Competition in the Southern Division runs more toward nicknames. For the record, the DREXEL Dragons are expected to beat out the WESTERN MARYLAND Green Terrors.
Football at WITTENBERG is as old as 1850 and as new as Quarterback Chuck Green, who accounted for more total yardage than the entire output of the Tigers' nine 1963 opponents. Green—hold on—completed 114 of 182 passes for 2,181 yards and 19 touchdowns. Even with severe losses, Wittenberg has manpower to expand Coach Bill Edwards' 132-38-8 record. Halfback Jack Morefield (305 rushing, 280 receiving) and End Ron Duncan (566) return. However, the Tigers must get superb work from Linebacker Gary Reedy, Tackles Joe Bury and Larry Stockert, Ends Ed Luthy and Carl Zoscak, and Halfback Bob Harvey to keep winning.
It will take that kind of talent to fend off the rest of the 15-team Ohio Conference, AKRON forfeited four backs who accounted for 1,882 of the Zips' 2,874 yards, yet the team still looks rugged. The defense, led by Middle Guard Bobby Johnson, and the offensive line, firmed by three-year first-string Tackles Dick Case and Tony Butowicz, are pre-stressed concrete, BALD WIN-WALLACE is also a threat despite many departures. Jerry Roberts is an outstanding end-safety and Ernie Prince a good fullback, but sophomore John Terakedis must settle in at quarterback, MUSKINGUM, with Halfback Dale Dickson, Center Dick Rider, Tackle Mark DeVilling and Quarterback Roger Post, should worry opponents, as should DENISON.
Out at Macomb, Ill. the Leathernecks will try to solve a perennial interstate problem: Who will win the conference title? The WESTERN ILLINOIS solution is concise: "Us." Power Back Noria Steward (721 yards rushing, 177 receiving, 10 touchdowns), Quarterback Dick Raber (782 yards) and End Jim Johnson (converted from fullback, where he gained 316 yards) lead the attack.
"We pride ourselves on being smart football players rather than hard-nosed," says NORTHERN ILLINOIS in scornful reply. The Huskies will have to play a very, very smart game to compensate for the loss of George Bork, most successful passer in the history of football, plus most of their offensive line. A splendid corps of sophomore linemen and Ron Christian may well be the answer. Stepping into quarterback, Christian can run and pass, some say almost as well as Bork. Time will tell.
Central Michigan has its own graduation casualties, but the Chippewas just could sneak up for another surprise anyway. Quarterback Pat Boyd (54 of 117 complete for 817 yards), End Frank Goldberg, Halfbacks George Wolfe and Bruce Wyman, Guard Ken Bickel and Tackle Glenn Foldie are back on the reservation.
Southern Illinois should be murder. Quarterback Jim Hart completed 72 of 152 attempts for 1,041 yards and 14 touchdowns. That was as a sophomore. End Tom Massey caught 20 passes for 406 yards, and that was as a freshman. Flanker Harry Bobbin, incidentally, caught 34 for 503, and End Bonnie Shelton went for 219.
Drake, another major minor recovering from a poor year, can manufacture tears over only four of 14 graduates. Sophomore Halfback C. T. Traylor (631 yards) already looks like a Johnny Bright, and sophomore Quarterback Ron Royer has already completed 43 of 87 for 629 yards. Back, in sum, are the six leading ground-gainers, BRADLEY, like Drake a fugitive from the Missouri Valley Conference during football, feels that "passing creates an exciting game, the type fans want to see if they are going to part with a buck to spend a cold afternoon outdoors." So Bradley gives them basketball during the football season, too. Quarterback Bob Caress has completed 239 of 475 passes for 2,984 yards and 23 touchdowns the last two years. Over three seasons, End Bill Marcordes has scored 16 touchdowns on 1,433 yards' gain, and End Len Harris has gone 1,232 yards for nine touchdowns. And Tony Jannotta, now a halfback, gained 980 yards and nine scores passing in two years at quarterback.
To leave aside the independents, there are some 14 important small-college conferences in the Midwest, totaling well over 100 schools. Here are the best: