SI Vault
Herman Hickman
September 24, 1956
Football's soothsayer, having just finished his annual pilgrimage to the shrines of the sport, here delivers his prognostications on what the 1956 season promises and his scouting reports on the 11 teams most likely to succeed. He follows these with his diagnoses of the 12 major conferences and the principal independents, to which SPORTS ILLUSTRATED appends additional scouting reports assembled by its correspondents across the country on 111 other teams which are most likely to occupy the fans' attention. They are grouped according to their 1955 standings in their 12 separate conferences, with an added section on the 21 independents, listed in alphabetical order.
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September 24, 1956

The Eleven Best Elevens

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COLORS: Red and white.


1955 RECORD: Won 10, lost 0.
Orange Bowl: defeated Maryland 20-6.


WATCH FOR: Jerry Tubbs, C; Tommy McDonald, B; Edmon Gray, T; Jim Harris, B.

LEADING SOPHOMORE CANDIDATES: Bob Harrison, C; Jakie Sandefer, B.

COACH BUD WILKINSON SAYS: Our squad reported for practice in excellent condition. We hope this indicates they will maintain the morale and hustle which made it possible for us to be a good team last year. We recognize that our opponents this fall will be far stronger and will have an even greater incentive to defeat us. To win this fall we will need the same great efforts. However, it is a fact in all athletic competition that few players try as hard to remain on top as they do to become champions. We feel this will be our greatest problem.

HERMAN HICKMAN SAYS: Slightly paraphrasing the Bard: "Yon Sooners have a lean and hungry look. Such men are dangerous." This was the thought that struck my mind as the sun sizzled down on an early-morning practice session at Norman a few days ago. How Bud Wilkinson keeps them cavorting like kittens and hungry as lions no one knows. This is a select crew of veterans, but somehow you get the impression that they are not very large until scrimmage is called, and then they all look BIG. Speed is the backbone of this squad, supplemented by superior coaching technique. Wilkinson threatens to create more problems for his foes by additions to his attack.

1956 SCHEDULE (1955 score):

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