1959 NCAA University Division football season

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The 1959 NCAA University Division football season saw Syracuse University crowned as the national champion by both final polls, the AP writers poll and the UPI coaches polls. [2] [3] [4] [5]

Contents

A major rule change widened the goal posts from 18 ft 6 in (5.64 m) to 23 ft 4 in (7.11 m). This width remained in effect for 32 seasons, until the 1991 season, when it was returned to 18½ feet. 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 1959 consisted of the votes of as many as 201 sportswriters. Though not all writers voted in every poll, each would give their opinion of the twenty best teams. Under a point system of 20 points for first place, 19 for second, etc., the "overall" ranking was determined. Although the rankings were based on the collective opinion of the representative sportswriters, the teams that remained "unbeaten and untied" were generally ranked higher than those that had not. A defeat, even against a strong opponent, tended to cause a team to drop in the rankings, and a team with two or more defeats was unlikely to remain in the Top 20. 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 (Dallas).

Conference and program changes

Conference changes

Membership changes

School1958 Conference1959 Conference
California Golden Bears PCC AAWU
Idaho Vandals PCC Independent
Oregon Ducks PCC Independent
Oregon State Beavers PCC Independent
USC Trojans PCC AAWU
Stanford Indians PCC AAWU
UCLA Bruins PCC AAWU
Washington Huskies PCC AAWU
Washington State Cougars PCC Independent

September

In the preseason poll released on September 14, the defending champion LSU Tigers were ranked first, followed by Oklahoma, Auburn, SMU, and Army. With more than 100 sportswriters weighing in, eighteen different schools received first place votes. Syracuse was ranked No. 20 overall. [6] As the regular season progressed, a new poll would be issued on the Monday following the weekend's games.

On September 19, No. 1 LSU beat Rice at home, 26–3. Oklahoma, Auburn, SMU, and Army had not yet opened their seasons; SMU and Army fell to No. 6 and No. 7. No. 8 Mississippi, which won 16–0 at Houston and rose to 4th in the poll. No. 18 Clemson moved up 5th after its 20–18 win at North Carolina. Three of the Top Five schools were from the SEC: 1.LSU 2.Oklahoma 3.Auburn 4.Mississippi 5.Clemson

September 26 No. 1 LSU beat TCU at home, 10–0. No. 2 Oklahoma lost its opener, falling 45–13 at No. 10 Northwestern, and dropped out of the Top 20 entirely, while Northwestern took its place. No. 3 Auburn lost at Tennessee 3–0 and fell to 17th place in the next poll. No. 4 Mississippi recorded another 16–0 win, this time at Kentucky, and rose to third. No. 5 Clemson won at 47–0 at Virginia, but fell to 6th. No. 7 Army returned to the Top 5 after its 44–8 win over Boston College. No. 13 Iowa, which had won at California 42–12, rose to fifth. The poll was 1.LSU 2.Northwestern 3.Mississippi 4.Army 5.Iowa

October

October 3 No. 1 LSU and Baylor met at a game in Shreveport, with LSU winning 22–0. No. 2 Northwestern won at No. 5 Iowa, 14–10. No. 3 Mississippi registered a third shutout, beating Memphis State 43–0, but fell to fifth. No. 4 Army lost at Illinois, 20–14, and fell out of the Top 20 completely. No. 7 Georgia Tech which went to 3–0 after a 16–6 win over No. 6 Clemson, rose to 3rd in the poll. No. 10 Texas rose to fourth after its third shutout in a row, a 33–0 walloping of California. The poll was: 1.LSU 2.Northwestern 3.Georgia Tech 4.Texas 5.Mississippi

October 10 No. 1 LSU beat the visiting Miami Hurricanes 27–3. No. 2 Northwestern beat Minnesota 6–0. No. 3 Georgia Tech won at Tennessee, 14–7. In Dallas, No. 4 Texas defeated Oklahoma 19–12. No. 5 Mississippi won at Vanderbilt, 33–0. In four games, Ole Miss was 4–0 and had outscored its opponents 108–0. The next poll was: 1.LSU 2.Northwestern 3.Texas 4.Georgia Tech 5.Mississippi

On October 17, No. 1 LSU won at Kentucky, 9–0. No. 2 Northwestern won at Michigan 20–7. No. 3 Texas narrowly beat Arkansas 13–12 in Little Rock. No. 4 Georgia Tech lost to Auburn, 7–6. No. 5 Mississippi yielded some points for the first time in the season, but beat Tulane 53–7. The No. 7 USC Trojans rose to 5th after beating Washington in Seattle, 22–15. The poll was: 1.LSU 2.Northwestern 3.Texas 4.Mississippi 5.USC

October 24 No. 1 LSU recorded its fourth shutout, winning 9–0 in Florida. No. 2 Northwestern killed another giant on the road, beating Notre Dame 30–24. No. 3 Texas defeated Rice 28–6. No. 4 Mississippi shut out Arkansas 28–0 at Memphis. No. 5 USC Trojans got past Stanford 30–28 and fell to 6th. Taking USC's place was No. 6 Syracuse, which had beaten West Virginia 44–0 to reach the 5–0 mark. The next poll was: 1.LSU 2.Northwestern 3.Mississippi 4.Texas 5.Syracuse

October 31 No. 1 LSU and No. 3 Mississippi, both 6–0, met in Baton Rouge and both schools had great defenses. LSU had outscored its opposition 103–6, while Ole Miss had a 189–7 point differential over all comers. Someone had to lose, and Ole Miss fell to LSU 7–3. Billy Cannon returned a Jake Gibbs punt 89 yards for the game's only touchdown, but the Rebels had a chance to win the game when it drove to the LSU 1–yard line in the closing seconds, only to see third-string quarterback Doug Elmore stopped cold on fourth and goal by Cannon. No. 2 Northwestern beat visiting Indiana 30–13. No. 4 Texas beat SMU in Dallas, 21–0. No. 5 Syracuse won at Pittsburgh, 35–0, and rose to fourth. The next poll was: 1.LSU 2.Northwestern 3.Texas 4.Syracuse 5.Mississippi

November

November 7 No. 1 LSU traveled to Knoxville to face Tennessee, and gave up a touchdown for the first time in the season. The Vols made it to the end zone twice, winning 14–13 over the Tigers. Losing also was No. 2 Northwestern, which fell to the visiting Wisconsin, 24–19, and dropped to 6th. No. 3 Texas won a close one over Baylor, 13–12, and rose to 2nd. No. 4 Syracuse, which had won at Penn State 20–18, was catapulted to the No. 1 spot. No. 5 Mississippi crushed UT-Chattanooga 58–0. No. 6 USC returned to the Top Five after a 36–0 win over West Virginia. The next poll was 1.Syracuse 2.Texas 3.LSU 4.USC 5.Mississippi

November 14 No. 1 Syracuse exercised its top status, brushing off overmatched Colgate 71–0. No. 2 Texas lost to TCU, 14–9, and No. 3 LSU returned to its winning ways, beating Mississippi State at home, 27–0. No. 4 USC beat Baylor 17–8. No. 5 Mississippi beat Tennessee in Memphis, 37–7. The poll changed slightly: 1.Syracuse 2.Mississippi 3.LSU 4.USC 5.Texas

November 21 No. 1 Syracuse won at Boston University, 46–0, for its fifth shutout as it reached the 9–0 mark. No. 3 LSU beat Tulane 14–6, then accepted an invitation to play in the Sugar Bowl. No. 4 USC lost to rival UCLA, 10–3 and fell to 7th. No. 9 Wisconsin, which closed its season with an 11–7 win at Minnesota, rose to 5th. No. 2 Mississippi and No. 5 Texas were idle, but stayed at the same place in the polls: 1.Syracuse 2.Mississippi 3.LSU 4.Texas 5.Wisconsin

On Thanksgiving Day, No. 4 Texas won 20–17 at Texas A&M. No. 1 Syracuse was idle as it prepared for its December 5 trip to Los Angeles to play UCLA. On Saturday, November 28, No. 2 Mississippi played its season ender against Mississippi State, in Starkville, and won 42–0. Both LSU and Ole Miss were invited to a rematch in New Orleans at the Sugar Bowl. A third SEC team, the No. 6 Georgia Bulldogs, beat Georgia Tech 21–14 in Atlanta and accepted a spot in the Orange Bowl. Because Oklahoma had played in the Orange Bowl the year before, a "no repeat" rule gave the Big 7 (Oklahoma State would join later) berth to 6–4 Missouri. The Rose Bowl matched No. 6 Wisconsin against No. 8 Washington. The penultimate poll was 1.Syracuse 2.Mississippi 3.LSU 4.Texas 5.Georgia.

On December 5, No. 1 Syracuse closed its season with trip to the Los Angeles Coliseum to face the upset-minded (but 5–3–1) UCLA Bruins [7] In a nationally televised game, the Orangemen took a 14–0 lead and went on to win 36–8 to finish the season with a perfect 10–0 record. [8] As the only unbeaten team among universities, the Syracuse Orangemen were voted No. 1 in the AP Poll (with 134 of 201 first-place votes) [2] [3] and in the UPI Coaches Poll, with 31 of the 35 first-place votes. [4] [5] [9]

Conference standings

1959 Athletic Association of Western Universities football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 8 Washington ^ +310  1010
No. 14 USC +310  820
UCLA +310  541
California 130  280
Stanford 040  370
  • + Conference co-champions
  • ^ – Selected as Rose Bowl representative
Rankings from AP Poll
1959 Atlantic Coast Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
No. 11 Clemson $ 61    92 
North Carolina  52    55 
Maryland  42    55 
South Carolina  43    64 
Wake Forest  43    64 
Duke  23    46 
NC State  06    19 
Virginia  05    010 
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll [10]
1959 Big Seven Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 15 Oklahoma $510  730
No. 18 Missouri 420  650
Colorado 330  550
Iowa State 330  730
Kansas 330  550
Nebraska 240  460
Kansas State 150  280
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1959 Big Ten Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 6 Wisconsin $520  730
Michigan State 420  540
Purdue 421  522
No. 13 Illinois 421  531
Northwestern 430  630
Iowa 330  540
Michigan 340  450
Indiana 241  441
Ohio State 241  351
Minnesota 160  270
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1959 Border Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Arizona State $500  1010
Arizona 210  460
New Mexico A&M Aggies 220  830
Hardin–Simmons 220  370
Texas Western 230  370
West Texas State 050  190
  • $ Conference champion
1959 Ivy League football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Penn $610  711
Dartmouth 511  531
Harvard 430  630
Yale 430  630
Cornell 340  540
Princeton 340  450
Brown 151  261
Columbia 160  270
  • $ Conference champion
1959 Middle Atlantic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
University
Delaware x500  810
Gettysburg 320  540
Lafayette 430  540
Bucknell 330  450
Rutgers 220  630
Lehigh 230  450
Temple 050  090
Muhlenberg*120  360
College–Northern
Albright x610  730
Juniata 510  710
Wagner 510  620
Lebanon Valley 320  530
Susquehanna 320  430
Moravian 240  350
Wilkes 250  250
Lycoming 140  350
Scranton*310  540
College–Southern
Johns Hopkins x600  710
Pennsylvania Military 620  620
Western Maryland 321  522
Ursinus 250  260
Dickinson 150  170
Haverford 050  150
Drexel 050  160
Franklin & Marshall*121  431
Swarthmore*130  ???
West Chester*000  710
  • x Division champion/co-champions
  • * – Ineligible for championship due to insufficient conference games
Rankings from AP Poll
1959 Missouri Valley Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
North Texas State +310  920
Houston +310  370
Tulsa 220  550
Wichita 121  541
Cincinnati 031  541
  • + Conference co-champions
1959 Skyline Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 16 Wyoming $700  910
Colorado State 520  640
New Mexico 420  730
Utah 320  550
Utah State 250  560
BYU 250  370
Denver 250  280
Montana 150  180
  • $ Conference champion
1959 Southeastern Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 5 Georgia $700  1010
No. 3 LSU 510  920
No. 2 Ole Miss 510  1010
No. 10 Alabama 412  722
Auburn 430  730
Vanderbilt 322  532
Georgia Tech 330  650
Tennessee 341  541
No. 19 Florida 240  541
Kentucky 160  460
Tulane 051  361
Mississippi State 070  270
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1959 Southern Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
VMI $501  811
The Citadel 510  820
VPI 310  640
Furman 320  370
Richmond 431  451
West Virginia 220  370
William & Mary 250  460
Davidson 050  180
George Washington 050  180
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1959 Southwest Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 9 Arkansas +510  920
No. 4 Texas +510  920
No. 7 TCU +510  830
SMU 231  541
Baylor 240  460
Rice 141  172
Texas A&M 060  370
  • + Conference co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll
1959 NCAA University Division independents football records
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 1 Syracuse     1100
No. 12 Penn State     920
Oregon     820
Rutgers     630
Detroit     640
Holy Cross     640
Miami (FL)     640
Oklahoma State     640
No. 20 Pittsburgh     640
Washington State     640
Boston College     540
Pacific (CA)     540
Air Force     541
Navy     541
Army     441
No. 17 Notre Dame     550
Florida State     460
San Jose State     460
Texas Tech     460
Dayton     370
Marquette     370
Oregon State     370
Colgate     270
Idaho     190
Villanova     190
Rankings from AP Poll

Bowl games

Major bowls

Friday, January 1, 1960

COTTON No. 1 Syracuse Orangemen 23No. 4 Texas Longhorns 14
SUGAR No. 2 Mississippi Rebels 21No. 3 LSU Tigers 0
ROSE No. 8 Washington Huskies 44No. 6 Wisconsin Badgers 8
ORANGE No. 5 Georgia Bulldogs 14No. 18 Missouri Tigers 0

Behind future Heisman Trophy winner Ernie Davis, the Orangemen proved the voters' decision to name them national champions in the final polls was a wise one. It was the first Cotton Bowl for the Longhorns under coach Darrell Royal, who guided Texas to national championships in 1963, 1969, and 1970, and compiled a career record of 167–47–5 (.774) in Austin from 1957 through 1976.

Ole Miss systematically demolished LSU in the Sugar Bowl. LSU was Ole Miss's sole loss of the regular season. The Rebels outgained the Bayou Bengals and Heisman Trophy winner Billy Cannon 373–74 in front of a largely pro-LSU crowd of over 83,000 at Tulane Stadium. Immediately following the game, Cannon signed a contract with the Houston Oilers of the fledgling American Football League, spurning the Los Angeles Rams and general manager Pete Rozelle.

Other bowls

BOWLLocationDateWinnerScoreRunner-up
SUN El Paso, TXDecember 31 New Mexico State 28–8 North Texas State
GATOR Jacksonville, FLJanuary 2No. 9 Arkansas 14–7 Georgia Tech
BLUEBONNET Houston, TXDecember 19No. 11 Clemson 23–7No. 7 TCU
LIBERTY Philadelphia, PADecember 19No. 12 Penn State   7–0No. 10 Alabama

Heisman Trophy

  1. Billy Cannon , HB - LSU, 1,929 points
  2. Richie Lucas, QB - Penn State, 613
  3. Don Meredith, QB - SMU, 286
  4. Bill Burrell, G-LB - Illinois, 196
  5. Charlie Flowers, FB - Mississippi, 193
  6. Dean Look, QB - Michigan State, 176
  7. Dale Hackbart, DB - Wisconsin, 134
  8. Dwight Nichols, RB - Iowa State, 126
  9. Monty Stickles, E - Notre Dame, 126
  10. Ron Burton, RB - Northwestern, 122
  11. Roger Davis, OL - Syracuse
  12. Gerhard Schwedes, HB - Syracuse
  13. Bill Carpenter, E - Army
  14. Bob Schloredt, QB - Washington

Source: [11] [12]

See also

Related Research Articles

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References

  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-10-02. Retrieved 2009-01-11.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. 1 2 "Orange win grid crown". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. December 8, 1959. p. 18.
  3. 1 2 "Syracuse runs off with title". Toledo Blade. (Ohio). Associated Press. December 8, 1959. p. 34.
  4. 1 2 "Syracuse tops final grid poll by wide margin". Bend Bulletin. (Oregon). UPI. December 8, 1959. p. 2.
  5. 1 2 "Syracuse is voted national champion by coaches board". Reading Eagle. (Pennsylvania). UPI. December 8, 1959. p. 23.
  6. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-10-02. Retrieved 2009-01-11.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. "UCLA Threat To Syracuse's Title Hopes", Oakland Tribune, December 1, 1959, p44
  8. "Orange Rolls to 36–8 Win Over Bruins", Oakland Tribune, December 6, 1959, p79
  9. "Nation Votes Syracuse University Best On Gridiron", Syracuse Herald Journal, December 8, 1959, p.33
  10. "1959 Atlantic Coast Conference Year Summary". sports-reference.com. Retrieved January 17, 2013.
  11. "LSU's Billy Cannon Heisman Trophy winner". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. December 2, 1959. p. 1D.
  12. "Billy Cannon". Heisman Trophy. 1959. Retrieved January 29, 2017.