Today's Tidbit...100 Years Of Football: 1953-1963
This is the fifteenth in a series looking back at “100 Years of Football,” syndicated cartoons published by Jerry Brondfield and Charles Beck in 1969. Today's version covers the period from 1953-1963.
After two-platoon football emerged in 1945, coaching staffs and rosters expanded, which led to increased costs, so the NCAA reversed is substitution rules. The NFL did not. At the same time, many college campuses had cadet programs with career military officers assigned as instructors. Those like Robert Neyland, who were athletes in colleges, often coached the college teams as well. Besides having tremendously successful teams, Neyland is credited with introducing gang tackling, shouting “Oskie” following interceptions, and some say he introduced cup protection in pass blocking. (-Click images to enlarge-)
Ohio State’s Woody Hayes had several periods of sustained success. His teams of the mid-1950s were particularly strong and included stellar running back and Heisman Trophy winner Hoplong Cassady.
College football in the 1950s remained a relatively low-scoring game, teams seldom kicked field goals, and many games ended in ties. In addition, with the NFL increasing in popularity, the NCAA opted to insert the two-point conversion in 1958 and widened the goal posts in 1959.
After a steady stream of complicated rule changes allowing increased substitutions, the NCAA returned to unlimited substitutions in 1964. Meanwhile, Bear Bryant returned to Alabama and quickly returned them to the national heights he had known as a player there.
Duffy Daugherty moved from assistant to head coach at Michigan State in 1954 and soon had them playing at a national championship level. Among Duffy’s secrets was recruiting black players from the South, often referred to him by Southern coaches, tapping a talent resource most schools ignored.
The early 1960s saw the rise of Ara Parseghian and John McKay as top coaches who took over blueblood programs and soon had them playing at championship levels.
Click the appropriate link for other stories in the series:
1870s | 1880s | 1890s | 1900-1905 | 1905-1910 | 1910-1915 | 1916-1922 | 1923-1926 | 1927-1930 | 1931-1935 | 1935-1939 | 1940-1946 | 1946-1952 | 1953-1963 | The Pros | Modern NFL and Post-1906 All-Stars
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