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THE ELEVEN BEST ELEVENS
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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According to Bear Bryant the selection of his "pore little Aggies" on my 11 elevens was a horrendous mistake, and many down Texas way agree with him that Texas Christian and only Texas Christian is the cream of the crop. I may be wrong about the best team in the Southwest, but I'm sticking with Texas A&M until so proven.

Just one thing is certain. King Football, exiled for a couple of more weeks, perhaps, in New York, Brooklyn, Cincinnati and Milwaukee, is back bigger and better than ever for his autumnal reign. So a fig to all the prognosticators including Old Herman. Let the ball bounce as crazy as ever, be it rubber or pigskin. Let the girls be prettier and the bands play louder. Here coming on the field are my 11 best elevens for 1956. May the best teams win.

ARMY
WEST POINT, N.Y.

COLORS: Gold and gray.

BASIC OFFENSE: T, balanced line.

1955 RECORD: Won 6, lost 3.

LETTERMEN RETURNING: 15 of 24.

WATCH FOR: Stan Slater, G; Flay Goodwin, T; Ed Szvetecz, C; Bob Kyasky, B.

LEADING SOPHOMORE CANDIDATES: Harry Walters, B; Bill Rowe, G; Gene Mikelonis, B.

COACH RED BLAIK SAYS: On the positive side we have more depth at most positions than we had last year. On the negative side we are hampered once again by inexperience at quarterback, and we are shorthanded at end. As for the schedule, both Syracuse and Michigan appear stronger, and we lost to both last year. Pitt has one of the finest squads in the country and Navy is again a ranking power.

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