The Historical this week travels back to 1926 when a young Captain from West Point, Robert Neyland, was hired as the head coach of the University of Tennessee football team with a very specific mandate: beat the powerful Vanderbilt team under Dan McGugin. Also, Kansas and Texas A&M first met on the gridiron in 1974 with both teams boasting University of Texas alumni as their head coach. The Jayhawks were lead by Don Fambough and the Aggies head coach was Wishbone offense guru Emory Bellard.
In the 1970s, Pete Frame produced a series of "family trees" for rock bands that have become an iconic part of Rock n Roll history. These linear representation of the lineups made the often chaotic membership of many iconic bands at least reasonably understandable. Inspired by this, I decided to create my own version of one of these "family trees" of the Big XII conference (including its antecedents, the Southwest Conference and Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association). The goal was to understand the bizarre and circuitous route that Missouri (and Texas A&M) have traveled to reach the Southeastern Conference. A larger version can be found here.
The Historical is up over at the mothership. This week we look at the 1966 Florida vs. Georgia game when Vince Dooley's Bulldogs derailed Heisman hopeful Steve Spurrier's quest to lead the Gators to their first undefeated season. We also examine the 1903 Georgia Tech vs Clemson game. The 73-0 blowout prompted Yellow Jacket supporters to redouble their efforts to lure the Tiger's coach, John Heisman, to Atlanta.
Like everything else about college football, game program cover art has evolved over the years. There was a vogue for illustrated covers during the 1960s and 1970s and many top-notch cartoonists delivered lively and creative artwork to adorn the gameday guides. One of the best was Phil Neel, the cartoonist for the Birmingham Post-Herald who did decades of fantastic program covers for Auburn and Clemson. Another standout was John Churchill Chase of the New Orleans States-Item who produced program covers for numerous college teams including Tulane, Georgia Tech and Texas. By the 1980s improvements in printing had lead to most game programs featuring photos on the cover. Georgia, then at the height of the Vince Dooley era, decided to go back to the earlier style and called on Atlanta native and alumni Jack Davis to draw a series of game programs. Davis had risen to prominence as one of the premier illustrators for Harvey Kurtzman's Mad magazine in the early 1950s. He delivered a series of spectacular covers including the one above from the 1985 tilt with Florida. The Bulldogs bested the Gators 24-3 in that contest.
A Camel cigarettes advertisement offering tips on how to understand the action at football games. It appeared in a 1935 issue of the University of Alabama student humor magazine The Rammer Jammer. This strip featured Chick Meehan who had been the head coach at Syracuse from 1920 to 1924 where he compiled a 25-8-4 record. He later went on to coach New York University and Manhattan College Jaspers. A larger version of the ad can be found here.
Two things: 1) This comes from the new Denver Broncos Media Room available at their official website. 2) I would have posted this five minutes ago, but I passed out at the thought of major colleges doing this at their own athletic sites. Lordy. Please make this happen, World.
Just made this for tomorrow's Florida profile. So, uh, trendy on my part. I should have squirrelized it too.