1 NOTRE DAME
Notre Dame football rises up out of the featureless flat sand and scrub surrounding South Bend like a sort of Colossus of Rhodes. For sheer mass, power and over-lordship of the landscape, the Fighting Irish somewhat resemble the panorama of refineries and steel mills which springs up suddenly from the dunes at one of the next turns in the Indiana Turnpike, a melodramatic 1930s mural that writes its own title—"The Sinews of a Nation," or something like that. But Notre Dame is more than the sinews of college football; it is the biceps, or maybe the gut. If the fate of the United States somehow depended on a single football game, the President or the Joint Chiefs of Staff or whoever was recruiting the team would arrive at South Bend, hats in hand, invoking the hallowed names of Rockne, Leahy, Dorais, the Four Horsemen and Touchdown Jesus. Congress would pass a special subsidy and the CIA would inquire about stunts, ties and fake injuries.
The Yankees and Packers fell and have had the modesty to stay fallen, but glory days are back with a vengeance at Notre Dame. Pro football men, whose fate does depend on winning games, were more numerous than ever at spring practice. Jim Trimble, personnel director of the New York Giants, walked away one afternoon shaking his head in disbelief.
"A nice team," he said drily.
"Yes, there are some who can play," his companion answered.
"Some," Trimble said. "I'll trade Ara even up."
Another NFL scout's comment was yet more impressive for its lack of hyperbole, its sincere specificity. "I'd trade my front four for theirs right now," he said.
Look at that long metallic line of gold helmets: 16 of 22 starters return from last season's Cotton Bowl winners, including Tom Gatewood, 210 pounds of the best wide receiver in the country, who caught 79 passes for 1,166 yards; Ed Gulyas, who ran for 558 yards last year; Walt Patulski, now 6'6" and 260 pounds, left end on a defensive line that averages around 240 pounds, who 17 times nailed opponents for long losses; and Clarence Ellis, an All-America deep back last year who started out by feeling he did not belong on the Notre Dame first team. Ellis is now better than ever and a bit more confident.
"Other schools worry about winning their conference," says Dave Kempton, only in his second year as assistant sports publicity man and still learning how they think at Notre Dame. "Down here they talk about winning the national championship. Not cocky, but sort of casual, like you and I would talk about going out and having a beer."
Last year's beer was a bit bitter, alkalized by the memory of a 38-28 loss to Southern California which not only ruined a perfect season but cost the Irish a national championship. "That meant," Patulski says, "that we almost had success, that we had a degree of success." He is a tall, hawknosed, unusually amiable giant who smiles easily, but his tone left no doubt how the Irish feel about relative success. When he talked about a 10-1 season, a Cotton Bowl victory and a No. 2 national ranking, his voice was grim.
This year Notre Dame would like No. 1. The Irish are ordering it in the casual way you would order a cheeseburger to go with that beer. That means beating everybody, including the annual nemeses—Purdue, Michigan State and USC—and revenge-minded LSU in a season-ending night game at Baton Rouge. "The Cotton Bowl, that was a start," Patulski says. "People are saying things like: Joe Theismann, someway, managed to win all those games for us. This year we don't have him. But we'll do it without him."
The loss of Theismann lends a certain mystery to the team. Since Parseghian discovered John Huarte in 1964, there has been only one year when he has not had an All-America playing quarterback. Yet now, surrounded by perhaps his best talent ever, he must deal with four diverse, rather inexperienced candidates.
First there is Jim Bulger, tall, rawboned, almost Namathlike in visage, who has exactly two plays of varsity experience. He has an exceptional arm—"when he throws a curl pattern you need a surgeon to remove the ball from the receiver's chest"—but has had trouble learning the complicated and multifaceted offense favored by Parseghian. Another junior, Pat Steenberge, played a little over 40 minutes last year as Theismann's backup. His throwing is merely adequate, but the knowledge he assimilated while working with Theismann makes him the best-rounded of the four. Finally there are Cliff Brown, a sophomore who, in between kicking 50-yard field goals, spent the spring learning, and Bill Etter, a senior who is Notre Dame's heavyweight boxing champion.
"There is no need to choose until the Friday night before the first game," he says. "We always prepare two or 2½ quarterbacks every week anyhow. There's no problem having two quarterbacks work with the first unit."
"But how far can you go with an average quarterback?" someone asked.
"To the national championship," Parseghian replied.
Sorry, city folks, this year there won't be any of those meet-the-rubes anecdotes about the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Not so much because Nebraskans are getting fed up to the ears (no corn intended) with big-city barbs about their bucolic ways, but because there is barely room in which to pen their pigskin surplus.
Not one, not two, but three excellent quarterbacks are the most Z obvious excess. Jerry Tagge, a farm-boy type from Green Bay who completed a mere 61% of his passes, holds virtually all Nebraska passing records after only two years and is a strong runner, too. Van Brown-son, a flamboyant type from Shenandoah, Iowa, has the one other significant record—a 65% completion rate—and is a better runner. But a Nebraska coach admits that sophomore David Humm, son of an accountant at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, is probably already the best quarterback technically, both running and passing.
Last season's largest oversupply, Jeff Kinney and Joe Orduna alternating at I-back, has been halved, but Kinney, who gained 694 yards rushing and 206 more receiving, clearly looks capable as a full-timer. Leaping, tumbling, weaving, wriggling Slotback Johnny Rodgers (who moves to the wing when Nebraska substitutes a spread formation for the I) seems slipperier than ever. He was one of the flashiest sophomores in Big Eight history, and that means regular double-teaming.
Nebraska may have a weak spot: middle guard, where the Huskers lost All-Big Eight Eddie Periard. Bob Pabis and Joe Duffy missed spring practice because of injuries, yet the Huskers still had big Monte Johnson, Rich Glover and "a kid named [John] Peterson who came to practice on his own and is tearing them up." The Huskers' strongest single feature may be their defensive backfield, the best in the nation, where Safety Bill Kosch and Corner-backs Joe Blahak and Jim Anderson all return. Monsterman Dave Morock left, but Dave Mason "could be as good a monster as we've ever had," and sophomore Glen Garson, switched from offensive halfback, gives the Huskers a good deep man.
Minnesota, Utah State, Hawaii and the rest will find out what last year's opponents discovered as Nebraska went undefeated and became No. 1 in the nation by beating LSU in the Orange Bowl while Texas and Ohio State lost. After Nebraska finished first in the rankings and the whole state broke out in a rash not only of bumper stickers and buttons but of such esoterica as wooden No. 1 statues, clocks with Big Eight symbols all around a "Nebraska No. 1" center and Nebraska helmets with the number 1 on them made into table lamps, Coach Bob Devaney felt obliged to declare an official Back-to-Earth Day. But overconfidence should not be a hazard. The Huskers reaffirmed their down-to-earthness this spring, chipping in to buy flowers for all the cafeteria helpers on Mother's Day. That is the team's only real weakness—sentimentality.
The only thing about the 1971 Michigan Wolverines that does not immediately impress you is their modesty. They are much too good for that. It's not so much that they are cocky as simply confident about the upcoming football season. Just ask them. Naturally, Coach Bo Schembechler says, "Aw, we might make it as high as 20th." But then you don't expect No. 1 talk from head coaches, particularly the good ones. It is the Michigan players who will tell it to you straight.
"There's no place like first place," says Tailback Billy Taylor. "Last year—second place? Nothin', man." Offensive Guard Reggie McKenzie is even more direct: "We feel we'll be undefeated."
The Wolverines did go undefeated last year—for nine games, that is—before losing to Ohio State 20-9 in a continuation of a rivalry that has become one of the most dramatic in college football. In the last two years this regular-season finale has not only decided the Big Ten championship but has eliminated a national champion. In 1969 Ohio State was undefeated and ranked first in both polls before being upset by Michigan 24-12. Last year Ohio State's victory cost the Wolverines the crown. (Michigan, 9-0 before the game with the Buckeyes, was ranked third behind Texas and Notre Dame and ahead of Nebraska. A final 10-0 record would certainly have done the job, what with Texas and Notre Dame both losing and Michigan ineligible for the Rose Bowl.)
Of course, the coming season won't be as easy as Taylor and McKenzie imply, but all that heady talk about No. I may not prove far wrong, despite the absence of a proven quarterback.
"No problem," says McKenzie to that particular point. "You know who the quarterback is? Bo, I tell you! He calls a great game."
Which is not to say that there aren't some pretty good arms and legs around to carry out Schembechler's will. Sophomore Kevin Casey, who fits the "good ball handler" stereotype, should edge Tom Slade for the quarterback job. The offense will again depend on the option. With a game-breaking runner like Taylor and regulars Fritz Seyferth and Glenn Doughty, Michigan should have no trouble moving on the ground. But Casey will have little time to grow into the job or become accustomed to the pressure. Because of an unusual season opener with dangerous conference rival Northwestern at Evanston, Casey must start playing for the Rose Bowl in his very first game.
Again Michigan will have a stingy defense. The 1970 unit surrendered only nine touchdowns and there are talented replacements for five all-conference graduates. Cornerback Tom Darden has switched to safety to head the secondary.
Don't be surprised if Michigan finishes on top of the Big Ten and ends up No. 1. Taylor and McKenzie warned you.
4 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
John McKay's record in 11 years as head coach at USC is such that a season without a Heisman Trophy winner or a trip to the Rose Bowl or both is a disappointment. After four straight Pacific Eight championships, the Trojans' 6-4-1 record in 1970 had some alumni considering leaps off the top of the Coliseum scoreboard. What probably dissuaded them was the season-ending upset victory over Notre Dame. 4 "They have not beaten us in four years," says McKay, himself a fighting Irishman. The mediocre season was blamed on a few premature daydreams by seniors about fat pro contracts, a defense that allowed the most points in USC history (233), injuries and a tough schedule. The Trojans of 1971 are stuck with that last headache again.
Apart from difficult conference games, notably Washington, Stanford and UCLA, the Trojans must play Oklahoma at Norman and three weeks later meet Notre Dame at South Bend, where they have won only twice since 1933. The '70 upset cost the Irish the national championship, so the 43rd renewal of the rivalry should be bloody.
As usual, McKay and his staff have gathered plenty of material to compete at this level. One of the dangerous weapons will be Sam (Bam) Cunningham, who has the most alliterate name of any Los Angeles athlete since Bill (The Hill) McGill was playing high school basketball. Cunningham is a junior fullback who averaged 6.4 yards a carry last season and blocked well. He did even better in the spring game—running, throwing and receiving for three touchdowns. McKay is not known for letting talented runners stand around idle.
"We've been thinking about Sam," he says. "He'll carry the ball twice as much as any of our fullbacks have since Ben Wilson left. He'll get the ball 20 or 25 times a game."
Senior Quarterback Jimmy Jones should pass Mike Garrett and O.J. Simpson to become Troy's alltime total offense leader (if he doesn't hand off to Cunningham too often, and if he can keep a promising backup quarterback, Mike Rae, on the bench). Jones, a Pennsylvania import who was blamed by some fans for the failures last year, already holds or shares 10 school passing records and in two seasons has led the team to a 16-4-2 record.
True to the traditions of a school that has had such football stars as Grenville Archer Lansdell Jr., Morley Drury, Garrett Arbelbide, Aramus Dandoy and Marger Apsit, there are some strange and fancy names on the Trojan squad. Soph Artimus Parker is a likely starter in the defensive backfield. New Split End Lynn Swann beat UCLA's fabled—and ineligible—Jim McAlister in the long jump at the state high school meet. Defensive Tackle Mike McGirr has the name, shape and disposition of a grizzly bear.
And speaking of interesting names, on the very strong freshman team this fall there is a wide receiver by the name of John McKay Jr. Wonder where he learned his football?
There are some people who think Tommy Casanova (see cover) was responsible for LSU's opening-game loss to Texas A&M last year. Casanova was hurt while playing on offense in the second quarter and was out of the game when the Aggies won in the last seconds with a pass-run into his defensive territory. There is one person who thinks Casanova was responsible for LSU's 3-0 loss to Notre Dame. "I blew it," says Casanova himself who, despite holding Tom Gatewood to four catches (22 yards), dropped a leaping pass interception just before the Irish kicked the winning field goal. But there are many more people who believe—with ample justification—that Tommy Casanova is the main reason LSU won its nine other games last year and that he deserves to be recognized as the best all-round college football player in the country.
As a sprinter on the LSU track team he has done several 9.7 hundreds, and last season he tied an NCAA record with punt-return touchdowns of 61 and 73 yards against Ole Miss. As a defender he intimidates opponents into playing away from his area and stops such great receivers as Gatewood and Auburn's Terry Beasley. Said one pro scout after watching Casanova during practice: "My wife could scout Tommy and put him down as a first-round draft choice."
Quiet, modest, tall, dark and handsome—Casanovian in all respects—Tommy is partially responsible for the Tigers having led the country in defense against rushing the last two years. Only partially, because he had considerable help from Ronnie Estay, a Cajun from Race-land, La., hard by Bayou Lafourche, who plays tackle as if it were a French invention.
It is well that Casanova and Estay are still around, for LSU, as always, will live and die on its defense. In 1970 the Tigers were 9-2 during the regular season largely because the team yielded only 8.7 points a game. Now, with the defense nearly depleted except for its two stars, Coach Charlie McClendon will be hard pressed against the likes of Colorado, Florida, Alabama and Notre Dame.
The offense, however, may be better. "I just hope we haven't hurt our running game by too much passing practice," says McClendon, referring to the work of Quarterbacks Bert Jones and Paul Lyons. Pressure by Notre Dame and later by Nebraska in the Orange Bowl loss showed Jones cannot run, but he has a Y.A. Tittle arm and the pleasure of throwing to Flanker Andy Hamilton, who has already broken Ken Kavanaugh's school pass-catching record. Lyons is more of the take-charge type. A whole flock of good running backs is available, led by Art Cantrelle, who was recently cleared of an assault charge after a barroom brawl near campus. It was Cantrelle's second brush with the law for assault, but in between punches he personally outgained nine of LSU's 11 regular-season opponents. If McClendon can keep Casanova out of the hospital and Cantrelle out of trouble, LSU will be sweet and tough once more.
The University of Texas empire fell apart on New Year's Day, 1971 A.D., when Notre Dame upset the Longhorns in the Cotton Bowl. That ended Texas' 30-game winning streak and also opened the way, at the last minute, for Nebraska to grab the national championship. In spring practice Coach Darrell Royal spent a lot of time poking through the ruins, and what he found was not exactly discouraging. With some solid old critters such as Quarterback Eddie Phillips and Halfback Jim Bertelsen, and some new beef headed by Linebacker Glenn Gaspard, the Horns may be hooking 'em this fall with as much gusto as ever.
The case of Gaspard gives some indication of what kind of talent Texas has. Last year he was so impressive as a freshman fullback that coaches and writers were billing him as the next Woo Woo Worster. In spring drills, however, Royal discovered that he had an adequate fullback—Bobby Callison—so Gaspard was shifted to linebacker. Soon he was making such jarring tackles that Royal was moved to observe, "He's got a lot of those Tommy Nobis traits." As for Gaspard, he gained plenty of respect for the way Phillips runs Royal's Wishbone-T. "Why, shoot," said Gaspard, "he's so smooth that it's a thrill when you get to tackle him."
Phillips, red-haired and freckle-faced, is more than smooth. He is an elusive runner, an underrated passer (as he proved in the Cotton Bowl) and a natural leader. "Eddie is a lot more confident," says Bertelsen. "You could see it in the spring when he just took command." Bertelsen is called "Tugboat" by some of his teammates, but don't be deceived. In speed and striking power he is more like a destroyer. Royal considers Bertelsen the best running back in the country, and the coach also is high on Tackle Jerry Sisemore, "the best athlete we've had on the line of scrimmage since John Elliott."
More Texans than ever will have a chance to see the Long-horns play. The west side of Memorial Stadium has been double-decked, which will add 15,000 seats and increase the stadium's capacity to 81,500—largest in the Southwest. The team these fans will cheer could be very good or just mediocre, depending on how it fares in the season's first half. Right off, almost before you can say LBJ Library, the Longhorns play UCLA, Texas Tech, Oregon, Oklahoma and Arkansas, which is a schedule and a half right there.
"I think it's unreasonable to think we can pick up where we left off," said Royal one day, propping his feet on the desk in his office. "We've had to rebuild an offensive line, and it's been a long time since we've had so many sophomores and new faces on defense. We lost a senior crop that had a lot of talent."
Even a chronic pessimist like Royal must admit, however, that if Texas escapes punishment in those first five games, Year One in the new empire might well be at hand.
Over the past two seasons Arkansas has won 18 games and lost only four. Ordinarily this would be quite satisfactory, even by the standards of those diehard "Sooey, pig" fans in the Ozarks. Yet around Little Rock and Fayetteville there is a strange sense of frustration, and for good reason: Arkansas can't win the big ones. Say that softly now, lest you find yourself under a ton of bacon, but the argument is irrefutable. In national TV games the past two seasons Arkansas is 0 for 4. In its two most recent Armageddons against Texas, when all sorts of conference and national titles were being decided, the Razorbacks lost a heartbreaker 15-14, and last year a bone-breaker 42-7.
To a man, Arkansas is aware of this reputation. Take Joe Ferguson. He was a sophomore last season, the best arm on the team—perhaps in the entire Southwest—but only the No. 2 quarterback behind Bill Montgomery. But now Montgomery is gone, as are Bill Burnett and All-America Chuck Dicus, and Ferguson is the man in charge. "Yeah, we know what they're saying about us," says Ferguson. "I cut out one of those articles and pasted it on my wall. I think everybody's conscious of it."
Arkansas fans think Ferguson might be the finest passer east of Sonny Sixkiller. He comes from Shreveport, La., where he broke most of Terry Bradshaw's high school records, and playing behind Montgomery, he passed for 741 yards. But Ferguson also became so disenchanted with life on the bench that there were rumors he might transfer. All that is over now, however, and so is the bad back that bothered Ferguson last season. The trouble, it seems, was that Ferguson's right leg is shorter than his left. So in the spring he began wearing one-eighth-inch foot pads in the heel of his right shoe and now, he says, "I haven't noticed any more problems."
Ferguson is not the only star. "We've got some big-play people with special skills," says Coach Frank Broyles with satisfaction, "so we will be throwing a bit more this season." Tailback Jon Richardson, a big-play person, is blessed with strength and speed, so he will be a threat both as a runner and receiver. Also on hand are Ferguson's top high school receivers—redshirt Mark Hollingsworth and wide receiver Jim Hodge. The defense will be a collection of new faces built around David Reavis, a 6'4", 240-pound tackle. A 6'6", 250-pound offensive tackle, Tom Mabry, is perhaps closest to Broyles' heart, however, partly because he is 6'6" and 250, and partly because he is a golfer. "He has a two handicap," says Broyles, who is so much of a golf fan that he traveled all the way to the Masters to follow Jack Nicklaus. "He must hit it a mile."
The Razorbacks are young and cocky and their schedule includes a number of patsies, so they should fare well—9-2 at the worst. However, Texas comes to Little Rock on Oct. 16 and the game is on national television, so....
8 PENN STATE
The real world caught up with Joe Paterno last season. In five years as head coach at Penn State, he had built a gaudy record of 42-10-1, including a streak of 31 games without a loss, and most of it was due to the toughest defense in the country. Last year most of that defense had graduated, and boom! In the second game, and on national TV, Colorado racked up 41 points. A week later Wisconsin scored 29, then Syracuse 24 to give the Lions three losses by midseason. But the real problem, Paterno felt, was the offense. Not one to wait till next year, Paterno switched from an open attack to the wing-T and put John Hufnagel, a sophomore, at quarterback. Penn State won its last five games, averaging 36 points.
For this reason there is optimism at University Park again this fall. The Lions will present a solid, not-very-fancy offense led by Hufnagel, an adequate passer and better than average runner. However, the players who put a gleam in Paterno's eyes are Running Backs Lydell Mitchell and Franco Harris. Mitchell is the slinky type while Harris specializes in head-on collisions with tacklers. Both have the speed and moves to go all the way. The offensive line, headed by Tackle Dave Joyner, is capable of giving them the daylight they need.
While Penn State will do most of its attacking on the ground, Hufnagel can throw the ball well enough to make opposing cornerbacks wary and he has an abundance of targets, including Split End Scott Skarzynski and Bob Parsons, a 6'4½" former backup quarterback who was switched to tight end in the spring and was impressive as a receiver.
If all else fails, Penn State has still another weapon—JC transfer Alberto Vitiello, a left-footed soccer-style kicker. What makes him unusual, aside from his ability to kick long field goals, is that he was born in Naples, Italy. Since Alberto's arrival, Paterno has revived one of his old lines. "I didn't recruit Alberto because he's Italian," Joe jokes, "I got him because I'm Italian."
The defense, at least up front, could be a throwback to better times. Bruce Bannon at one end and Frank Ahrenhold and Jim Heller, the tackles, are not very big but they are quick and hard-hitting. They also can afford to take chances because they are backed up by a quartet of linebackers who, collectively, will form an impressive roadblock. Gary Gray and John Skorupan are back from last year and the other two spots in the 4-4-3 defense will be held down by Charlie Zapiec, who missed most of last season because of an appendectomy, and Doug Allen, a converted defensive tackle. The real worry is in the secondary, where all three starters will be newcomers. They could be vulnerable, especially early in the season.
Paterno thinks his team will be better than last year's and so do the 50,000 fans who months ago grabbed up all tickets to the five home games. Waiting at the end of the schedule is Tennessee, a monster. How well the Lions do in that game will be the truest measure of their bite.
When Bill Battle took over as head coach at Tennessee last fall some people around Knoxville wondered if he was the right man for the job. He was, after all, only 28, barely older than his players. Also, he seemed so mild-mannered, so, well, Boy Scoutish. Was he ready to handle a major college team?
Indeed he was. After an early-season loss to Auburn, the Volunteers—picked for mediocrity 9 last fall—won nine straight and then slugged Air Force in the Sugar Bowl 34-13. Most Knoxville fans felt that Battle was shortchanged in Coach-of-the-Year balloting. Small matter, really. He is young and has a lot of time left to accumulate honors normally associated with such SEC elders as Bear Bryant and Shug Jordan. Last season Battle beat Alabama (and his former coach Bryant) 24-0, and Florida (and his predecessor at Tennessee, Doug Dickey) 38-7. Those performances tended to demonstrate how much he had learned on the field from his old teachers, and Battle recently showed excellent retentive powers of some off-field habits of The Bear. Poor-mouthing, for instance. "We can be a good football team if a few things fall into place," says Battle of his 1971 Vols. In truth, it would take many things falling out of place for Tennessee to be bad this season.
To begin with, some opponents' minds may be psychologically blown during the pregame coin flip when Tennessee sends out the first black captain in SEC history, Linebacker (and Knoxville's own) Jackie Walker. With Ray Nettles and Jamie Rotella, Walker gives the Vols what may be the best linebacking corps in college. Surely it is the best at recovering from injury; all three are survivors of major knee surgery. Though Tennessee is on the small, sleek side up front defensively, this trio plus Bobby Majors promises to make the Vols as exciting when they do not have the ball as when they have it. Majors, a daring and spectacular free safety who also punts, led the nation with 10 pass interceptions last season and though he, too, is a knee man (he missed spring practice because of surgery) he is expected to be 100% when the season begins. Tennessee, it seems, has had more Majors than Catch-22. Bobby is the youngest and biggest of four brothers who have played major college football, three at Tennessee.
Offensively, the Vols' attack will be mostly on the ground, what with passer Bobby Scott having graduated and Dennis Chadwick, who runs well, moving in. Curt Watson, a keg-calved fullback, is set for his finest season after two years as an AU-SEC selection while sophomore Haskel Stanback is an open-field threat who, according to one observer, "broke every stick of furniture in the house" in the Tennessee spring game. Like Walker, Stan-back is black. "My election shows blacks can become involved," says the captain. "It shows we can become a part of leadership, and it also shows the kind of boys we have on this squad." No doubt Bill Battle will continue to show what kind of boy is coaching the squad, too.
10 ARIZONA STATE
Joe Spagnola, the Naples-born quarterback who won 25 of the 28 games he started for Arizona State, is off flinging passes for the minor league Phoenix Blazers and conducting his own Spaghetti Joe radio show, but the Sun Devils of 1971 will still have more than their quota of talented characters from faraway places. Foremost among them is Defensive End Junior Ah You, born in American Samoa, reared in Laie, Hawaii, named first-team All-WAC two straight seasons and the 1971 cover boy of the NCAA Football Guide. A jarring tackle known in Tempe as "the Hawaiian Punch" is Ah You's specialty. Offensive Center Mike Tomco grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, but he moved in with relatives in Washington so he could play better high school football. He is also a two-time all-league pick, playing tackle and center. Then there is Kicker Don Ekstrand from Calgary, Alberta, who was fourth in the nation in scoring by toe last season.
Under Coach Frank Kush, Arizona State usually has at least one running back who inhales yardage, and this year's deep breather is Monroe Eley, who actually comes from the continental U.S.—Nashville, N.C., which is still a long way from the nearest saguaro cactus or refried bean. It must have given Eley a big thrill to outgain the University of North Carolina's Don McCauley in the Peach Bowl last season. The Sun Devils, who have been ignored by bowl committees over the years, won that game 48-26 to finish with an 11-0 record and become the sixth-ranked team in the country. Eley is a junior now and Kush, instead of comparing him with Charley Taylor or Travis Williams, prefers to say that Eley of 1971 is the Devils' best since Eley of '70.
ASU recruiters don't always have to range as far as Hawaii and Carolina to find possible material. California is just over the horizon and 25 squad members are from there. A mere 16 out of 63 claim Arizona as their home state.
There are problems, of course, one of them being finding a replacement for Spagnola. Two-year veteran Grady Hurst, Notre Dame transfer Jim Brady and sophomore Dan White will battle it out. But no problem seems capable of preventing Kush and his team from having another successful season. And a high-scoring one. State has averaged 38 points a game for the last two years and should do as well this time. It has won 17 consecutive games, its record over the last four years is 35-6 and ex-botany major Kush is the second winningest coach (based on 10 years or more) in football with a .767 average. His record for 13 years: 100-30-1.
This year the team will have some extra incentive. There will be a new postseason game, the Fiesta Bowl, Dec. 27 in Sun Devil Stadium, featuring the WAC champion versus a top team from elsewhere in the country. Wherever that team comes from—Pearl Harbor to the Statue of Liberty—there is sure to be some ASU hotshot who grew up nearby.
The most obvious reason for Auburn's renaissance during the past two seasons is the spectacular passing partnership of Quarterback Pat Sullivan and Split End Terry Beasley. When the pair arrived on the varsity in 1969, Auburn had just gone through a dismal patch of five years during which the team lost 23 games and had been forced to choke down five straight defeats at the hands of Alabama. Oh, where were those glorious autumns of the late 1950s when the Tigers had ripped through 24 straight opponents without losing a game?
Auburn fans think those days have returned. Sullivan and Beasley have led Auburn to two 8-2 seasons, two straight over 'Bama and a Gator Bowl victory over Ole Miss. In 1970 Sullivan led the nation in total offense while Beasley caught 52 passes and led in yards gained per catch. Now they are ready for their last fling.
Unfortunately, Auburn's recent success has not been based entirely on Sullivan to Beasley. There will be some problems this fall. Gone from a rushing attack that gained 196 yards per game last year are two key backs. Gone from the passing attack are four receivers who between them caught 96 passes.
Not only are these pluses missing, some minuses remain, primarily on defense. Last year Auburn football was often a hectic scramble to see if the offense could score points faster than the defense would give them up. The pass rush, weak in 1970, still exists only in the prayers of Line Coach Joe Connally. Linebacking, also fragile last year, is further depleted by the graduation of All-SEC selection Bobby Strickland, the only consistent stopper. In addition, the deep defense has lost All-America Corner-back Larry Willingham.
So the offense is even more the key to Auburn success. In Dick Schmalz, a senior with sure hands and elusive moves, and Sandy Cannon, a speedy junior-college transfer, Auburn may have two exciting wide receivers to help take the heat off Beasley. A senior tight end, 6'3" Robby Robinett, may prove to be the best Auburn has had at that position in many years. And the coaches expect the running backs to be the biggest surprise of all: "They'll be better than most people think," says Head Coach Shug Jordan. The most effective of these could be James Owens, the first black ever to play football for Auburn, a 6'2", 198-pound junior tailback who showed flashes of brilliance last year as a part-time punt-return specialist.
"Spring practice was the best we've had in my 21 years at Auburn," says Jordan. Whether this spring momentum can be sustained all the way through the fall depends to a great extent on what happens two weeks from now at Knoxville in the game against Tennessee. If they get by the rugged Vols, the Plainsmen should be 8-0 going into their last two games, with Georgia and Alabama, and on the verge of a return to their glory days.
This will be a typical Houston team, and everyone ought to know what that means. Lots of "Big O," as in offense. For the past five years Coach Bill Yeoman's Cougars have led the nation in scoring and total offense, and win or lose they always provide more fireworks than the Astrodome scoreboard. So this fall defensive coaches around the Southwest shuddered collectively when Yeoman looked over his notorious Veer-T offense and announced. casually, "We think our offense may be as good, or even a little more effective, than last year." Get out the adding machine, folks, 'cause here comes Houston again—and again.
Last season the Cougars started so slowly that they were ignored by the bowls, which turned out to be quite an oversight. They won their last four for a final 8-3-0 record and they wound up in the Top 20 for the fifth straight year—a record not even the Texas Longhorns can claim. Gone from that team are Wide Receiver Elmo Wright and his many moves, but the entire starting backfield—including versatile Quarterback Gary (Moon) Mullins—is back.
Mullins was hampered all last season by a bum knee, but in spring practice he seemed to be fully recovered, running the option as well as ever. His top receivers this season will be Pat Orchin and Riley Odoms, neither of them another Elmo but adequate nonetheless. But Houston will use its passing game mainly to keep the defense from keying on its running attack, which is devastating. Robert Newhouse and Tommy Mozisek combined for more than 1,000 yards each of the last two seasons. Newhouse was involved in a serious car accident the week before the Cougars' opening game, but he came back to average 6.4 yards rushing and gain more than 100 yards each of the last five games.
About all that is known for sure about Houston's defense is that it will be close-knit—if only in one way. The Peacock brothers, Ronny and Randy, will be the cornerbacks, following their older brother Johnny, now a safety with the New England Patriots. Linebackers Frank Ditta and Bob Kyle aren't brothers, but they might as well be. They grew up in the same Houston neighborhood, played for the same high school (Waltrip) and married girls who are good friends. Oh, yes, one other note for family fanciers: Defensive Left End Butch Brezina is the sixth brother to play for the Cougars.
Although Houston finally was admitted to the Southwest Conference last spring, the Cougars won't be eligible to compete for the league title until 1976, so Houston's schedule this year consists of only one SWC opponent—Rice in the season opener this week—and 10 outsiders. The Cougars' second game, at Arizona State, should turn out to be one of the fun face-offs of the year. The one team that likes to light up the scoreboard as much as Houston is Arizona State. Get those adding machines ready.
13 GEORGIA TECH
The possibility that he might become the first head football coach ever to be fired by Georgia Tech was not a pleasant one to contemplate. Yet after the 1969 season Bud Carson had to face facts: he had coached the once-proud Yellow Jackets to three straight 4-6 seasons and around Atlanta the philistines were yelling for his head. But Carson still is Tech's head coach and now nobody is complaining. Last fall his team compiled a record, the school's best since 1966 when Bobby Dodd's last team went 9-1 and then whipped Texas Tech 17-9 in the Sun Bowl.
This fall those close to Tech notice certain differences in Carson. Never a wisecracking Pepper Rodgers or a smooth Paul Dietzel in his relations with the press, Carson nevertheless seemed looser and happier, and he spends more time talking with reporters. "He smiles a lot more now than he did four years ago," said a member of the Tech P.R. staff. "It seems that he's finally gotten over the pressure of succeeding Dodd, of being only the fourth head coach we've ever had here."
It is not just the 1970 results that make the coach smile; his '71 prospects are as sweet as sorghum molasses. "I think we have turned the corner," says Carson, who still tends to fall back and punt when pressed on vital issues. "Our offense should be improved, and we feel we've still got our big-play defense." The key to the latter is a defensive end with the beautiful name of Smylie Gebhart. He has played every game for the last two years and he led last season's team in such things as dumping the passer. The defense could be very stingy, indeed, if Defensive Tackle Brad Bourne can escape injury. He came to Tech billed as a superstar, but has played only nine games in two years because of knee injuries.
The Yellow Jackets set a school record for total offense last season and now may have even more sting. Quarterback Eddie McAshan, the school's first black scholarship player, should be able to cut down last season's astronomical 21 interceptions. Even at that, he still passed for more yards—1,138—than any sophomore in the school's history. The team's other scholarship black, homegrown soph Greg Home, will provide power and speed at right halfback, and little Brent Cunningham (5'7", 170), called the "best running back in Tech history" by no less an authority than Dodd, is back for his senior year. Although he started two games at flanker and missed three others due to injury, Cunningham still gained a team-leading 741 yards last year. He reminds longtime Tech fans of Leon Hardeman, the "Mighty Mite" of the early 1950s.
The schedule is sprinkled throughout with toughies—South Carolina, Tennessee, Auburn and Georgia—but Tech plays eight of its 11 games on its new AstroTurf at Grant Field. With interest back at the pitch it was during the halcyon Dodd years—34,000 season tickets sold—it's no wonder that Carson's smile is growing wider all the time.
14 OHIO STATE
As ever, Woody Hayes remains the consummate maestro, blustering away in his shirtsleeves among all those scarlet and gray uniforms, gesturing, tearing up hats, smashing watches, stopping to explain the madness with a quote from a favorite general, then going back to work putting together another Ohio State football team. Rex Kern, John Brockington, Jack Tatum, Jim Stillwagon and the rest are scattered over the U.S. and Canada, fond memories. Lou McCullough, for eight years Woody's defensive coordinator, is lounging on the deep-cushioned couch of the athletic director's office at Iowa State. But McCullough departs with a warning to those who might be tempted to consider this Ohio State team a patsy after the passing of the Wunderkinder. "They'll be all right," McCullough says in his soft drawl. "You don't have any bad actors on that football team. There aren't any bums. Woody just wouldn't tolerate it." Which is why you should make a note of some unfamiliar names, ones like Galbos and Bledsoe, Lamka and DeLeone and Gradishar. They are part of Woody's new army and, in Woody's own terminology, he's lost a few battles but never a war.
Two familiar names are back, those of Halfback Tom Campana and Linebacker Stan White, veterans of Woody's battles and two of the only seven returning starters. "They were superathletes, there's no doubt about that," Campana says, thinking back to the Kern team. "I feel honored to have been able to play with them. But, even more, I'd like to win without them."
"It just puts more pressure on all of us," says White, who led the team in tackles last year while remaining at least somewhat anonymous. "Like for me, especially. Last year I had so many good guys around me, if I made a mistake I knew they'd cover up. They had to put two men on Stillwagon, which left a halfback on me. That's why I led the team in tackles. I think I'll see a few guards this year. And I'll like it. The more pressure I have the better it is."
Which should make Woody smile—briefly—for there will certainly be pressure enough for everyone. Much of it will fall on the biggest new name, Don Lamka, the rough-hewn senior quarterback Hayes has hand-picked to succeed Kern. "You can't wait around and be indecisive," Woody explains. "You find some kid who goes out there and grabs the team and does the job, well, he's your quarterback." That is just what Lamka did last spring when he switched back to his high school position after spending the last two years behind Tatum at linebacker. "It's just like the Turks in Korea," says Woody, referring, one gathers, to the problem of replacing departed quarterbacks. "They'd always have one spy in the Korean camp, and when the Koreans found him out and killed him, somehow another one'd pop up. There was always one."
For Woody, at least, they certainly seem to keep popping up and no one doubts they'll be popping up again.
Now opponents know what to expect of the Washington Huskies. A year ago they were caught unawares by a change in coaching philosophy as radical as any in modern times. As a disciple of the old Oklahoma coach, Bud Wilkinson, Washington's Jim Owens had always subscribed to the theory that when a forward pass is thrown, three things can happen and two of them are bad. So his teams had passed about as often as Fielding Yost's, and promising young quarterbacks and wide receivers had scrupulously avoided the Seattle campus for fear of being converted into watch-charm guards or blocking backs.
But that was before Sonny Sixkiller, grandson of a Cherokee chief and already the most celebrated Indian in the Pacific Northwest since Sacajawea found a safe pass for Lewis and Clark (the explorers, not the college). Sixkiller came to Washington quite conscious of the ban on bombs but confident he could turn the obdurate coach's head with his artistry. Although an outstanding passer in high school at Ashland, Ore., he had been ignored by most recruiters because of his relatively slight stature—he has grown an inch, to six feet, and gained 14 pounds, to 184, since enrolling at Washington two years ago. Indeed, Owens might have overlooked him, too, had it not been for a series of unhappy events.
Owens' 1969 team floundered to a 1-9 won-lost record and was torn by racial dissension, much of it attributed to Owens and his coaching staff. The coach found it necessary to open his mind in more ways than one. His problems with black athletes did not measurably improve in 1970—eight quit the squad—but he prospered on the field with a red one, Sixkiller, and his team employed an offense that made such traditionally pass-oriented schools as Stanford look positively stodgy by comparison. In 10 games, six of which they won, the Huskies threw 415 passes and completed 213 for 2,721 yards and 22 touchdowns. Sixkiller, only a sophomore, completed 186 of 362 for 2,303 yards and 15 scores. He set 10 school records and led the nation with an average of 18.6 completions per game. And talk about excitement! In 1969 the team averaged 11 points a game. When Sixkiller took over last year the average zoomed to 33 a game, with 61 points against UCLA the highwater mark.
Now he is back, even more poised and with a corps of increasingly swift receivers, the best of whom are the tiny Jim Krieg, 5'8½", and Tom Scott, who looms over him at 5'9". The offensive line is mobile, although inexperienced. Twelve lettermen return to the defensive unit, however, including the fine linebacker, Rick Huget. Owens has added a black, former Husky Fullback Ray Jackson, to his coaching staff, and he is optimistic that racial harmony will be achieved.
Without dissension, with improved defense, with Sixkiller and with luck, the Huskies could be a factor in the Pacific Eight race. No matter what, they won't be dull.
16 TEXAS TECH
For a league that once featured some of the wildest gang fights in college football, the Southwest Conference has recently produced about as much drama as a daytime TV soap opera. The only game that counted, really, was Texas-Arkansas. Everything else, all those SMUs vs. TCUs, was just so much cold chili. But then last fall along came Jim Carlen, a Bible-thumping, quick-smiling, smooth-talking disciple of Bobby Dodd by way of West Virginia, and suddenly the old SWC was at least a three-team league. He popped up in Lubbock, of all places, and wasted no time in changing Texas Tech's Red Raiders from a 5-5 team into an 8-4 one—their best showing since Donny Anderson was breaking rushing records in 1965.
Two of those losses were to Texas and Arkansas, but the day may be coming when even those monopolists receive their comeuppance. Shortly after arriving at Tech in January of 1970, Carlen signed the state's two best high school quarterbacks, Jimmy Carmichael and Joe Barnes, now sophomores. And this past spring Carlen recruited 48 prospects of such quality that many experts agreed he had outhooked the Texas Longhorns.
The Carlen success formula embodies a lot of plain old-fashioned hard work, plus a strict code of behavior. Not only must his players refrain from drinking, smoking, class-cutting and unkempt hair, they are "encouraged" to attend the church of their choice every Sunday morning. Everybody who has ever been in the Army—or on one of Carlen's teams—knows what encouraged" means. At most colleges today this sort of dogma would lead to rebellion, but at Texas Tech it has been accepted by players and fans alike; so far Carlen has encountered only one minor disciplinary problem. Meanwhile, Tech rooters overflowed 41,500-seat Jones Stadium last fall at a record 44,476 average, and more than 32,000 season tickets already have been sold for this fall's games.
Although Tech is generally thought to be a year or so away, Carlen's 1971 team will be no slouch. Back are 27 lettermen, including Quarterback Charles Napper, an artist on the option; Fullback Doug McCutchen, whose 1,068 yards rushing earned him the conference title over Woo Woo Worster and made him only the fifth player in SWC history to gain over 1,000; and Linebacker Larry Molinare (6'2", 215), termed Tech's best at that position since E. J. Holub. Even the loss of Tailback Danny Hardaway due to poor grades should not inconvenience the Raiders too much; Hardaway's backup, senior Miles Langehennig, was one of the team's most impressive performers in the spring.
Although Carlen is not yet ready to say he has reached parity with Texas and Arkansas, his intentions are unmistakable. It was hardly just coincidence that the only scout on hand to observe the Texas spring game was one of Carlen's assistants. The Raiders meet the Longhorns early—in two weeks at Austin—and they will be eager.
17 UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA
Shortly after Oklahoma's third game last season. Coach Chuck Fairbanks pondered his team's 2-1 record, squirmed nervously when he thought about his sputtering offense, became downright uncomfortable when he looked ahead to all those Texases, Colorados and Nebraskas on the horizon—and decided to shoot craps. Until then he had tried to parlay an inexperienced offensive line, a group of quick receivers and runners, and the cool of Quarterback Jack Mildren into a pass-oriented offense. "But when we got into the season," Fairbanks recalls, "we found ourselves too dependent on the passing game. We had to get run-oriented and the best way to do it was with the Wishbone."
So right there, after a spring and fall of personal attention to all those raw rookie linemen, Chuck Fairbanks started all over again. There was a meeting, some grumbling, even more explaining, then a kiss of the dice, a look to heaven and a quick roll. "The worst thing was its birth-date," says Fairbanks. That was against Texas, the master of the Wishbone, and the result was a 41-9 embarrassment. But after that, Oklahoma lost only in the last minute to Kansas State and by a touchdown to national champion Nebraska. "That's what makes this year so exciting," muses junior Halfback Joe Wylie. "By the end of last year we had become something more than just a good football team. And this year, well, it should be better yet."
On offense, Oklahoma returns nine of 11 starters, including the multitalented Mildren and a fine runner in Wylie. On defense, seven are back, including a superb end, Raymond Hamilton, and one of the country's best linebackers, Steve Aycock.
The burden of guiding the offense again will fall on Mildren, unjustly blamed last year for much of Oklahoma's passing failure. He is the key, as any quarterback is, to the success or failure of this year's Wishbone. A proud, confident leader, Mildren has mistakenly—and too often—taken last year's change personally. Fairbanks, for one, dispels such notions. "When we made the change in our attack and things started falling in place, the team began to have success. And when the team started having success, so did Jack. He just wants to win worse than the rest of us."
This year Mildren will have a better chance to exploit his many talents. He gained 572 yards last year as a runner and completed nearly 50% of his passes. "Yeah, sure," he says. "But I saw how the team went. And it didn't go as well as I wanted. Personally, I don't feel I have anything to prove to anyone. I only have to prove to myself we can win it all. And you know we're ready."
"Oh, I feel good about our team," Fairbanks adds, but goes on to temper such enthusiasm. "I feel good until I look at our schedule." Then he stares heavenward with the gleam of a man ready if need be to shoot craps once more.
In 1970 Syracuse played two seasons. In the first, the team was troubled by racial conflicts (not to mention its opponents) and it lost three straight games by the cumulative score of 100-29. Coach Ben Schwartzwalder, that tough old paratrooper of a coach, seemed on his way to his first losing year in 21 on Piety Hill. Coaches, players and protestors were busy attending meetings instead of practices. A victory over Maryland encouraged only optimists, since Maryland hadn't beaten anybody either. But in the days that followed, the black boycott and the picketing subsided, Schwartzwalder rallied his players and the Orangemen upset Penn State. After that the team lost only one more game, finishing the second part of the season with a 6-1 record to be 6-4 overall. Now, with racial tensions apparently under control, Syracuse seems headed for big things.
"I feel more optimistic than I have in the last two years," says Assistant Coach Joe Szombathy. "The team made a big recovery last year and many of those spirited boys are back. We now also have the speed to fully utilize the option with pitchouts and I'd say our team is the biggest and strongest, with the best potential, we've had in a long time."
Some 34 lettermen return, including nine of 11 offensive starters and eight of 11 defensive starters. The offensive line misses Split End Tony Gabriel, the best pass catcher in school history, but Gary Sweat, the top freshman receiver last year, should be an adequate replacement. Four seniors, led by 6'5", 265-pound Tackle Dan Yochum, head the line. Marty (Jan The Man) Januszkiewicz and Roger (what else but The Dodger?) Praetorius, who as a twosome rushed for more than 1,200 yards last year, lead an excellent group of running backs lacking only breakaway speed. Greg Allen, who has that speed, is lost for the season because of hepatitis but if either Bob Barlette or Ron Page develop at tailback, Praetorius is likely to be shifted to wingback. As a soph two years ago against Penn State, Allen returned three punts for 170 yards. Quarterback is the offensive uncertainty. Bob Woodruff, who threw only 26 passes last year, is the lone experienced candidate. Senior Frank Ruggiero and sophomore Dave King will contest Woodruff for the position.
Schwartzwalder ought to register his defense as a lethal weapon. Lineman Joe Ehrmann, an All-America tackle, and Middle Guard Ted Lachowicz could take on Godzilla. There appears to be no chink in the linebacking wall of Len Masci, Dave King (Syracuse has two of them), Chuck Boniti and Howie Goodman. Safety Tom Myers can practically cover the secondary himself.
Syracuse opponents have .500 potential at best. If Syracuse gets by its openers with Wisconsin and Northwestern, the Penn State game (at home) could be the only barrier to its first undefeated season since that superyear, 1959. School officials admit one of the team's biggest problems is overconfidence. What a pleasant problem that is after last year.
A graph of Colorado's 1970 season looks like the profile of the Front Range or a chart of Boulder's weather, which one minute is sunshiny and the next—oh, hail. One week a lot of nice powder snow and the next—ah, sleet. One week after jangling Penn State 41-13 to end the Easterners' 31-game undefeated streak, with 97-yard kickoff returns and a glossy goal-line stand for good measure, the Buffaloes lost to Kansas State 21 20. The Herd took revenge by thundering over Iowa State 61-10. Slotback Cliff Branch, a 9.2 sprinter on the track team, ran back kicks 72 and 62 yards. Colorado went up 21-0 before Iowa State got a first down. A football virus Buff fans call "gold fever" began to rage. Then Colorado coolly lost consecutive Big Eight games to Oklahoma, Missouri and Nebraska. Gold fever plummeted. But what casual spectators did not realize was that two big young tailbacks, John Keyworth and John Tarver, were gaining experience as Coach Eddie Crowder switched from a passing-dependent offense to a triple option. The Herd then made mashed potatoes out of its last three opponents, gaining 429 and 390 yards on the ground against Kansas and Oklahoma State and a crashing 675 total yards against Sugar Bowl-bound Air Force, the highest single game total offense figure in the nation for 1970.
Tarver, who has been switched to fullback, Branch and Keyworth will suit up again this season; the latter seems likely to become one of the country's best. Returning Slot-back Larry Brunson (a member of CU's track team) and Tight End Bob Masten are good receivers. Bill Kralicek makes right guard a wide hole to go through. On defense, Herb Orvis is as good as they come at left tackle. Linebacker Billie Drake, End John Stavely and Defensive Backs Cullen Bryant and Brian Foster are reliable. And at safety—ah, yes, at safety we again have John (Bad Dude) Stearns. Last year Bad Dude admitted right out loud that he wanted to be "the most insane hitter in Big Eight history." Bad Dude fan clubs sprang up coast to coast. This spring the Wilmington, Del. chapter requested 51 autographed photos for its members, all girls. How many victims get through to Dude depends on End Rick Kay, Guards Carl Taibi and Mark Cooney and Linebacker Charles Battle. Defensive Coach Jerry Claiborne, a new import, ranks Cooney an excellent sophomore.
Offense is more peaks and valleys. First, one of three sophomore quarterbacks—sharp-but-short-passing Ken Johnson, 5'7" Joe Duenas and USC transfer Greg Briner—must look better. Split-side Tackle Jake Zumbach and Guard Bill Bain do inspire considerable confidence, and at tailback, where the Buffs need little help, soph Charlie Davis looks like the All-Texas high school MVP he was.
A large poster at spring practice showed two hideous hungry vultures perched on a limb. One said to the other, "I'm gonna kill something." So will Colorado, but with five 1970 bowl teams on the schedule, it won't be easy.
20 UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA
Nostalgia, oh so boffo on Broadway right now, comes to the University of North Carolina this fall. Or, as Variety might put it, "Heel Hopes High For Kid Grid Bid." Not since Charlie (Choo Choo) Justice led the team to three bowl appearances in the late 1940s has a Tar Heel season been so anticipated. Last year's surprising Peach Bowl entry was 8-4, only the fourth winner since old No. 22 went skidoo in 1949. That's also the last year Carolina followed one big winning season with another, a drought that should end this fall. "This is the best football talent we've ever had," says Jack Williams, the director of sports information.
The Tar Heels have loads of experience everywhere except in the offensive line, but even here the talent may be superior to the group that helped forge one of the best rushing games in the country the last two years. Defensively, 10 veterans return, including a pair of linebackers, John Bunting and Jim Webster, whom Coach Bill Dooley ranks with the best anywhere. Bunting typifies the new enthusiasm that has settled over a school lately accustomed to athletic success only after the leaves have fallen. "I was kind of galled by the basketball team at first because they have always done well," says Bunting. "But now we've learned to be winners, too. Until Coach Dooley got here four years ago I'm told no one seemed to really care." Dooley, reared in the SEC tradition as an all-conference guard at Mississippi State and later as an assistant to brother Vince at Georgia, cares vehemently. The kind of success he sought in his fifth year came even sooner.
Despite the graduation of Don McCauley, the NCAA's alltime single-season ground gainer, the offense could again be the kind that averages more than 30 points per game. Three of four backfield starters return, highlighted by southpaw Quarterback Paul Miller, who is a magician when his back isn't aching. With McCauley gone, Miller can be expected to pass more often and give forgotten Backs Geof Hamlin and Lewis Jolley a bigger piece of the rushing action. But not as large a chunk as speedy Ike Ogles-by will have. As McCauley's understudy last year, a role which even included the presentation of a speech when Don couldn't make it, Oglesby gained 562 yards, more than any previous Carolina sophomore. He's the team's best outside threat since Justice himself, and although he's too young to remember Choo Choo's gala days, he did compete against his son in high school track. Oglesby is an unfettered spirit and something of an iconoclast on a team that includes Defensive Tackle Bud Grissom, who once punched his way through a picket line that was trying to block the entrance to a school dining hall, and Halfback Bill Sigler, son of an Army colonel, who raises and salutes the flag each day outside his apartment. "It's whoop-and-holler time," Sigler likes to yell when encouraging his teammates in a game. And that's just what the Tar Heels will be doing a lot of before the first basketball bounces.