State College of Iowa tied North Dakota and North Dakota State for the North Central Conference championship—and so impressed a selection committee that it won the right to beat Lamar Tech in the Pecan Bowl. Fullback Randy Schultz is ready for his senior season at SCI, and he is good enough to make any team he plays on the conference favorite. Big, blond and bruising, Schultz has gained 1,899 yards so far—and, with a pro contract just around the corner it is doubtful that he will ease up in 1965.
South Dakota State and NORTH DAKOTA will be fast on Iowa's heels. State's Jackrabbits have the passing in Quarterback Ron Meyer (176 of 334 for 2,476 yards and 35 touchdowns in two years) and receiving in Ed Maras (55 catches, 757 yards and 10 TDs in two years). What the Rabbits lack most is, of all things, adequate running. North Dakota will make everything close—and just could win the title with its defense, annually hard as the frozen plains. The Sioux lost their top four running backs, but Quarterback Corey Colehour appears ready for a superior year, and in the line the Sioux look like the Packers.
Following the three-way NCC tie, NORTH DAKOTA STATE went on to beat Colorado Western in the Mineral Bowl. The line, led by Ends Lowell Linderman and Center Gene Gebhards, will be even better than it was—but 10 lettermen backs are gone, including both experienced quarterbacks, and that's enough to cost the Bisons a shot at the championship unless the defense is strong enough to earn them one.
Concordia won the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title last year, beat Linfield in the NAIA playoff and tied Sam Houston State 7-7 in the championship game. Though five teams may fight it out this year, look for the Cobbers to win again simply because 32 lettermen are back, including Little All-America Fullback Dave Heide. The burly 225-pounder steamed for 993 yards last year, averaged 5.6 yards per carry and may be expected to elaborate on that in 1965. The most formidable opposition will be furnished by ST. JOHN's, which welcomes 26 lettermen back this fall and plays Concordia at home November 6.
St. Norbert, 5-2-2 last year (including a tie with Hillsdale), will be fortunate to match that record again. Little All-America Dave Jauquet heads a strong front four on defense, but that is all the Green Knights have going for them.
Coe, Cornell and RIPON—Midwest Conference tri-champions last year—are the teams to watch again. GRINNELL may make the first division if its sophomores come through. For CARLETON, 0-8 last year, any victory would be an improvement. Almost three dozen lettermen are back at KEARNEY STATE, and if they are not enough to make the Antelopes the best in the Nebraska College Athletic Conference, Quarterback Neil Kaup is. He completed 87 of 160 passes for 1,287 yards in 1964.
In the California Collegiate Athletic Association the football coaches act out a charade called musical transfers. Each summer they scurry about the state persuading junior-college stars to play for their team in the fall. The trick of the game is to land an unknown beauty and then to profess complete ignorance of his abilities. When the boy runs back the opening kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown in the first game and kicks the extra point, the practical CCAA coach looks around deadpan and asks, "Where'd he come from?"
The current champion at musical transfers is LOS ANGELES STATE'S Homer Beatty—but he had an edge. When Beatty came to L.A. State in 1963 he brought with him the best players from his Santa Ana Junior College team, the 1962 national champions. The Santa Ana group won two straight CCAA championships, 16 of 17 games and the last 12 in a row. Beatty's quarterback was Dunn Marteen, a 6-foot 185-pounder who set seven school records for passing and total offense and was the finest quarterback in the league both years.
Marteen is gone now, as are 14 other lettermen from last year, among them four (besides Marteen) who signed pro contracts. The Diablos do have 17 experienced men back, the best of whom is Ray Jones—an All-Conference halfback who hopes he can play quarterback this year with equal efficiency. Jones averaged 6.5 yards per carry last year and showed flashes of the same brilliance in the spring game when—as a quarterback—he carried 12 times for 125 yards and ran back a kickoff 55 more. Behind him in the backfield are Allan Roman and Tom Rainey at the halves and 210-pound Ray Chavez at full. Tackles Don Davis (All-League) and Jim Weatherwax, both 255 pounds, and Guard Bill Reece lead a line that will average something over 220 pounds per man. At the conclusion of spring practice, Beatty said: "We hope to solve our depth problem with some junior-college transfers." Assuming he will, the Diablos should have enough to repeat as CCAA champions and even run their winning streak to 22.