HERMAN HICKMAN SAYS: Dressed with a new name (Big Eight instead of Big Seven), a new university ( Oklahoma State) and three strange faces in the coaching department, the plot still hasn't changed in this conference. The play's the thing, and Oklahoma will continue its record-breaking run. Perhaps it will last until 1960, when Oklahoma State becomes an official member of the cast.
Oklahoma has only one serious hurdle—the opening game with Pittsburgh on September 21—but the always lean and never satiated Sooners are ready.
Colorado, using the multiple offense, finished second last season and defeated Clemson in a wild 27-21 game in the Orange Bowl. Despite the loss of both starting ends and center, the Buffaloes may be a better team than in 1956 but will have much stronger opposition.
Kansas, with 27 lettermen returning, should have the best team of Coach Chuck Mather's regime.
Missouri has a new coach in Frank Broyles, fresh from Georgia Tech and winning ways as one of Bobby Dodd's assistants. This will mark Broyles' first season as a head coach, but he has been recognized as one of football's bright young men for a long time.
Nebraska, with Bill Jennings stepping up to the head coach's post vacated by Pete Elliot, will continue with the Oklahoma style of attack. Despite 21 lettermen returning, there are still many "ifs" like lack of depth and overall speed.
COLORS: Silver and gold
BASIC OFFENSE: Multiple
1956 RECORD: Won 7, lost 2, tied 1
LETTERMEN RETURNING: 19 of 36
WATCH FOR: Running of Bob Stransky, passing of Boyd Dowler
THE DOPE: The Buffaloes, despite having lost seven of their 1956 regulars, including all but one of the starting line, are strong again. Coach Dallas Ward has switched personnel to plug weaknesses at end and center, and the Colorado ground game, operating on the fleet running of Bob Stransky, Boyd Dowler and Eddie Dove, will be the mainspring of the offense. Lack of experience makes the Buffalo defense, especially against a strong passing team, doubtful. John Bayuk, one of the country's better fullbacks last year, is gone; Ward, who has never been without a good fullback, has strong replacements in Leroy Clark and Gene Worden. Key to the Colorado attack is Dowler, the quarterback, who is a smart signal-caller, a fine punter, a good passer and, most important, a real leader. Stransky at left half is sneaky fast and an excellent safety man. If Ward's patchwork at end and center stands up, Colorado could be tough—even for Oklahoma.
1957 SCHEDULE (1956 score):