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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WATCH FOR: Clarence Peaks, B; Walt Kowalczyk, B; Dan Currie, G; John Matsko, C.

LEADING SOPHOMORE CANDIDATES: Francis O'Brien, T; Don Arend, B; Ellison Kelly, G.

COACH DUFFY DAUGHERTY SAYS: If we stay physically whole and get our share of breaks, I look for this team to produce a very creditable record. We have good speed, satisfactory depth at most positions and fine spirit. There is better size, too, especially among the sophomores.

HERMAN HICKMAN SAYS: The Spartans were the most impressive team physically I've seen this fall. The unbelievably large (210 pounds each) duo at halfback, Clarence Peaks and Walt Kowalczyk, backed by ample reserve strength makes this potentially the finest backfield in America. The only question mark is at quarterback where the graduated Earl Morrall held forth. Captain John Matsko at center leads a plethoric group of linemen, including such proved performers as Guard Dan Currie and Rose Bowl Hero Dave Kaiser at end. Coach Duffy Daugherty has added many new wrinkles to the multiple offense. He will hit the quick opening dive bucks from a single wing formation in the back-field and a split-T alignment up front. Conversely, he will run Peaks and Kowalczyk on power plays inside or outside of tackles with two-on-one blocking from his unbalanced-T setup.

1956 SCHUDLE (1955 score):

Sept. 29—at Stanford (38-14)
Oct. 6—at Michigan (7-14)
Oct. 13—Indiana (20-13)
Oct. 20—at Notre Dame (21-7)
Oct. 27—at Illinois (21-7)
Nov. 3—Wisconsin (27-0)
Nov. 10—Purdue (27-0)
Nov. 17—at Minnesota (42-14)
Nov. 24—Kansas State (no game)


COLORS: Maize and blue.

BASIC OFFENSE: Multiple offense.

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