COLORS: Orange and black
BASIC OFFENSE: T
1957 RECORD: Won 6, lost 3, tied 1
LETTERMEN RETURNING: 29 of 37
WATCH FOR: Pass receiving of Jim Wood, running of Jim Wiggins
THE DOPE: The Cowboys, out of the Missouri Valley Conference and awaiting their Big Eight baptism in 1960, shape up as one of the top independents in the country. The return of 29 lettermen gives them their most experienced squad in years and their best depth since the 1946 Sugar Bowl championship team. Coach Cliff Speegle loses nothing of his good striking power on the ground or in the air. He has four lettermen quarterbacks led by Dave Cross, best runner of the bunch and a good short passer. Speedy Duane Wood and hard-running Jim Wiggins, the team's leading scorer with 62 points, will man the halfback slots. Larry Rundle, who averages five yards per carry, returns to fullback. Jim Wood, a top receiver who also averages 40 yards per punt, is top dog of a solid offensive line. The Cowboys also field one of the best tackles in the area, Jim Howard. Speegle's roster is not only loaded with lettermen but also is top-heavy with promising sophomores who will be seasoned veterans when OSU gets its first crack at the Big Eight title two years hence.
COLORS: Gold and black
BASIC OFFENSE: T
1957 RECORD: Won 5, lost 4
LETTERMEN RETURNING: 26 of 40
WATCH FOR: Pass catching of Tom Franckhauser
THE DOPE: The Boilermakers finished last season with a 5-1 flourish that included a major upset over Michigan State. Twenty-six lettermen from that team are back, giving Coach Jack Mollenkopf a real dark-horse contender. Purdue's big backfield losses are Fullback Mel Dillard and Halfbacks Kenny Mikes (the Big Ten's leading punter) and Tommy Fletcher. Graduation also took a big chunk out of the center of the line, including "most valuable" Center Neil Habig. The Boilermakers still have two equally effective quarterbacks in Bob Spoo and Ross Fichtner, a 1-2 punch at fullback with leading ground-gainer Bob Jarus and Jim Redinger, plus a flock of good halfbacks. Probable starters are Tom Barnett and Leonard Wilson. Standouts among the returning linemen are Tom Franckhauser, the team's top pass receiver, and massive Tackles Nick Mumley (6 feet 6 inches, 240 pounds) and Gene Selawski (6 feet 4 inches, 248 pounds). Success of the team rests on juniors in the middle—Fred Brandel and John Ciccone at guards and Sam Joyner at center.
COLORS: Red, blue and gold
BASIC OFFENSE: T and belly series
1957 RECORD: Won 4, lost 6
LETTERMEN RETURNING: 22 of 27
WATCH FOR: The power bursts of Halfback Ronnie Morris
THE DOPE: The Golden Hurricanes will make a race of it barring any more of the operations and flu epidemics which kept them winless until midseason last year. Twenty-two lettermen are back, giving Coach Bobby Dobbs a good first unit and a potentially sound second one. "The success of our team this year depends on the ability of the second team to play as much as the first," says Dobbs. "You can't play winning football without two teams." Dobbs's strength is his quarterbacks, where standout George Cagliola and Benny Davis return with two all-state freshmen, Bob West and Jerry Keeling. Behind them are senior Halfback Ronnie Morris, a New York Giants' draft choice after his sophomore year; Right Half Kelly Burden and Fullback John Arnold. A couple of 220-pounders, End Dick Brown and Tackle Opie Bandy, are top musclemen of a forward wall which could use more experienced tackles and linebackers. Tulsa opens with virtually the same schedule it stumbled through the first five weeks of '57, but the outcome should be different.
COLORS: Black and gold
BASIC OFFENSE: T and split-T
1957 RECORD: Won 1, lost 9
LETTERMEN RETURNING: 13 of 28
WATCH FOR: Inside-outside running of fast and powerful Ted Dean