1966 NCAA University Division football season

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The 1966 University Division football season was marked by some controversy as the year of "The Tie", a famous 10–10 game between the two top-ranked teams, Michigan State and Notre Dame on November 19. Both teams were crowned national champions by various organizations after the regular season concluded, and neither participated in bowl game. Alabama finished the regular season undefeated and was third in the AP poll, while Georgia was fourth. Alabama went on to win the Sugar Bowl in dominant fashion. 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.

Contents

The NCAA Football Guide, however, did note an "unofficial national champion" based on the top ranked teams in the "wire service" (AP and UPI) polls. The "writers' poll" by Associated Press (AP) was the most popular, followed by the "coaches' poll" by United Press International) (UPI). In 1966, both services issued their final polls at the close of the regular season, but before teams competed in bowl games. The Associated Press presented the "AP Trophy" to the winner.

The AP poll in 1966 consisted of the votes of as many as 63 sportswriters, though not all of them voted in every poll. Those who cast votes would give their opinion of the ten best teams. Under a point system of 10 points for first place, 9 for second, etc., the "overall" ranking was determined. In the preseason poll for 1966, Alabama was slightly ahead of Michigan State in first place votes (15 vs. 12) and points.

Prior to the start of the 1966 season, East Carolina was elevated to the University Division. [2]

The American Broadcasting Company began showing college football in color this season. By the NCAA rules, only 8 national and 5 regional telecasts were allowed during the season.

Rule changes

Conference and program changes

School1965 Conference1966 Conference
Akron Zips Ohio Athletic Independent
Tulane Green Wave SEC Independent

September

In the preseason poll released on September 12, the top six teams were from different conferences. First place was the defending champion Alabama Crimson Tide (SEC), followed by defending UPI champ Michigan State (Big Ten), Nebraska (Big Eight), UCLA (Pacific-8), Arkansas (SWC) and Notre Dame (independent).

September 17 No. 2 Michigan State beat North Carolina State 28–10 at home, No. 3 Nebraska beat Texas Christian (TCU) 14–10, and No. 4 UCLA crushed Pittsburgh 57–14 in Los Angeles. At a game in Little Rock, No. 5 Arkansas beat visiting Oklahoma State 14–10, but fell to 6th place in the next poll, while No. 9 USC won at Texas, 10–6. Alabama had not yet begun its season. The poll was 1.Michigan State 2.UCLA 3.Alabama 4.Nebraska and 5.USC.

September 24 No. 1 Michigan State beat Penn State 42–8 at home in East Lansing. No. 2 UCLA won 31–12 at Syracuse, No. 3 Alabama easily handled Louisiana Tech 34–0, and No. 4 Nebraska won over Utah State 28–7 but would drop to sixth. The Cornhuskers were replaced by No. 8 Notre Dame, which had beaten No. 7 Purdue at home, 26–14. No. 5 USC beat Wisconsin in Los Angeles 38–3. In the poll, it was 1.Michigan State 2.UCLA 3.Alabama 4.Notre Dame and 5.USC.

October

October 1 No. 1 Michigan State won at Illinois, 26–10. No. 2 UCLA hosted Missouri and won, 24–15. No. 3 Alabama beat Mississippi 17–7, while No. 4 Notre Dame won 35–7 at Northwestern and thus jumped over Alabama to No. 3. No. 5 USC played Oregon State in a game at Portland, winning 21–0, but it dropped from fifth to sixth. Its place was taken by No. 7 Arkansas, which shut out Texas Christian by the same 21–0 score. The next poll was 1.Michigan State 2.UCLA 3.Notre Dame 4.Alabama 5.Arkansas. All of the Top Ten teams remained unbeaten (the next five were USC, Nebraska, Tennessee, Georgia Tech and Florida

October 8 No. 1 Michigan State beat Michigan at home, 20–7. No. 2 UCLA won in Houston against Rice, 27–24. No. 3 Notre Dame and No. 4 Alabama registered shutouts, beating Army (35–0) and Clemson (26–0), respectively. Thus, Notre Dame and Alabama jumped over UCLA. No. 5 Arkansas was itself shut out, 7–0, by the Baylor Bears. They were replaced at fifth place by No. 6 USC which won 17–14 at home against Washington. No. 7 Nebraska beat the Wisconsin Badgers in Madison, 31–3. In a matchup between No. 9 Georgia Tech and No. 8 Tennessee in Atlanta, Tech won 6–3. With two unbeatens gone, the eight remaining in the poll were 1.Michigan State 2.Notre Dame 3.Alabama 4.UCLA 5.USC 6.Nebraska 7.Georgia Tech 8.Florida

October 15 No. 1 Michigan State narrowly beat Ohio State in Columbus, 11–8, while No. 2 Notre Dame held North Carolina scoreless at home, 32–0, which was enough for them to trade places in the next poll. Likewise, No. 3 Alabama edged Tennessee 11–10 while No. 4 UCLA overwhelmed Penn State 49–11 to jump back ahead of Alabama. UCLA's Los Angeles rival, No. 5 USC, beat Stanford 21–7. No. 6 Nebraska won 21–10 over Kansas State. No. 7 Georgia Tech met Auburn in Birmingham, winning 17–3 to stay unbeaten, and No. 8 Florida won at North Carolina State, 17–10. Oklahoma, which was scheduled to face Notre Dame, beat Kansas 35–0, while Purdue (set to face Michigan State) beat Michigan 22–21 in Ann Arbor. Purdue was the only team with a loss in the next poll: 1.Notre Dame 2.Michigan State 3.UCLA 4.Alabama 5.USC 6.Georgia Tech 7.Nebraska 8.Florida 9.Purdue 10.Oklahoma

On October 22, No. 1 Notre Dame met No. 10 Oklahoma at Norman and beat them, 38–0. No. 2 Michigan State hosted No. 9 Purdue and won 41–20, which would give State the Big Ten crown. Because of a Big Ten rule barring two straight Rose Bowl appearances, Purdue went to Pasadena instead of the Spartans. No. 3 UCLA won 28–15 at California in Berkeley, while in Birmingham, No. 4 Alabama handled Vanderbilt 42–6 and No. 5 USC beat visiting Clemson 30–0. It was No. 6 Georgia Tech over Tulane, 35–17, and No. 7 Nebraska won 21–19 at Colorado in a game that would determine the Big 8 championship. Arkansas returned to the Top Ten with a 41–0 triumph over Wichita State at Little Rock and Wyoming (which had gone 6–0–0 with a 35–10 win over Utah State) reached No. 10. The next poll had nine unbeaten teams, and Arkansas: 1.Notre Dame 2.Michigan State 3.UCLA 4.Alabama 5.USC 6.Ga Tech 7.Florida 8.Nebraska 9.Arkansas 5–1 10.Wyoming

October 29 Week Eight featured games in large cities. In a Friday night game in Miami, No. 5 USC lost 10–7 to the Hurricanes. No. 1 Notre Dame met Navy in a game at Philadelphia and won 31–7. No. 2 Michigan State traveled to metropolitan Chicago (Evanston) to beat Northwestern 22–0. In Los Angeles, No. 3 UCLA beat the Air Force Academy 38–13. No. 4 Alabama beat Mississippi State 27–14 in Tuscaloosa. Three other teams won again to go 7–0–0 (No. 6 Georgia Tech over Duke 48–7, No. 7 Florida over Auburn 30–27 and No. 8 Nebraska 35–0 over Missouri). No. 9 Arkansas won 34–0 over Texas A&M, and No. 10 Wyoming's Top Ten ranking ended with its first loss, 12–10 at Colorado State. The remaining unbeatens in the Halloween rankings were 1.Notre Dame 2.Michigan State 3.UCLA 4.Alabama 5.Georgia Tech 6.Nebraska and 7.Florida.

November

November 5 No. 1 Notre Dame beat Pittsburgh at home, 40–0. No. 2 Michigan State beat Iowa at home, 56–7. In Seattle, The No. 3 UCLA Bruins suffered their first loss, falling 16–3 at Washington. No. 4 Alabama defeated LSU 21–0 at Birmingham. No. 5 Georgia Tech got by Virginia in Atlanta, 14–13. No. 6 Nebraska, which had won 24–13 at Kansas, entered the Top Five, which contained the nation's five unbeaten major teams: 1.Notre Dame 2.Michigan State 3.Alabama 4.Nebraska 5.Georgia Tech.

On November 12, No. 1 Notre Dame crushed Duke 64–0 at home. No. 2 Michigan State won at Indiana 37–19. No. 3 Alabama over South Carolina 24–0 at Tuscaloosa for its third straight shutout win. No. 4 Nebraska won 21–6 over Oklahoma State, and No. 5 Georgia Tech beat Penn State 21–0. The Top Five remained the same, as No. 1 Notre Dame and No. 2 Michigan State prepared to meet on State's turf in East Lansing.

November 19, In "the game of the century" No. 1 Notre Dame played No. 2 Michigan State to a 10–10 tie in East Lansing. The Spartans closed their season with a 9–0–1 record and no postseason game, since they had played the 1965 Rose Bowl and were barred from a repeat. After the game, the AP and UPI split, with the AP ranking Notre Dame No. 1 and the UPI ranking Michigan State No. 1. Without injured star QB Gary Beban, No. 8 UCLA still managed to beat No. 7 USC 14–7. Although UCLA finished with a better overall record (9–1) and ranking (No.5) than USC (7–3), it was the Trojans who were voted by the conference to go on to the Rose Bowl, due to having played one more "conference game." UCLA students took to the streets protesting the decision in anger, at one point blocking the nearby 405 Freeway. The Rose Bowl would pit USC vs. Purdue when the ideal matchup was largely considered UCLA vs. Michigan State. No. 3 Alabama, No. 4 Nebraska and No. 5 Georgia Tech were all idle. The poll remained unchanged.

On Thanksgiving Day, No. 4 Nebraska and Oklahoma met at Norman, with the Sooners winning 10–9 to leave the Cornhuskers with a 9–1–0 finish. On Saturday, November 26, No. 1 Notre Dame went to Los Angeles to hand No. 10 USC a 51–0 shutout loss—the most points scored against USC up to that time, and USC's largest margin of defeat to this day. No. 3 Alabama won over Southern Mississippi in Mobile. No. 5 Georgia Tech lost to No. 7 Georgia 23–14 at Athens. The Bulldogs closed with a 9–1–0 finish, an unbeaten SEC record (tied with Alabama), and an invitation to the Cotton Bowl to face SMU. In the final regular poll, Notre Dame, Michigan State and Alabama were first, second and third, with Georgia 4th and UCLA 5th. On December 3, No. 3 Alabama closed its season with a 31–0 win over Auburn in Birmingham, for its fourth straight shutout and a 10–0–0 record.

Conference standings

1966 Athletic Association of Western Universities football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
USC $410  740
No. 5 UCLA 310  910
Oregon State 310  730
Washington 430  640
California 230  370
Oregon 130  370
Washington State 130  370
Stanford 140  550
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1966 Atlantic Coast Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
Clemson $ 61    64 
NC State  52    55 
Maryland  33    46 
Virginia  33    46 
Duke  23    55 
Wake Forest  24    37 
South Carolina  13    19 
North Carolina  14    28 
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll [3]
1966 Big Eight Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 6 Nebraska $610  920
Colorado 520  730
Missouri 421  631
Oklahoma 430  640
Oklahoma State 421  451
Iowa State 232  262
Kansas 061  271
Kansas State 061  091
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1966 Big Ten football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 2 Michigan State $700  901
No. 7 Purdue 610  920
Michigan 430  640
Illinois 430  460
Minnesota 331  451
Ohio State 340  450
Northwestern 241  361
Wisconsin 241  361
Indiana 151  181
Iowa 160  280
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1966 Ivy League football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Dartmouth +610  720
Harvard +610  810
Princeton +610  720
Cornell 430  630
Yale 340  450
Columbia 250  270
Penn 160  270
Brown 070  180
  • + Conference co-champions
1966 Mid-American Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Miami +510  910
Western Michigan +510  730
Bowling Green 420  630
Ohio 330  550
Kent State 240  460
Toledo 150  271
Marshall 150  280
  • + Conference co-champions
1966 Middle Atlantic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
University
Delaware x600  630
Gettysburg 420  720
Temple 220  630
Lafayette 230  360
Bucknell 230  450
Hofstra 130  280
Lehigh 040  090
College–Northern
Wilkes x700  800
Upsala 610  620
Delaware Valley 420  530
Lycoming 430  440
Moravian 441  441
Albright 440  450
Juniata 330  440
Wagner 131  261
Susquehanna *120  360
College–Southern
Swarthmore x601  601
Drexel 410  611
Franklin & Marshall 322  332
Dickinson 431  431
Western Maryland 230  450
Ursinus 241  251
Muhlenberg 261  261
Lebanon Valley 260  260
Pennsylvania Military 260  270
Haverford 150  160
Johns Hopkins 042  062
West Chester *000  810
  • x Division champion/co-champions
  • * – Ineligible for championship due to insufficient conference games
1966 Missouri Valley Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
North Texas State +310  820
Tulsa +310  640
Cincinnati 220  370
Louisville 130  640
Wichita State 130  280
  • + Conference co-champions
1966 Southeastern Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 3 Alabama +600  1100
No. 4 Georgia +500  1010
Florida 510  920
Ole Miss 520  830
Tennessee 320  830
LSU 330  541
Kentucky 240  361
Auburn 150  460
Vanderbilt 050  190
Mississippi State 060  280
  • + Conference co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll
1966 Southern Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
East Carolina +411  451
William & Mary +411  541
West Virginia 300  352
George Washington 430  550
Davidson 230  450
The Citadel 350  460
Richmond 240  280
Furman 140  371
VMI 140  280
  • + Conference co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll
1966 Southwest Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 10 SMU $610  830
Arkansas 520  820
Texas 520  740
Texas A&M 430  451
Baylor 340  550
Texas Tech 250  460
TCU 250  280
Rice 160  280
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1966 Western Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Wyoming $500  1010
BYU 320  820
Arizona State 320  550
Utah 320  550
Arizona 140  370
New Mexico 050  280
  • $ Conference champion
1966 NCAA University Division independents football records
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 1 Notre Dame      901
Colgate      811
No. 8 Georgia Tech      920
Army      820
Dayton      820
Houston      820
Memphis State      720
No. 9 Miami (FL)      821
VPI      821
Syracuse      830
Colorado State      730
New Mexico State      730
West Texas State      730
Villanova      630
Holy Cross      631
Southern Miss      640
Texas Western      640
Rutgers      540
Tulane      541
Florida State      650
Buffalo      550
Penn State      550
Air Force      460
Boston College      460
Navy      460
Utah State      460
Xavier      460
Pacific      470
San Jose State      370
Pittsburgh      190
Rankings from AP Poll

Bowl games

In the final AP poll, taken before the bowl games, 9–0–1 Notre Dame (which did not end its 40+ year no-bowls policy until the 1969 season) was the overwhelming choice of the writers for the AP Trophy, with 41 of the 56 first place votes, and Michigan State was second; neither played in a bowl game, as Notre Dame at the time refused all bowl bids and Michigan State was barred from the Rose Bowl due to a Big Ten rule that prevented teams from going to the Rose Bowl in two consecutive seasons. Alabama, which was unbeaten and later won the Sugar Bowl over Nebraska, finished third. Georgia, whose only blemish had been a one-point loss to the Miami Hurricanes, was fourth and UCLA was fifth.

Major bowls

Saturday, December 31, 1966   (Cotton)
Monday, January 2, 1967

BOWL
COTTON No. 4 Georgia Bulldogs 24No. 10 SMU Mustangs 9
SUGAR No. 3 Alabama Crimson Tide 34No. 6 Nebraska Cornhuskers 7
ROSE No. 7 Purdue Boilermakers 14 USC Trojans 13
ORANGE Florida Gators 27No. 8 Georgia Tech Yellowjackets 12

Other bowls

BOWLLocationDateWinnerScoreRunner-up
SUN El Paso, TexasDecember 24 Wyoming 28–20 Florida State
GATOR Jacksonville, FloridaDecember 31 Tennessee 18–12 Syracuse
BLUEBONNET HoustonDecember 17 Texas 19–0 Mississippi
LIBERTY Memphis, TennesseeDecember 10No. 9 Miami (FL) 14–7 Virginia Tech

Heisman Trophy

  1. Steve Spurrier , QB – Florida, 1,659 points
  2. Bob Griese, QB – Purdue, 816
  3. Nick Eddy, RB – Notre Dame, 456
  4. Gary Beban, QB – UCLA, 318
  5. Floyd Little, RB – Syracuse, 296
  6. Clinton Jones, RB – Michigan State, 204
  7. Mel Farr, RB – UCLA, 115
  8. Terry Hanratty, QB – Notre Dame, 98
  9. Lloyd Phillips, DT – Arkansas, 67
  10. George Patton, DT – Georgia, 62
Source: [4] [5] [6]

See also

Related Research Articles

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The 1978 NCAA Division I-A football season was the first season of Division I-A college football; Division I-A was created in 1978 when Division I was subdivided into Division I-A and Division I-AA for football only. With the exception of seven teams from the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), Division I teams from the 1977 season played in Division I-A during the 1978 season. The SWAC teams, along with five conferences and five other teams formerly in Division II, played in Division I-AA.

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" polls. The "writers' poll" by Associated Press (AP) was the most popular, followed by the "coaches' poll" by United Press International) (UPI). Prior to 1965, both services issued their final polls at the close of the regular season, but before teams competed in bowl games. For the 1965 season, the AP took its final poll after the postseason games, an arrangement made permanent in 1968. The Associated Press presented the "AP Trophy" to the winner.

The 1967 NCAA University Division football season was the last one in which college football's champion was crowned before the bowl games. 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 and now as the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).

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.

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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 1975 NCAA Division I football season saw University of Oklahoma repeat as national champion in the Associated Press (AP) writers' poll, and were ranked No. 1 in the United Press International (UPI) coaches' poll, just ahead of runner up Arizona State, runner-up in both final polls, despite having an undefeated 12–0 season and a win over Nebraska in the Fiesta Bowl.

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References

  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-10-02. Retrieved 2009-01-06.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. "Stasavich Forecasts Another Strong EC Club". The Daily Independent (Kannapolis, NC). June 23, 1966. p. 15 via Newspapers.com.
  3. "1966 Atlantic Coast Conference Year Summary". sports-reference.com. Retrieved January 24, 2013.
  4. "Spurrier wins Heisman Trophy". Pittsburgh Press. UPI. November 22, 1966. p. 25.
  5. "QB Spurrier gets Heisman". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. November 23, 1966. p. 10.
  6. "Steve Spurrier". Heisman Trophy. 1966. Retrieved January 24, 2017.