|1967 NCAA University Division football season|
|Preseason AP #1||Notre Dame Fighting Irish|
|Regular season||September 15 – December 2, 1967|
|Number of bowls||8|
|Bowl games||December 16, 1967 – January 1, 1968|
|Champion||USC (AP, Coaches, FWAA, NFF)|
|Heisman||Gary Beban, UCLA QB|
The 1967 NCAA University Division football season was the last one in which college football's champion was crowned before the bowl games. During the 20th century, the NCAA had no playoff for the major college football teams in the University Division, later known as Division I-A and now as the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision.
The NCAA Football Guide, however, did note an "unofficial national champion" based on the top ranked teams in the "wire service" (AP and UPI) polls. The "writers' poll" by Associated Press (AP) was the most popular, followed by the "coaches' poll" by United Press International (UPI). In 1967, both AP and UPI issued their final polls at the close of the regular season, but before teams competed in bowl games. The Associated Press presented the "AP Trophy" to the winner.
The AP poll in 1967 consisted of the votes of many sportswriters, though not all of them voted in every poll. Those who cast votes would give their opinion of the ten best teams. Under a point system of 10 points for first place, 9 for second, etc., the "overall" ranking was determined.
- The five interior linemen in punt formation are now required to remain at the line of scrimmage until the ball is kicked, which allowed for more and longer punt returns. However, the rule was extremely unpopular among coaches and was repealed for the 1968 season. This rule would be adopted by the National Football League in 1974.
Conference and program changes
|School||1966 Conference||1967 Conference|
|George Washington Colonials||SoCon||dropped program|
In the preseason poll released on September 11, first place went to the defending champion Notre Dame Fighting Irish, followed by the #2 Alabama Crimson Tide, the #3 Michigan State Spartans, #4 Texas, and #5 Miami. Pacific-8 (still officially called the AAWU until the following season) teams USC and UCLA were seventh and eighth, and Big 8 champ Colorado was tenth. Joining Alabama from the SEC was #6 Georgia and #9 Tennessee.
- September 15–16
- The AAWU began its season a week ahead of most of the other conferences and #7 USC beat Washington State 49–0 in a Friday night game at Los Angeles, and the next day, #8 UCLA hosted #9 Tennessee and won 20–16. California beat Oregon 21–13 in advance of its game against #1 Notre Dame. USC reached the Top Five in the next poll, while Miami dropped to eighth before it had played a game.
The poll was 1.Notre Dame 2.Alabama 3.Michigan State 4.USC 5.Texas
- September 23
- #1 Notre Dame hosted California and won 41–8. At Birmingham, #2 Alabama played to a 37–37 tie with Florida State. #3 Michigan State lost at home to the Houston Cougars 37–7, and proved the preseason prognosticators wrong on its way to a 3–7–0 finish. The big matchup was in L.A. between #4 USC and #5 Texas, and the Trojans won 17–13. Alabama and Michigan State fell out of the Top Five. #6 UCLA, which had beaten the Panthers at Pittsburgh 40–8, rose to fourth and #7 Georgia, following a 30–0 home win against Mississippi State, reached fifth.
The next poll was 1.Notre Dame 2.USC 3.Houston 4.UCLA 5.Georgia
- September 29–30
- In a Friday night game, #3 Houston rolled over Wake Forest at home, 50–6. On Saturday, #1 Notre Dame lost 28–21 at #10 Purdue, and #2 USC won 21–17 at Michigan State. #4 UCLA trampled Washington State in Spokane, 51–23, and #5 Georgia won at Clemson, 24–17. Notre Dame fell from the Top 5 in the next poll and USC took the lead, followed by 2.Houston 3.UCLA 4.Purdue 5.Georgia
- Saturday's games also saw a milestone in the integration of college sports in the South, as Kentucky's Nate Northington became the first African-American scholarship athlete to participate in any Southeastern Conference sport when he made his debut against Ole Miss. His debut was bittersweet, as it came the day after Greg Page, another African-American player who had arrived at Kentucky at the same time as Northington, died from complications of a spinal cord injury suffered in an August 22 practice. Northington himself suffered a separated shoulder shortly after entering the game, and never played again for the Wildcats, transferring to Western Kentucky after the season.[a]
- October 7
- Top-ranked USC beat Stanford at home, 30–0. The #2 Houston Cougars, who had come from nowhere to reach a top ranking, lost at home to unranked North Carolina State, 16–6. #3 UCLA edged Penn State 17–15. In a Big Ten matchup, #4 Purdue beat Northwestern 25–16, and #5 Georgia shut out South Carolina at home, 21-0. In South Bend, #6 Notre Dame crushed Iowa 56–6 to reach the Top Five as it prepared to face #1 USC. The next poll was: 1.USC 2.Purdue 3.Georgia 4.UCLA 5.Notre Dame
- October 14
- The #1 USC Trojans visited #5 Notre Dame and won 24–7, and #2 Purdue won at Ohio State 41–6. #3 Georgia lost to Ole Miss at Jackson, 29–20. #4 UCLA beat California at home, 37–14. Taking the place of the Irish and Georgia in the Top Five were #6 Colorado, which had beaten Missouri 23–9, and #9 N.C. State, which won at Maryland 31–9.
- The poll was 1.USC 2.Purdue 3.UCLA 4.Colorado 5.North Carolina State
- October 21
- Top-ranked USC beat Washington in Seattle, 23–6, for its sixth straight win. The Trojans' cross-town rival, #3 UCLA was also 6���0–0, beating Stanford in Palo Alto, 21-16. #2 Purdue lost its first game of the season, falling to visiting Oregon State, 22–14. #4 Colorado won at Nebraska 21–16, and #5 N.C. State hosted Wake Forest and won 24-7. #6 Alabama and #7 Tennessee squared off in Birmingham and Tennessee won, 24–13. The Vols would win the SEC championship ahead of Alabama, but accepted an invitation to the Orange Bowl rather than the Sugar Bowl. In the next poll, USC was the unanimous choice for #1, with all 37 first place votes. The rankings were:
- 1.USC (all 37 votes) 2.UCLA 3.Colorado 4.Tennessee 5.NC State
- October 28
- USC stayed atop the polls, defeating Oregon 28–6 at home, while #2 UCLA was idle. #3 Colorado lost to visiting Oklahoma State 10–7. #4 Tennessee narrowly beat LSU at home, 17–14, and #5 N.C. State beat Duke 28–7. Replacing Colorado in the Top Five was #6 Georgia, which won 31–7 at Kentucky. The poll: 1.USC 2.UCLA 3.Tennessee 4.NC State 5.Georgia
- November 4
- Top-ranked USC beat California at Berkeley, 31-12, to extend its record to 8-0, and #2 UCLA stayed unbeaten, but was tied by visiting Oregon State, 16–16. #3 Tennessee visited Tampa and beat the Spartans, 38–0. #4 N.C. State won at Virginia 30–8, and the #5 Georgia Bulldogs narrowly lost at Houston 15–14. #6 Purdue, which had won at Illinois 42–9, returned to the Top Five.
- 1.USC 2.Tennessee 3.NC State 4.UCLA 5.Purdue
- November 11
- Top-ranked USC finally lost, falling 3–0 in the rain and mud at Corvallis to Oregon State. The Beavers ended the season 7–2–1, beat USC when it was #1, Purdue when it was #2, and tied UCLA when it was #2. #2 Tennessee beat Tulane 35-14. #3 N.C. State lost at Penn State 13–8. #4 UCLA shut out visiting Washington, 48–0, and #5 Purdue beat Minnesota 41–12. UCLA took USC's place at the top, leapfrogging Tennessee, who the Bruins had beaten earlier in the year. Tennessee remained #2, and USC fell to fourth. Purdue rose to third and Purdue's rival, #6 Indiana, rose to fifth after winning at Michigan State 14–13.
- 1.UCLA 2.Tennessee 3.Purdue 4.USC 5.Indiana
- November 18
- In Los Angeles, the #1 UCLA Bruins and the #4 USC Trojans met at the Coliseum for their rivlary game. USC reclaimed its place at the top, edging UCLA 21–20 to win the Pac-8 title (6–1 vs. 4–1–1 for Oregon State and UCLA). #2 Tennessee faced Mississippi in Memphis and won 20–7. #3 Purdue beat Michigan State 21–7, but #5 Indiana lost to Minnesota 33–7. #7 Oklahoma, which had beaten Kansas 14–10 at home, took I.U.'s place in the Top Five.
- 1.USC 2.Tennessee 3.Purdue 4.UCLA 5.Oklahoma
- November 25
- In the final week of games before the final polls, #1 USC had completed its season at 9–1, qualified for the Rose Bowl, and was in no danger of losing again. #2 Tennessee won at Kentucky 17–7. Indiana had fallen out of the Top Ten, but made their way back in when they beat #3 Purdue at home in Bloomington. There was a three-way tie in Big Ten Conference play. Not only were Indiana, Purdue, and Minnesota each 6–1, Indiana beat Purdue, Purdue beat Minnesota, and Minnesota beat Indiana. The Hoosiers had the better overall record (9–1 vs. 8–2 and 8–2), and since Purdue and Minnesota had been to the Rose Bowl more recently, Indiana qualified for the Rose Bowl. #4 UCLA, without injured Heisman Trophy winner Gary Beban and little motivation after their heartbreaking loss to USC the week before, lost a meaningless game to Syracuse 32–14, and #5 Oklahoma beat Nebraska 21–14. #6 Notre Dame, which had won a Friday night game at Miami, 24-22, returned to the top five with unranked Indiana. In the final poll, USC was tops in both the AP and UPI polls, and was awarded the AP Trophy. Wyoming, which was the only major team to go unbeaten (10–0–0) was at sixth place.
The final regular season poll was 1.USC 2.Tennessee 3.Oklahoma 4.Indiana 5.Notre Dame 6.Wyoming 7.Oregon State 8.Alabama 9.Purdue 10.UCLA.
Ironically, Oregon State played 3 teams that were ranked 1st or 2nd when they played them (UCLA, USC, and Purdue) and went 2–0–1 in those games. But their 13–6 loss to Washington on October 7 kept the "Giant Killers" out of the Rose Bowl.
Monday, January 1, 1968
|COTTON||Texas A&M Aggies||20||#8 Alabama Crimson Tide||16|
|SUGAR||LSU Tigers||20||#6 Wyoming Cowboys||13|
|ROSE||#1 USC Trojans||14||#4 Indiana Hoosiers||3|
|ORANGE||#3 Oklahoma Sooners||26||#2 Tennessee Volunteers||24|
In the final AP poll, 9–1 USC had been the top choice of the writers for the AP Trophy, with 36 of the 49 first place votes, and Tennessee followed with 11. Though there was no #1 vs. #2 matchup, the Rose and Orange bowls featured the four top-ranked teams, with #1 USC meeting #4 Indiana at Pasadena, and #2 Tennessee facing #3 Oklahoma at Miami. The Sugar Bowl, at that time, did not automatically get the SEC champion. Ultimately, the New Orleans game featured the Wyoming Cowboys (10–0) of the Western Athletic Conference, against the LSU Tigers. LSU had finished sixth in the ten-team SEC, behind Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, and Georgia. But LSU justified their selection by knocking off Wyoming, 20–13. In the Cotton Bowl, unranked Texas A&M upset #8 Alabama 20–16. USC then went out and claimed the national title with a 14–3 over Indiana in the Rose Bowl. Effectively eliminated from finishing #1 after USC's win, #2 Tennessee went out and lost in the Orange Bowl to #3 Oklahoma, 26–24.
The final poll was 1. USC 2. Oklahoma 3. Oregon State 4. Notre Dame 5. Indiana 6. Purdue 7. Texas A & M 8. UCLA 9. Tennessee 10. Alabama
|SUN||El Paso, Texas||December 30||Texas Western||14–7||Mississippi|
|GATOR||Jacksonville, Florida||December 31||#10 Penn State||17–17||Florida State|
|BLUEBONNET||Houston, Texas||December 23||Colorado||31–21||Miami (FL)|
|LIBERTY||Memphis, Tennessee||December 16||N.C. State||14–7||Georgia|
- Prior to the 1975 season, the Big Ten and Pac-8 conferences allowed only one postseason participant each, for the Rose Bowl.
- Notre Dame did not play in the postseason for 44 consecutive seasons (1925–1968).
Prior to 1973, the NCAA was divided into two divisions, University and College. College Division teams (also referred to as "small college") were ranked in polls by the AP (a panel of writers) and by UPI (coaches). The national champion(s) for each season were determined by the final poll rankings, published at or near the end of the regular season, before any bowl games were played.
College Division final polls
In 1967, both services ranked the San Diego State Aztecs first and the North Dakota State Bison second. San Diego State later defeated San Francisco State 34–6 in the Camellia Bowl, while North Dakota State later lost to Texas-Arlington in the Pecan Bowl, 13–0.
Associated Press (writers) final poll
Denotes team lost a game after AP poll, hence record differs in UPI poll
United Press International (coaches) final poll
College Division bowls
The postseason consisted of four bowls as regional finals; Mideast and West played on December 9, while East and Midwest played on December 16.
|Bowl||Region||Location||Winning team||Losing team||Ref|
|Tangerine||East||Orlando, Florida||Tennessee-Martin||25||West Chester (PA)||8|||
|Grantland Rice||Mideast||Murfreesboro, Tennessee||Eastern Kentucky||27||Ball State (IN)||13|||
|Pecan||Midwest||Abilene, Texas||Texas-Arlington||13||North Dakota State||0|||
|Camellia||West||Sacramento, California||San Diego State||34||San Francisco State||6|||
Minor conference champions
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (October 2016)
|Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association||Alma||5–0–0|
Awards and honors
- Gary Beban, QB – UCLA, 1,968 points
- O. J. Simpson, RB – USC, 1,722
- Leroy Keyes, RB-CB – Purdue, 1,366
- Larry Csonka, FB – Syracuse, 136
- Kim Hammond, QB – Florida State, 90
- Bob Johnson, C – Tennessee, 76
- Granville Liggins, NG – Oklahoma, 61
- Dewey Warren, QB – Tennessee, 56
- Wayne Meylan, NG – Nebraska, 55
- Terry Hanratty, QB – Notre Dame, 54
- Simpson, Keyes, and Hanratty were juniors
- 1967 Consensus All-America Team
Player scoring most points: Leroy Keyes, Purdue, 114.
- 1967 NCAA University Division football rankings
- 1967 College Football All-America Team
- 1967 USC vs. UCLA football game
- The SEC's first African American varsity athlete was Stephen Martin, a baseball walk-on at Tulane, who made his varsity debut in 1966 (1965–66 school year), which was Tulane's last season as an SEC member. Later in the 1967–68 school year, Perry Wallace, who enrolled at Vanderbilt on a basketball scholarship at the same time as Northington and Page arrived at Kentucky, would become the first African American to play basketball in the SEC.
- Story, Mark (September 22, 2016). "UK reveals sculpture honoring first black football players". Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
- "Tulane Mourns the Passing of Integration Pioneer Stephen Martin Sr" (Press release). Tulane Green Wave. May 16, 2013. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
- Carey, Jack (February 19, 2004). "An SEC trailblazer gets his due". USA Today. Retrieved March 7, 2010.
- "1967 Atlantic Coast Conference Year Summary". sports-reference.com. Retrieved January 24, 2013.
- "San Diego State Aztecs topple San Francisco State 27-6". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Idaho. December 10, 1967. p. 17.
- "Arlington stops N.D. State 13-0". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. December 17, 1967. p. 1, sports.
- "Arlington captures Pecan Bowl". Victoria Advocate. Texas. Associated Press. December 17, 1967. p. 17A.
- . Retrieved February 21, 2017 – via newspapers.com.. The Decatur Daily Review. Decatur, Illinois. Associated Press. November 24, 1967
- UPI (November 30, 1967). . Battle Creek Enquirer. Battle Creek, Michigan. Retrieved February 21, 2017 – via newspapers.com.
- "Gary Beban wins Heisman". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. November 28, 1967. p. 10.
- "Gary Beban". Heisman Trophy. 1967. Retrieved January 24, 2017.