Among the lower-echelon independents, perhaps the liveliest football will be played by BUFFALO. Coach Dick. Offenhamer's swing T should be devastating with Fullbacks Jim Burd and John Cimba and Halfbacks Tom Butler and Bob Edward racing up the middle and around the ends. Quarterback "Long John" Stofa is an accomplished passer and deft on the option play, the Bulls' best weapon. In the line End Larry Gergley and Gerry Philbin, a burly 230-pound tackle, lead a solid defense. Buffalo will not lose many games.
After two delightful seasons, VILLANOVA has worries. The large, powerful backs who led the Wildcats into two bowls have left and a rash of springtime knee injuries has done nothing to brighten the outlook. Coach Alex Bell has reconstructed his multiple T with lighter, racier backs like Jack Boyle and Jim Thomas, shifted from halfback to fullback, but Quarterback Bill Sherlock, one of the spring casualties, still must prove himself as a varsity passer and runner. It will be up to the line, led by End Jack Clifford, 6 feet 3 and 220 pounds, and 215-pound Tackle Al Atkinson to save the Wildcats from complete embarrassment.
At RUTGERS the muscle is gone but the memory lingers. The deep well of material that Coach John Bateman drew on through two remarkable seasons began to run dry last year. Tony Hoeflinger, a stubby, swift guard, is still around to lead the double-wing-T sweeps and Center Jon Paulson will give the Scarlet Knights some strong linebacking, but Bateman will have to forage among the 1962 reserves and the new sophomores for an adequate attack.
Colgate Coach Hal Lahar, who likes a tough, disciplined defense, has some linemen to tickle even his critical fancy. Eric Orke, a 225-pounder shifted from tackle to guard, and End Chet Kasprzak hit with authority, and opposing teams would do well to steer clear of Center Mike Heffernan, an excellent linebacker. Offense is another matter. Except for Halfback Jim Heilman, the Colgate runners are just ordinary. Worse yet, Gerry Barudin, a spindly 165-pound quarterback, is not cut out to run the option and he is just a so-so passer.
In New England HOLY CROSS and BOSTON UNIVERSITY have fallen on hard times. Graduation swept Holy Cross clean almost everywhere, and Coach Eddie Anderson will have to regroup his meager forces around a cadre of one—Jon Morris, a bullish 227-pound center-linebacker who has already attracted the attention of pro scouts. The backfield outlook is not any better. Jim Marcellino is the only experienced runner and seniors Joe Policastro and John Wheaton, the best of the quarterbacks, are both untried. Boston University, caught between a determined de-emphasis program and a still-too-tough schedule, has only 12 lettermen back. Coach Steve Sinko has shifted Lonely End Bob Horton to fullback and Dennis Gerardi from tackle to center, but there are not enough able bodies around to make BU respectable in the ill-chosen company.
Oddly enough, the two Ivy League teams with the best quarterbacks are not regarded as authentic challengers, but they could make the race interesting. COLUMBIA'S Buff Donelli expects his Lions to have more bite, mostly because Archie Roberts is back to operate Columbia's tricky wing T. But aside from Jack Strauch, a fine linebacker, the other young Lions are disturbingly mediocre. CORNELL is in pretty much the same fix. It has Gary Wood and little else. A too skimpy defense, no depth to speak of and a lack of speed will turn the Big Red a blushing pink on too many Saturdays.
The other Ivy League schools will be less pretentious than Columbia and Cornell but probably stronger than last year. PRINCETON has its usual herd of good backs—holdover Tailbacks Pete Poreitis and Hugh MacMillan, Wingback Jim Rockenbach and Fullback Cosmo Iacavazzi, an awesome line smasher—but graduation hit hard at the line.
Brown, weary of being pummeled year after year, might just do a bit of mauling of its own. Coach John McLaughry starts with 22 lettermen and the most productive battery in the league. Quarterback Jim Dunda, when he wasn't running for his life, threw for nine touchdowns last year; End John Parry, a 6-foot-2 stringbean with eager hands, caught 27 passes for five scores. Dunda should get better protection from seasoned linemen and more running help from his halfbacks. They should lift the Bruins out of the cellar.
Penn will be stronger and maybe even a darkhorse challenger if Coach John Stiegman, who likes to jazz up his single wing with flankers and split ends, can find a passer. He has failed so far. But he does have Tailback John Owens, a 9.8 sprinter, and Bruce Molloy, a powerful 205-pound sophomore who gained more than 700 yards for the freshman team. One happy note: the Quaker defense, led by End Don Dick and Guard Jim Buell, will be more tenacious.