Phones and films
The telephones, some of which come equipped with night lights (for night games), connect spotters in the stands with the bench. The tape recorders are popular for making quick notes while scouting. South Carolina's Warren Giese used them to make certain his quarterbacks would not forget their lessons. He had recorded messages played to the players while they slept at night. Films of the first half of Saturday's game are shown before the second half gets under way. Other films take 24 hours to process. They are traded around freely among the teams, a practice which has now cut down on the expense of sending scouts to observe opponents' games.
In recent years, however, gadgetry's role has been grossly overstated. If a gadget is a legitimate timesaver it may well gain extended use among the coaches, but the oddball gimmicks are limited to a handful.
"Most coaches," Oklahoma's Bud Wilkinson says, "don't go for all this gadgetry; it just gets in the way. Once a game starts we're just cheerleaders."
The players this year will be bigger than ever. Read the Scouting Reports (beginning on page 55) and you may be surprised by the large number of small colleges that have tackles weighing 230 pounds or more. Members of the first All-America squad in 1886 averaged 162 pounds and just under 5 feet 10. Using the consensus All-America as a guide, the table below indicates the almost uninterrupted growth of the players:
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]
Few of today's players, incidentally, will put in more than 200 hours of play and practice this year, and that includes spring drills. There will be more men trying out for positions than ever before. This is because the number of high school players has steadily increased while the number of college teams has remained relatively stable. The added competition and the fact that many of the boys want to go into pro ball after college has them all working harder. As a result they are better players, as a group, than they used to be.
There will be other things to look for in 1960. You will find teams resorting more and more to unbalanced lines and the man in motion. The goal posts, widened in 1959, will invite more field goals. Punting is being emphasized and should be improved. The two-point try after touchdown has been so well received by spectators that it gives every appearance of becoming an established tradition.
College football, with a cast of thousands, will be a vastly entertaining game during 1960. From Hawaii to Rhode Island and from September running through early January the brightly uniformed teams and wildly partisan cheering sections will lure more than 20 million customers.
They will not be disappointed. The play will be fast and open. For all the gimmicks and erudite talk, it will be easy to watch and everybody will be following the trend. As Darrell Royal of Texas said, "We're following the trend—whatever it is."