1957 NCAA University Division football season

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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. [2] 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. [3]


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).

Conference and program changes

Conference changes

Membership changes

School1956 Conference1957 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. [4] 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. [5]

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. [6] 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. [7] 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.

Conference standings

1957 Atlantic Coast Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 15 NC State $501  712
No. 16 Duke 511  632
Clemson 430  730
North Carolina 430  730
Maryland 430  550
Virginia 240  361
South Carolina 250  550
Wake Forest 070  0100
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll [8]
1957 Big Seven Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 4 Oklahoma $600  1010
Kansas 420  541
Missouri 330  541
Colorado 330  631
Iowa State 240  451
Kansas State 240  361
Nebraska 150  190
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1957 Big Ten Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 2 Ohio State $700  910
No. 3 Michigan State 510  810
No. 6 Iowa 411  711
No. 19 Wisconsin 430  630
Purdue 430  540
Michigan 331  531
Illinois 340  450
Minnesota 350  450
Indiana 060  180
Northwestern 070  090
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1957 Border Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 12 Arizona State $400  1000
West Texas State 310  730
Texas Western 320  630
Hardin–Simmons 320  550
New Mexico A&M 040  370
Arizona 040  181
  • $ Conference champion
1957 Ivy League football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Princeton $610  720
Dartmouth 511  711
Yale 421  621
Brown 340  540
Cornell 340  360
Penn 340  360
Harvard 250  350
Columbia 160  180
  • $ Conference champion
1957 Middle Three Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Lehigh $200  810
Rutgers 110  540
Lafayette 020  440
  • $ Conference champion
1957 Missouri Valley Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Houston $300  541
North Texas State 100  550
Tulsa 220  460
Cincinnati 120  541
Wichita 030  190
  • $ Conference champion
1957 Pacific Coast Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Oregon State +620  820
Oregon ^ +620  740
UCLA 520  820
Washington State 530  640
Stanford 430  640
Washington 340  361
California 160  190
USC 160  190
Idaho 030  441
  • + Conference co-champions
  • ^ – Selected as Rose Bowl representative
    Oregon State won the Civil War game over Oregon, but no-repeat rule was in effect
Rankings from AP Poll
1957 Skyline Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Utah $510  640
BYU 511  532
Denver 520  640
Wyoming 322  433
New Mexico 240  460
Colorado State 250  370
Montana 250  270
Utah State 151  271
  • $ Conference champion
1957 Southeastern Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 1 Auburn $700  1000
No. 7 Ole Miss 501  911
No. 14 Mississippi State 421  621
No. 17 Florida 421  621
No. 13 Tennessee 430  830
Vanderbilt 331  532
LSU 440  550
Georgia Tech 341  442
Georgia 340  370
Tulane 150  280
Alabama 161  271
Kentucky 170  370
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1957 Southern Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 20 VMI $600  901
West Virginia 300  721
The Citadel 420  541
Furman 210  370
Richmond 240  460
William & Mary 240  460
Davidson 130  460
VPI 130  450
George Washington 150  270
Washington and Lee 000  080
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1957 Southwest Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 8 Rice $510  740
No. 11 Texas 411  641
No. 9 Texas A&M 420  830
SMU 330  451
Arkansas 240  640
TCU 240  541
Baylor 051  361
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1957 NCAA University Division independents football records
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 5 Navy     911
No. 10 Notre Dame     730
No. 18 Army     720
Drake     720
Penn State     630
Detroit     630
Dayton     631
Oklahoma State     631
Boston University     530
Holy Cross     531
Syracuse     531
Pacific (CA)     532
Rutgers     540
Miami (FL)     541
Florida State     460
Pittsburgh     460
Air Force     361
Colgate     360
Villanova     360
San Jose State     370
Texas Tech     280
Marquette     0100
Rankings from AP Poll

Bowl games

Major bowls

Wednesday, January 1, 1958

Orange No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners 48No. 16 Duke Blue Devils 21
Sugar No. 7 Mississippi Rebels 39No. 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

Other bowls

Sun El Paso, TXJanuary 1 Louisville 34–20 Drake
Gator Jacksonville, FLDecember 28No. 13 Tennessee 3–0No. 9 Texas A&M

College Division

Tangerine Orlando, FLJanuary 1 East Texas State 10–9 Mississippi Southern

Final results

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. [9]

Heisman Trophy

  1. John David Crow , HB - Texas A&M, 1,183 points
  2. Alex Karras, T - Iowa, 693
  3. Walt Kowalczyk, HB - Michigan State, 630
  4. Lou Michaels, T - Kentucky, 330
  5. Tom Forrestal, QB - Navy, 232
  6. Jim Phillips, E - Auburn, 216
  7. Bob Anderson, HB - Army, 204
  8. Dan Currie, LB-C - Michigan State, 197
  9. Clendon Thomas, HB - Oklahoma, 185
  10. Lee Grosscup, QB - Utah, 147

Source: [10] [11]

See also

Related Research Articles

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  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-08-16. Retrieved 2009-01-11.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. "Auburn or Ohio State-Which Is Grid Champ?", Montana Standard (Butte, MT), December 3, 1957, p11
  3. "Auburn Barred From Bowl Games, Placed on Probation by S.E.C.," Charleston Gazette, February 14, 1956, p13
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-10-02. Retrieved 2009-01-11.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. "The 1957 North Texas/Texas Western Game and the Integration of Texas College Football". The SWC Round-Up.
  6. "Sooners Pressed in 21–7 Triumph," Oakland Tribune , October 13, 1957, p61
  7. "Irish Down Sooners In Stunning 7–0 Upset," Ada (Okla.) Evening News, November 17, 1957, p9
  8. "1957 Atlantic Coast Conference Year Summary". sports-reference.com. Retrieved January 16, 2013.
  9. "16 Collegiate Elevens Enjoy Perfect Seasons", The New York Times. December 2, 1957. Page 44. Retrieved March 15, 2011.
  10. "Heisman vote goes to Crow by wide edge". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. December 4, 1957. p. 2D.
  11. "John David Crow". Heisman Trophy. 1957. Retrieved January 30, 2017.