1958 College Football Recap
Missing from the final AP Top 20 since 1949, LSU not only returned to the ranks in 1958 but finished on top.
Just a .500 club the year before, coach Paul Dietzel got the most out of his bench by capitalizing on a new substituion rule that allowed any player, not just starters, to come off the field and go back in again once each quarter. The rule stopped short of permitting a return to two-platoon football, so Dietzel went with the next best thing—three platoons: a two-way unit of his best players, an offensive second team, and a defensive second team.
The defensive subs were known as the “Chinese Bandits” and their inspired play (they didn't give up a touchdown all season) symbolized LSU's remarkable 11–0 campaign. The Tigers reached No.1 the seventh week of the season and went on to win their first Sugar Bowl in five tries.
Another innovation was Army's “Lonely End” formation. Posting Bill Carpenter 15 yards off the strong side tackle and excusing him from huddles enabled the Cadets to spread the field and get their plays off faster. It not only improved the passing game but opened a lot of holes for halfback Pete Dawkins, who ran off with the Heisman Trophy as No.3 Army went unbeaten in Red Blaik's final season as coach.
Iowa, the 6th-ranked team in 1957, led the nation in total offense and moved up to No.2. The Hawkeyes tied No.6 Air Force and lost to No.8 Ohio State, but routed California to win their second Rose Bowl in three years.