Arkansas' Frank Broyles is another coach who foresees a swing back toward wider-open offenses, but not as a fun-and-games activity for the players. "Football is no longer a finesse game," he asserts. "It used to be that you worked to break a back loose; you depended on trickery and deception; you talked about long runs.
"Football today is a three- and four-yard game. It's who pays the price, who hits the hardest. Look at the quotes after a game. A winning coach will usually say he outgutted them, or his team was more hard-nosed, or his team wanted to win more than its opponent. Today you throw a challenge to your team. It's a physical proposition—who's toughest, you or your opponent. Football used to be fun. Today it's work."
Part of the work cut out for any Southwest Conference team is the purely mental labor of staying keyed up week after week. This is a conference in which upsets are the rule, as Jim Lee knows so well. The odds are often meaningless when subsectional pride and the adrenaline of traditional rivalries come into full play. For the last 25 years conference football writers have put their best thought to selecting the SWC champion in a preseason poll. Despite all that furious thinking, they have been wrong exactly 20 times. And in two recent years the predicted champion not only did not place first but came in dead last. A good many fools are rushing in now to say, "Well, this is Southern Methodist's year; that Don Meredith is the best passer in the country," or, "How can Abe Martin miss with that gang at Texas Christian?" Wiser heads are hedging—the wiser the head the longer the list of preseason probables.
"I'd rather see my school, Texas Christian, beat Southern Methodist than win the conference championship," says E.A. Strange of Wortham. The Texas U. fan feels much the same way when his hackles begin to rise at the sight of the Texas A & M marching corps or the sound of the rivals' cheer, "Hulla Baloo, Canek, Canek."
From piney woods to chaparral, Gulf lowlands to high plains, hullabaloo time is here again.
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]
Colors: Purple and white
THE DOPE: The Wildcats figure they've got themselves a nice ole football team, and come fall they're going to prove it. The main causes for optimism are a pair of ends—Rob McLeod, 6 feet 5 inches, and Rob Nickerson, 6 feet 4 inches—both of whom can run, catch, block and tackle. The Wildcats have solved the passing problem by using two quarterbacks who can throw: Sophomore Don Davis and Senior Bob Powell. A Texas A & M transfer, Rob Fleet, 220 pounds, eases the tackle situation. The backfield men running out of a straight T, with occasionally a split end or a flanker, have the speed of a flat-footed hippo, and they're about as easy to stop. The slow backfield makes the Wildcats painfully vulnerable to deep passes. If Coach N. L. Nicholson can develop some defensive backfield-specialists to take advantage of the more generous substitution rules, then the Wildcats could succeed against a strong schedule.
SCHEDULE (1958 Scores)
1958 Record: Won 5, lost 5, tied 0
SEPT. 19 at East Texas State, N (6-27)
SEPT. 25 at Chattanooga, N (12-22)
OCT. 3 Lamar Tech, N (no game)
OCT. 10 at Memphis State, N (no game)
OCT. 17 at Howard Payne, N (49-30)
OCT. 24 at Miss. Southern, N (22-0)
OCT. 31 Trinity (15-26)
NOV. 7 at SW Louisiana Inst., N (27-8)
NOV. 14 at Texas Western, N (14-6)
NOV. 26 McMurrey (7-20)