Our Pac-12 Friday weekly column takes on a crazy college football season, as the Conference of Champions and/or its Midwest adversary, the B1G, put a claim in on the mythical national title this year. We don’t want to spoil it for you … ha ha.
On with the fun part now!
1964 AAWU MVP: Paul Brothers, Oregon State
Eight teams now took part in the conference schedule, although strangely, the Oregon State Beavers (3-1) and the USC Trojans (3-1) tied for the league title without playing each other. The Washington Huskies finished just behind with a 5-2 conference mark. The Beavers beat the Huskies, and the Washington beat USC. What a mess!
Trojans quarterback Craig Fertig topped the league in passing efficiency while throwing 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He was not a dominant force, however, while Beavers QB Paul Brothers seemed better (8 TDs, 4 INTs for 1,573 total yards, fourth best in the league—including 448 yards and 5 TDs on the ground).
Meanwhile, USC RB Mike Garrett dominated the position-player hierarchy in the conference, topping out in rushing yards (948), scrimmage yards (1,175), and scrimmage TDs (10). In the end, we’re going to go with Brothers here for being a dual threat, since Garrett also had Fertig’s efficiency to open up holes for him.
1964 B1G MVP: Bob Timberlake, Michigan
Michigan (6-1) and Ohio State (5-1) tied for the league title on paper, but the Wolverines won the winner-take-all matchup between the two teams to end the regular season. Purdue finished just behind with a 5-2 conference record, handing the Wolverines their only loss.
None of those three teams had a prolific passing QB, in truth, as even Boilermakers starter Bob Griese—you may have heard of him—tossed 5 TDs and 10 INTs. But Michigan signal caller Bob Timberlake may have been the best of the bunch: 807 passing yards, 574 rushing yards, and 14 overall TDs (9 on the ground, 5 through the air). He also tossed 5 INTs, but at least that was breaking even.
Comparatively, no single player on Ohio State or Purdue could muster up more than 715 yards from scrimmage (Purdue RB Gordon Teter) or 1,081 total yards (Griese). It was just a down year for offense in the league, as both the Buckeyes and the Wolverines coughed up less than 9 points a game on defense. So, Timberlake gets the nod.
1965* Rose Bowl MVP: Mel Anthony, Michigan (original, confirmed)
The Beavers got the AAWU bid to the Rose Bowl since USC had been to the Granddaddy more recently, but the Wolverines manhandled Oregon State, 34-7, on their way to earning our MNC designation. Michigan fullback Mel Anthony won the MVP vote at the time, for scoring three times and blocking a punt.
We agree with this pick, for a few reasons: First, after Oregon State took a 7-point lead in the second quarter, it was Anthony’s 84-yard TD run that put the Wolverines on the board and opened the floodgates to a 34-point onslaught that catapulted Michigan to the victory. Long scoring plays like that crush the opponent, and that was clearly the case in this situation.
Furthermore, nursing a 12-7 halftime lead, the Wolverines ran away with the game in the third quarter as Anthony blocked that punt and scored two more times to make the score 27-7, which all but put the game away. Contributions on both sides of the ball always play well with our selection process, of course.
[* Note: The Rose Bowl was usually played on January 1 of the following calendar year, so to reflect that and minimize confusion, we have changed the “date” of the bowl to reflect the calendar year and official naming of the Rose Bowl game for each year. Apologies for the confusion this may cause.]