COLORS: Crimson and blue
BASIC OFFENSE: Sliding T
1957 RECORD: Won 5, lost 4, tied 1
LETTERMEN RETURNING: 24 of 35
WATCH FOR: A wide-open offense
THE DOPE: The Jayhawks may take a few weeks to get off the ground but with 24 lettermen back, they should win enough games to finish well up in the Big Eight listings. Coach Jack Mitchell, who left Arkansas to replace Chuck Mather, receives his baptism against the lines of Texas Christian, Oregon State, Colorado and Oklahoma. To survive this bone-crushing ordeal during the first half of the season and have anything left for the remainder, his tackles and guards must be extraordinarily durable and his back-field has to generate plenty of speed. "When you can't run wide," says the ex-Oklahoma quarterback, "you limit your offense, and the opponent is able to concentrate his defense. That tends to make even the things you can do well ineffective." With Wally Strauch graduated and Bob Marshall injured, Mitchell has only one proven quarterback—Duane Morris. Homer Floyd and Dave Harris are other backfield regulars. The Jayhawks are strong at center with Bill Burnison, and at end with John Peppercorn. A third-place finish may be in store for Kansas.
COLORS: Royal purple and white
BASIC OFFENSE: Wing T
1957 RECORD: Won 3, lost 6, tied 1
LETTERMEN RETURNING: 19 of 34
WATCH FOR: Fast, hard-hitting Captain Gene Meier at tackle
THE DOPE: The Wildcats have lost eight starters, including the entire backfield, to graduation, but they still have size, speed and depth to help them improve on their 3-6-1 record for 1957. Coach Bus Mertes has the wherewithal for a good running game with Tony Tiro and Max Falk at halfback and Craig Jones at fullback, but the team will also step up its passing attack. Besides Quarterback Les Krull, Mertes has three promising sophomores who are able to throw well, including the highly regarded Ron Blaylock. He also has a pair of good receivers at ends—Sophomore Ced Price and Junior Joe Vader. Two other sophomores could make Kansas State unexpectedly strong—Center Ron Praglowski and Guard Dave Noblitt. Tackle Gene Meier, a hard-hitting ex-fullback who played guard last season, and Guard Don Miles will bulwark the line. Inexperience is Kansas State's main problem, so the offense may be somewhat ragged. Nine sophomores on the first three units need game action in the worst way. They'll get it too with such opponents as Michigan State and Oklahoma coming up.
COLORS: Blue and gold
BASIC OFFENSE: Split-T
1957 RECORD: Won none, lost 10
LETTERMEN RETURNING: 26 of 29
WATCH FOR: The broken field running of Halfback Jim Webster
THE DOPE: Coach Johnny Druze starts his third season at Marquette with renewed hope for his first victory. The end of a humiliating 19-game losing streak is in sight with the return of 26 lettermen, including all but one of last year's starters. The Warriors also have a good sophomore crop. Druze expects to have better depth, a touch more speed, a better defense, more outside running power and better passing. A reformed basketball player, Pete Hall, may win the quarterback assignment from Ernie Safran. Druze is two deep at halfback and three deep at fullback. Jim Webster, younger brother of the New York Giants' Alex Webster, starts at halfback with Tim Zhulkie. Frank Mestnik will handle the fullback chores. Center Gil Sedor will replace the only departed starter, Dick Campbell. Druze's chief assets in the hefty (212-pound average) line are Guard Bill O'Connell and End Silas Woods. He is short on speed and depth at the tackles which may be troublesome. The Warriors are still overmatched but the famine may be over.