1972 NCAA University Division football season

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The 1972 NCAA University Division football season saw the USC Trojans, coached by John McKay, go undefeated and win the national championship as the unanimous choice of the 50 AP panelists. Eighth-ranked in the preseason, the Trojans were narrowly voted No. 1 in the first AP poll, and stayed out front for the rest of the year.

Contents

Prior to the 1972 season, two programs were elevated to the University Division. The new programs were Long Beach State and Tampa. The change brought the total number of programs in the University Division to 121. [2]

During the 20th century, the NCAA had no playoff for the major college football teams in the University Division, which became Division I in 1973 (and Division I-A in 1978). 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). Through the 1973 season, the UPI issued its final poll in early December before the bowls, but since 1968 (and 1965) the AP Trophy was withheld until the postseason was completed. The AP poll in 1972 consisted of the votes of fifty 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 twenty points for first place, nineteen for second, etc., the "overall" ranking was determined.

This season was historically significant because it was the first in which freshmen were eligible to play varsity football in the University Division. [3] [4] [5] The NCAA had historically prohibited freshmen from varsity competition, except during the United States involvement in World War II and the Korean War. In 1968, the NCAA allowed freshman eligibility in the University Division in all sports, except football and basketball, and extended the rule to those sports effective with the 1972–73 academic year.

Rule changes

Conference and program changes

NCAA structure

This was the last season for the "University" and "College" divisions. For the 1973 season, the NCAA created the three-division structure that exists today with teams and conferences designated accordingly:

Five years later in 1978, Division I was subdivided (for football only) into I-A and I-AA . In 2006, these were renamed Division I FBS and FCS, respectively. Many of the teams and conferences now in FCS (Big Sky, Ohio Valley, SWAC, Yankee) were initially in Division II and moved up to I-AA.

Membership changes

School1971 Conference1972 Conference
Appalachian State Mountaineers Independent Southern
McNeese State Cowboys Independent Southland
New Mexico State Aggies Independent Missouri Valley
Trinity (TX) Tigers Southland Independent

Program changes

September

October

November

In 1972, only the Rose Bowl (Big Ten vs. Pac-8) and Cotton Bowl (SWC winner) had rigid conference tie-ins. Thus, Big 8 champion Oklahoma passed up an Orange Bowl invitation to play in the Sugar Bowl, while SEC champion Alabama passed the Sugar to meet Texas in the Cotton. For the first time, the Sugar Bowl was played at night on New Year's Eve, rather than New Year's Day afternoon. With two consecutive victories in the Orange Bowl, No. 9 Nebraska was invited to a third against No. 12 Notre Dame.

Conference standings

1972 Atlantic Coast Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 12 North Carolina $600  1110
No. 17 NC State 411  831
Maryland 321  551
Duke 330  560
Clemson 240  470
Virginia 150  470
Wake Forest 150  290
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll [6]
1972 Big Eight Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 2 Oklahoma $610  1110
No. 4 Nebraska $511  921
No. 16 Colorado 430  840
Oklahoma State 430  650
Missouri 340  660
Iowa State 241  561
Kansas 250  470
Kansas State 160  380
  • $ Conference champion
  • Due to a dispute over Oklahoma forfeiting games, both Oklahoma [7] and Nebraska [8] claim this title.
Rankings from AP Poll
1972 Big Ten Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 6 Michigan +710  1010
No. 9 Ohio State +710  920
Purdue 620  650
Michigan State 521  551
Minnesota 440  470
Indiana 350  560
Illinois 350  380
Iowa 261  371
Wisconsin 260  470
Northwestern 180  290
  • + Conference co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll
1972 Ivy League football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Dartmouth $511  711
Yale 520  720
Penn 430  630
Cornell 430  630
Harvard 331  441
Princeton 241  351
Columbia 241  351
Brown 160  180
  • $ Conference champion
1972 Mid-American Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Kent State $410  651
Bowling Green 311  631
Western Michigan 221  731
Miami 230  730
Toledo 230  650
Ohio 140  380
  • $ Conference champion
1972 Missouri Valley Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 18 Louisville +410  910
Drake +410  750
West Texas State 310  550
Tulsa 310  470
Memphis State 320  551
Wichita State 240  650
New Mexico State 130  290
North Texas State 070  1100
  • + Conference co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll
1972 Pacific Coast Athletic Association football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
San Diego State $400  1010
Pacific (CA) 310  830
Fresno State 130  641
Long Beach State 130  560
San Jose State 130  470
  • $ Conference champion
1972 Pacific-8 Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 1 USC $700  1200
No. 15 UCLA 520  830
No. 19 Washington State 430  740
Washington 430  830
California 340  380
Oregon 250  560
Stanford 250  650
Oregon State 160  290
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1972 Southern Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
East Carolina $600  920
Richmond 510  640
William & Mary 420  560
The Citadel 430  560
Davidson 231  371
VMI 150  290
Furman 160  290
Appalachian State 031  551
  • $ Conference champion
1972 Southeastern Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 7 Alabama $710  1020
No. 5 Auburn 610  1010
No. 11 LSU 411  921
No. 8 Tennessee 420  1020
Georgia 430  740
Florida 331  551
Ole Miss 250  550
Kentucky 250  380
Mississippi State 160  470
Vanderbilt 060  380
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1972 Southwest Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 3 Texas $700  1010
Texas Tech 430  840
SMU 430  740
Arkansas 340  650
Rice 340  551
Baylor 340  560
TCU 250  560
Texas A&M 250  380
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1972 Western Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 13 Arizona State $510  1020
BYU 520  740
Utah 520  650
Arizona 430  470
Wyoming 340  470
New Mexico 240  380
Colorado State 140  1100
UTEP 160  280
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1972 NCAA University Division independents football records
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 10 Penn State     1020
No. 14 Notre Dame     830
Utah State     830
West Virginia     840
Florida State     740
Northern Illinois     740
No. 20 Georgia Tech     741
Air Force     640
Army     640
Virginia Tech     641
Houston     641
Tulane     650
Temple     540
Colgate     541
Holy Cross     541
Syracuse     560
Miami (FL)     560
Dayton     461
Boston College     470
Navy     470
South Carolina     470
Southern Miss     371
Marshall     280
Xavier     280
Cincinnati     290
Villanova     290
Pittsburgh     1100
Rankings from AP Poll

Bowl games

Major bowls

Sunday, December 31, 1972
Monday, January 1, 1973

Bowl gameWinning teamLosing team
Sugar No. 2 Oklahoma 14No. 5 Penn State 0
Cotton No. 7 Texas 17No. 4 Alabama 13
Rose No. 1 USC 42No. 3 Ohio State 17
Orange No. 9 Nebraska 40No. 12 Notre Dame 6

The final AP poll in January was: 1. USC (12–0), 2. Oklahoma (11–1), 3. Texas (10–1), 4. Nebraska (9–2–1), 5. Auburn (10–1) [9] [10]

Other bowls

BOWLCityStateDateWinnerScoreLoser
Sun El PasoTexasDecember 30No. 16 North Carolina 32–28 Texas Tech
Gator JacksonvilleFloridaDecember 30No. 6 Auburn 24–3No. 13 Colorado
Tangerine OrlandoFloridaDecember 29 Tampa 21–18 Kent State
Astro-Bluebonnet HoustonTexasDecember 30No. 11 Tennessee 24–17No. 10 LSU
Liberty MemphisTennesseeDecember 18 Georgia Tech 31–30 Iowa State
Peach AtlantaGeorgiaDecember 29 NC State 49–13No. 18 West Virginia
Fiesta TempeArizonaDecember 23No. 15 Arizona State 49–35 Missouri

[11]

Heisman Trophy

The Big Eight Conference dominated the Heisman race in 1972,
as the top three were from Nebraska & Oklahoma:

  1. Johnny Rodgers , WB – Nebraska, 1310 points
  2. Greg Pruitt, RB – Oklahoma, 966
  3. Rich Glover, MG – Nebraska, 652
  4. Bert Jones, QB – LSU, 351
  5. Terry Davis, QB – Alabama, 338
  6. John Hufnagel, QB – Penn State, 292
  7. George Amundson, RB – Iowa State, 219
  8. Otis Armstrong, RB – Purdue, 208
  9. Don Strock, QB – Virginia Tech, 144
  10. Gary Huff, QB – Florida State, 138

Source: [12] [13]

See also

Related Research Articles

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References

  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-10-02. Retrieved 2009-01-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. "Tampa, Long Beach Get Major Status". Star-Gazette. June 8, 1972. p. 36 via Newspapers.com.
  3. "Frosh now eligible for football, hoops". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. January 9, 1972. p. 1, sports.
  4. "Frosh okayed for football, basketball". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). wire service reports. January 9, 1972. p. 1B.
  5. Jenkins, Dan (October 30, 1972). "A locomotive for the class of '76". Sports Illustrated. p. 26.
  6. "1972 Atlantic Coast Conference Year Summary". sports-reference.com. Retrieved January 25, 2013.
  7. "2018 Media Guide" (PDF). soonersports.com. Oklahoma Athletics. p. 6. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  8. "2018 Media Guide" (PDF). huskers.com. Nebraska Athletics. p. 206. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  9. "Hey, guess what? USC acclaimed poll champs". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. Associated Press. January 3, 1973. p. 31.
  10. CFB Data Warehouse – final AP polls – 1970–79
  11. "Bowl games at a glance". Spokesman-Review. November 22, 1972. p. 15.
  12. Heisman.com – 1972 – Johnny Rodgers
  13. "Johnny Rodgers Heisman winner". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. December 6, 1972. p. 17.