1966 Michigan State Spartans football team

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1966 Michigan State Spartans football
National champion (Football Research)
Co-national champion (Helms, NFF, Poling)
Big Ten champion
ConferenceBig Ten Conference
Ranking
CoachesNo. 2
APNo. 2
1966 record9–0–1 (7–0 Big Ten)
Head coachDuffy Daugherty (13th season)
MVPGeorge Webster
Home stadiumSpartan Stadium
(c. 76,000 natural grass)
Seasons
← 1965
1967 →
1966 Big Ten football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
No. 2 Michigan State $ 7 0 0     9 0 1
No. 7 Purdue 6 1 0     9 2 0
Michigan 4 3 0     6 4 0
Illinois 4 3 0     4 6 0
Minnesota 3 3 1     4 5 1
Ohio State 3 4 0     4 5 0
Northwestern 2 4 1     3 6 1
Wisconsin 2 4 1     3 6 1
Indiana 1 5 1     1 8 1
Iowa 1 6 0     2 8 0
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1966 Michigan State Spartans football team represented Michigan State University in the 1966 Big Ten Conference football season. Michigan State lodged a 9–0–1 record, with a season-concluding tie against Notre Dame which is considered among the greatest games in college football history. The College Football Researchers Association selected Michigan State as national champion, while Helms, NFF, and Poling selected them as co-national champion.[1]:113 Notre Dame claimed the AP and Coaches selections and earned a consensus title with a majority of selectors.[2]

Schedule[edit]

DateOpponentRankSiteResultAttendance
September 17NC State*No. 2W 28–055,418
September 24Penn State*No. 1
  • Spartan Stadium
  • East Lansing, MI (rivalry)
W 42–865,763
October 1at IllinoisNo. 1W 26–1057,747
October 8MichiganNo. 1
W 20–778,833
October 15at Ohio StateNo. 1W 11–884,282
October 22No. 9 PurdueNo. 2
  • Spartan Stadium
  • East Lansing, MI
W 41–2078,004
October 29at NorthwesternNo. 2W 22–044,304
November 5IowaNo. 2
  • Spartan Stadium
  • East Lansing, MI
W 56–768,711
November 12at IndianaNo. 2W 37–1930,096
November 19No. 1 Notre Dame*No. 2
  • Spartan Stadium
  • East Lansing, MI (rivalry)
T 10–1080,011
  • *Non-conference game
  • Rankings from AP Poll released prior to the game
Schedule Source:[3]

Personnel[edit]

1966 Michigan State Spartans football team roster
Players Coaches
Offense
Pos. # Name Class
FB 45 Robert Apisa Jr
RB 25 Regis Cavender So
RB 26 Clinton Jones Sr
RB 34 Dwight Lee Jr
T 57 Joe Przybycki Jr
QB 16 James Raye Jr
WR 84 Gene Washington Sr
Defense
Pos. # Name Class
DL 61 Charles Bailey So
DL 55 Pat Gallinagh
S   Jess Phillips Jr
DE   Jeff Richardson Sr
DL 95 Bubba Smith Sr
DB 20 James Summers Sr
DB 41 Charlie Thornhill Sr
LB 90 George Webster Sr
Special teams
Pos. # Name Class
K 42 Dick Kenney Sr
Head coach
Coordinators/assistant coaches

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  • Injured Injured
  • Redshirt Redshirt

Rankings[edit]

Game summaries[edit]

NC State[edit]

Overall record Last meeting Result
2–1 1929 W 40–6

Penn State[edit]

Overall record Last meeting Result
7–1–1 1965 W 23–0

at Illinois[edit]

Overall record Last meeting Result
4–5 1965 W 22–12

Michigan[edit]

Michigan at Michigan State
1 234Total
Wolverines 0 007 7
No. 1 Spartans 7 0013 20
Overall record Last meeting Result
17–36–5 1965 W 24–7

[4]

at Ohio State[edit]

Michigan State at Ohio State
1 234Total
Spartans 0 038 11
Buckeyes 2 006 8
  • Date: October 15
  • Location: Ohio Stadium
  • Game attendance: 84,282
  • Game weather: Rain, wind SE 20-35, 69°F
Overall record Last meeting Result
4–2 1965 W 32–7

Purdue[edit]

Purdue at Michigan State
1 234Total
No. 9 Boilermakers 0 0713 20
No. 2 Spartans 7 14146 41
Overall record Last meeting Result
10–9–1 1965 W 14–10

[5]

at Northwestern[edit]

Overall record Last meeting Result
7–3 1965 W 49–7

Iowa[edit]

Overall record Last meeting Result
2–3 1965 W 35–0

at Indiana[edit]

Overall record Last meeting Result
14–5–1 1965 W 27–13

Notre Dame[edit]

Notre Dame at Michigan State
1 234Total
No.1 Fighting Irish 0 703 10
No. 2 Spartans 0 1000 10
Overall record Last meeting Result
14–17 1965 W 12–3

The 1966 Michigan State vs. Notre Dame football game ("The Game of the Century") remains one of the greatest, and most controversial, games in college football history.[6] The game was played in Michigan State's Spartan Stadium on November 19, 1966. Michigan State entered the contest 9–0 and ranked #2, while Notre Dame entered the contest 8–0 and ranked #1. Notre Dame elected not to try to score on its final series, thus the game ended in a 10–10 tie with both schools receiving national champion selections.[7]

Team members in the NFL[edit]

  • In the 1967 NFL Draft, four of the top eight picks in the draft were players from Michigan State.
Player Position Round Pick NFL franchise
Bubba Smith Defensive end 1 1 Baltimore Colts
Clinton Jones Running back 1 2 Minnesota Vikings
George Webster Linebacker 1 5 Houston Oilers
Gene Washington Wide receiver 1 8 Minnesota Vikings
Jeff Richardson Defensive end 6 146 New York Jets
James Summers Defensive back 9 217 Denver Broncos
Charlie Thornhill Defensive back 9 232 Boston Patriots
Dick Kenney Kicker 14 358 Philadelphia Eagles

[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 2018 NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Records (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association. August 2018. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  2. ^ "Past Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (Division I FBS) National Champions (formerly called Division I-A)". ncaa.org. Archived from the original on May 9, 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-01.
  3. ^ "Football Statistics Summary for 1966". msuspartans.com. Retrieved August 21, 2013.
  4. ^ "No. 1 Spartans Stop Wolverines." Palm Beach Post. 1966 Oct 9. Retrieved 2015-Jan-12.
  5. ^ "Spartans Win Easily Over Purdue, 41-20." Palm Beach Post. 1966 Oct 23.
  6. ^ Celzic, Mike. The Biggest Game of Them All: Notre Dame, Michigan State and the Fall of 1966. ISBN 978-0-671-75817-2.
  7. ^ Jenkins, Dan (November 28, 1966). "An Upside-Down Game". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved August 17, 2019.
  8. ^ 1967 NFL Draft Listing - Pro-Football-Reference.com