1968 NCAA University Division football season

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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.

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 1968, the UPI issued its final poll before the bowls, but the AP Trophy was withheld until the postseason was completed.

The AP poll in 1968 consisted of the votes of as many as 49 sportswriters, though not all of them voted in every poll. With a Top 20 for the first time since the 1960 season, there were more matchups between ranked teams. Those who cast votes would give their opinion of the ten best teams. Under a point system of 20 points for first place, 19 for second, etc., the "overall" ranking was determined. In 1969, there were four regular season games that matched "Top Five" teams.

Rule changes

Conference and program changes

School1967 Conference1968 Conference
Boise College Broncos junior college NAIA Independent
Colorado State Rams Independent WAC
Memphis State Tigers Independent Missouri Valley
UTEP Miners Independent WAC
West Virginia Mountaineers Southern Independent

September

In the preseason poll released on September 9, the Purdue Boilermakers were picked No. 1, followed by the defending champion USC Trojans. Third was the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, followed by the Oklahoma Sooners and the Texas Longhorns. A second poll was taken on September 16 (with Texas and Oklahoma trading places), although most teams would not begin play until the 21st.

September 21 No. 1 Purdue beat Virginia 44–6, and No. 2 USC won 29–20 at No. 15 Minnesota. No. 3 Notre Dame beat No. 5 Oklahoma 45–21 at South Bend, while No. 4 Texas was tied 20–20 at home by No. 11 Houston. In a proud moment for football in Indiana, Purdue remained at first, and Notre Dame rose to second, days before the annual meeting between the two schools. No. 10 Penn State beat Navy 31–6 and took Oklahoma's place at fourth in the poll. No. 6 Florida defeated Air Force 23–20 in Tampa and was fifth.
The poll was 1.Purdue 2.Notre Dame 3.USC 4.Penn State 5.Florida

September 28 No. 1 Purdue traveled to No. 2 Notre Dame and won, 37–22. No. 3 USC won 24–7 at Northwestern, No. 4 Penn State beat Kansas State 25–9, and No. 5 Florida won at Florida State 9–3.
The poll was 1.Purdue 2.USC 3.Penn State 4.Florida 5.Notre Dame

October

October 5 No. 1 Purdue won at Northwestern, 43–6, and No. 2 USC beat visiting Miami (FL), 28–3. No. 3 Penn State won at West Virginia 31–20, No. 4 Florida beat Mississippi State 31–14, but fell from the Top Five, and No. 5 Notre Dame won at Iowa 51–28. With a 21–6 win over Oregon, Ohio State reached fourth place.
The poll was 1.Purdue 2.USC 3.Penn State 4.Ohio State 5.Notre Dame

October 12 No. 1 Purdue lost 13–0 at No. 4 Ohio State, and No. 2 USC won 27–24 at No. 18 Stanford. No. 3 Penn State won at UCLA 21–6, No. 5 Notre Dame beat Northwestern 27–7, and No. 6 Kansas won 23–13 at No. 9 Nebraska, and rose to fourth.
The poll was 1.USC 2.Ohio State 3.Penn State 4.Kansas 5.Purdue

October 19 No. 1 USC beat Washington 14–7, and No. 2 Ohio State beat Northwestern 45–21. No. 3 Penn State was idle, No. 4 Kansas beat Oklahoma State 49–14, No. 5 Purdue edged Wake Forest 28–27 and dropped to seventh, and Notre Dame beat Illinois 58–8 and rose to fifth.
The poll was 1.USC 2.Ohio State 3.Kansas 4.Penn State 5.Notre Dame

October 26 No. 1 USC was idle, and No. 2 Ohio State won at Illinois 31–24. No. 3 Kansas won at Iowa State 46–25, No. 4 Penn State won at Boston College 29–0, and No. 5 Notre Dame was upset at unranked Michigan State, 21–17. Tennessee, which had reached 4–0–1 the week before with a 10–9 win over Alabama, was fifth.
The poll was 1.USC 2.Ohio State 3.Kansas 4.Penn State 5.Tennessee

November

November 2 No. 1 USC won at Oregon, 20–13, and No. 2 Ohio State beat No. 16 Michigan State 25–20. No. 3 Kansas posted its seventh win, over visiting Colorado, 27–14. No. 4 Penn State slipped past Army, 28–24 and No. 5 Tennessee beat visiting UCLA 42–18.

The poll was 1.USC 2.Ohio State 3.Kansas 4.Penn State 5.Tennessee

November 9 No. 1 USC turned back No. 11 California 35–17, and No. 2 Ohio State stayed unbeaten as well, downing Wisconsin 43–8. No. 3 Kansas, however, lost to unranked Oklahoma, 27–23, No. 4 Penn State beat visiting Miami (FL) 22–7, and No. 5 Tennessee lost to No. 18 Auburn in Birmingham, 28–14. No. 7 Michigan, with a 36–0 win over Illinois, rose to fourth. No. 9 Georgia, which was unbeaten (6–0–2) after a 51–0 win over Florida in Jacksonville, reached fifth. The poll was 1.USC 2.Ohio State 3.Penn State 4.Michigan 5. Georgia

November 16 No. 1 USC beat No. 13 Oregon State 17–13 in a game that decided the Pac-8 title; Oregon State finished 5–1 and USC 6–0 in the renamed conference, formerly the AAUW (but commonly referred to as the Pac-8). No. 2 Ohio State won at unranked Iowa 33–27. No. 3 Penn State won its eighth straight at Maryland 57–13, and No. 4 Michigan beat Wisconsin 34–9. No. 5 Georgia won 17–3 at No. 12 Auburn.
The poll was 1.USC 2.Ohio State 3.Penn State 4.Michigan 5.Georgia

November 23 No. 1 USC beat UCLA 28–16 to stay unbeaten, as did No. 2 Ohio State, which hosted No. 4 Michigan; both teams were unbeaten in Big Ten conference play, and the game would determine who would go to Pasadena (and who would stay home). Woody Hayes' Buckeyes triumphed 50–14 over the Wolverines. After seven weeks at second place, Ohio State took the lead from USC. No. 3 Penn State traveled and crushed Pittsburgh 65–9. No. 5 Georgia was idle. Kansas clinched the Big 8 title and the Orange Bowl bid with a 21–19 win at No. 13 Missouri, finished 9–1 and placed fifth.

Two undefeated teams Yale and Harvard met and ended their game in a 29–29 tie. The game was the basis of Harvard Crimson newspaper headline (and later the title of a documentary) Harvard Beats Yale 29–29 .

In the polls released on November 25, there was a disagreement between the AP writers and the UPI coaches as the AP made Ohio State its new No. 1. [2] Though USC had more first place votes than Ohio State (24½ vs 21½), the Buckeyes were 10 points ahead overall in the AP poll (935–925).
In the UPI poll of coaches, however, USC remained in first place and Ohio State second. (332–321 in total points). In the two polls, Ohio State and USC alternated first and second, and the remainder was 3.Penn State 4.Georgia 5.Kansas

November 30 No. 2 USC was tied by visiting No. 9 Notre Dame, 21–21. No. 4 Georgia closed its season unbeaten at 8–0–2, with a 47–8 win at home over Georgia Tech, were SEC champs and went to the Sugar Bowl. Following USC's 9–0–1 finish, the UPI coaches voted unbeaten and untied (9–0–0) Ohio State as the national champion for their final poll on December 3. At the time, the UPI did not do a poll following the postseason bowl games, and the result would have been unaffected by the OSU and USC meeting in the Rose Bowl. The result was 28 first place votes (and 334 points) for OSU, and only 4 first place (and 277 points) for USC. [3]

Winless after two games, the No. 6 Texas Longhorns (8–1–1) won their last eight and finished with a 35–14 victory over Texas A&M two days earlier on Thanksgiving Day. The Longhorns returned to the Top 5, including a 39–29 win over Arkansas that tied them for the SWC title and got them the Cotton Bowl bid. No. 3 Penn State beat Syracuse 30–12 on December 7 to go to 10–0. Ohio State had 34 of the 39 first place votes cast.

The final regular season poll for both AP and UPI was 1.Ohio State 2.USC 3.Penn State 4.Georgia 5.Texas

Conference standings

1968 Atlantic Coast Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
NC State $610  640
Clemson 411  451
Virginia 320  730
South Carolina 430  460
Duke 340  460
Wake Forest 231  271
Maryland 250  280
North Carolina 160  370
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll [4]
1968 Big Eight Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 7 Kansas +610  920
No. 11 Oklahoma +610  740
No. 9 Missouri 520  830
Nebraska 340  640
Colorado 340  460
Kansas State 250  460
Oklahoma State 250  370
Iowa State 160  370
  • + Conference co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll
1968 Big Ten Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 1 Ohio State $700  1000
No. 12 Michigan 610  820
No. 10 Purdue 520  820
Minnesota 520  640
Indiana 430  640
Iowa 430  550
Michigan State 250  550
Illinois 160  190
Northwestern 160  190
Wisconsin 070  0100
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1968 Ivy League football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Harvard +601  801
Yale +601  801
Penn 520  720
Princeton 430  450
Dartmouth 340  450
Columbia 250  270
Cornell 160  360
Brown 070  270
  • + Conference co-champions
1968 Mid-American Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 20 Ohio $600  1010
Miami 510  730
Bowling Green 321  631
Toledo 321  541
Western Michigan 240  360
Kent State 150  190
Marshall 060  091
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1968 Middle Atlantic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
University
Delaware x500  730
Bucknell 320  550
Lehigh 220  370
Lafayette 220  730
Temple 220  460
Hofstra 130  550
Gettysburg 140  180
West Chester *010  530
College–Northern
Albright x700  810
No. 19 Wilkes x600  800
Delaware Valley 520  620
Juniata 420  720
Upsala 340  440
Moravian 360  360
Susquehanna 150  261
Lycoming 170  170
Wagner *310  360
College–Southern
Franklin & Marshall x610  620
Johns Hopkins x610  720
Muhlenberg 630  630
Western Maryland 330  540
Lebanon Valley 440  440
Ursinus 350  350
Pennsylvania Military 250  270
Haverford 160  160
Swarthmore 160  170
Dickinson 170  170
Drexel *310  440
  • x Division champion/co-champions
  • * – Ineligible for championship due to insufficient conference games
Rankings from AP Poll
1968 Middle Three Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Rutgers $200  820
Lehigh 110  370
Lafayette 020  730
  • $ Conference champion
1968 Missouri Valley Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Memphis State $400  640
North Texas State 410  820
Cincinnati 220  541
Louisville 230  550
Tulsa 230  370
Wichita State 050  0100
  • $ Conference champion
1968 Pacific-8 Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 4 USC $600  911
No. 15 Oregon State 510  730
Stanford 331  631
California 221  731
Oregon 240  460
UCLA 240  370
Washington State 131  361
Washington 151  352
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1968 Southeastern Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 8 Georgia $501  812
No. 13 Tennessee 411  821
No. 17 Alabama 420  830
LSU 420  830
No. 16 Auburn 420  740
Florida 321  631
Ole Miss 321  731
Vanderbilt 131  541
Mississippi State 041  082
Kentucky 070  370
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1968 Southern Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
Richmond $ 60    83 
The Citadel  42    55 
East Carolina  22    46 
William & Mary  22    37 
Davidson  13    36 
VMI  13    19 
Furman  04    19 
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1968 Southwest Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 6 Arkansas +610  1010
No. 3 Texas +610  911
No. 14 SMU 520  830
Texas Tech 430  532
Baylor 340  370
Texas A&M 250  370
TCU 250  370
Rice 070  091
  • + Conference co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll
1968 Western Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Wyoming $610  730
Arizona State 510  820
Arizona 510  830
UTEP 330  451
Utah 230  370
Colorado State *140  280
BYU 150  280
New Mexico 070  0100
  • $ Conference champion
  • * Games against Texas Tech and Air Force counted in the conference standings.
1968 NCAA University Division independents football records
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 2 Penn State     1100
West Texas State     820
No. 5 Notre Dame     721
Florida State     830
Air Force     730
Army     730
Buffalo     730
No. 18 Houston     622
Utah State     730
Boston College     730
West Virginia     730
VPI     740
Pacific     640
Syracuse     640
Villanova     640
Xavier     640
Colgate     550
Dayton     550
Miami (FL)     550
New Mexico State     550
Georgia Tech     460
Southern Miss     460
Holy Cross     361
San Jose State     370
Navy     280
Tulane     280
Pittsburgh     190
Rankings from AP Poll

Bowl games

Major bowls

Wednesday, January 1, 1969

BOWL
SUGAR No. 9 Arkansas Razorbacks 16No. 4 Georgia Bulldogs 2
COTTON No. 5 Texas Longhorns 36No. 8 Tennessee Volunteers 13
ROSE No. 1 Ohio State Buckeyes 27No. 2 USC Trojans 16
ORANGE No. 3 Penn State Nittany Lions 15No. 6 Kansas Jayhawks 14

Because No. 1 Ohio State (9–0) and No. 2 USC (9–0–1) were the champions of the Big Ten and Pac-8 conferences, respectively, they were automatically set to meet in the Rose Bowl. No. 3 Penn State (10–0) accepted an invite to the Orange Bowl. No. 6 Kansas (9–1), which shared the Big 8 crown with Oklahoma (even after losing to the Sooners) got the other bid. The Sugar Bowl featured the SEC champion against the SWC runner-up (No. 4 Georgia (8–0–2) vs. No. 9 Arkansas (9–1)) while the Cotton Bowl pitted the SWC champion against the SEC runner-up (No. 5 Texas (8–1–1) vs. No. 8 Tennessee (8–1–1))

When the sportswriters voted for the Top 20 after the bowl games, Rose Bowl winner Ohio State won the AP Trophy and the unofficial national championship, taking all but five of the 49 first place votes. Penn State, which had narrowly won the Orange Bowl, was second. The final poll was 1.Ohio State 2.Penn State 3.Texas 4.USC 5.Notre Dame 6.Arkansas 7.Kansas 8. Georgia 9.Missouri 10.Purdue 11.Oklahoma 12.Michigan 13.Tennessee 14.SMU 15.Oregon State 16.Auburn 17.Alabama 18.Houston 19.LSU and 20.Ohio University.

Other bowls

BOWLLocationDateWinnerScoreRunner-up
SUN El Paso, Texas December 28 Auburn 34–10 Arizona
GATOR Jacksonville, Florida December 28No. 16 Missouri 35–10No. 12 Alabama
TANGERINE Orlando, Florida December 27 Richmond 49–42 Ohio
ASTRO-BLUEBONNET Houston December 31No. 20 SMU 28–27No. 10 Oklahoma
PEACH Atlanta December 30 LSU 31–27No. 19 Florida State
LIBERTY Memphis, Tennessee December 14 Ole Miss 34–17 Virginia Tech

Heisman Trophy

  1. O. J. Simpson , RB – USC, 2,853 points
  2. Leroy Keyes, RB-CB – Purdue, 1,103
  3. Terry Hanratty, QB – Notre Dame, 387
  4. Ted Kwalick, TE – Penn State, 254
  5. Ted Hendricks, DE - Miami (FL), 174
  6. Ron Johnson, RB – Michigan, 158
  7. Bobby Douglass, QB – Kansas, 132
  8. Chris Gilbert, RB – Texas, 124
  9. Brian Dowling, QB – Yale, 119
  10. Ron Sellers, WR – Florida State, 91

Source: [5]

See also

Related Research Articles

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References

  1. "www.appollarchive.com". www.appollarchive.com. 2010-08-28. Archived from the original on February 29, 2012. Retrieved 2010-09-27.
  2. "USC (UPI) Split Buckeyes (AP) No. 1 Grid Spot", Minneapolis Star, November 26, 1968, p2–D
  3. "Bucks Finish UPI's No. 1", Cincinnati Enquirer, December 4, 1968, p46
  4. "1968 Atlantic Coast Conference Year Summary". sports-reference.com. Retrieved January 24, 2013.
  5. "O.J. Simpson". Heisman Trophy. 1968. Retrieved January 24, 2017.