|1957 NCAA University Division football season|
|Preseason AP No. 1||Oklahoma|
|Regular season||September 20 – November 30, 1957|
|Number of bowls||6|
|Bowl games||December 28, 1957 – January 1, 1958|
|Champion(s)|| Auburn (AP)|
Ohio State (Coaches, FWAA)
|Heisman||John David Crow (halfback, Texas A&M)|
The 1957 NCAA University Division football season saw two different national champions. Auburn was ranked first in the AP writers' poll taken at season's end, while Ohio State was first in the UPI coaches' poll.Auburn was ineligible for a bowl game, however, having been placed on probation indefinitely by the Southeastern Conference, after having paid two high school players $500 apiece.
During the 20th century, the NCAA had no playoff for the major college football teams in the University Division, later known as Division I-A. The NCAA did recognize a national champion based upon the final results of "wire service" (AP and UPI) polls. The extent of that recognition came in the form of acknowledgment in the annual NCAA Football Guide of the "unofficial" national champions. The AP poll in 1957 consisted of the votes of as many as 360 sportswriters. The UPI poll was taken of a panel of 35 coaches. In both cases, the voters would give their opinion of the ten best teams, and under a point system of 10 points for first place, 9 for second, etc., the "overall" ranking was determined. The top teams played on New Year's Day in the four major postseason bowl games: the Rose Bowl (near Los Angeles at Pasadena), the Sugar Bowl (New Orleans), the Orange Bowl (Miami), and the Cotton Bowl Classic (Dallas).
|School||1956 Conference||1957 Conference|
|Cincinnati Bearcats||Independent||Missouri Valley|
|Detroit Titans||Missouri Valley||Independent|
|East Tennessee State Buccaneers||VSAC||Ohio Valley|
|North Texas State College Eagles||Gulf Coast||Missouri Valley|
|Oklahoma A&M Cowboys||Missouri Valley||Independent|
In the preseason poll released on September 16, the defending champion Sooners of the University of Oklahoma—who had won 40 consecutive games in '53, '54, '55, and '56 -- were the first place choice for 127 of 174 writers casting votes, followed by Texas A&M, Michigan State, Minnesota, and Tennessee.As the regular season progressed, a new poll would be issued on the Monday following the weekend's games.
September 20 - Abner Haynes and Leon King suit up for North Texas State College against Texas Western at Kidd Field in El Paso, marking the first time a major college football team based in Texas fielded African-American players. King scored a 33 yard touchdown, while Haynes had a long touchdown run called back "despite never stepping out of bounds and the whistle not blowing until he crossed the goal line." Texas Western escaped with a 14–13 win.
September 20–21 - The U.S. Air Force Academy, founded two years earlier played its first major college schedule in 1957. The Falcons made their debut at UCLA on Friday night and lost 47–0. They would finish their first season 3–6–1, but were undefeated the following year. On Saturday, No. 1 Oklahoma won at Pittsburgh 26–0. No. 2 Texas A&M beat Maryland 21–13 in a game at Dallas. No. 3 Michigan State, No. 4 Minnesota, and No. 5 Tennessee had not yet begun their seasons. No. 11 Georgia Tech beat Kentucky 13–0 and rose to third, while No. 12 Navy won 46–6 at Boston College and rose to fifth. The first AP poll was 1.Oklahoma, 2.Texas A&M, 3.Georgia Tech, 4.Michigan State, 5.Navy.
September 28 - No. 1 Oklahoma was idle. No. 2 Texas A&M won at Texas Tech 21–0 and No. 3 Georgia Tech played to a scoreless tie with SMU. No. 4 Michigan State beat Indiana 54–0. No. 5 Navy beat visiting William & Mary 33–6. No. 6 Minnesota, which beat Washington 46–7, and No. 7 Duke, which had beaten Virginia 40–0, rose to 3rd and 4th place. The poll was 1.Oklahoma, 2.Michigan State, 3.Minnesota, 4.Duke, and 5.Texas A&M.
October 5 - No. 1 Oklahoma beat Iowa State 40–14. No. 2 Michigan State won at California 19–0. No. 3 Minnesota beat visiting Purdue 21–17, No. 4 Duke beat Maryland 14–0, and No. 5 Texas A&M won at Missouri 28–0. The poll was 1.Oklahoma, 2.Michigan State, 3.Texas A & M, 4.Minnesota, and 5.Duke.
October 12 - A crowd of 75,504 watched in Dallas as No. 1 Oklahoma had a difficult time with unranked Texas; the Longhorns picked off four passes and the score was 7–7 at the half before the Sooners preserved their winning streak 21–7 in a game that wasn't pretty.At the same time, No. 2 Michigan State won 35–6 at Michigan, leading the AP voters to re-evaluate. No. 3 Texas A&M won 28–6 over Houston. No. 4 Minnesota won 41–6 at Northwestern. No. 5 Duke narrowly beat Rice in Houston, 7–6. The Spartans took over the top spot in the next poll: 1.Michigan State, 2.Oklahoma, 3.Texas A & M, 4.Minnesota, and 5.Duke.
October 19 - No. 1 Michigan State lost 20–13 to Purdue and fell out of the top five, and No. 2 Oklahoma beat Kansas 47–0 and reclaimed the top spot. No. 3 Texas A&M won 7–0 at TCU and No. 4 Minnesota lost at Illinois 34–14. No. 5 Duke beat Wake Forest 34–7, and No. 6 Iowa beat No. 13 Wisconsin 21–7, while No. 9 Auburn beat Georgia Tech 3–0 in Atlanta and rose to fifth place in the polls. The poll: 1.Oklahoma, 2.Texas A & M, 3.Iowa, 4.Duke, and 5.Auburn.
October 26 - No. 1 Oklahoma edged Colorado 14–13, and lost the top spot again, despite being 5–0. No. 2 Texas A&M beat Baylor 14–0, and replaced the Sooners in the next poll. No. 3 Iowa won 6–0 at Northwestern and rose to third. No. 4 Duke went to neighboring Raleigh to play North Carolina State, and ended with a 14–14 tie. No. 5 Auburn won at Houston 48–7. No. 7 Notre Dame beat Pittsburgh 13–7 and rose to fifth. The poll: 1.Texas A & M, 2.Oklahoma, 3.Iowa, 4.Auburn, and 5.Notre Dame.
November 2 - No. 1 Texas A&M got past host Arkansas 7–6, and No. 2 Oklahoma won at Kansas State 13–0. No. 3 Iowa played Michigan to a 21–21 tie, and No. 4 Auburn beat Florida 13–0. No. 5 Notre Dame lost 20–6 to visiting Navy, and No. 6 Michigan State won 21–7 at Wisconsin and rose to fifth. The poll: 1.Texas A & M, 2.Oklahoma, 3.Auburn, 4.Michigan State, and 5.Iowa.
November 9 - No. 1 Texas A&M beat SMU 19–6 and No. 2 Oklahoma won at Missouri 39–14. No. 3 Auburn beat Mississippi State 15–7 in Birmingham, No. 4 Michigan State beat Notre Dame 34–6, and No. 5 Iowa beat Minnesota 44–20. The poll remained unchanged.
November 16 - No. 1 Texas A&M lost 7–6 to Rice in Houston. No. 2 Oklahoma had not lost a game since early in 1953, had won 47 consecutive games, when they hosted Notre Dame. The Irish, 4–2 and on a losing streak, were an 18–point underdog coming into Norman. The Sooners, who had scored in 123 consecutive games (dating back to 1945), were unable to reach the end zone, but had held off the Irish on two goal line stands. In the final minutes, Notre Dame was on the 3–yard line on fourth down, when Dick Lynch "crossed up the Sooners" and ran around right end for a touchdown. Oklahoma's desperate passing drive at game's end was stopped by a Notre Dame interception, and the crowd of 62,000 was stunned into silence... and then stood up and applauded for both the Sooners and the Irish. The previous defeat, more than four years earlier, had been at the hands of Notre Dame as well.Final score: Notre Dame 7, Oklahoma 0. No. 3 Auburn beat Georgia 6–0 at Columbus, Georgia while No. 4 Michigan State beat Minnesota 42–13. No. 5 Iowa lost 17–13 at No. 6 Ohio State; the 7–1 Buckeyes rose to third, while the 6–1–1 Hawkeyes fell to eighth. No. 8 Mississippi, which beat Tennessee 14–7 in Memphis, rose to fifth. The poll: 1.Michigan State, 2.Auburn, 3.Ohio State, 4.Texas A&M, and 5.Mississippi.
November 23 - No. 1 Michigan State closed its season with a 27–0 win over Kansas State, but fell to third. No. 2 Auburn, on probation, won at Florida State 29–7. As the only unbeaten (9–0) school among the majors, Auburn was voted No. 1 in the AP poll. No. 3 Ohio State wrapped up its season with a win 31–14 at Michigan and was first in the UPI poll. No. 4 Texas A&M lost 9–7 to Texas, No. 5 Mississippi was idle, and No. 6 Oklahoma won 53–6 at Nebraska and returned to the top five. The poll: 1.Auburn, 2.Ohio State, 3.Michigan State, 4.Texas A&M, and 5.Oklahoma.
November 28–30 - Thanksgiving Day saw Bear Bryant's No. 4 Texas A&M team lose 9–7 to Texas. On Saturday, No. 1 Auburn shut out rival Alabama 40–0 at their annual meeting in Birmingham to close its season 10–0, while the Crimson Tide finished at 2–7–1. Bryant, who had transformed the Aggies from a 1–9 team in 1953 to a contender, would accept the job as head coach at his alma mater Alabama at season's end. No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Michigan State were both 8–1 in the regular season, but Ohio State was 7–0 in Big Ten play, compared to the 5–1 Spartans, and got the Rose Bowl bid. No. 5 Oklahoma beat Oklahoma State 53–6. No. 8 Navy, which won the Army-Navy game 14–0 in Philadelphia, finished with an 8–1–1 record, a bid to meet Rice in the Cotton Bowl, and a fifth-place finish in the final poll.
The services were split as to the national champion. The AP Trophy went to Auburn, the choice of a majority of writers for No. 1, and the only major college program to finish unbeaten (Arizona State, then a lesser power, also finished 10–0). Auburn, however, was on probation and was ineligible for a bowl, and the UPI coaches poll awarded No. 1 to the Ohio State Buckeyes (8–1). Both Auburn and Ohio State are recognized in the NCAA Football Guidebook as unofficial national champions for 1957. The final AP poll was: 1.Auburn, 2.Ohio State, 3.Michigan State, 4.Oklahoma, and 5.Navy, while the UPI poll was 1.Ohio State, 2.Auburn, 3.Michigan State, 4.Oklahoma, and 5.Iowa.
Wednesday, January 1, 1958
|Orange||No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners||48||No. 16 Duke Blue Devils||21|
|Sugar||No. 7 Mississippi Rebels||39||No. 11 Texas Longhorns||7|
|Cotton||No. 5 Navy Midshipmen||20||No. 8 Rice Owls||7|
|Rose||No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes||10||Oregon Ducks||7|
|Sun||El Paso, TX||January 1||Louisville||34–20||Drake|
|Gator||Jacksonville, FL||December 28||No. 13 Tennessee||3–0||No. 9 Texas A&M|
|Tangerine||Orlando, FL||January 1||East Texas State||10–9||Mississippi Southern|
Six college football teams finished the 1957 season with unbeaten and untied records. The Arizona State Sun Devils, with a 10–0 record, had the greatest point differential among the four teams with 10 wins. The Sun Devils scored 396 points while allowing only 66. Second was Pittsburg of Kansas (320/53) which was an NAIA team, followed by Middle Tennessee State (241/40) and Auburn (207/28). The remaining undefeated teams had fewer than 10 wins. Three undefeated teams each had nine, eight, seven, and six wins.
The NCAA was without a playoff for the major college football teams in the University Division, later known as Division I-A, during the 20th century. The NCAA recognizes Division I-A national champions based on the final results of polls including the "wire service", FWAA and NFF. The 1964 AP poll continued to rank only ten teams, compiling the votes of 55 sportswriters, each of whom would give their opinion of the ten best. Under a point system of 10 points for first place, 9 for second, etc., the "overall" ranking was determined.
The 1987 NCAA Division I-A football season ended with Miami winning its second national championship during the '80s in an Orange Bowl match-up featuring a rare No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup between the top ranked Oklahoma Sooners and the Hurricanes.
The 1983 NCAA Division I-A football season ended with the University of Miami, led by Bernie Kosar, winning their first national championship over perennial power and top ranked Nebraska in the Orange Bowl.
In the 1968 NCAA University Division football season, the system of "polls and bowls" changed. The Associated Press returned to its pre-1961 system of ranking the Top 20 rather than the Top 10, and voted on the national champion after the bowl games, rather than before. During the 20th century, the NCAA had no playoff for the major college football teams in the University Division, later known as Division I-A.
The 1970 NCAA University Division football season was marked by tragedy, due to two airplane crashes. On October 2, one of the planes carrying the Wichita State football team crashed on the way to a game against Utah State, killing 31 people on board, including 14 players. Then, on November 14, the charter for the Marshall Thundering Herd crashed on the way home from a game against East Carolina, killing all 75 persons.
The 1971 NCAA University Division football season saw Coach Bob Devaney's Nebraska Cornhuskers repeat as national champions. Ranked a close second behind Notre Dame in the preseason poll, Nebraska moved up to first place the following week, remained there for the rest of 1971, and convincingly won the Orange Bowl 38–6 in a No. 1 vs. No. 2 game against Alabama.
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The 1974 NCAA Division I football season finished with two national champions. The Associated Press (AP) writers' poll ranked the University of Oklahoma, which was on probation and barred by the NCAA from postseason play, No. 1 at season's end. The United Press International (UPI) coaches' poll did not rank teams on probation, by unanimous agreement of the 25 member coaches' board. The UPI trophy went to the University of Southern California (USC).
The 1977 NCAA Division I football season was one in which the top five teams finished with 11–1 records. Notre Dame, which beat top-ranked and undefeated Texas in the Cotton Bowl, became the national champion.
The 1956 NCAA University Division football season saw the University of Oklahoma Sooners finish a third consecutive season unbeaten and untied to again win the national championship.
The 1955 college football season saw the Oklahoma Sooners win the national championship after going 10–0–0. Although the final poll was taken before the postseason bowl games, Oklahoma played against the nation's other unbeaten and untied (10–0–0) team, the Maryland Terrapins, at the Orange Bowl in Miami, and won 20–6.
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The 1953 college football season finished with the Maryland Terrapins capturing the AP, INS, and UPI national championship after Notre Dame held the top spot for the first nine weeks. The No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners defeated Maryland in the Orange Bowl, but there was no further polling after the November 30 results were released. However, Notre Dame was selected as the National Champions by 10 other polls and the Oklahoma Sooners received first in two polls. However, despite the team receiving National Championship rings, the University of Notre Dame does not recognize this title due to their policy of only recognizing AP or coaches' poll titles during the polling era (1936–present). Maryland was also the first champion of the Atlantic Coast Conference, which had been formed earlier in 1953 by seven colleges formerly with the Southern Conference. The year 1953 also saw the Michigan State Spartans, previously an independent, join the Big Nine Conference, which then became the Big Ten; MSU won the conference title in that first year and was the conference representative to the Rose Bowl, which it won 28–20 over UCLA.
The 1952 college football season ended with the unbeaten Michigan State Spartans (9–0) and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (12–0) each claiming a national championship from different polls. Michigan State finished first according to two of the "wire service" polls, which both placed Georgia Tech second. Georgia Tech was first in the International News Service poll. UP and INS merged in 1958 to form UPI. Although the Spartans became members of the Big Ten Conference in 1950, full participation did not come until 1953, and under the terms of their entry into the conference, they were not allowed to participate in postseason play. Georgia Tech won the Sugar Bowl on New Year's Day in New Orleans.
The 1949 college football season finished with four teams that were unbeaten and untied-- Notre Dame, Oklahoma, California, and Army had won all their games at season's end. Notre Dame, however, was the overwhelming choice for national champion in the AP Poll, with 172 of 208 first place votes. The Fighting Irish did not participate in the New Year's Day bowl games, which were played on January 2, 1950.
The 1947 college football season finished with Notre Dame, Michigan and Penn State all unbeaten and untied, but the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame were the first place choice for 107 of the 142 voters in the AP Poll, and repeated as national champions. Michigan went on to meet USC in the Rose Bowl and won 49–0, while Penn State was tied 13–13 by SMU in the Cotton Bowl Classic, and Notre Dame didn't participate in the postseason. An unofficial post bowl AP poll was conducted with Michigan and Notre Dame as the only options and Michigan won by a vote of 226 to 119.
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