Here in the east, where legendary figures once strode the gridirons in football's husky, brawling youth, the game is not what it used to be. Maybe the once-great rulers grew weary of winning, or became too civilized. Whatever it was, in the past 25 years the old-line colleges of the Ivy Group, except for sporadic outbursts, have not ranked favorably with other sections in the game. This decline in Ivy football culminated with the decision to give up spring practice. Practically overnight Pennsylvania, Princeton and Cornell—three valiant contenders on the national scene in late years—became pushovers for outside competition. Thus a policy of isolationism became necessary and the Ivy Group became the Ivy League, which goes into effect fully in 1956. Under this setup all the teams will play each other, causing a virtual schedule ban against the strong eastern independents. Let's take a look first at these top independents who uphold the prestige of eastern football on many a far-flung field.
Navy. The Middies' 21-0 win over Pittsburgh last Saturday definitely establishes them as a contender for national honors. George Welsh must be recognized as the best quarterback in Navy history. End Ron Beagle anchors a stalwart line.
Army. Although the injury-riddled Cadets were decimated by Michigan 26-2, they cannot be ruled out as one of the East's top contenders. The line, led by Ralph Chesnauskas, has offensive punch and defensive mobility. Fullback Pat Uebel is tops. All-America End Don Holleder needs more experience at quarterback and he has got to improve in his passing.
Pittsburgh. Beaten by Oklahoma and Navy, the Panthers are nonetheless prowling once again. Quarterback Corny Salvaterra spearheads and directs the offense, while Center John Cenci controls the defensive operations of a large and competent line.
Penn State. The Nittany Lions have a strong running attack from their winged-T formation, but do not have or do not sufficiently use an aerial offensive. The line, led by Tackle Otto Kneidinger, is large and rugged looking. Lenny Moore at halfback can do everything they said he could. Another halfback, Billy Kane, can also go.
Holy Cross. The Crusaders conquered Colgate last Saturday to remain unbeaten. Guard Jim Buonopane is one of the best in the country. Quarterback Jack Stephans gives direction to a speedy and alert backfield.
Boston College. Last season BC cut down on its suicidal intersectional schedule and was generally considered the best team in New England. They will be outmanned only by Miami ( Fla.) this season and could get by with just one defeat. Outstanding men are John Miller at tackle and Eddie DeSilva at halfback.
Colgate. After defeating Dartmouth and Cornell, Colgate was finally stopped by Holy Cross in a close affair that could have gone the other way. Quarterback Guy Martin directs the potent attack, which features Frank Nardulli at halfback and Ed White-hair at fullback. End Milt Graham (6 foot 6, 215 pounds) and Tackle Tom Powell are outstanding.