Gary Beban – UCLA: 1967’s Heisman Trophy winner and a consensus All American. The Bruins had one of their best teams in 1967 and Beban was a gamer. The Bruins would have been national champions if they had beaten their rivals the Trojans and then the Indiana Hoosiers in the Rose Bowl. Beban didn’t make it in the NFL, but he was clearly a great college player.
O.J. Simpson – USC: Simpson was in his first season after transferring from San Francisco City College. He had an incredible season in helping the Trojans to the 1967 national championship and possibly should have won the Heisman which he did actually accomplish in 1968. Simpson is a legend on the field and maybe even bigger off of the field.
Bill Enyart – Oregon State: Nicknamed the Earthquake for his dominating size, and it was said that the ground moved when he ran. But, in reality, he was only about 6-4, 235 and he was the leader of the shocking Giant killers for the Beavers in 1967. Enyart ran for 851 yards this season with his
bigger year being in 1968. He had been a linebacker in 1966 as a sophomore.
Gene Washington – Stanford: Strange choice at running back since he played wide receiver in college and in the NFL after being a 1st round draft pick. The junior Washington only ran for 15 yards, but he caught 48 passes. His bigger year was also in 1968 when he was a senior. I remember Washington more from his day playing receiver for the San Francisco 49ers, and after football he did a little acting.
Gary Houser – Oregon State: Good blocking tight end that didn’t catch many passes because the Beavers did not throw the ball all that much. He only caught 10 passes in 1967, but he was also the punter. Houser was a 3 sport star from Chico, California and was later drafted by the New York Jets but bad knees kept him out of the NFL.
Earl McCullouch – USC: Speedster that was a big play guy for the national champion Trojans. He caught 30 passes for 540 yards and 5 touchdowns. He was only at USC for two years coming in from Long Beach City College and he was the star receiver for the Trojans in 1966 and 1967. To demonstrate his speed, he was the world record holder in the 110 meter high hurdles from 1967 through 1969. McCullouch was a 1st round draft pick by the Detroit Lions.
Ron Yary – USC: One of the best offensive linemen of all time and in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was a consensus All American in 1967 and was the very first player taken in the 1968 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. USC has had a lot of great players at every position, and Yary was one of
Larry Slagle – UCLA: Three year starter for the Bruins and helped them to an impressive 24-5-2 record from 1965-1967. He blocked for star quarterback Gary Beban and helped him win the Heisman Trophy in 1967 which was UCLA’s one and only winner of college football’s most coveted trophy. Slagle was a team captain in 1967 and he was an 11th round draft choice by the St Louis Cardinals.
Dave Maletle – Oregon State: Member of the famous Giant Killers team that knocked off, or tied, three teams that were ranked at number 1 or 2. The Giant Killers were all about nasty defense and ball control offense led by it’s powerful fullback nicknamed the Earthquake and tough and dominating offensive line play. Maletle was one of the leaders up front.
Dennis Murphy – UCLA: Murphy was a two year starter at offensive guard for the Bruins. Teamed with guys like Larry Slagle and center John Erqulaga to form a solid no name offensive line which helped Gary Beban win his Heisman. Murphy played right guard right next to Slagle and was super quick off of the ball.
John Erqulaga – UCLA: Erqulaga was a back up center in 1965, but became a solid starter in 1966 and was an All Star in 1967. He also helped pave the way for Beban and was the leader of the offensive line. What I noticed in limited game film that is available is the Bruin line is smaller, but the quickness off the ball is really impressive.
Mike McCaffrey – Cal: Clearly not related to the Christian McCaffrey family especially since he played for their chief rivals. McCaffrey was a junior in 1967 and was a star on Cal’s really good
defense in 1968. He played briefly in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills.
Tim Rossovich – USC: 1st team and consensus All American. Rossovich was more than solid from his defensive end/outside linebacker position. After his All American career at USC, Rossovich was a 1st round draft choice by the Philadelphia Eagles. Rossovich is the older brother of actor Rich Rossovich and after a very colorful NFL career, Tim also got into acting and usually played a bad guy. College roommate with actor Tom Selleck.
Blaine Nye – Stanford: As a sophomore in 1965, Nye played both ways at offensive tackle and defensive end. He moved primarily to defensive tackle as a junior and actually led the team in tackles. He was a senior in 1967 and again was dominating. Nye earned a degree in physics from Stanford, wow. He was picked by the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL draft and switched to offensive guard for good. He was a long time starter and an All Pro.
Steve Thompson – Washington: The Huskies dominating defensive tackle was later a 2nd round draft pick by the New York Jets and he helped win a Super Bowl in New York. He played 5 seasons for the Jets and then moved on to the world Football League and then to the Canadian Football League. He’s the father of 7 children and grandfather to 25.
George Dames – Oregon: Walk-on from Medford, Oregon that was way undersized, but super quick and super determined. The Ducks were terrible in 1967, but they gave some good schools a scare. The defense was smaller and quick.
Martin Brill – Stanford: Fierce middle linebacker for the Cardinal who were the Indians back then. The Cardinal was not good in 1967 finishing with a 5-5 record. Brill was a three year contributor with his best season coming in 1967.
Don Manning – UCLA: Not only was Manning all conference, he was also a consensus All
American in 1967. He was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals but didn’t make the team.
Adrian Young – USC: Irish born Young attended Bishop Amat High School in La Puente, California. At USC, he was a star linebacker. Like Manning, Young was a consensus All American in 1967. Young was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 3rd round and he played 6 years in the NFL with the Eagles, Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears.
Mike Battle – USC: Talented safety for the Trojans, also returned punts. Two year starter at USC. Battle was drafted by the New York Jets and played a couple of seasons in the NFL. He also acted in a movie with Joe Namath.
Mark Gustafson – UCLA: Running back recruit from Corvallis, Oregon. Followed UCLA head coach Tommy Prothro from Oregon State and he converted to defensive back and was a three year starter.
Jim Smith – Oregon: Smith was a senior in 1967 and in his third year as a starter. The Ducks were horrible in those years, but Jim Smith was a bright spot.
This list includes two Heisman Trophy winners, two Pro Football Hall of Fame members and various NFL players. Some never played again after college football, but this was a strong All Conference class. USC and UCLA played for the national championship and the west coast dominated the world of college football in the 1967 season. They finished with not only the national champions, but 3 teams in the final poll top 10.