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1958 Football Highlights

Cleveland's Bobby Mitchell and Michigan's Jim Pace led the College All-Stars to a 35-19 victory over the 1957 NFL-champion Detroit Lions in Chicago, Illinois, on August 15. The All-Stars were coached by Otto Graham.

The College All-Star team and its coach Otto Graham (top, center) cheer after its 35-19 victory over the Detroit Lions.
College All-Stars

Paul F. Dietzel of Louisiana State University was named Football Coach of the Year in a Football Writers Association of America poll reported on December 13.


The National Football League drew a record 3,006,124 paid fans during the 1958 regular season.

The West beat the East in the Pro Bowl National Football League All-Star Game in Los Angeles, California, on January 12.

Cleveland Browns fullback Jim Brown scoring against the Chicago Cardinals on October 12.
Jim Brown

The Baltimore Colts clinched the Western Conference Championship on November 30 by defeating the San Francisco 49ers, 35-27.

On December 21 the New York Giants defeated the Cleveland Browns, 10-0, in a playoff for the Eastern Conference Championship.

The Baltimore Colts won the National Football League Championship on December 28 by beating the New York Giants 23-17 in "sudden death" overtime before a crowd of 64,185 in New York's Yankee Stadium; it was the first time a championship game had evergone into overtime. The Colts were behind 17-14 when Steve Myhra kicked a tying field goal, with only 7 seconds left in the game. The Giants received the ball in overtime, but were forced to punt. The Colts made a long march downfield for the winning touchdown, a 1-yard plunge by Alan Ameche, which came in the ninth minute of overtime. The game was watched by one of the largest television audiences ever to watch a sports event and rewarded the winning Colts with $4,718.77 per player, while each of the losing Giants drew $3,111.33; both shares were records.

Alan Ameche scores the winning touchdown in the NFL Championship Game.
Don Ameche scoring winning touchdown in championship game

The outstanding coaches of 1958 were (left to right) Ralph Jordan, Frankie Albert, and Frank Waters.
outstanding coaches of 1958

Named to the Football Hall of Fame in 1958 were (front to rear) Young, Schwab, Kipke, Stuhldreher, Lund, and Goldberg.
1958 Hall of Fame inductees


Rule Changes

The National Collegiate Athletic Association adopted the first change in scoring since 1912. It voted to give two points for a conversion scored on a run or a pass and one point when made on a placement or drop kick. The attempted conversion under the new rule would begin 3 yards from the goal line instead of 2.

Another change permitted a player to re-enter a game once in each quarter.

Time-outs were reduced to four per team per each half.

A new blocking rule caused much contoversy. Under the revision, a player was permitted to use only one hand and arm in making contact with a rival instead of using both arms and both hands as before.

Under another revision, when a free kick, usually a kickoff, went out of bounds, the kciking team was penalized five yards and allowed to kick again.

The last rule change said that ineligible receivers (center, guards, and tackles) would be allowed down field as soon as the ball was thrown on a pass. The previous rule did not allow ineligible receivers to cross the line of scrimmage until an eligible receiver had touched the ball.

Bowl Games (played January 1, 1958)

Rose Bowl Ohio State (10) Oregon State (7)
Cotton Bowl Navy (20) Rice (7)
Orange Bowl Oklahoma (48) Duke (21)
Sugar Bowl Mississippi (39) Texas (7)

Conference Champions (at end of 1958 season)

Ivy League Dartmouth
Middle Atlantic Rutgers
Atlantic Coast Clemson
Yankee Connecticut
Southern West Virginia
Southeastern Louisiana State
Western (Big Ten) Iowa
Big Eight Oklahoma
Southwest Texas Christian
Missouri Valley North Texas State
Border Hardin-Simmons
Rocky Mountain (tied) Colorado Mines and Colorado College
Skyline Wyoming
Pacific Coast California
Mid-American Miami (Ohio)
Midwest Coe

Associated Press National Rankings

Louisiana State, which ended the 1958 season undefeated, was named National Champions by the annual Associated Press poll of sports writers and LSU head coach Paul Dietzel was named Coach of the Year.

2) Iowa
3) Army
4) Auburn
5) Oklahoma
6) Air Force
7) Wisconsin
8) Ohio State
9) Syracuse
10) Texas Christian

Post-Season Games (for 1958)

Gator Bowl Mississippi (7) Florida (3)
Sun Bowl Wyoming (14) Hardin-Simmons (6)
Prairie View Bowl Prairie View A&M (34) Langton (8)
Tangerine Bowl East Texas (26) Missouri Valley (7)
Rose Bowl Iowa (38) California (12)
Cotton Bowl Air Force (0) Texas Christian (0)
Orange Bowl Oklahoma (21) Syracuse (6)
Sugar Bowl Louisiana State (7) Clemson (0)

The East, led by Notre Dame fullback Nick Pietrosante, defeated the West, 26 to 24, in San Francisco, California's, annual Shrine Game. Coach Duffy Daugherty of Michigan State led the victors and Pittsburgh back Dick Haley scored the first touchdown with an 84-yard return of the opening kickoff.

Buddy Humphrey of Baylor threw five touchdown passes as the South beat the North, 49 to 20, in the Shrine Game at Miami, Florida. Billy Stacy of Mississippi State scored four touchdowns, three of them on pass receptions. Darrell Royal of Texas and Wade Walker of Mississippi State coached the winners.

Duane Wood of Oklahoma State and Bob Spoon of Purdue led the North to a 16 to 0 victory over the South in the Blue-Gray Game in Montgomery, Alabama. The North was coached by Jack Mollenkopf of Purdue, Tommy Mont of Maryland, and former Maryland head coach Don Faurot.

Individual Awards

Army halfback Pete Dawkins was awarded both the Maxwell and Heisman Memorial trophies.
Pete Dawkins

"Back of the Year" Billy Cannon, also from the Army team, joins his coach, Paul Dietzel, in a broad grin.
Billy Cannon with coach Paul Dietzel

Other News

The Pacific Coast Conference, to be disbanded in June 1959, served notice on August 11 that it would end its contract for a Pacific Coast Conference team to play in the Rose Bowl after the game of January 1, 1960.

Joe Kuharich, Washington Redskins coach and former Notre Dame player, was named Notre Dame head football coach on December 23 to succeed Terry Brennan.

The season's top college stars, based on selection at the first session of the National Football League draft in Philadelphia, included Randy Duncan (Iowa), Alex Hawkins (South Carolina), Boyd Dowler (Colorado), Bill Stacy (Mississippi State), Jerry Wilson (Auburn), James Butler (Vanderbilt), and Ken Beck (Texas A&M).

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This page was last updated on December 28, 2017.