CONCLUSION: It is hard to imagine Wilkinson having two bad seasons in a row. He won't, but 1961 won't bring a title either.
Any resemblance to last year's Cowboys will be purely accidental. Coach Cliff Speegle didn't just putter with the team; he grabbed it by its long-heeled boots and shook a new look into it. The offense will be a wing T, three players will switch positions and four sophomores will be in the starting lineup. One of them, sprinter Ray Wesley, will play at one half opposite 1960 Fullback Jim Dillard. This gives the team the flank attacking speed it lacked last season. To improve his passing, Speegle installed towering (6 feet 5) sophomore Bill Leming at quarterback and provided him with sturdy protection in the form of another sophomore, Fullback Bill McFarland, and a good line headed by 245-pound Tackle Frank Parker, Center Billy York, sophomore Guard Mike Upton and Guard Gary Cutsinger, converted from tackle.
CONCLUSION: The offense is exciting, but with sophomores and lettermen changing positions, the defense has a Marx Brothers look.
Seldom the titlists but always good, the Spoilermakers should enjoy another fine year boffing the unsuspecting leaders in the toughest of all conferences while losing to the also-rans. That artful and underpublicized coach Jack Mollenkopf must patch and putty a lineup which lost much of last year's potency, but he is an old hand at this sort of thing. He'll use tough-tackling Guard-Linebacker Stan Sczurek to anchor a line that includes three rangy, mobile players: Ends Jack Elwell and Forest Farmer and Tackle Don Brumm. Upperclassmen will start the season at all backfield positions except quarterback, where Ron DiGravio shows great promise as a passer. However, Halfbacks Tom Bloom and Dave Miller and Fullback Tom Yakubowski may end up sharing duties with sophomores.
CONCLUSION: This season will challenge Mollenkopf's ingenuity but, blessed with a gifted passer, he should snag his usual upsets.
Last year, Coach Clive Rush's first at Toledo, was not successful. But Rush rekindled interest in football, and this season 71 men turned out for practice, among them some exciting sophomores in the backfield. Two of the best are Quarterbacks Phil Yenrick and Ron Allan. They throw far enough and run fast enough to insure ample leadership for the split-T. Others are Halfbacks John Hebert, Jim Burnett and Jim Van Deilen, who have good getaway speed and can turn the ends. The only upperclassman who is safe from the sophomore incursion is Fullback Frank Baker, Toledo's best ball carrier. The weakness in the team is the defense. Last season opponents averaged 21 points against Toledo. With no shiny new sophomores to help out, the team will have to rely on the players who couldn't hold off the enemy last year.
CONCLUSION: There's more to work with at Toledo, but the talent is all young. This will be a learning year.