. The Cantabs lost their opener to Massachusetts 7-13 and cannot hope to duplicate a fine 1953 record of six wins and two losses after graduating such outstanding backs as Dick Clasby and John Culver. The team is built around Guards Bill Meigs and Captain Tim Anderson, and three backs, Bob Cowles, Dexter Lewis and Frank White. Fair Harvard faces a disappointing season.
. I have not attempted to rank the Quakers in the Ivy group hierarchy because they play only two teams, Princeton and Cornell, in league competition. The schedule, as last year, is awesome. The opening game was lost to Duke 0-52 and last Saturday they were the victims of William and Mary 7-27. More to follow. Holdover regulars include Ends Jim Castle and John Lavin; Guard John Gurskie and Center George Trautman. Halfbacks Gary Scott and Walt Hynoski, a really fine little runner, also are returned. Steve Sebo in his first year of coaching at Penn has his problems.
THE LITTLE THREE
. The swashbuckling favorite of the East's ancient Little Three group. Experienced personnel abounds in 22 seasoned lettermen who are holdovers from an unbeaten campaign last fall. Coach John McLaughry, son of Dartmouth's tutor, has an enviable end in Bill Duffy, go-go-go backs such as Bob Kisiel and Al McLean, plus linemen two deep at every station. In the past four years Wesleyan has played tie games with Amherst, but indications are that this unique trend will not become permanent.
Williams. Sophomores will press experienced hands for starting assignments in the split-T operations of Coach Len Watters, but up front there are problems. Chief early season concern is finding adequate tackles. Jeff Smythe is a rabbit-gaited runner. Other names to remember are Mike Feltes, center; Ames and Ladd, guards. Victimized by Trinity's Charlie Sticka in the opener, and Rochester last week, the Ephmen are still tied to the starting gate.
Wesleyan. The youthful Cardinal squad which split even in 1953 should benefit from a year of experience. Holdover backfield includes Rick Francis, a distance chucker, and Dennis Denault, a junior menace who is the best bet as a ground gainer. Inner line strength is in question, but if Coach Norm Daniels can develop the novices this could be a surprise club in the latter part of the season.
THE YANKEE CONFERENCE
Off of Saturday's 33 to 7 thumping of Rhode Island,
New Hampshire's all veteran team is the one to be over-hauled by the rest of the pack in the race for Yankee Conference honors. All six of the teams in the circuit utilize T-formation variations and the best of the quarterback engineers is New Hampshire's poised Bill Pappas who flipped for all but 19 of his team's 427 aerial yards a year ago.
, already a victor over Maine, played New Hampshire without the services of the injured Pat Abbruzzi, who in three previous seasons has amassed better than 1,000 yards rushing each year.
, playing such non-conference giants as Yale (0-27), Boston U. (13-41) and Holy Cross, is a possible, but doubtful breakthrough for the Bean Pot symbolic of the Yankee loop title.
, while not a conference threat, could be the league's spoiler, especially if End Kenny Wood-sum can catch passes like his brother Ed, who, while a Yale senior two years ago, broke the Eli receiving records established by the fabulous Larry Kelley. Maine is predominantly a sophomore team, and a year away from championship contention.
Penn State. The cream of football in the East is the major independents, and in early October Penn State will have to be placed at the top of the bottle. The Nittany Lions stunned heralded Illinois in their opener and proceeded to defeat a good Syracuse team 13-0 last Saturday. Halfbacks Lenny Moore and Ron Younker have shown brilliantly. Rosey Grier, tackle, and Jim Garrity, end, are outstanding on a forward wall that is big and strong. Next big test is West Virginia on October 16. If they clear this hurdle, Penn State could go clean.
Army. Most experts bracketed the Cadets too high in preseason ranking and then underrated them after the 34-20 trouncing by South Carolina. The well-earned 26-7 victory over sub-par Michigan was not significant. Permanent ranking will be established against Duke in Durham, N.C. on October 16th. Mike Ziegler, Pat Uebel, and Tommy Bell, a 6-foot 190-pound sprinter, combine to make one of the finest backfields in the East. The line, supposedly weak, will be rugged.