THE DOPE: The Aggies appear destined for another second-division finish in the Skyline Conference. Nineteen lettermen and some talented junior college transfers give Coach Don Mullison something to work with, but unfortunately it's not enough to worry the contenders. There will be a letterman at every position but few good reserves. The team is small and not very fast. Passing is better than average, however, and the Aggies should improve on their 3-7 record. Back to call offensive signals is Freddy Glick, 169-pound brother of Gary, the Pittsburgh Steelers' 1955 bonus pick. Freddy is rated a good defender, a fair runner and passer. Best of the backs is fast, rough Mark White. Wayne Schneider is another good halfback but has defensive shortcomings. Coach Mullison will get a lot of mileage out of small but slashing Fullback Alan Ashbaugh. Stalwarts of the light brigade up front include Guard Pat O'Donnell, Tackle Larry Graves and End Bill Hanks. Joe Keegan, 6-foot-4, 240-pound tackle, Quarterback Joe Crider and Guard Don Mason are promising sophomores.
COLORS: Crimson and gold
BASIC OFFENSE: Wing T
1957 RECORD: Won 6, lost 4
LETTERMEN RETURNING: 23 of 30
WATCH FOR: The tackling and blocking of Sal Cesario
THE DOPE: The Pioneers will field a better football team than the '57 club which finished third in the Skyline—and no wonder. The only conference team to beat champion Utah, they lose just seven lettermen, less than anyone else in the league. "The team that beats us this fall will have to play pretty good football to do so," says Coach John Roning. Denver has 23 lettermen plus 11 transfer students and some average sophomores. Roning's backfield is not so solid as his line, and he must find someone to replace Quarterback Al Yanowich. A likely starter is Junior Don McCall, a proven defender, signal caller and runner but a questionable passer; so transfer Quarterback Jack Jones may find plenty of work. Halfback Jim McDonnell could develop into one of Denver's alltime great running backs before his three seasons are up. He's fast and hard to bring down. Jack Work at halfback and Dan Loos, a driving fullback, round out the backfield. The talented forwards include End Steve Meuris, Tackles Sal Cesario and Bob Carter and Center Don Miller.
COLORS: Silver and gold
BASIC OFFENSE: T with flankers
1957 RECORD: Won 4, lost 4, tied 1
LETTERMEN RETURNING: 21 of 32
WATCH FOR: The smashing tackles of huge Jim Prestel
THE DOPE: The Vandals could have totaled seven victories with just 14 more points in the right places last season. They pack more offensive punch this time around. The defense also will be more experienced. Coach Skip Stahley has 21 lettermen returning but has lost six starters. Five of his linemen (two are still on his roster) have been drafted by the pros, and the 1958 forward wall, although big and fast, will still be somewhat short on experience. The line averages 215 pounds and perhaps the best of the lot is 6-foot-5, 255-pound Tackle Jim Prestel. Pete Johnson is the other tackle. Wade Patterson heads a corps of good ends, which includes 6-foot-5, 220-pound Sophomore Ron Ismael. Stan Fanning is the likely starting center, and Dan Hill moves into Jerry Kramer's guard spot. Stahley has lost two senior quarterbacks, pins his hopes on Junior Bob Eyler, a fine passer, and Sophomore Sil Vial, a good runner. Bob Dehlinger, Theron Nelson and Fullback Dick Pickett are strong and speedy backs. The Vandals will make trouble, but are not of true PCC caliber.
COLORS: Copper, silver and gold
BASIC OFFENSE: Multiple offense
1957 RECORD: Won 2, lost 7
LETTERMEN RETURNING: 23 of 38
WATCH FOR: Stan Renning, one of the best guards in the country
THE DOPE: The Grizzlies may be in for another rough year. They must master the multiple offense being used by Coach Ray Jenkins, former Colorado assistant who replaces Philadelphia Eagles-bound Jerry Williams. Montana also lost 15 lettermen through graduation, and the unkindest cut of all was the defection of Quarterback Earl Keeley to Canadian football. Keeley, an outstanding passer and punter, was counted on to inject life into the club. Jenkins may have a sleeper, however, in Sophomore Jim Monasmith, who completed half his 60 pass attempts for 500 yards in four freshman games. He'll team up with End Larry Myers, who caught 25 aerials last year for 349 yards and three touchdowns. Other bright spots in the line are Tackle John Gregor, a 225-pound sophomore, and Stan Renning, a superb guard and linebacker who was a second-team All-America in '57. The line is thin at ends but well stocked in the middle. The backfield is three deep in veterans and includes probable starters Bob Everson, Matt Gorsich and Fullback Joe Pepe.