1973 Big Ten Conference football season

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1973 Big Ten Conference football season
Sport American football
Number of teams 10
Top draft pick John Hicks
Co-champions Michigan, Ohio State
Runners-up Minnesota
Season MVP Archie Griffin
Seasons
← 1972
1974 →
1973 Big Ten football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
No. 2 Ohio State + 7 0 1     10 0 1
No. 6 Michigan + 7 0 1     10 0 1
Minnesota 6 2 0     7 4 0
Illinois 4 4 0     5 6 0
Michigan State 4 4 0     5 6 0
Purdue 4 4 0     5 6 0
Northwestern 4 4 0     4 7 0
Wisconsin 3 5 0     4 7 0
Indiana 0 8 0     2 9 0
Iowa 0 8 0     0 11 0
  • + – Conference co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1973 Big Ten Conference football season was the 78th season of college football played by the member schools of the Big Ten Conference and was a part of the 1973 NCAA Division I football season.

The 1973 Ohio State Buckeyes football team, under head coach Woody Hayes, and the 1973 Michigan Wolverines football team, under head coach Bo Schembechler, compiled identical 10–0–1 records and tied for the Big Ten championship. Ohio State was ranked No. 2 in the final AP Poll, and Michigan was ranked No. 6. Ohio State led the conference in both scoring offense (37.5 points per game) and scoring defense (5.8 points allowed per game).

The regular season ended with a 10–10 tie between Michigan and Ohio State. When the game ended in a tie, the Big Ten athletic directors voted, 6–4, to send Ohio State to the Rose Bowl. Michigan athletic officials and fans were outraged, with even the Vice President of the United States, Gerald Ford, speaking out against the decision. Ohio State defeated USC, 42–21, in the 1974 Rose Bowl. Two selectors, the National Championship Foundation and the Poling System, recognize Michigan as a co-national champion for the 1973 season.

The Big Ten statistical leaders in 1973 included Ohio State running back Archie Griffin with 1,577 rushing yards. Griffin also won the Chicago Tribune Silver Football as the Big Ten's most valuable player. Four Big Ten players were recognized as consensus first-team All-Americans: Randy Gradishar and John Hicks of Ohio State and Dave Gallagher and Dave Brown of Michigan.

Season overview[edit]

Results and team statistics[edit]

Conf. Rank Team Head coach AP final AP high Overall record Conf. record PPG PAG MVP
1 (tie) Ohio State Woody Hayes #2 #1 10–0–1 7–0–1 37.5 5.8 Archie Griffin
1 (tie) Michigan Bo Schembechler #6 #4 10–0–1 7–0–1 30.0 6.2 Paul Seal
3 Minnesota Cal Stoll NR NR 7–4 6–2 23.6 26.8 Steve Neils
4 (tie) Illinois Bob Blackman NR NR 5–6 4–4 14.9 14.3 Octavus Morgan
4 (tie) Michigan State Denny Stolz NR NR 5–6 4–4 10.4 14.9 Ray Nester
4 (tie) Purdue Alex Agase NR NR 6–5 6–2 18.2 19.4 Bo Bobrowski
4 (tie) Northwestern John Pont NR NR 4–7 4–4 17.1 27.2 Stan Kay
8 Wisconsin John Jardine NR NR 4–7 3–5 19.6 21.5 Mike Webster
9 (tie) Indiana Lee Corso NR NR 2–9 0–8 13.7 24.6 Chuck Sukurs
9 (tie) Iowa Frank Lauterbur NR NR 0–11 0–8 12.7 36.5 Brian Rollins

Key
AP final = Team's rank in the final AP Poll of the 1973 season[1]
AP high = Team's highest rank in the AP Poll throughout the 1973 season[1]
PPG = Average of points scored per game; conference leader's average displayed in bold[1]
PAG = Average of points allowed per game; conference leader's average displayed in bold[1]
MVP = Most valuable player as voted by players on each team as part of the voting process to determine the winner of the Chicago Tribune Silver Football trophy; trophy winner in bold[2]

Pre-season[edit]

Four Big Ten teams changed head coaches between the 1972 and 1973 seasons, as follows:

  • Duffy Daugherty retired as Michigan State's head football coach at the end of the 1972 season. Denny Stolz, who had been the Spartans' defensive coordinator for two years, took over as head coach.
  • Bob DeMoss was replaced by Alex Agase as Purdue's head coach. Agase had been Northwestern's head coach from 1964 to 1972.
  • Agase was replaced as Northwestern's head coach by John Pont. Pont had been Indiana's head coach from 1965 to 1972.
  • Pont was replaced as Indiana's head coach by Lee Corso. Corso had been the head coach at Louisville from 1969 to 1972.

Regular season[edit]

September 15[edit]

On September 15, 1973, the Big Ten football teams opened the season with five conference games.

  • Ohio State 56, Minnesota 7
  • Michigan 31, Iowa 7
  • Illinois 28, Indiana 14
  • Northwestern 14, Michigan State 10
  • Purdue 14, Wisconsin 13

September 22[edit]

On September 22, 1973, the Big Ten teams played nine non-conference games, resulting in four wins and five losses. Ohio State had a bye week.

  • Michigan 47, Stanford 10
  • Minnesota 41, North Dakota 14
  • Illinois 27, California 7
  • Michigan State 14, Syracuse 8
  • Miami (OH) 24, Purdue 19
  • Colorado 28, Wisconsin 25
  • Notre Dame 44, Northwestern 0
  • UCLA 55, Iowa 18
  • Arizona 26, Indiana 10

September 29[edit]

On September 29, 1973, the Big Ten teams played 10 non-conference games, resulting in three wins and seven losses.

  • Ohio State 37, TCU 3
  • Michigan 14, Navy 0
  • Kansas 34, Minnesota 19
  • West Virginia 17, Illinois 10
  • UCLA 34, Michigan State 21
  • Notre Dame 20, Purdue 7
  • Nebraska 20, Wisconsin 16
  • Pittsburgh 21, Northwestern 14
  • Penn State 27, Iowa 8
  • Indiana 17, Kentucky 3

October 6[edit]

On October 6, 1973, the Big Ten teams played 10 non-conference games, resulting in five wins and five losses. After concluding three weeks of non-conference play, the Big Ten teams had compiled a 12–17 non-conference record.

  • Ohio State 27, Washington State 3
  • Michigan 24, Oregon 0
  • Nebraska 48, Minnesota 7
  • Stanford 24, Illinois 0
  • Notre Dame 14, Michigan State 10
  • Purdue 27, Duke 7
  • Wisconsin 37, Wyoming 28
  • Ohio 14, Northwestern 12
  • Arizona 23, Iowa 20
  • Indiana 28, West Virginia 14

October 13[edit]

On October 13, 1973, the Big Ten teams played five conference games.

  • Ohio State 24, Wisconsin 0
  • Michigan 31, Michigan State 0
  • Minnesota 24, Indiana 3
  • Illinois 15, Purdue 13
  • Northwestern 31, Iowa 15

October 20[edit]

On October 20, 1973, the Big Ten teams played five conference games.

  • Ohio State 37, Indiana 7
  • Michigan 35, Wisconsin 6
  • Minnesota 31, Iowa 23
  • Illinois 6, Michigan State 3
  • Purdue 21, Northwestern 10

October 27[edit]

On October 27, 1973, the Big Ten teams played five conference games.

  • Ohio State 60, Northwestern 0
  • Michigan 34, Minnesota 7
  • Illinois 50, Iowa 0
  • Michigan State 10, Purdue 7
  • Wisconsin 31, Indiana 7

November 3[edit]

On November 3, 1973, the Big Ten teams played five conference games.

  • Ohio State 30, Illinois 0
  • Michigan 49, Indiana 13
  • Minnesota 52, Northwestern 43
  • Michigan State 21, Wisconsin 0
  • Purdue 48, Iowa 23

November 10[edit]

On November 10, 1973, the Big Ten teams played five conference games.

  • Ohio State 35, Michigan State 0
  • Michigan 21, Illinois 6
  • Minnesota 34, Purdue 7
  • Wisconsin 35, Iowa 7
  • Northwestern 21, Indiana 20

November 17[edit]

On November 17, 1973, the Big Ten teams played five conference games.

  • Ohio State 55, Iowa 13
  • Michigan 34, Purdue 9
  • Minnesota 19, Illinois 16
  • Michigan State 10, Indiana 9
  • Wisconsin 36, Northwestern 34

November 24[edit]

On November 24, 1973, the Big Ten teams played five conference games.

  • Michigan 10, Ohio State 10
  • Minnesota 19, Wisconsin 17
  • Northwestern 9, Illinois 6
  • Michigan State 15, Iowa 6
  • Purdue 28, Indiana 23

Bowl games[edit]

On January 1, 1974, Ohio State (ranked No. 4 in the AP Poll) defeated USC (ranked No. 7), 42–21. Pete Johnson scored three touchdowns, and Archie Griffin capped the scoring with a 47-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

Statistical leaders[edit]

Awards and honors[edit]

All-Big Ten honors[edit]

The following players were picked by the Associated Press (AP) and/or the United Press International (UPI) as first-team players on the 1973 All-Big Ten Conference football team.[3][4]

Offense

Position Name Team Selectors
Quarterback Dennis Franklin Michigan AP, UPI
Running back Archie Griffin Ohio State AP, UPI
Running back Ed Shuttlesworth Michigan AP, UPI
Running back Billy Marek Wisconsin AP
End Steve Craig Northwestern AP, UPI [tight end]
End Brian Rollins Iowa AP [end]
Split end Garvin Roberson Illinois UPI [split end]
Flanker Clint Haslerig Michigan UPI [flanker]
Tackle John Hicks Ohio State AP, UPI
Tackle Kurt Schumacher Ohio State UPI
Tackle Keith Fahnhorst Minnesota AP
Guard Mike Hoban Michigan AP, UPI
Guard Jim Kregel Ohio State AP, UPI
Center Mike Webster Wisconsin AP, UPI

Defense

Position Name Team Selectors
Defensive line Van DeCree Ohio State AP [front 5], UPI [def. end]
Defensive line Steve Neils Minnesota AP [front 5], UPI [def. end]
Defensive line Pete Cusick Ohio State AP [front 5], UPI [def. tackle]
Defensive line Dave Gallagher Michigan AP [front 5], UPI [def. tackle]
Defensive line Vic Koegel Ohio State UPI [guard]
Defensive line Octavus Morgan Illinois AP [front 5]
Linebacker Randy Gradishar Ohio State AP, UPI
Linebacker Rick Middleton Ohio State AP, UPI
Linebacker Mike Varty Northwestern AP
Defensive back Dave Brown Michigan AP, UPI
Defensive back Neal Colzie Ohio State AP, UPI
Defensive back Mike Gow Illinois AP, UPI
Defensive back Bill Simpson Michigan State UPI

All-American honors[edit]

At the end of the 1973 season, Big Ten players secured four of the consensus first-team picks for the 1973 College Football All-America Team.[5] The Big Ten's consensus All-Americans were:

Position Name Team Selectors
Linebacker Randy Gradishar Ohio State AFCA, AP, FWAA, NEA, UPI, WCFF, FN, Time, TSN
Offensive guard John Hicks Ohio State AFCA, AP, FWAA, NEA, UPI, WCFF, FN, Time, TSN
Defensive end Dave Gallagher Michigan AFCA, AP, FWAA, NEA, WCFF, Time, TSN
Defensive back Dave Brown Michigan AFCA, FWAA, UPI

Other Big Ten players who were named first-team All-Americans by at least one selector were:

Position Name Team Selectors
Running back Archie Griffin Ohio State UPI
Defensive end Van DeCree Ohio State UPI, FN
Defensive back Bill Simpson Michigan State TSN
Defensive back Carl Capria Purdue TSN
Placekicker Mike Lantry Michigan FN

Other awards[edit]

Three Ohio State players finished among the top six in the voting for the 1973 Heisman Trophy: John Hicks (second); Archie Griffin (fifth); and Randy Gradishar (sixth).[6]

1974 NFL Draft[edit]

The 1974 NFL Draft was held in New York on January 29–30, 1974.[7] The following players were among the first 100 picks:[8]

Name Position Team Round Overall pick
John Hicks Guard Ohio State 1 3
Carl Barzilauskas Defensive Tackle Indiana 1 6
Rick Middleton Linebacker Ohio State 1 13
Randy Gradishar Linebacker Ohio State 1 14
Dave Gallagher Defensive End Michigan 1 20
Keith Fahnhorst Tight end Minnesota 2 35
Paul Seal Tight end Michigan 2 36
Ed Shuttlesworth Running back Michigan 2 37
Bill Simpson Defensive back Michigan State 2 50
Steve Craig Tight end Northwestern 3 64
Clint Haslerig Wide receiver Michigan 4 83
Morris Bradshaw Wide receiver Ohio State 4 93
Matt Herkenhoff Tackle Minnesota 4 94

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "1973 Big Ten Conference Year Summary". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved February 21, 2017. 
  2. ^ "Voted Silver Football: Buckeyes' Archie Griffin Is Most Valuable Player In 1973 Big Ten Football". Chicago Tribune. December 25, 1973. p. 10A. 
  3. ^ "1973 AP All Big Ten Football Team". Piqua Daily Call. November 27, 1973. p. 11. 
  4. ^ "Bucks, Wolves Dominate: Buckeyes Place 10 On All-Big Ten Team". The Times Recorder (Zanesville, Ohio). November 28, 1973. p. 11B. 
  5. ^ "2014 NCAA Football Records: Consensus All-America Selections" (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). 2014. pp. 5–6. Retrieved February 21, 2017. 
  6. ^ "1973 Heisman Trophy Voting". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved February 21, 2017. 
  7. ^ "NFL Draft Locations". FootballGeography.com. October 2, 2014. Archived from the original on September 5, 2015. Retrieved October 23, 2014. 
  8. ^ "1974 NFL Draft: Full Draft". NFL.com. National Football League. Retrieved February 20, 2017.