1964 college football season
|1964 NCAA University Division football season|
|Total # of teams||120|
|Preseason AP #1||Ole Miss Rebels|
|Number of bowls||9|
|Champions||Alabama Crimson Tide (AP, Coaches); Arkansas Razorbacks (FWAA); Notre Dame Fighting Irish (NFF)|
|Heisman||John Huarte, Notre Dame QB|
During the 20th Century, the NCAA had no playoff system for the college football teams that would later be classified as "Division I-A". The NCAA recognizes Division I-A national champions based on the final results of polls including the "wire service" (AP and UPI), FWAA and NFF. The 1964 AP poll continued to rank only ten teams, compiling the votes of 55 sportswriters, each of whom would give their opinion of the ten best. Under a point system of 10 points for first place, 9 for second, etc., the "overall" ranking was determined. In the preseason poll for 1964, Ole Miss (University of Mississippi) was #1 with 425 points and the Oklahoma Sooners second with 400 points. As the regular season progressed, a new poll would be issued on the Monday following the weekend's games. The "writers' poll" by Associated Press (AP) was the most popular.
The Associated Press presented the AP Trophy to the Alabama Crimson Tide due to their 10-0-0 regular season record and their #1 finish in the AP poll. The University of Arkansas also had a 10-0-0 regular season in 1964, but finished #2 in the final AP poll. On New Year's Day, the Crimson Tide lost to the #5 ranked Texas Longhorns 21-17 in the Orange Bowl to finish the season with a 10-1 record. Arkansas had beaten the defending national champions, then #1, at Austin in October, and finished its season undefeated, 11-0-0, with a win over the 7th ranked University of Nebraska 10-7 in the Cotton Bowl Classic. Since there were no further polls, Alabama's national championship was unaffected, despite Arkansas' undefeated, untied season and its win over the common opponent. The Arkansas Razorbacks also did not win the UPI Poll in 1964 because it too named its national champion before the bowl games were played. However, the Arkansas Razorbacks were named national champion by the Football Writers Association of America. After a one-year trial run in 1965, the AP Poll began its current practice of naming their national champion at the conclusion of the bowl games in 1968. The UPI Poll followed suit in 1974.
Conference and program changes
- The Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association changed its official name to the Big Eight Conference prior the 1964 season; this name would remain in place until the league's dissolution and formation of the Big 12 Conference in 1995.
- The Southland Conference began its first season of play in 1964 with five teams, all former independents, from Arkansas and Texas.
|School||1963 Conference||1964 Conference|
|Abilene Christian Wildcats||Independent||Southland|
|Arkansas State Indians||Independent||Southland|
|Arlington State Mavericks||Independent||Southland|
|Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets||SEC||Independent|
|Lamar Tech Cardinals||Independent||Southland|
|Oregon State Beavers||Independent||AAWU|
|Trinity (TX) Tigers||Independent||Southland|
In the preseason poll released on September 14, 1964, Mississippi (Ole Miss) was ranked first and Oklahoma second. Big Ten rivals Illinois and Ohio State were ranked #3 and #5 respectively, while 1963 champion Texas was #4. On September 19, #1 Mississippi beat Memphis State 30-0 at home, while #2 Oklahoma beat Maryland 13-3 on the road at College Park. #4 Texas defeated Tulane 31-0 at home.
The following week (September 26), #1 Mississippi was upset by a late Kentucky touchdown at Jackson, losing 27-21. #2 Oklahoma was crushed by Southern California (USC), 40-14, before a record home crowd. #3 Illinois beat California 20-14, and #4 Texas defeated Texas Tech 23-0. #5 Ohio State defeated Southern Methodist (SMU) at home, 27-8. In the poll that followed, the Texas Longhorns were the new #1 and USC #2, followed by 3.Illinois 4.Alabama and 5.Ohio State.
On October 3, #1 Texas beat Army 17-6 at home. Meanwhile, #2 USC lost at Michigan State, 17-7 and #3 Illinois won 17-6 over Northwestern. #3 Alabama beat Tulane in a neutral site game at Mobile, 36-6. #5 Ohio State beat Indiana at home, 17-9. Previously unranked Kentucky earned a spot in the next poll after beating Auburn 20-0 in Birmingham. Two games, Duke at Tulane and Florida at LSU, were postponed until the end of the season due to the threat of Hurricane Hilda, which made landfall in Louisiana that day. The top 5 were 1.Texas 2.Illinois 3.Alabama 4.Ohio State and 5.Kentucky.
Top-ranked Texas beat Oklahoma 28-7 at Dallas on October 10. In a Big Ten showdown at Champaign, Illinois, #4 Ohio State beat the #2 Illini 26-0. #3 Alabama beat North Carolina State 21-0. #5 Kentucky, previously 3-0, was beaten 48-6 by Florida State. This began a four-game losing streak for Kentucky, en route to a 5-5-0 season. #8 Michigan won at Michigan State 17-10. The top 5 were 1. Texas 2.Ohio State 3.Alabama 4.Notre Dame and 5.Michigan.
On October 17, #8 Arkansas beat the #1 Longhorns at Austin, 14-13, stopping a late 2-point conversion attempt. #2 Ohio State beat the USC Trojans in Columbus, 17-0. #3 Alabama and #4 Notre Dame remained unbeaten, defeating Tennessee (19-8) and UCLA (24-0) respectively. #5 Michigan lost to Purdue 21-20. Ohio State was the new #1. The #6 Nebraska, which had beaten Kansas State 47-0 (and outscored its opponents 171-34 in five wins), took over 5th place. The rankings were 1.Ohio State 2.Notre Dame 3.Alabama 4.Arkansas 5.Nebraska.
October 24 had #1 Ohio State over Wisconsin at home, 28-3. #2 Notre Dame beat Stanford 26-7, #3 Alabama beat Florida 17-14. #4 Arkansas beat Wichita State 17-0, and #5 Nebraska beat Colorado 21-3. The top five remained the same in the next poll.
October 31, #1 Ohio State beat Iowa 21-19, while #2 Notre Dame defeated Navy 40-0. In the next poll, the Fighting Irish rose to #1 . #3 Alabama (23-6 over Ole Miss), #4 Arkansas (17-0 over Texas A&M) and #5 Nebraska (9-0 over Missouri) remained unbeaten.
November 7, #1 Notre Dame beat the Pitt Panthers at Pittsburgh 17-15. Meanwhile, #2 Ohio State's suffered its first loss to unranked (3-4-0) Penn State, 27-0. #3 Alabama (17-9 over LSU), #4 Arkansas (21-0 vs. Rice) and #5 Nebraska (14-7 over Kansas) stayed unbeaten, and moved up to 2, 3 and 4 in the poll. Texas(7-1), whose lone loss had been to Arkansas, was fifth after its 20-14 win at Baylor.
November 14, #1 Notre Dame hosted Michigan State and beat them 34-7. #2 Alabama beat Georgia Tech in Atlanta, 14-7, to stay unbeaten, as did #3 Arkansas (44-0 over SMU) and #4 Nebraska (27-14 vs. Oklahoma State). #5 Texas won 28-13 over TCU. The poll remained unchanged (1.Notre Dame 2.Alabama 3.Arkansas 4.Nebraska 5.Texas)
November 21, #1 Notre Dame beat Iowa in South Bend, 28-0. #3 Arkansas beat Texas Tech 17-0 to close its regular season with five straight shutouts, unbeaten at 10-0-0. #4 Nebraska suffered its first loss, at Oklahoma, 17-7. Michigan defeated Ohio State 10-7 to win the Big Ten Title and a berth in the Rose Bowl . In the November 23 AP poll, unbeaten Notre Dame, Alabama and Arkansas were first, second and third, followed by Texas and Michigan. Thanksgiving Day saw #2 Alabama finish the regular season unbeaten (10-0-0) with a 21-14 win over Auburn in Birmingham. #5 Texas beat Texas A&M 26-7 to finish 10-1. On November 28, #1 Notre Dame led 17-0 at halftime but lost, 20-17, to USC at Los Angeles. With only Alabama and Arkansas remaining unbeaten, both with records of 10-0-0, the final AP poll was taken on November 30. Alabama took over the #1 spot and recognition as the NCAA national champion. Arkansas was ranked #2, while Texas rose to 3rd. Notre Dame dropped to 4th and Michigan was 5th.
Alabama won the SEC championship, but a "no repeat rule" prevented them from playing in the Sugar Bowl for a second straight year. The Orange Bowl invited Alabama and Texas on November 21. The Cotton Bowl Classic had invited then-unbeaten Nebraska on November 15 to play unbeaten Southwestern Conference champion Arkansas. As such, there would be no #1 vs. #2 matchup in the Cotton Bowl Classic. Notre Dame declined to play in a bowl game. The Irish would not play in any bowl games until the 1969 season.
The following is an incomplete list of conference standings:
|ORANGE BOWL||#5 Texas Longhorns||21||#1 Alabama Crimson Tide||17|
|COTTON BOWL||#2 Arkansas Razorbacks||10||#6 Nebraska Cornhuskers||7|
|ROSE BOWL||#4 Michigan Wolverines||34||#8 Oregon State Beavers||7|
|SUGAR BOWL||#7 LSU Tigers||10||Syracuse Orangemen||7|
In the Orange Bowl (also the first ever night postseason bowl game), #1 Alabama, led by quarterback Joe Namath, fell to #5 Texas 21-17. In the final minutes, down by four and facing 4th-and-goal at the Texas 1, Joe Namath ran a quarterback sneak but was stopped short of the end zone. In the Cotton Bowl Classic, Arkansas quarterback Fred Marshall drove #2 Arkansas to a touchdown with 4:41 left to beat #6 Nebraska 10-7. Notable members of the 1964 Arkansas team include Jerry Jones, later the billionaire owner of the Dallas Cowboys of the NFL, and Jimmy Johnson, whom Jones would hire as coach of the Cowboys. #5 Michigan routed #8 Oregon State 34-7 in the Rose Bowl, while in the Sugar Bowl, #7 LSU beat unranked Syracuse 10-7 on a late field goal.
A five-member committee of the Football Writers Association of America awarded the University of Arkansas Razorbacks the "Grantland Rice Trophy" as the #1 team in a poll taken after the bowl games. The Helms Athletic Foundation, which also took polls after the bowl games, named Arkansas as 1964 National Champions. Notre Dame was named as the National Football Foundation's national champion. In 1965, the AP's final poll came after the bowl games, but the policy did not become permanent until 1968. The Coaches' Poll adopted the same policy in 1974. These selectors, including the AP Poll and the Coaches' Poll, were nationally syndicated in newspapers and magazines during the 1964 football season.
|SUN||El Paso||Georgia 7||Texas Tech 0|
|GATOR||Jacksonville||Florida State 36||Oklahoma 19|
|TANGERINE||Orlando||East Carolina 14||Massachusetts 13|
|BLUEBONNET||Houston||Tulsa 14||Mississippi 7|
|LIBERTY||Atlantic City||Utah 32||West Virginia 6|
Small College Poll
The schools that are now in the NCAA's "Division I-AA" were ranked (along with smaller schools) in the "small college poll" taken by both the UPI (coaches) and AP (a panel of writers). In 1964, UPI ranked the 8-0-0 Golden Eagles of Los Angeles State University as #1 (the school is now California State University at Los Angeles, and has no football team). The 8-0-0 Wittenberg College Tigers (now a Division III team) were 2nd in the UPI poll, and #1 choice for the AP panel.
Minor conference champions
|Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association||Albion||5–0–0|
- "Orange Bowl Wants Tide, Longhorns," Kingsport Times News November 22, 1964, pC-1
- "Nebraska Agrees to Play Arkansas in Cotton Bowl," The Post Standard (Syracuse, NY) November 16, 1964, p17
- "1964 Atlantic Coast Conference Year Summary". sports-reference.com. Retrieved January 23, 2013.
- "National Poll Champions" (PDF). NCAA. p. 70. Retrieved 2011-07-29.