Washington State under Jim Sutherland, Ronnie Knox's old high school coach, will probably give Prothro the most trouble. Stanford could be brilliant or a flop, depending on whether Coach Jack Curtice (see page 116) can develop a passer to make his offense go.
Only a few years ago, the Skyline Conference was an obscure cluster of Rocky Mountain colleges which had fun Saturdays playing football—when the teams could get through the snowstorms. This year a vast improvement is expected in the over-all caliber of Skyline competition, and while the conference as a whole will remain a notch or two below major status on the nation's football map, it will have a scattering of individuals worthy of All-America consideration—Lee Grosscup of Utah in particular. As the nation's leading passer last year, he will have the whole country watching his performances.
Colorado Springs, Colo.
COLORS: Silver and blue
BASIC OFFENSE: Split-T
1957 RECORD: Won 3, lost 6, tied 1
LETTERMEN RETURNING: 23 of 26
WATCH FOR: Rushing of Halfback Phil Lane
THE DOPE: The Falcons have a new coach, Ben Martin, and some new opponents but everything else looks pretty much the same. The Air Force team is challenging such powers as Iowa, Stanford and Colorado with the same team that won only three of 10 games last season against a not-so-formidable lineup. Since the academy does not graduate its first class until 1959, ex-Virginia Coach Martin inherits all but three injured lettermen. Most of the ground gaining will be left to Halfback Phil Lane and Fullbacks Larry Thomson and Charlie May. Quarterback John Kuenzel, the Falcons' leading passer last season, missed spring drills and may yield to Eddie Rosane, who has experience but is prone to knee injuries. Chief target for the passers will be End Tom Jozwiak. Captain Brock Strom, a tackle, is the mainstay of the Falcon line which shows a marked improvement over last season's unit which gave up three touchdowns per game. If the defense can hold up under pressure, the academy might break even this season despite a tougher schedule.
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]
COLORS: Blue and white
BASIC OFFENSE: Split-T
1957 RECORD: Won 5, lost 3, tied 2
LETTERMEN RETURNING: 28 of 37
WATCH FOR: Strong running backs behind a big, fast line
THE DOPE: The Cougars may win their first Skyline Conference title this season. Runners-up to Utah last year, they have the best depth in the school's history. Coach Harold Kopp welcomes 28 lettermen and the veterans of one of the school's finest freshman teams. John Kapele, a 220-pound Hawaiian tackle, and Lonnie Dennis, one of BYU's finest guard prospects in years, lead a pack of big, aggressive defenders who tied a national mark last year by recovering 32 enemy fumbles. Ends R. K. Brown and Curt Brown, Tackle Howard Condie, Guard Paul Eckel and Center Lynn Reading complete the starting line. Coach Kopp has power and speed in the backfield with such as Wayne Startin, Howard Ring-wood, Weldon Jackson and Nyle McFarland, a service returnee. Jackson was top ground-gainer last fall and Ringwood is an excellent pass receiver. Startin is a good passing quarterback, and his experience will probably keep Sophomore Gary Dunn, a triple threater, on the bench much of the time. Brigham Young is a team that will bear watching.