1975 college football season

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The 1975 NCAA Division I football season saw University of Oklahoma repeat as national champion in the Associated Press (AP) writers' poll. With the Sooners having completed two seasons of NCAA probation, they were ranked #1 in the United Press International (UPI) coaches' poll as well. During the 20th Century, the NCAA had no playoff for the college football teams that would later be described as "Division I-A". 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). The AP poll consisted of the votes of as many as 63 writers, though not all voted in each poll, and the UPI poll was taken of a 25 member board of coaches.

September[edit]

In the preseason poll released on September 1, 1975, the AP ranked Oklahoma #1, followed by #2 Alabama, #3 Michigan, #4 Ohio State and #5 USC.

September 6 Most teams had yet to open their seasons, but #2 Alabama lost its home opener in Birmingham to unranked Missouri, 20-7. #6 Penn State was the only other top 10 team to play the weekend, and struggled to defeat Temple University in a game in Philadelphia, winning 26-25. In the next poll, Missouri rose to fifth place, while Alabama dropped to 13th. Penn State fell from 6th to 10th. The poll: 1.Oklahoma 2.Michigan 3.Ohio State 4.USC 5.Missouri

September 13 #1 Oklahoma beat Oregon 62-7. #2 Michigan won at Wisconsin, 23-6. #3 Ohio State won at #11 Michigan State, 21-0. #4 USC beat Duke 35-7 at home. #5 Missouri was idle. The poll was unchanged: 1.Oklahoma 2.Michigan 3.Ohio State 4.USC 5.Missouri

September 20 #1 Oklahoma beat #15 Pittsburgh 46-10. Michigan was tied by Stanford at home, 19-19. #3 Ohio State beat #7 Penn State 17-9. #4 USC defeated Oregon State 24-7. #5 Missouri won at Illinois, 30-20. Missouri's Big Eight rival, #6 Nebraska, beat Indiana 45-0, and rose to fourth. The poll: 1.Oklahoma 2.Ohio State 3.USC 4.Nebraska 5.Missouri

In a Friday night game in Miami, #1 Oklahoma eked out a win over the Hurricanes, 20-17. The next day, September 27 #2 Ohio State beat North Carolina 32-7. #3 USC beat visiting Purdue, 19-6. Nebraska Cornhuskers football beat TCU, 56-14. #5 Missouri beat Wisconsin, 27-21. The poll was unchanged: 1.Oklahoma 2.Ohio State 3.USC 4.Nebraska 5.Missouri

October[edit]

October 4 #1 Oklahoma had another narrow win, beating visiting #19 Colorado, 21-20, while in Los Angeles, #2 Ohio State had no problems in defeating #13 UCLA, 41-20. The Buckeyes and Bruins would meet again at season's end. #3 USC won at Iowa, 27-16. #4 Nebraska defeated the Miami Hurricanes at home, 31-16. #5 Missouri played its third straight game against a Big Ten team, losing at #12 Michigan, 31-7. After a promising start, the Tigers would go on to a 6-5-0 finish. #7 Texas, which beat Utah State 61-7, rose to fifth. Ohio State took over first place from Oklahoma, with 47 of the 62 first place votes. The poll was 1.Ohio State 2.Oklahoma 3.USC 4.Nebraska 5.Texas

October 11 #1 Ohio State beat visiting Iowa 49-0. In their annual meeting in Dallas, #2 Oklahoma defeated #5 Texas in Dallas, 24-17 to regain the top spot. #3 USC beat Washington State 28-10. #4 Nebraska beat visiting Kansas 16-0. #6 Texas A&M, which won at Texas Tech 38-9, rose to fifth. The poll was 1.Oklahoma 2.Ohio State 3.USC 4.Nebraska 5.Texas A & M

October 18 #1 Oklahoma won at Kansas State, 25-3. #2 Ohio State had a second straight shutout at home, a 56-0 win over Wisconsin. #3 USC beat visiting Oregon 17-3. #4 Nebraska won at Oklahoma State, 28-20. #5 Texas A&M won at TCU, 14-6. The poll was unchanged: 1.Oklahoma 2.Ohio State 3.USC 4.Nebraska 5.Texas A & M

October 25 #1 Oklahoma beat Iowa State, 39-7. #2 Ohio State won at Purdue, 35-6. #3 USC won at #14 Notre Dame, 24-17. #4 Nebraska beat #10 Colorado, 63-21. #5 Texas A&M beat Baylor at home, 19-10. The poll was 1.Oklahoma 2.Ohio State 3.Nebraska 4.USC 5.Texas A & M

November[edit]

November 1 #1 Oklahoma won at #19 Oklahoma State, 27-7. #2 Ohio State defeated Indiana at home, 24-14. #3 Nebraska won at #12 Missouri, 30-7. Coach John McKay announced he would be leaving USC after the season to coach the NFL's expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers and #4 USC went out and lost at California, 28-14, beginning a four-game losing streak after a 7-0 start. #5 Texas A&M was idle. #6 Alabama beat Mississippi State in Jackson, 21-10. The poll was 1.Oklahoma 2.Ohio State 3.Nebraska 4.Texas A & M 5.Alabama

November 8 #1 Oklahoma were stunned by the visiting Kansas Jayhawks, led by quarterback Nolan Cromwell 23-3. #2 Ohio State won at Illinois, 40-3. #3 Nebraska won at Kansas State, 12-0. #4 Texas A&M beat SMU, 36-3. #5 Alabama won at LSU 23-10. #6 Michigan, which beat Purdue 28-0, rose to fourth. The poll was: 1.Ohio State 2.Nebraska 3.Texas A & M 4.Michigan 5.Alabama

November 15 #1 Ohio State beat Minnesota 38-6. #2 Nebraska beat Iowa 52-0. #3 Texas A&M won at Rice, 33-14. #4 Michigan won at Illinois, 21-15, to extend its record to 8-0-2. #5 Alabama beat Southern Mississippi at home, 27-6. The poll was unchanged: 1.Ohio State 2.Nebraska 3.Texas A & M 4.Michigan 5.Alabama

November 22 The game that determined the Big Ten championship took place in Ann Arbor, Michigan, as unbeaten (10-0-0) #1 Ohio State faced unbeaten, but twice tied (8-0-2) #4 Michigan. OSU won 21-14 and got the trip to the Rose Bowl, where it would have a rematch with 11th-ranked UCLA (The Bruins would beat out Cal for the Rose Bowl bid by beating USC, 25-22, the following Friday). In Norman, Oklahoma, a trip to the Orange Bowl was on the line as #2 Nebraska (10-0-0) closed its season against (9-1-0) #7 Oklahoma in a game that would determine the Big Eight title. Oklahoma handed the Cornhuskers their first loss, 35-10. Nebraska was invited instead to play in the Fiesta Bowl. #3 Texas A&M and #5 Alabama were both idle. #6 Texas (9-1-0) was also idle, but rose to fifth. The poll was: 1.Ohio State 2.Texas A & M 3.Oklahoma 4.Alabama 5.Texas

November 29 The #2 Texas A&M Aggies (9-0-0) hosted the #5 Texas Longhorns (9-1-0) at College Station, with the Aggies winning, 20-10. #4 Alabama closed its season with its 10th straight win after its opening loss, a 28-0 win over Auburn in Birmingham. In the final AP poll released on December 1, #1 Ohio State (11-0-0), #2 Texas A&M (10-0-0) and #7 Arizona State (11-0-0) were all undefeated. On December 6, however, the Aggies lost in Little Rock to #18 Arkansas, 31-6. The Southwest Conference race finished with a three way tie between Arkansas, Texas and Texas A&M, all 6-1 in conference play. Arkansas got the Cotton Bowl berth, while Texas went to the Bluebonnet Bowl and Texas A&M to the Liberty Bowl.

Rule Changes[edit]

  • Jerseys are required to be changed if the shoulder pads are exposed and/or the uniform numbers become unreadable.
  • The game ball composition and appearance are standardized.
  • The team bench area is expanded from between the 35-yard lines to between the 30-yard lines.
  • Penalty enforcement of fouls committed during kickoffs, field goal attempts, and punts when the ball is not in possession of either team is from the spot of the foul, changed from the previous spot.
  • The referee has the authority (without consulting with the two coaches) to suspend a game due to severe weather (lightning, etc.).
  • If a player is observed playing without a mouthpiece, his team will be charged a time-out (or a five-yard penalty if out of time-outs) to correct.

Conference standings[edit]

The following is an incomplete list of conference standings:

1975 ACC football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#13 Maryland 5 0 0     9 2 1
Duke 3 0 2     4 5 2
NC State 2 2 1     7 4 1
Wake Forest 3 3 0     3 8 0
Clemson 2 3 0     2 9 0
North Carolina 1 4 1     3 7 1
Virginia 0 4 0     1 10 0
† – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll[3]
1975 Big 8 football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#1 Oklahoma § 6 1 0     11 1 0
#9 Nebraska § 6 1 0     10 2 0
#16 Colorado 5 2 0     9 3 0
Kansas 4 3 0     7 5 0
Oklahoma State 3 4 0     7 4 0
Missouri 3 4 0     6 5 0
Iowa State 1 6 0     4 7 0
Kansas State 0 7 0     3 8 0
§ – Conference co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll
1975 Big Ten football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#4/4 Ohio State 8 0 0     11 1 0
#8/8 Michigan 7 1 0     8 2 2
Michigan State 4 4 0     7 4 0
Illinois 4 4 0     5 6 0
Purdue 4 4 0     4 7 0
Wisconsin 3 4 1     4 6 1
Minnesota 3 5 0     6 5 0
Iowa 3 5 0     3 8 0
Northwestern 2 6 0     3 8 0
Indiana 1 6 1     2 8 1
† – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll / Coaches' Poll
1975 Pacific-8 football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#5 UCLA § 6 1 0     9 2 1
#14 California § 6 1 0     8 3 0
Stanford 5 2 0     6 4 1
Washington 5 2 0     6 5 0
#17 USC 3 4 0     8 4 0
Oregon 2 5 0     3 8 0
Oregon State 1 6 0     1 10 0
Washington State 0 7 0     3 8 0
§ – Conference co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll
1975 SEC football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#3 Alabama 6 0 0     11 1 0
Florida 5 1 0     9 3 0
#19 Georgia 5 1 0     9 3 0
Ole Miss 5 1 0     6 5 0
Tennessee 3 3 0     7 5 0
Vanderbilt 2 4 0     7 4 0
Mississippi State 1 4 1     6 4 1
Auburn 1 4 1     3 6 2
LSU 1 5 0     4 7 0
Kentucky 0 6 0     2 8 1
† – Conference champion
  • Mississippi State later forfeited all 1975 wins and one tie due to NCAA violations.
    Rankings from AP Poll
1975 Southwest Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#7 Arkansas § 6 1 0     10 2 0
#6 Texas § 6 1 0     10 2 0
#11 Texas A&M § 6 1 0     10 2 0
Texas Tech 4 3 0     6 5 0
Baylor 2 5 0     3 6 2
SMU 2 5 0     4 7 0
Rice 1 6 0     2 9 0
TCU 1 6 0     1 10 0
§ – Conference co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll
1975 Southern Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
Richmond 5 1 0     5 6 0
East Carolina 4 2 0     8 3 0
Appalachian State 3 2 0     8 3 0
The Citadel 4 3 0     6 5 0
William & Mary 2 3 0     2 9 0
Furman 2 4 0     5 5 1
VMI 2 4 0     3 8 0
Davidson 0 3 0     1 8 0
† – Conference champion
1975 WAC football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#2 Arizona State 7 0 0     12 0 0
#18 Arizona 5 2 0     9 2 0
Colorado State 4 2 0     6 5 0
BYU 4 3 0     6 5 0
New Mexico 4 3 0     6 5 0
Utah 1 4 0     1 10 0
Wyoming 1 6 0     2 9 0
UTEP 0 6 0     1 10 0
† – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

Bowl games[edit]

This was the first season that both the Pac-8 and Big Ten conferences allowed their teams to play in bowl games other than the Rose Bowl Game. Thus, USC, who actually finished 5th in the Pac-8, was invited to the Liberty in what would be coach John McKay's final game before going to the NFL to coach the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. California, who tied UCLA for the Pac-8 title (UCLA got the Rose Bowl berth due to their win over Cal) was left out of any bowls, as were Washington and Stanford, all of whom beat and finished ahead of USC. Michigan, the Big 10 runner up, was invited to play Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl.

In the Liberty Bowl in late December, USC sent McKay out a winner, as they shut out an uninspired Texas A&M team was still reeling from being upset by Arkansas and losing out on the Cotton Bowl bid. The day after Christmas, Arizona State, the WAC champion, won arguably the biggest game to date in their history over Big 8 runner up Nebraska, 17-14. Arizona State was one of two Division 1 teams to finish undefeated and untied as they completed a 12-0-0 season. Arkansas State University also finished unbeaten and untied. New Year's Eve saw Alabama beat Penn State 13-6 in the Sugar Bowl. On New Years Day, Arkansas beat SEC runner up Georgia in the Cotton Bowl 31-10. The Rose Bowl was a rematch between #1 Ohio State and #11 UCLA; Ohio State had beaten UCLA in Los Angeles on October 4, 41-20. After that game, Ohio State coach Woody Hayes was so impressed by UCLA in defeat, he predicted that his Buckeyes would be playing the Bruins again in the Rose Bowl. This time, the 11th ranked Bruins (8-2-1) handed the previously undefeated and #1 ranked Buckeyes a 23-10 loss. UCLA was the only team to score more than 14 points on Ohio State all season, and they did it twice. Seeing that Ohio State was upset, #2 Oklahoma (10-1) got inspired and defeated #4 Michigan (8-1-2), in the Orange Bowl to claim the national title. The final rankings were 1.Oklahoma 2. Arizona State 3.Ohio State 4.Alabama 5.UCLA

BOWL
ROSE #11 UCLA Bruins 23 #1 Ohio State Buckeyes 10
ORANGE #2 Oklahoma Sooners 14 #4 Michigan Wolverines 6
SUGAR #3 Alabama Crimson Tide 13 #7 Penn State Nittany Lions 6
COTTON #18 Arkansas Razorbacks 31 #12 Georgia Bulldogs 10

Other bowls:

BOWL Location Winner Loser
FIESTA Tempe #6 Arizona State Sun Devils 17 #5 Nebraska Cornhuskers 14
SUN El Paso Pittsburgh 33 Kansas 19
LIBERTY Memphis USC 20 #8 Texas A&M 0
GATOR Jacksonville Maryland 13 Florida 0
TANGERINE Orlando Miami (Ohio) 20 South Carolina 7
ASTRO-BLUEBONNET Houston Texas 38 Colorado 21
PEACH Atlanta West Virginia 13 N.C. State 10

Other champions[edit]

NCAA Division II Northern Michigan Wildcats 16 Western Kentucky Hilltoppers 14
NCAA Division III Wittenberg Tigers 28 Ithaca Bombers 0
NAIA Division I Texas A&I Javelinas 37 Salem College Tigers 0
NAIA Division II Texas Lutheran Bulldogs 34 California Lutheran Kingsmen 8

Heisman Trophy voting[edit]

The Heisman Trophy is given to the year's most outstanding player

References[edit]