But it was Bud
Wilkinson, who worked under Faurot a year at Iowa Pre-Flight, who has compiled
the greatest record with the Split-T.
"We play the
Split-T," he explained, "because we think we can teach it more
effectively than any other offense in the short period of practice time allowed
us; and the fluid pattern of the play enables our individual linemen to move at
reason we play the Split-T, not because I think it's a vastly superior method
of advancing the ball. If it were that much better, everybody would use it and
teams that didn't use it wouldn't win. Last year, UCLA playing single wing was
the best team on the Pacific Coast."
to thumb through papers on his desk. Finally he found a clipping from the UCLA
alumni magazine containing a statement by UCLA Coach Red Sanders, listing his
reasons why he didn't think his 1955 team might be as successful as last
year's. Sanders cited the loss of seven valuable players, unsatisfactory spring
training due to injuries and absences, and a more arduous fall schedule.
"This is the
part I like best," Wilkinson said happily, as though he had found an
accomplice in his close friend. Reading aloud, he quoted Sanders: " 'In
view of the foregoing facts and reasons, it is, therefore, difficult for me to
figure how anyone in possession of all his mental faculties could possibly
expect us to approach last year's record or quality of performance. To become
enthusiastic now over our chances would indeed be unreasonable and might tend
to sow the seeds of discord.'
tend to sow the seeds of discord,' " Wilkinson repeated, relishing
everything it implied. "He means among his opponents, and I can't think of
a better policy than staying on good terms with teams you'll play."
man, Wilkinson prefers to concern himself solely with intercollegiate athletics
and not get involved in internecine warfare. However, there's talk that if
Minneapolis-born Charles Burnham (Bud) Wilkinson were to run for political
office in Oklahoma, he'd win by a landslide. His winning teams have been a
tonic to the state, and the rabid rooters have been equally therapeutic for the
gate receipts. Norman, the university site, has a population of 27,000; but
25,647 seats were added to the school stadium in 1949, two years after
Wilkinson started winning. In 1954, an average of 51,645 fans attended the four
home games. But Wilkinson is politically unambitious, and thus far has been
content with his $15,000-a-year post. He has turned down better offers, both in
football and in business.
think I've been given some oil wells and that's why I stay here," Wilkinson
said, as he broiled steaks in the backyard of his comfortable, air-conditioned
ranch house. "That's not true. I like it here. Competitive athletics are an
integral part of the life of this area, and our president, Dr. George L. Cross,
is a staunch supporter of intercollegiate athletics. He doesn't just tolerate
them as many educational institutions do."
Mary, a tall, slender, striking brunette, nodded agreement. A closely knit
family that includes Jay, his brother Pat, 15, and Ginger, a mongrel purchased
for the princely sum of $2.00, the Wilkinsons like their life in Norman.