There’s been a bit of an extended hiatus for Pac-12 Fridays as you may have noticed, but sometimes like gets in the way—even in the Conference of Champions! But we’re back with another segment on college football this week. Remember, we are choosing the league MVPs for the B1G and the Pac-12, and the Rose Bowl MVP as well … This series will resemble our weekly efforts for MLB, NFL, NHL, and NBA awards, basically.
Bring on 1957!
1957 PCC MVP: Jim Shanley, Oregon
Five teams finished above .500 in league play as the Oregon Ducks and the Oregon State Beavers tied for the conference title with 6-2 league marks. But close behind were UCLA (5-2), Washington State (5-3), and Stanford (4-3). No quarterbacks stood out, as just one of them qualified with enough passing attempts to register in the national ranks for QB rating, and Cougars passer Bob Newman was average at best (126.5 rating).
Ducks running back Jim Shanley scored 9 touchdowns and totaled 885 total yards (664 rushing, 221 receiving) to finish second in the conference for scrimmage yards. The TD total was tied for best in the conference with WSU receiver Don Ellingsen, as well. Ellingsen led all receivers with 569 total yards, by the way.
Shanley was clearly the best player in the conference, and his team finished atop the rankings well.
1957 B1G MVP: Don Clark, Ohio State
Ohio State won the conference title with a 7-0 league record, while Michigan State (5-1) and Iowa (4-1-1) also had great seasons. No other team finished above water, so that limits our MVP options. Quarterback play was too minimal, as no QBs qualified for the national statistical rankings here. That leaves us with a bunch of position players to look at instead.
Buckeyes RB Don Clark topped the conference with 800 total yards and 9 TDs, while Hawkeyes receiver Jim Gibbons was the best in that positional hierarchy (587 yards and 4 TDs). This makes it easy to give Clark the nod for the league MVP in our minds.
1957 Rose Bowl MVP: Jack Crabtree, Oregon (original); Frank Kremblas, Ohio State (revised)
The Beavers held the tiebreak on the Ducks, but since they went to the Rose Bowl the prior year, it was Oregon’s turn. However, the Buckeyes won the bowl game, 10-7. Ohio State was atop the United Press International poll and second in the Associated Poll, and this meant a three-TD favorite designation. Obviously, the Ducks—or the Webfoots, if you will—played very well.
This resulted in Oregon QB Jack Crabtree winning the MVP vote, and there have been only two losing-team MVPs to have the award to themselves in Rose Bowl history. But he tossed two interceptions, and that takes him out of our consideration here. Ducks receiver Ron Stover caught 10 passes for 144 yards, but he also had a key fumble in the fourth quarter that hurt Oregon’s chances to take the lead.
The two Buckeyes RBs dominated the game, in reaility: Clark had 14 carries for 82 yards, while Bob White ground out 93 yards on 25 carries. Ohio State QB Frank Kremblas scored the Buckeyes’ only TD on the opening drive, and he also completed 2-of-6 passes for 59 yards. We’re more inclined to give him the MVP Award as he also kicked the extra point on his own TD, although Clark would be a close second for us.