECORD: WON 5, LOST 3
Recently, Coach Trevor Rees was asked if he thought the 26 sophomores on the squad suggested a strong team for 1961. Rees's answer: "We can't wait that long." Only two of the sophomores will find their way into the starting lineup—Quarterback Jim Flynn and 200-pound Fullback Jim Fleagane. However, the second and third units will be thick with first-year men. The interior line—Guards Dick Barber (235 pounds) and Tom Darrah (215) and Center Art Young-blood (225)—is not porous, but the medium-speed ends most likely will be too slow to keep up with the increased traffic to the outside. The offense may show considerable scoring potential if Flynn is half the passer he is reputed to be. The running, although not powerful, is adequate with holdover Halfbacks Martin Grosjean (he had a 4.3 rushing average last year) and Ray Shaker, who scored 20 points, the best. But the offense lacks a breakaway threat and doesn't frighten the opposition with its long passing combinations.
1959 RECORD: WON 3, LOST 7
This may be the year for good news in Milwaukee. Marquette, after some trying seasons, has a team worthy of the name. The one remaining barrier to success—and it is a tall one—is the schedule. Marquette will lose some of the very tough games, but it won't bore anybody in the process. Coach Lisle Blackboum has come up with a sophomore quarterback, Terry Zang, who can spot his passes on the tip of an outstretched finger. The most outstretched belongs to Zang's tallest teammate, 6-foot-7 Slotback George Andrie, last year's leading receiver (22 receptions for 357 yards). Two other sophomores, Dave Theisen, a this-away, that-away runner, and Fullback Mike Koehler give the slot T good balance. Nobody, not even Wisconsin or Indiana backs, will run willy-nilly over the strong interior line. All-America candidate Ken Shaffer and fellow Tackle Jeff Messerknecht will team with Guards Bob Wilkins, Herb Roedel and Center Dan Ferriter to form 1,100 pounds of stubborn defense.
1959 RECORD: WON 1, LOST 8
Coach Charlie Snyder is determined to make Marshall a menace in the Mid-American Conference. However, since the last disastrous season—his first—he may have revised his thinking upward on how tough his project will be. The Marshall men last year came up with only 72 points to the opposition's thundering 344. Relief may come sooner than expected. With 18 returning lettermen, the squad, though lighter this year, is faster, and the line, led by Tackle Dave Lowe (218 pounds) and Guard Wilson Lathan (206 pounds), should be harder to dent. The only spot where sophomores are likely to edge their way into starting berths is at halfback. Quarterback is another potential drag in the multiple offense. Ralph May is quick enough at calling plays, but when he cocks his arm to pass or spins out of the cockpit to run the end he is no threat. Both the offense and the defense should be bolstered by the return of End Sam Fugate, an ex-serviceman who was all-conference in his sophomore year.
1959 RECORD: WON 5, LOST 4
There was a time when you could automatically write Miami's name at the head of the Mid-American Conference, then pause to think about the runner-up. No more though. Last year the Redskins finished third, and this season, even with heavy straining and quick adjusting by sophomores, they will be fortunate to do as well. Coach John Pont has a clutch of fair-size country boys squeezed into the line. Tackles Bob Bletcher and Sam Ridder, 225-pounders, patrol their posts in a manner that discourages enemy gains. Another 225-pounder, ex-Tackle Ron Brooks, is equally effective at right guard. But from here the defensive strength slows down. On offense, End Howard Millisor has the handiest hands. Bill Triplett, brother of the New York Giants' Mel, is the meanest man in the Mid-American when he is smashing through the line. But if he isn't backed by Sophomore Quarterbacks Vic Ippolito and strong-armed Lowell Caylor his effectiveness will be seriously jeopardized.
1959 RECORD: WON 4, LOST 5
Last season Bump Elliott raced a crowd of players into competition, using as many as four teams in a game. Although 14 lettermen have graduated, 30 others are back, including the entire defensive platoon. Any thinness in the offensive unit can be strengthened with solid sophomores. John Halstead, 6 feet 2, 205 pounds, and Bob Johnson, 6 feet 2, 200 pounds, are a step ahead of the two other impressive ends. Two juniors, Tom Johnson and Jon Schopf, lend a fast, rangy look to the tackles, and Chuck Collins and Steve Stieler are the best of a lean, fast guard lot. Squat Center Jerry Smith, 5 feet 10, 195 pounds, tends to the linebacking chores. The backfield is a pleasant, if young, blend of fast feet and strong arms, and should set the Wolverines to scoring. At quarterback will be Sophomore Bob Chandler. Another sophomore, Dave Raimey, will be at right half; and still a third at fullback, forceful, 210-pound Joe O'Donnell. They join Junior Halfback Ben McRae, a hurdler in track season.
1959 RECORD: WON 5, LOST 4
Up in East Lansing, there is talk of a return on New Year's Day to the bright winter sun of Pasadena. The Spartans are only fair-to-middling, but so is the Big Ten Conference. State's running game, with Halfbacks Gary Ballman and Herb Adderley scurrying around end or splitting the line with equal ease, is forceful. So, on defense, is the line, although it is somewhat slow and inexperienced on offense. In the middle of the line Center Dave Manders is a first-rate performer. The guard positions will be filled by sophomores and tried but slow holdovers. No regulars return at tackle, but there is Sophomore Jim Bobbitt, 235 pounds, whose strong play as a freshman prompted Coach Duffy Daugherty to remark, "He's always in position to hit. Right now he could play for any team in the country." There are at least five other hardy sophomores, including 275-pound Center Dave Behrman, who could make the multiple offense move out smartly if only Quarterback Tommy Wilson called a more inspired game.
1959 RECORD: WON 2. LOST 7
The natives and alumni of Minnesota are restless, and Coach Murray Warmath, with a sad won-lost record, is in the center of their target area. But this may be the year, and Saturday's goats of a year ago may be this year's heroes. Outside of two empty stalls at the tackles and one at end, the team returns intact. Better-balanced, though still without depth, the Gophers should fumble less, miss fewer tackles. Rough and ready defenders, Center Greg Larson and Guard Tom Brown, are able to move enemy ball carriers to the outside where Ends Tom Hall and Bob Deegan can grab them. If there is any uncertainty in the first-string line, it is at tackle. Fran Brixius, a 255-pound reserve, is slow and Bob Bell, a 215-pound sophomore, is a converted back. The backfield is made up of fullback-sized Quarterback Sandy King (200 pounds); Halfbacks Bill Kauth (180) and Judge Dickson (210); and Fullbacks Tom Robbins and Roger Hagberg, both 200-pounders. All can run for four yards at a clip.
1959 RECORD: WON 6, LOST 4
The Big Eight changed its rules so Missouri could, if it were invited, return to the Orange Bowl. In the brighter glare of reality the action appears to have been wishful thinking. Too many important players have gone—Russ Sloan, the ham-handed end; Tackle Mike Magac; Center Tom Swaney; and Quarterback Phil Snowden, who doubled as a punter. Coach Dan Devine is an artful juggler, but his material will limit him severely. He will go from an unbalanced to a balanced line T, and stubby Guard Rockne Calhoun, 5 feet 9, 205 pounds, sidesteps one pace to become a midget tackle, while two former understudies—Gordon Smith at end and Bill McCartney at center—climb into starting spots. Bill Wegener, an outstanding tackle, may not play at all because of a severe foot injury. Back, however, are End Dan La-Rose, a man the pros are watching carefully, and Halfback Mel West, who will throw more passes on the run. Unlettered sophomores must pick up the rest of the offense.
1959 RECORD: WON 4, LOST 6
Early last spring Coach Bill Jennings offered his players self-determination. Name the position you would like to play, he told his minions in a liberal move that must have other coaches gasping. Fullback Don Fricke returned to center, the position he played as a sophomore regular, and Halfback Pat Fischer, who hankered to throw a running pass, moved to quarterback. To accommodate these moves and, incidentally, Fischer's speed and daring passing, Jennings installed the wing T. The results, a Lincoln newspaperman reports, are excellent. The Cornhuskers have their best material in 40 years, and they may have their best team too. The squad, with 20 letter-men, breaks down into 11 seniors, 19 juniors and 61 sophomores, a total of 91, many of them men of quality. George Haney, 225-pound tackle, and Bernie Clay, 100-pound halfback, two of seven transfers, will move onto the first team. A high-powered back named Thunder Thornton could make the offense step out in style.
1959 RECORD: WON 6. LOST 3
Once again, the Northwesterners have all the successful skills: they pass, run and defend with certainty. But can they keep it up through a ruthless schedule? They lost the core of last year's strong team but Coach Ara Parseghian hopes to compensate for the losses by heavy platooning. The line is strongest at end, with Irv Cross, a fast, powerful performer, at the left flank, and Elbert Kimbrough, an All-America candidate and the team's leading pass receiver (16 receptions) at the other. The tackles, Bud Melvin, a muscular 215-pounder, and Fate Echols, a 250-pounder, look sound. But it is the backfield that makes the Wildcats a threat for the conference title. At quarterback is Dick Thornton, total offense leader in the Big Ten as a sophomore in 1958, who has now recovered from a broken leg. The halves are hard-running Ray Purdin (5.2 yards per carry) and limber-legged Al Kimbrough, Northwestern's shiftiest back. Fullback Mike Stock, conference high scorer, provides the power.
1959 RECORD: WON 5, LOST 5
On the pro scout trail and at coaches' Kaffeeklalschen the shop talk is that Coach Joe Kuharich runs a taut scrimmage and that his professional attitude toward the game will produce results in this, his second season. Three awesome tacklers (Myron Pottios, Tom Hecomovich and Nick Buoniconti) give the team perhaps the best linebacking seen anywhere outside of a Colt-Giant game. On offense, Kuharich's blessings are many: Red Mack, a leading ground-gainer and an All-America candidate, returns. Supporting him will be a gaggle of talented sophomore quarterbacks led by versatile Ed Rutkowski; a hard-hitting fullback in Gerry Gray; a shifty halfback in George Sefcik; and a senior halfback Ray Ratkowski, a 190-pound flyer who ran his cleats over some famous faces in the spring-training Old Timers game. But still Notre Dame worries. Pottios, Mack, Sefcik and Gray have had knee operations, and sophomore quarterbacks can, and often do, make game-destroying mistakes.
1959 RECORD: WON 7, LOST 2
Place a "State" before the "University," and the Bobcats could easily be mistaken for their neighbors from Columbus. They certainly look big enough. The line averages 212, and tackles Sophomore Dick Schulz and Junior Mike Kielovicz both weigh close to 240. They are good enough. Center Dick Grecni (233) and Fullback Bob Brooks (200) were both honorable mention All-America. The resemblance to Ohio State is understandable. Coach Bill Hess was an assistant under Woody Hayes, and the Bobcats play the same possession football the Buckeyes dote on. The defense is big and 60-minute strong and capable of blunting most any Mid-American team. The offense hugs the ground, and Brooks, a one-man gang, last year gained 817 yards and scored 44 points. Not far behind him was fast Halfback Bob Harrison, the conference's second-best rusher. Quarterback Otis Wagner is a runner too, but no passer. He may lose out to long-throwing Sophomore Bob Babbitt.
1959 RECORD: WON 3, LOST 5, TIED 1
Coach Woody Hayes has never before been called a daring experimenter, but he is about to discard iron-man football for the unlimited method of substitution. This dramatic departure stems from a simple fact: Ohio State no longer draws the brute, 60-minute-a-game players of the past and must develop a system suited to slighter, less durable athletes. While 22 lettermen will return, emphasis will be placed on sophomores, who will fill out the second and third platoons. Most counted on will be Sophomore Tackle Bob Vogel, a boyish 18-year-old who weighs in at 230, and End Bob Middleton, another 18-year-old stripling. Ahead of these on the first squad will be familiar backfield men Ron Houck at left half, Jim Herbstreit at right; husky Halfback Bob Ferguson, 217 pounds, will be platooned at fullback with Roger Detrick. Last year's starting quarterback, Tom Matte, offensive specialist, and Jerry Fields, a 209-pound defensive standout, will switch off as the occasion demands.
1959 RECORD: WON 7, LOST 3
Things have not been going well for Coach Bud Wilkinson lately: he lost a conference game last year, his first in 13 years, then the NCAA ruled the Sooners could profitably eschew Bowl games for the present. Smiling and affable as ever, Bud must be wincing just a bit underneath. Leg injuries have almost eliminated elusive Halfback Jim Carpenter and Guard Leon Cross; and Sophomore Bill Meacham, depended upon as a starter at halfback, had his knee operated on this spring. A third-string halfback, Bennett Watts, has been pushed into the starting quarterback role. Thus the attack will list heavily to running, and Fullback Ronnie Hartline, a 205-pound All-America candidate, is the man to watch. As always, Wilkinson will have a deadly defense, and if the Sooners are to be saved from disaster it is the linemen who will do it. Tackle Tom Cox chokes off wide plays to either side, Sophomore Duane Cook joins up with Karl Milstead at guard and Center Phil Louhmann to anchor a rock-solid line.
1959 RECORD: WON 6, LOST 4
State's timing could not be worse. The Cowboys play their first Big Eight schedule—and the roughest one they have seen in years—with a patched-up, rebuilt team. Coach Cliff Speegle lost seven regulars, and there are few sophomores coming along. The backfield has vanished, and there is a hole in the middle of the line. It is only at end and tackle that the home forces can nod happily. End Billy Dodson, the sharpest receiver on the team (21 catches in 1959), is back to team with George Walstad, a letterman, while hard-muscled Harold Beaty, 220 pounds, and Gary Cutsinger are tackles who have seen rough play. A sophomore, Billy York, slips into center, and rough-running Tom Jackson into halfback. Fullback Jim Dillard can continue to claim a monopoly on the running—last year he gained 582 yards rushing and added another 125 on 10 receptions. Quarterback John Maisel is admired for his imaginative straight-T calls, but he does not command respect for his scatter-armed passing.
1959 RECORD: WON 5, LOST 2, TIED 2
If Coach Jack Mollenkopf wears a secret smile this fall, it is because? he alone realizes that the unassuming Boilermakers may play in the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day. This is a quiet team that lost 23 lettermen, but still it has quality in depth. The first unit, with the exception of hard-running right Halfback Dan Donahue, is likely to be made up of all lettermen. The defensively quick line is backed up by Guards Stan Sczurek and All-America candidate Ron Maltony, and it can stop any offense. In Quarterback Bernie Allen, Purdue has a player who threw four touchdown passes last year, kicked 12 points after touchdown and one field goal, and averaged 27.6 yards on kickoff returns. Halfback Jim Tiller has the end-turning speed of a breakaway threat. Sophomores Tom Bloom and Bob Wiater are ready to take over when Tiller tires. Led by 222-pound Tackle Jerry Beabout, the starting offensive line is impressive, but without adequate reserves its stamina is questionable.
1959 RECORD: WON 2, LOST 6, TIED 1
Alarmed and embarrassed by the 2,629 yards rolled up by the opposition last year, Toledo called in Clive Rush, Woody Hayes's old defensive trouble-shooter, and made him head coach. Rush, with the 15 returning lettermen, is blessed with the raw stuff of success. He switched End Jack Campbell (230 pounds) to tackle. Willie Hancock (210 pounds) was a tackle. He is now a guard. Center Rick Zapsic (200 pounds) was a strong linebacking guard, and Guard Russ Hoogendoorn (203 pounds) a nimble bantam tackle. Add to Rush's shake-well treatment one sophomore, 230-pound Tackle Jim Bogdalek, and you have the makings of a defensive front. Offensively, Rush is still tinkering. He hasn't a running attack. His two returning lettermen gained less than 60 yards apiece in 1959. But Rush has got passing—most of it in the throwing arm of Senior Quarterback Jerry Stoltz, who completes about half of his tosses, and in the receiving hands of Bob Smith who scored five touchdowns in 1959.
1959 RECORD: WON 5, LOST 5
Opponents this fall will line up against 10 grim seniors who can be a comfort only to their boss, Coach Bobby Dobbs. He can cast fond eyes on fine-faking End Bud Kelly, the team's leading receiver (21 catches in 1959), Tackle Joe Novsek and Guard Mack Reeves. But Dobbs can get downright paternal when he takes in his high-spirited backs. One quarterback, Jerry Keeling, has the bright shiny gleam of an All-America candidate. He can throw the ball long, nosing it into the arms of a fast-moving back, or he can fire the ball short at a button-hooking end. If he's rushed, however, he can tuck the ball under his arm and take off around his pursuers. Keeling has been doing this for two years, and last year gained 1,206 yards, running and passing. The rest of the backs have certain quality. Halfback Joe Cheap in 1959 led the team in punt and kickoff returns, tied with Keeling and Fullback Dave White in scoring (24 points). White gained 429 yards rushing, but he may be pushed aside by transfer Dean Hendryx.
1959 RECORD: WON 4. LOST 5
The Broncos see themselves as spoilers. They haven't the offensive stuff of which champions are made, but they can be expected to be big, rough and mean on defense. The line is stocked with mountainous men. Tackles John Lomokoski (240) and Jim Habel (230) and Guard Ken Reasor (220) are apt to make runners suffer for every yard gained. The linebackers, Guard MikeSnodgrass (210), Center Leroy Repischak (190) and Fullback Bob Jeffrey (205), exact grudging tribute with their rattling tackles. Their one defensive weakness might be wide plays. Coach Merle Schlosser's straight-T offense with a belly series is in the doldrums. Last year's best ground-gainer and the league-leading receiver have both graduated, and their replacements, Sophomore Fullback Jeffrey and Sophomore End Bob Selva, do not have proud skills. The halfbacking is negligible too. But the Broncos do pass. Quarterback Ed Chlebek and his understudy completed 65 of 129 passes in 1959 for 1,021 yards.
1959 RECORD: WON 5, LOST 4, TIED 1
Semi-arid Wichita has become lakes country and for one good reason—Roland Lakes. He is a 245-pound center whose line-sweeping blocks and upending tackles have twice won him selection to the all-conference team. Flanked by sturdy Guards Paul Jones and Larry Stoelzing, Lakes and company present a hard middle. The outside, led by burly 212-pound Tackle Bill Seigle and long-striding End Nels Toburen (6 feet 4, 225 pounds), is hardy too. The good defense runs straight through to the backfield. But Wichita hasn't got everything. Two short halfbacks, Willie Mallory, 5 feet 10, and Jack Hayes, 5 feet 9, are going to miss some of those long, looping passes thrown over them. Hank Foldberg, Army end of a few years back, came up from Florida to take over the head coach's office. He redesigned the offense and hopes to get more scoring with Sophomore Quarterback Alex Zyskowski calling the multiple-T plays. Zyskowski can pitch out to Mallory and Hayes or hand off to chugging Fullback Lusker.
1959 RECORD: WON 7, LOST 2
The Badgers lost 17 lettermen, including nine starters, from the 1959 Rose Bowl team. With at least four first-year men becoming starters, they will probably finish out the season in the conference wasteland. But they may not stay there long. Two sophomores—Halfbacks Merritt Norvell and Brad Armstrong, quick of foot but uncertain ball handlers—bring speed to the backfield for the first time since 1953. Skittery end flights by high-stepping halfbacks open the defense for up-the-middle power of Fullback Tom Wiesner. Jim Bakken, last year's reserve quarterback, may be unseated for the starting role in Coach Milt Bruhn's pro-type T offense by transfer John Fabry, who punts and passes with finesse. The line is inexperienced and somewhat slow, but there too a sophomore shows promise. He is End Pat Richter, 6 feet 5, 227 pounds, perhaps the best man on the line. Brian Moore, 231-pound tackle, has strength and quickness but has yet to live up to his lively expectations.
1959 RECORD: WON 4, LOST 6
Cincinnati usually is a quiet football town, but if the Musketeers come near to their potential there will be cheering in the streets. Coach Ed Doherty watched patiently last year while the predominantly sophomore lineup learned through error. Now, there are 16 lettermen returning, including all but one of last year's starters. The defense has been hardened, and the soft spots at center and linebacker have been filled solidly by Sophomore Dick Kohles. The interior line, averaging 215 pounds, is strong and fast, with Guard Vince Hannon the most effective. The other guard is John Nelson, who as a sophomore linebacker led the team with 58 tackles. A straight T with flankers will allow bullet-passing Quarterback Ron Costello more varied pass patterns to reach sure-handed Ends Jim Mullen (31 receptions), Allen Smith (21), and Halfback Larry Cox. Last year Costello completed 93 of 151 passes for 1,062 yards. Also there will be Halfback Irv Etler, who last year passed 599 yards for four touchdowns.
NORTHWESTERN'S ARA PARSEGHIAN IS BROODING, QUIET
OHIO STATE'S WOODY HAYES IS VOLUBLE, ACCESSIBLE
NOTRE DAME'S JOE KUHARICH IS THOUGHTFUL, TOUGH