My 50th College Football Anniversary

The theme of this blog has always been college football since 1967 because that was the first year of my life that I remember watching the game. Yes, that does make me an old guy, but I was just 8 years old when I recall watching Bill Bradley Quarterback the Texas Longhorns against the Arkansas Razorbacks.

I love today’s game, but I also truly love the history of the game.

1967: USC defeated UCLA in what was then the Game of the Century. OJ Simpson wasn’t the super villain then that he is now, and UCLA’s quarterback Gary Beban won the highly desirable Heisman Trophy.

1968: The Super Sophomores of Ohio State won the national championship in the Rose Bowl by beating the USC Trojans and Mr Simpson who took the Heisman.

1969: The brand new Wishbone offense helps Texas win the national title with big come from behind wins over Arkansas and Notre Dame. President Richard Nixon came to the Texas vs Arkansas game and crowned the Longhorns national champs forever ticking off Penn State’s Joe Paterno.

1971: Nebraska outlasted Oklahoma in the game that most consider the Game of Century. Nebraska won the national championship with Oklahoma finishing 2nd and Colorado 3rd.

1972: The USC Trojans and head coach McKay are almost head and shoulders above everyone else. The Trojans just obliterated a really good Ohio State team in the Rose Bowl and claimed the championship. Lynn Swann was the most graceful and talented receiver I had ever seen, but Nebraska’s Johnny Rodgers won the Heisman Trophy.

1973: One of the craziest of all time seasons with no Overtimes and Ohio State versus Michigan ending in a controversial 10-10 tie. Notre Dame beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl to win it all, but 6 unbeaten teams at the end of the season. Oklahoma, or Ohio State, may have been the best teams in the nation and we will never know. Ohio State crushed a very good USC team in the Rose Bowl.

1974: The great comeback game: Notre Dame had USC down 24-7 at the half and the Trojans’ Anthony Davis returned second half kick for a touchdown and the comeback was on. Trojans won 55-24.

1975: Oklahoma dominated college football ranked number 1 from start to finish. Archie Griffin of Ohio State became one and only 2 time Heisman winner.

1976: Tony Dorsett of Pittsburgh broke Griffin’s one year old career rushing record as the Panthers won the national title.

1977: Big Earl Campbell of Texas won the Heisman in impressive fashion, but the Irish of Notre

Dame won the national title with Joe Montana at quarterback.

1978: Billy Sims of Oklahoma thought he could fly and he almost could. He won the Heisman as Alabama and USC split the national championship. Bear Bryant was at his best.

1979: Charles White won Heisman while Alabama finished ahead of unbeaten USC for the championship.

1980: Herschel Walker, maybe the best running back of all time at the college level, arrived on the scene while Georgia won the national title. Not without a little drama along the way as quarterback Buck Belue hit Lindsay Scott on something of a miracle pass to beat Florida.

1981: Clemson Tigers won it all.

1982: After years of championship frustration, Penn State finally wins it all with a win over Georgia and Heisman winner Herschel Walker.

1983: Miami shocked Nebraska under quarterback Bernie Kosar and arrived on the scene.

1984: This season can be wrapped up by the amazing Hail Mary play made by Heisman winner Doug Flutie to lead his Boston College Eagles over the Miami Hurricanes and new head coach Jimmy Johnson.

1985: The amazing Bo Jackson won the Heisman Trophy.

1986: Joe Paterno won his second national title with a shocking win over the unbeatable Miami


1987: Florida State vs Miami really got going with the Dynasty Period for the Seminoles beginning here. Miami and Johnson won the title with a 12-0 record, but the championship was really won against the Seminoles.

1988: Barry Sanders, Barry Sanders, Barry Sanders. Oklahoma State’s Sanders had a season to remember when he won the Heisman. Lou Holtz and Notre Dame won the national championship and nobody will ever forget the famous Catholics vs. Convicts game in South Bend.

1989: The 1980s had to be the decade of the Hurricanes as Miami won it’s third this season.

1990: Colorado and Georgia Tech split the national title, but the Yellow Jackets were unbeaten.

1991: Another title split with Miami and the Washington Huskies finishing unbeaten and untied. I was a huge Don James of Washington fan and Nick Saban came from his coaching tree.

1992: Who can forget underdog Alabama led by coach Gene Stallings shocking the powerful Miami Hurricanes to win the championship.

1993: Florida State’s Bobby Bowden finally won the national championship with his quarterback Charlie Ward winning the Heisman. He remains the only Heisman winner to never play a down of NFL football because he signed with the New York Knicks of the NBA.

1994: Another year, another break through with Nebraska’s Tom Osborne finally winning his first ever title.

1995: The year of the Cornhusker. The Huskers just crushed 2nd ranked Florida, 62-24, to win like

nobody ever before.

1996: Steve Spurrier and his Gators bounced back with an almost as convincing as their loss the year before by thrashing rival Florida State, 52-20. What has happened to great championship games? No worries, they returned.

1997: The Huskers were back, but they had to split the championship with Lloyd Carr’s Wolverines. Charles Woodson of Michigan was the last defensive back to win the Heisman as he shocked Tennessee’s Peyton Manning.

1998: Ricky Williams of Texas beat Tony Dorsett’s long standing rushing record and won the Heisman. The Vols of Tennessee won the national title without Peyton Manning who had moved on to the NFL and Tee Martin capably took his place.

1999: So many people were scared of Y2K and the end of the world, but we survived. But, Ricky Williams rushing record was like Archie Griffin’s, it lasted all of one season as Wisconsin’s Ron Dayne broke it and won the Heisman.

Florida State finished unbeaten for Bobby Bowden’s only time and beat Virginia Tech and Michael Vick for the championship.

2000: Chris Weinke of Florida State won the Heisman, but he couldn’t get his team past the Oklahoma Sooners. Bob Stoops led the Sooners to his only national championship. The world ravages on.

2001: The season is decimated by 9/11, but we fight on. With maybe the best college team ever, the Miami Hurricanes crushed Nebraska to win the championship.

2002: Ohio State shocked Miami to win the national title. After many years away from the spotlight, the Trojans of USC began to rise in the West under Pete Carroll and quarterback Carson Palmer won the Heisman.

2003:BCS era was upon us and we still had a split national championships with USC winning the AP national title and LSU winning the Coaches Poll. My money was on the Trojans because of Pete

Carroll’s success against SEC teams. His teams were fast and talented.

2004: USC crushed Oklahoma for the national title and Trojan Quarterback Matt Leinart won the Heisman Trophy.

2005: Texas, behind Vince Young’s heroics, surprised the Trojans to win the national title as time expired in one of the all time great games. Reggie Bush won the Heisman, but it probably should have gone to Young.

2006: Urban Meyer and his Florida Gators crushed Ohio State to win it all and begin an era of SEC dominance.

2007: Les Miles and the LSU Tigers beat Ohio State to win it with Tim Tebow winning the Heisman.

2008: Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford won the Heisman and the Florida Gator’s with Tim Tebow and head coach Urban Meyer won the national title.

2009: Alabama beat Texas and won the national title and after Colt McCoy went down, the Longhorns were helpless.

2010: Cam Newton exploded onto the scene in 2010 winning both the Heisman Trophy and the national title with a last second win over the Oregon Ducks.

2011: Alabama beat LSU again in a game I didn’t bother watching. I really don’t like rematches.

2012: Alabama won it’s 2nd in a row and it’s 3rd in 4 years by crushing Notre Dame in a yawn fest. Johnny Manziel became the first redshirt freshman to win the Heisman Trophy.

2013: The Florida State Seminoles snapped the SEC winning streak by beating Auburn to take it all with Jameis Winston winning the Heisman.

2014: The playoff era began with Ohio State surprising everyone and winning the national title in exciting fashion by first beating Alabama and then Oregon with their 3rd string quarterback. Oregon’s Marcus Mariota won the coveted Heisman Trophy and then bolted for the NFL along with the previous winner, Jameis Winston.

2015: Haha, I will never forget that all the media schmedia wrote off Alabama saying they were done and their dynasty was over. Well, the Crimson Tide rolled the SEC and crushed Michigan State in the playoffs before nipping an awesome Clemson squad to win yet another national title. Derrick Henry won the Heisman Trophy over Christian McCaffrey who broke the incredible Barry Sanders total yardage record in amazing fashion.

2016: Clemson finally got their national title with a highly dramatic last second victory over Alabama saying afterwards that he thought of Vince Young against USC back in 2006. Louisville’s Lamar Jackson blew everyone away early and held off a late charging Deshaun Watson to win that Heisman. Louisville cratered late and I still feel that Watson should have won it.

2017: Good ole Alabama and Nick Saban are the favorites to win another title in this, my 50th year of watching college football. Very few top ranked teams start and finish the season on top, if that means anything.

I love it.

One thought on “My 50th College Football Anniversary

  1. Bill Riddle

    National Football Foundation
    & College Hall of Fame
    Selection Honors Court

    RE: Fifty Year CHOF Consideration – Curley Culp (1967-2017)
    This coming Fall will mark 50-Years since Arizona State University’s legendary football and wrestling All-American Curley Culp concluded his college career. Culp grew up the youngest of 13 children in Yuma, Arizona where he eventually became an All-State high school football player and was the Arizona heavyweight wrestling champion in 1963 and 1964. Additionally Curley was a straight-A student, a Boy’s State delegate, a NHS member, and was president of the FFA Club. Culp is now one of 447 inductees in the National High School Hall of Fame (Originally “sports” hall of fame). Other notables include Joe Theismann, Archie Griffin, Paul Warfield, Johnny Bench, Paul Hornung, Larry Bird and other legendary high school athletes, coaches, administrators, and since 2003 high school individuals from the performing arts. Curley Culp’s impressive resume includes several other Hall of Fame honors earned at all levels.

    College recruiters found Curley in remote Yuma, including UCLA which offered him a football scholarship, but ASU coach Frank Kush promised the opportunity to play football and wrestle and Culp opted for newly formed Western Athletic Conference (1961 WAC) – over the high profile PAC-8. Though playing in the WAC was never beneficial for college football players when seeking proper recognition, – having to play late night games away from view of national TV, and/or after eastern newspaper deadlines had been reached – Curley would go on to become a two-sport 1st Team All-American. Having twice received 1st Team All-WAC football honors and ’67 Defensive Player of the Year accolades he would eventually be named to the WAC 20-Year All-Time Team. Additionally, as a wrestler Culp would win three WAC Heavyweight Championships, and capture the 1967 NCAA Heavyweight Championship with a :51 sec. pin in the Finals – winning the Gorriaran Award for scoring the most falls in the least amount of time. He had advanced to the finals with a 3:46 fall-pin in the semi’s of Oklahoma Sooner, Consensus/ Unanimous Football All-American, Granville Liggins. 1967 wrestling pin.mpg – YouTube

    The Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964, and Culp as a college freshman that year was on the cusp of a New Era in college football. Three of the major power college football conferences in the nation were racially segregated and it wasn’t until 1975 that most college programs were fully integrated. In 1963 Darryl Hill, a transfer to Maryland from the US Naval Academy where he had been the first black player in football – became the first black player in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), and the first African-American football player in any of the southern athletic conferences composed of formerly segregated white institutions. The Maryland team required National Guard protection when playing South Carolina, and Clemson threatened to pull-out of the ACC if a black player participated. Clemson actually refused admission to their “whites only” stadium to Hill’s mother. Randy White would later become
    – 2 –
    Maryland’s first black consensus All-American in 1974 as the ACC had finally become fully integrated.
    On September 30, 1967, during Curley Culp’s final college football season, a black Kentucky Wildcat player, Nate Worthington, lasted a total of three minutes against Ole Miss before injury to mark the first integrated Southeast Conference (SEC) game. Alabama did not play a black player until 1971, and Auburn and LSU of the SEC – in 1972.
    John Westbrook Hill, of Baylor, would become the first black player in the Southwest Conference in 1966, and SMU’s Jerry Levias would become the second SWC black player and first scholarship player. Levias’ gridiron success is said by some to have led the way to sports integration throughout the entire south, as he would become the first Black Consensus All-American playing for a school in the segregated conferences, in 1968. Levias would eventually be rightfully recognized by the CHOF in 2004. Like Culp, Levias had been heavily recruited by UCLA, integrated northern schools, and southern Black Colleges. In 1970 the first Afro-American received a football scholarship and played varsity at the University of Texas, as Arkansas also played its first black player the same year – and the SWC neared racial integration.

    This was the College Football Era in which Curley Culp played and excelled, and in which his “Consensus” eligibility for Hall of Fame enshrinement is contingent upon the presumed-valid “technicality” of the NCAA “official selectors”. This was an era when former President Obama’s parents would have been prevented from marrying in Virginia due to an interracial marriage law that was unanimously struck done by the U.S. Supreme Court in June 1967, as “… obviously an endorsement of the doctrine of White Supremacy”. The University of Virginia Cavaliers of the ACC did not in fact integrate in football until 1970.

    This was an Era (1963-1975) in which college football was substantially racially segregated – including the ACC, SEC, SWC, and in which at least two-fifths (2/5) of the voters on “NCAA Official Selectors” – i.e. sportswriters, editors, broadcasters (UPI,AP, FWAA, NEA), and the Coaches (AFCA), represented these segregated programs, schools, conferences and regions. With major football programs from Maryland to Texas all white the NCAA not only tolerated segregation, but in essence condoned it authorizing lucrative national TV (which they controlled) that featured broadcasts of segregated teams during this “Era”. The NCAA then ensured that Consensus All-American status was inherently racially biased by naming “official selectors” that equally represented the racially segregated regions and conferences.

    The 1967, “22-player Consensus All-American Team” had only three (3) black players: O.J. Simpson – USC; Leroy Keyes – Purdue; and, Granville Liggins – the 1st All-American black player from Oklahoma (’66,’67). Simpson appeared on national TV six (6) times – including the Rose Bowl. Keyes received ample national exposure during his career, and played in the 1966 Rose Bowl; and, Granville Liggins appeared at least three times on national TV, including an Orange Bowl. Culp’s national TV exposure was limited to the East-West Shrine Game and the 1968 College All Star Game. And again, Culp defeated the Unanimous/ Consensus All-American Liggins with a “pin” in the 1967 NCAA heavyweight wrestling semi-finals.

    Curley Culp, of the integrated WAC, was named 1st Team All-American by TIME Magazine, The Football News, and the Sporting News, and 2nd Team by Central Press Associated. Of the “22-Consensus” players in 1967 – 19 would also receive (“unofficial”) 1st Team Football News
    recognition; 9 (nine) would receive TIME Magazine honors; and, 12 would be named by The Sporting News. It is notable that TSN has been a NCAA “Official Selector” for 60-or-more of the past-90 years. It is also notable that 1967 NFL 1st Round draft pick, linebacker Fred Carr (UTEP, WAC) – and a black player – also failed to receive 1967 – AP, UPI, AFCA, FWAA recognition, but like Culp – was named 1st Team TIME and TSN (Carr was also named 1st by the NEA).

    Therefore, with no intent to re-write history, I wholeheartedly urge the NFF Honors Court to evaluate the validity of the criterion of “Consensus All-American – as determined by NCAA Official Selectors” as it pertains to the Segregated College Football Era of 1963-1975. “Exceptions” of players during this era should be individually considered, and will have little or no effect on the legitimacy of all of the deserving players and coaches already honored in the CHOF. The Sporting News All-American picks during this ERA were particularly immune to any regional or conference racial bias in that the selections were made primarily by professional scouts, pro-personnel directors, observers, coaches and national sportswriters; and, TIME MAGAZINE was a NYC based national publication with no inherent regional affiliations or bias.

    Please consider Curley Culp (ASU ’67), Fred Carr (UTEP ’68), and Darryl Hill (Maryland ’64 – SEE: Separate Bio ATTCHMENT).


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *