1966 Michigan State Spartans football team

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1966 Michigan State Spartans football
National champion (Football Research)
Co-national champion (Helms, NFF, Poling)
Big Ten champion
ConferenceBig Ten Conference
Ranking
CoachesNo. 2
APNo. 2
1966 record9–0–1 (7–0 Big Ten)
Head coachDuffy Daugherty (13th season)
MVPGeorge Webster
Home stadiumSpartan Stadium
(c. 76,000 natural grass)
Seasons
← 1965
1967 →
1966 Big Ten football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
No. 2 Michigan State $ 7 0 0     9 0 1
No. 7 Purdue 6 1 0     9 2 0
Michigan 4 3 0     6 4 0
Illinois 4 3 0     4 6 0
Minnesota 3 3 1     4 5 1
Ohio State 3 4 0     4 5 0
Northwestern 2 4 1     3 6 1
Wisconsin 2 4 1     3 6 1
Indiana 1 5 1     1 8 1
Iowa 1 6 0     2 8 0
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1966 Michigan State Spartans football team represented Michigan State University in the 1966 Big Ten Conference football season. Michigan State lodged a 9–0–1 record, with a season-concluding tie against Notre Dame which is considered among the greatest games in college football history. The College Football Researchers Association selected Michigan State as national champion, while Helms, NFF, and Poling selected them as co-national champion.[1]:113 Notre Dame claimed the AP and Coaches selections and earned a consensus title with a majority of selectors.[2]

Regular season[edit]

The 1966 Michigan State Spartans football vs. Notre Dame football game ("The Game of the Century") remains one of the greatest, and most controversial, games in college football history.[3] The game was played in Michigan State's Spartan Stadium on November 19, 1966. Michigan State entered the contest 9–0 and ranked #2, while Notre Dame entered the contest 8–0 and ranked #1. Notre Dame elected not to try to score on its final series, thus the game ended in a 10–10 tie with both schools receiving national champion selections.

Schedule[edit]

Date Opponent# Rank# Site Result Attendance
September 17 NC State* No. 2 Spartan StadiumEast Lansing, Michigan W 28–0   55,418
September 24 Penn State* No. 1 Spartan Stadium • East Lansing, Michigan (Rivalry) W 42–8   65,763
October 1 at Illinois No. 1 Memorial StadiumChampaign, Illinois W 26–10   57,747
October 8 Michigan No. 1 Spartan Stadium • East Lansing, Michigan (Paul Bunyan Trophy) W 20–7   78,833
October 15 at Ohio State No. 1 Ohio StadiumColumbus, Ohio W 11–8   84,282
October 22 No. 9 Purdue No. 2 Spartan Stadium • East Lansing, Michigan W 41–20   78,004
October 29 at Northwestern No. 2 Dyche StadiumEvanston, Illinois W 22–0   44,304
November 5 Iowa No. 2 Spartan Stadium • East Lansing, Michigan W 56–7   68,711
November 12 at Indiana No. 2 Memorial StadiumBloomington, Indiana (Rivalry) W 37–19   30,096
November 19 No. 1 Notre Dame* No. 2 Spartan Stadium • East Lansing, Michigan (Rivalry) T 10–10   80,011
*Non-conference game. #Rankings from AP Poll.
Schedule Source:[4]

Game summaries[edit]

Michigan[edit]

1 234Total
Michigan 0 007 7
• Michigan St 7 0013 20

[5]

Purdue[edit]

1 234Total
Purdue 0 0713 20
• Michigan St 7 14146 41

[6]

Team members in the NFL[edit]

  • In the 1967 NFL Draft, four of the top eight picks in the draft were players from Michigan State.
Player Position Round Pick NFL franchise
Bubba Smith Defensive end 1 1 Baltimore Colts
Clinton Jones Running back 1 2 Minnesota Vikings
George Webster Linebacker 1 5 Houston Oilers
Gene Washington Wide receiver 1 8 Minnesota Vikings
Jeff Richardson Defensive end 6 146 New York Jets
James Summers Defensive back 9 217 Denver Broncos
Charlie Thornhill Defensive back 9 232 Boston Patriots
Dick Kenney Kicker 14 358 Philadelphia Eagles

[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 2018 NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Records (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association. August 2018. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  2. ^ "Past Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (Division I FBS) National Champions (formerly called Division I-A)". ncaa.org. Archived from the original on May 9, 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-01.
  3. ^ Mike Celzic. The Biggest Game of Them All: Notre Dame, Michigan State and the Fall of 1966. ISBN 978-0-671-75817-2.
  4. ^ "Football Statistics Summary for 1966". msuspartans.com. Retrieved August 21, 2013.
  5. ^ "No. 1 Spartans Stop Wolverines." Palm Beach Post. 1966 Oct 9. Retrieved 2015-Jan-12.
  6. ^ "Spartans Win Easily Over Purdue, 41-20." Palm Beach Post. 1966 Oct 23.
  7. ^ 1967 NFL Draft Listing - Pro-Football-Reference.com