1964 NCAA University Division football season

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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" (AP and UPI), 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 1964 season ended with controversy as to whether Alabama or Arkansas should be recognized as the national champion:

After a one-year trial run in 1965, the AP Poll began its current practice of naming their national champion at the conclusion of the bowl games in 1968. The UPI Poll followed suit in 1974, after its choice for national champions in each of 1965, 1970, and 1973 lost their respective bowl games.

Conference and program changes

School1963 Conference1964 Conference
Abilene Christian Wildcats Independent Southland
Arkansas State Indians Independent Southland
Arlington State Mavericks Independent Southland
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Southeastern Independent
Lamar Tech Cardinals Independent Southland
Oregon Webfoots Independent AAWU
Oregon State Beavers Independent AAWU
Trinity (TX) Tigers Independent Southland


In the preseason poll released on September 14, Mississippi (Ole Miss) was ranked first and Oklahoma second. Big Ten rivals Illinois and Ohio State were ranked No. 3 and No. 5 respectively, while 1963 champion Texas was No. 4. On September 19, No. 1 Mississippi beat Memphis State 30–0 at home, while No. 2 Oklahoma beat Maryland 13–3 on the road at College Park. No. 4 Texas defeated Tulane 31–0 at home.

The following week (September 26), No. 1 Mississippi was upset 27–21 by a late Kentucky touchdown at Jackson, and No. 2 Oklahoma was crushed by the USC Trojans, 40–14, before a record home crowd. No. 3 Illinois beat California 20–14, and No. 4 Texas shut out Texas Tech 23–0. No. 5 Ohio State defeated SMU at home, 27–8. In the poll that followed, the Texas Longhorns were the new No. 1 and USC No. 2, followed by Illinois, Alabama, and Ohio State.


On October 3, No. 1 Texas beat Army 17–6 at home. Meanwhile, No. 2 USC lost 17–7 at Michigan State and No. 3 Illinois won 17–6 over Northwestern. No. 3 Alabama beat Tulane in a neutral site game at Mobile, 36–6. No. 5 Ohio State beat Indiana at home, 17–9. Previously unranked Kentucky earned a spot in the next poll after beating Auburn 20–0 in Birmingham. Two games, Duke at Tulane and Florida at LSU, were postponed until the end of the season due to the threat of Hurricane Hilda, which made landfall in Louisiana that day.
The top 5: 1.Texas 2.Illinois 3.Alabama 4.Ohio State 5.Kentucky.

Top-ranked Texas beat Oklahoma 28–7 at Dallas on October 10. Visiting No. 4 Ohio State shut out No. 2 Illinois 26–0 in the Big Ten, and No. 3 Alabama beat North Carolina State 21–0. No. 5 Kentucky, previously 3–0, was beaten 48–6 by Florida State, the start of a four-game losing streak en route to a 5–5 season. Two road wins moved teams into the top five: No. 6 Notre Dame won 34–7 at Air Force and No. 8 Michigan won 17–10 at Michigan State.
The top 5 were 1.Texas 2.Ohio State 3.Alabama 4.Notre Dame 5.Michigan.

On October 17, No. 8 Arkansas beat No. 1 Texas at Austin, 14–13, stopping a late two-point conversion attempt. No. 2 Ohio State beat the USC Trojans in Columbus, 17–0. No. 3 Alabama and No. 4 Notre Dame remained unbeaten, defeating Tennessee (19–8) and UCLA (24–0) respectively. No. 5 Michigan lost to Purdue 21–20. Ohio State was the new No. 1. No. 6 Nebraska, which had beaten Kansas State 47–0 (and outscored its opponents 171–34 in five wins), took over fifth place.
The rankings were 1.Ohio State 2.Notre Dame 3.Alabama 4.Arkansas 5.Nebraska.

October 24 had No. 1 Ohio State over Wisconsin at home, 28–3. No. 2 Notre Dame beat Stanford 26–7, No. 3 Alabama beat Florida 17–14. No. 4 Arkansas beat Wichita State 17–0, and No. 5 Nebraska beat Colorado 21–3. The top five remained unchanged.

October 31, No. 1 Ohio State beat Iowa 21–19, while No. 2 Notre Dame defeated Navy 40–0. In the next poll, the Fighting Irish rose to No. 1. No. 3 Alabama (23–6 over Ole Miss), No. 4 Arkansas (17–0 over Texas A&M) and No. 5 Nebraska (9–0 over Missouri) remained unbeaten.


November 7, No. 1 Notre Dame beat the Pitt Panthers at Pittsburgh 17–15. Meanwhile, No. 2 Ohio State suffered its first loss to unranked (3–4) Penn State, 27–0. No. 3 Alabama (17–9 over LSU), No. 4 Arkansas (21–0 vs. Rice) and No. 5 Nebraska (14–7 over Kansas) stayed unbeaten, and moved up in the poll. Texas (7–1), whose lone loss had been to Arkansas, was fifth after a 20–14 win at Baylor.

November 14, No. 1 Notre Dame defeated Michigan State 34–7, and No. 2 Alabama beat Georgia Tech in Atlanta, 14–7, to stay unbeaten. Also unblemished were No. 3 Arkansas (44–0 over SMU) and No. 4 Nebraska (27–14 vs. Oklahoma State). No. 5 Texas won 28–13 over TCU. The poll remained unchanged (1.Notre Dame 2.Alabama 3.Arkansas 4.Nebraska 5.Texas)

November 21, No. 1 Notre Dame beat Iowa in South Bend, 28–0. No. 3 Arkansas beat Texas Tech 17–0 to close its regular season with five straight shutouts, unbeaten at 10–0. No. 4 Nebraska suffered its first loss at Oklahoma, 17–7. Michigan defeated Ohio State 10–7 to win the Big Ten title and a berth in the Rose Bowl. In the November 23 AP poll, unbeaten Notre Dame, Alabama, and Arkansas were first, second, and third, followed by Texas and Michigan.

November 26–28, Thanksgiving Day saw No. 2 Alabama finish the regular season unbeaten (10–0) with a 21–14 win over Auburn in Birmingham. No. 5 Texas beat Texas A&M 26–7 to finish 10–1. On November 28 in Los Angeles, No. 1 Notre Dame led USC 17–0 at halftime but lost, 20–17. With only Alabama and Arkansas remaining unbeaten, both with records of 10–0, the final AP poll was taken on November 30. Alabama took over the top spot and recognition as the NCAA national champion. Arkansas was second, Texas rose to third, Notre Dame dropped to fourth, and Michigan was fifth.

Alabama won the SEC championship, but a "no repeat rule" prevented them from playing in the Sugar Bowl for a second straight year. The Orange Bowl invited Alabama and Texas on November 21. [4] The Cotton Bowl had invited then-unbeaten Nebraska on November 15 to play unbeaten Southwestern Conference champion Arkansas. [5] As such, there would be no No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup in the Cotton Bowl Classic. Notre Dame declined to play in a bowl game. The Irish did not play in any bowl games for over forty years, until the 1969 season.

Conference standings

1964 Athletic Association of Western Universities football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 8 Oregon State ^ +310  830
No. 10 USC +310  730
Washington 520  640
UCLA 220  460
Stanford 340  550
Oregon 121  721
Washington State 121  361
California 040  370
  • + Conference co-champions
  • ^ – Rose Bowl representative determined by longest absence, due to no head-to-head result and 4–4 tie in member vote.
Rankings from AP Poll
1964 Atlantic Coast Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
NC State $520  550
Duke 321  451
Maryland 430  550
North Carolina 430  550
Wake Forest 430  550
South Carolina 231  352
Clemson 240  370
Virginia 150  550
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll [6]
1964 Big Eight Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 6 Nebraska $610  920
Oklahoma 511  641
Kansas 520  640
Missouri 421  631
Oklahoma State 340  460
Kansas State 340  370
Colorado 160  280
Iowa State 070  181
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1964 Big Ten football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 4 Michigan $610  910
No. 9 Ohio State 510  720
Purdue 520  630
Illinois 430  630
Minnesota 430  540
Michigan State 330  450
Northwestern 250  360
Wisconsin 250  360
Iowa 150  360
Indiana 150  270
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1964 Ivy League football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Princeton $700  900
Harvard 520  630
Yale 421  621
Dartmouth 430  630
Cornell 340  351
Brown 340  540
Columbia 151  261
Penn 070  180
  • $ Conference champion
1964 Mid-American Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Bowling Green $510  910
Marshall 420  730
Miami 420  631
Ohio 321  541
Western Michigan 240  360
Kent State 141  351
Toledo 150  280
  • $ Conference champion
1964 Middle Atlantic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Gettysburg x510  720
Bucknell 410  720
Temple 410  720
Delaware 330  450
Lafayette 042  072
Hofstra 031  631
Lehigh 031  171
Wagner x500  1000
Albright 610  810
Juniata 330  440
Moravian 340  440
Upsala 240  350
Wilkes 150  160
Lycoming 150  170
Susquehanna *200  720
Franklin & Marshall x700  800
Drexel 410  720
Muhlenberg 530  540
Lebanon Valley 440  440
Pennsylvania Military 440  450
Swarthmore 330  340
Dickinson 450  450
Western Maryland 240  450
Johns Hopkins 240  260
Ursinus 250  260
Haverford 050  061
West Chester *000  620
  • x Division champion/co-champions
  • * – Ineligible for championship due to insufficient conference games
1964 Middle Three Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Rutgers $200  630
Lehigh 011  171
Lafayette 011  072
  • $ Conference champion
1964 Missouri Valley Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Cincinnati $300  820
Tulsa 310  920
Wichita State 220  460
North Texas State 130  271
Louisville 030  190
  • $ Conference champion
1964 Southeastern Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 1 Alabama $800  1010
Florida 420  730
No. 7 LSU 421  821
Georgia 320  731
Auburn 330  640
Kentucky 330  550
Ole Miss 241  551
Mississippi State 250  460
Vanderbilt 141  361
Tennessee 151  451
Tulane 140  370
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1964 Southern Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
West Virginia $ 50    74 
VPI  31    64 
George Washington  32    54 
The Citadel  43    46 
William & Mary  43    46 
Richmond  24    37 
Davidson  13    36 
Furman  14    37 
VMI  14    19 
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1964 Southwest Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 2 Arkansas $700  1100
No. 5 Texas 610  1010
Baylor 430  550
Texas Tech 331  641
Rice 331  451
TCU 340  460
Texas A&M 160  190
SMU 070  190
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1964 Western Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
New Mexico +310  920
Utah +310  920
Arizona +310  631
Wyoming 220  622
Arizona State 020  820
BYU 040  361
  • + Conference co-champions
1964 NCAA University Division independents football records
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 3 Notre Dame     910
Florida State     911
Colgate     720
Georgia Tech     730
Syracuse     740
Villanova     620
Boston College     630
Southern Miss     630
New Mexico State     640
Penn State     640
Memphis State     540
Utah State     541
Holy Cross     550
Buffalo     441
Colorado State     560
Air Force     451
Miami (FL)     451
Xavier     451
Army     460
Idaho     460
West Texas State     460
San Jose State     460
Pittsburgh     352
Navy     361
Dayton     370
Detroit     370
Boston University     270
Houston     261
Texas Western     082
Rankings from AP Poll

Bowl games

Major bowls

Friday, January 1, 1965

COTTON No. 2 Arkansas Razorbacks 10No. 6 Nebraska Cornhuskers 7
SUGAR No. 7 LSU Tigers 10      Syracuse Orangemen 7
ROSE No. 4 Michigan Wolverines 34No. 8 Oregon State Beavers 7
ORANGE No. 5 Texas Longhorns 21No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide 17

Top-ranked Alabama, led by quarterback Joe Namath, fell to No. 5 Texas 21–17 in the Orange Bowl, the first night postseason bowl game. In the final minutes, down by four and facing 4th-and-goal at the Texas one-yard line, Namath's quarterback sneak was denied by the Longhorn defense. In the Cotton Bowl, quarterback Fred Marshall drove No. 2 Arkansas to a touchdown with 4:41 left to beat No. 6 Nebraska 10–7. Notable members of the 1964 Arkansas team include Jerry Jones, who would later become a billionaire as owner of the Dallas Cowboys of the NFL, and Jimmy Johnson, whom Jones would hire as coach of the Cowboys. No. 5 Michigan routed No. 8 Oregon State 34–7 in the Rose Bowl, while in the Sugar Bowl, No. 7 LSU beat unranked Syracuse 10–7 on a late field goal.

A five-member committee of the Football Writers Association of America awarded Arkansas the "Grantland Rice Trophy" as the No. 1 team in a poll taken after the bowl games. The Helms Athletic Foundation, which also took polls after the bowl games, named Arkansas as the national champions. Notre Dame was named as the National Football Foundation's national champion. In 1965, the AP's final poll came after the bowl games, but the policy did not become permanent until 1968. The Coaches' Poll adopted the same policy in 1974, after similar issues in 1970 and 1973. These selectors, including the AP Poll and the Coaches' Poll, were nationally syndicated in newspapers and magazines during the 1964 football season. [7]

Other bowls

SUN El Paso, TXDecember 26 Georgia 7–0 Texas Tech
GATOR Jacksonville, FLJanuary 2 Florida State 36–19 Oklahoma
BLUEBONNET Houston, TXDecember 19 Tulsa 14–7 Mississippi
LIBERTY Atlantic City, NJDecember 19 Utah 32–6 West Virginia

Heisman Trophy

  1. John Huarte , QB - Notre Dame, 1,026 points
  2. Jerry Rhome, QB - Tulsa, 952
  3. Dick Butkus, C-LB - Illinois, 505
  4. Bob Timberlake, QB-K - Michigan, 361
  5. Jack Snow, WR - Notre Dame, 187
  6. Tucker Frederickson, FB - Auburn, 184
  7. Craig Morton, QB - California, 181
  8. Steve DeLong, NG - Tennessee, 176
  9. Cosmo Iacavazzi, RB - Princeton, 165
  10. Brian Piccolo, RB - Wake Forest, 124
  11. Joe Namath, QB - Alabama
  12. Gale Sayers, RB - Kansas
  13. Bob Berry, QB - Oregon
  14. Archie Roberts, QB - Columbia

Source: [8] [9]

See also

Related Research Articles

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  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-10-02. Retrieved 2009-01-06.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. "WOOOOO, Pig! Razorbacks Win Grantland Trophy". The Longview Daily News. January 7, 1965. p. 9 via Newspapers.com.
  3. 2017 NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Records (PDF). Indianapolis: The National Collegiate Athletic Association. July 2017. pp. 113–114. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
  4. "Orange Bowl Wants Tide, Longhorns," Kingsport Times News November 22, 1964, pC-1
  5. "Nebraska Agrees to Play Arkansas in Cotton Bowl," The Post Standard (Syracuse, NY) November 16, 1964, p17
  6. "1964 Atlantic Coast Conference Year Summary". sports-reference.com. Retrieved January 23, 2013.
  7. "National Poll Champions" (PDF). NCAA. p. 70. Retrieved 2011-07-29.
  8. "Huarte wins Heisman gridiron trophy". Chicago Tribune. Associated Press. November 25, 1964. p. 1, sec. 3.
  9. "John Huarte". Heisman Trophy. 1964. Retrieved January 24, 2017.