1967 college football season
|1967 NCAA University Division football season|
|Total # of teams||118|
|Preseason AP #1||Notre Dame Fighting Irish|
|Number of bowls||9|
|Champions||USC Trojans (AP, Coaches)|
|Heisman||Gary Beban, UCLA QB|
The 1967 NCAA University Division football season was the last one in which college football's champion was crowned before the bowl games. During the 20th century, the NCAA had no playoff for the college football teams that would later be described as Division I-A and now as Division I FBS. 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). In 1967, both AP and UPI issued their final polls at the close of the regular season, but before teams competed in bowl games. The Associated Press presented the "AP Trophy" to the winner.
The AP poll in 1967 consisted of the votes of many sportswriters, though not all of them voted in every poll. Those who cast votes would give their opinion of the ten best teams. Under a point system of 10 points for first place, 9 for second, etc., the "overall" ranking was determined.
- The five interior linemen in punt formation are now required to remain at the line of scrimmage until the ball is kicked, which allowed for more and longer punt returns. However, the rule was extremely unpopular among coaches and was repealed for the 1968 season. This rule would be adopted by the National Football League in 1974.
Conference and program changes
|School||1966 Conference||1967 Conference|
|George Washington Colonials||SoCon||Dropped Program|
In the preseason poll released on September 11, 1967, first place went to the defending champion Notre Dame Fighting Irish, followed by the #2 Alabama Crimson Tide, the #3 Michigan State Spartans, #4 Texas, and #5 Miami. Pacific-8 (still officially called the AAWU until the following season) teams USC and UCLA were 7 and 8, and Big 8 champ Colorado was 10th. Alabama's SEC rivals, Georgia and Tennessee were 6th and 9th, respectively.
September 16 The AAWU began its season a week ahead of most of the other conferences. #7 USC beat Washington State 49-0 in a Friday night game at Los Angeles, and the next day, #8 UCLA hosted #9 Tennessee and won 20-16. California beat Oregon 21-13 in advance of its game against #1 Notre Dame. USC reached the Top Five in the next poll, while Miami dropped to 8th before it had played a game. The poll was 1.Notre Dame 2.Alabama 3.Michigan State 4.USC 5.Texas
On September 23, #1 Notre Dame hosted the California Golden Bears and won 41-8. At Birmingham, #2 Alabama played to a 37-37 tie with Florida State. #3 Michigan State lost at home to the Houston Cougars 37-7, and proved the preseason prognosticators wrong on its way to a 3-7-0 finish. The big matchup was in L.A. between #4 USC and #5 Texas. The Trojans won 17-13. Alabama and Michigan State fell out of the Top Five. #6 UCLA, which had beaten the Panthers at Pittsburgh 40-8, rose to fourth and #7 Georgia, following a 30-0 home win against Mississippi State, reached fifth. The next poll was 1.Notre Dame 2.USC 3.Houston 4.UCLA 5.Georgia
In a Friday night game, #3 Houston rolled over Wake Forest at home, 50-6. September 30, in West Lafayette, Indiana, #1 Notre Dame lost at #10 Purdue, 28-21. #2 USC won at Michigan State 21-17. In a game at Spokane, #4 UCLA trampled Washington State, 51-23, and #5 Georgia won at Clemson 24-17. Notre Dame fell from the Top 5 in the next poll and USC took the lead, followed by 2.Houston 3.UCLA 4.Purdue 5.Georgia
October 7 #1 USC beat Stanford at home, 30-0. The #2 Houston Cougars, who had come from nowhere to reach a top ranking, lost at home to unranked North Carolina State, 16-6. #3 UCLA edged Penn State 17-15. In a Big Ten matchup, #4 Purdue beat Northwestern 25-16, and #5 Georgia shut out South Carolina at home, 21-0. In South Bend, #6 Notre Dame crushed Iowa 56-6 to reach the Top Five as it prepared to face #1 USC. The next poll was: 1.USC 2.Purdue 3.Georgia 4.UCLA 5.Notre Dame
October 14 In South Bend, the #1 USC Trojans played the #5 Fighting Irish of Notre Dame and won 24-7. Over in Columbus, #2 Purdue beat Ohio State 41-6. #3 Georgia lost to Mississippi at Jackson, 29-20. #4 UCLA beat California at home, 37-14. Taking the place of the Irish and Georgia in the Top Five were #6 Colorado, which had beaten Missouri 23-9, and #9 N.C. State, which won at Maryland 31-9. The poll was 1.USC 2.Purdue 3.UCLA 4.Colorado 5.North Carolina State
October 21 #1 USC beat the Washington Huskies in Seattle, 23-6, for its sixth straight win. The Trojans' cross-town rival, #3 UCLA was also 6-0-0, beating Stanford in Palo Alto, 21-16. #2 Purdue lost its first game of the season, falling to visiting Oregon State, 22-14. #4 Colorado won at Nebraska 21-16, and #5 N.C. State hosted Wake Forest and won 24-7. #6 Alabama and #7 Tennessee squared off in Birmingham, with the Tennessee Volunteers beating the Crimson Tide, 24-13. The Vols would win the SEC championship ahead of Alabama, but accepted an invitation to the Orange Bowl rather than the Sugar Bowl. In the next poll, USC was the unanimous choice for #1, with all 37 first place votes. The rankings were: 1.USC (all 37 votes) 2.UCLA 3.Colorado 4.Tennessee 5.NC State
October 28 #1 USC continued winning, hosting Oregon with a 28-6 score, while #2 UCLA was idle. #3 Colorado lost to visiting Oklahoma State 10-7. #4 Tennessee narrowly beat LSU at home, 17-14, and #5 N.C. State beat Duke 28-7. Replacing Colorado in the Top Five was #6 Georgia which won at Kentucky 31-7. The poll: 1.USC 2.UCLA 3.Tennessee 4.NC State 5.Georgia
November 4: #1 USC beat California at Berkeley, 31-12, to extend its record to 8-0-0. #2 UCLA stayed unbeaten, but was tied by visiting Oregon State 16-16. #3 Tennessee visited Tampa and beat the Spartans, 38-0. #4 N.C. State won at Virginia 30-8. The #5 Georgia Bulldogs narrowly lost at Houston 15-14. #6 Purdue, which had won at Illinois 42-9, returned to the Top Five. 1.USC 2.Tennessee 3.NC State 4.UCLA 5.Purdue
November 11: #1 USC finally lost, falling in the rain and mud at Oregon State 3-0. As it turned out, Oregon State, who ended the season 7-2-1, beat USC when it was #1, Purdue when it was #2, and tied UCLA when it was #2. #2 Tennessee beat Tulane 35-14. #3 N.C. State lost at Penn State 13-8. #4 UCLA shut out the visiting Washington Huskies, 48-0, and #5 Purdue beat Minnesota 41-12. UCLA took USC's place at the top, leapfrogging Tennessee, who the Bruins had beaten earlier in the year. Tennessee remained #2, and USC fell to fourth. Purdue rose to third and Purdue's rival, #6 Indiana, rose to fifth after winning at Michigan State 14-13. 1.UCLA 2.Tennessee 3.Purdue 4.USC 5.Indiana
November 18: In Los Angeles, the #1 UCLA Bruins and the #4 USC Trojans met at the Coliseum in the 1967 USC vs. UCLA football game. USC reclaimed its place at the top, edging UCLA 21-20 to win the Pac-8 title (6-1 vs. 4-1-1 for Oregon State and UCLA). #2 Tennessee faced Mississippi in Memphis and won 20-7. #3 Purdue beat Michigan State 21-7, but #5 Indiana lost to Minnesota 33-7. #7 Oklahoma, which had beaten Kansas 14-10 at home, took I.U.'s place in the Top Five. 1.USC 2.Tennessee 3.Purdue 4.UCLA 5.Oklahoma
November 25 In the final week of games before the final polls, #1 USC had completed its season at 9-1-0, qualified for the Rose Bowl, and was in no danger of losing again. #2 Tennessee won at Kentucky 17-7. The Indiana Hoosiers, who had fallen out of the Top Ten, made their way back in when they beat #3 Purdue at home in Bloomington. There was a three-way tie in Big Ten Conference play. Not only were Indiana, Purdue and Minnesota each 6-1-0, Indiana beat Purdue, Purdue beat Minnesota, and Minnesota beat Indiana. The Indiana Hoosiers, with the better overall record (9-1 vs. 8-2 and 8-2), and since Purdue and Minnesota had been to the Rose Bowl more recently, qualified for the Rose Bowl. #4 UCLA, without injured Heisman Trophy winner Gary Beban and little motivation after their heartbreaking loss to USC the week before, lost a meaningless game to Syracuse 32-14, and #5 Oklahoma beat Nebraska 21-14. #6 Notre Dame, which had won a Friday night game at Miami, 24-22, returned to the top five with unranked Indiana. In the final poll, USC was tops in both the AP and UPI polls, and was awarded the AP Trophy. Wyoming, which was the only major team to go unbeaten (10-0-0) was at 6th place.
The final regular season poll was 1.USC 2.Tennessee 3.Oklahoma 4.Indiana 5.Notre Dame 6.Wyoming 7.Oregon State 8.Alabama 9.Purdue 10.UCLA.
Ironically, Oregon State played 3 teams that were ranked 1st or 2nd when they played them (UCLA, USC, and Purdue) and went 2-0-1 in those games. But an early season 13-6 loss to Washington kept them out of the Rose Bowl.
The following is an incomplete list of conference standings:
In the final AP poll, 9-1-0 USC had been the top choice of the writers for the AP Trophy, with 36 of the 49 first place votes, and Tennessee followed with 11. Though there was no #1 vs. #2 matchup, the Rose and Orange bowls featured the four top-ranked teams, with #1 USC meeting #4 Indiana at Pasadena, and #2 Tennessee facing #3 Oklahoma at Miami. The Sugar Bowl, at that time, did not automatically get the SEC champion. Ultimately, the New Orleans game featured the Wyoming Cowboys, 10-0-0 in Western Athletic Conference play, against the LSU Tigers. LSU had finished behind Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and Georgia in the Southeastern Conference and was 6th out of ten teams. But LSU justified their selection by knocking off Wyoming, 20-13. In the Cotton Bowl, unranked Texas A&M upset #8 Alabama 20-16. USC then went out and claimed the national title with a 14-3 over Indiana in the Rose Bowl. Effectively eliminated from finishing #1 after USC's win, #2 Tennessee went out and lost in the Orange Bowl to #3 Oklahoma, 26-24.
The final poll was 1. USC 2. Oklahoma 3. Oregon State 4. Notre Dame 5. Indiana 6. Purdue 7. Texas A & M 8. UCLA 9. Tennessee 10. Alabama
San Diego State was voted the #1 "small college" football team (equivalent to today's Division I-AA) in the polls conducted by AP and UPI, and North Dakota State was second The Aztecs then announced that they would play major college ball
|ROSE||#1 USC Trojans||14||#4 Indiana Hoosiers||3|
|ORANGE||#3 Oklahoma||26||#2 Tennessee Volunteers||24|
|SUGAR||LSU Tigers||20||#6 Wyoming Cowboys||13|
|COTTON||Texas A & M Aggies||20||#8 Alabama Crimson Tide||16|
|SUN||El Paso||Texas Western 14||Mississippi 7|
|GATOR||Jacksonville||Penn State 17||Florida State 17|
|TANGERINE||Orlando||UT-Martin 25||West Chester 8|
|BLUEBONNET||Houston||Colorado 31||Miami (Fla.) 21|
|LIBERTY||Memphis||N.C. State 14||Georgia 7|
NCAA member schools outside the University Division were ranked in the "small college poll", taken by both the UPI (coaches) and AP (a panel of writers). Most of these schools became members of Division II or Division III when the NCAA reorganized in 1973, although a number have moved to either the current Division I FCS or FBS. In 1967, both services ranked the San Diego State Aztecs #1. The North Dakota State Bison were ranked #2. San Diego State then went on to defeat San Francisco State 34-6 in the Camellia Bowl (San Diego State is currently a member of the Division I-FBS Mountain West Conference), while the Bison lost to UT-Arlington 13-0. 
Awards and honors
- 1967 Consensus All-America Team
Player scoring most points: Leroy Keyes, Purdue, 114.
- "1967 Atlantic Coast Conference Year Summary". sports-reference.com. Retrieved January 24, 2013.
- "San Diego Tops Final Small College Poll," Modesto Bee, November 24, 1967 pA-11
- "San Diego State Quits League," Amarillo Globe-Times December 15, 1967, p16.