1963 College Football Recap
For the second year in a row, No.1 and No.2 squared off in a bowl game: Texas and Navy in the Cotton Bowl.
The top-ranked Longhorns entered the game unbeaten and untied for the first time since 1918. Navy would be their second No.1–No.2 confrontation on the Cotton Bowl field. In October, they upset top-ranked Oklahoma 28–7 in Dallas.
Challenger Navy had Heisman-winning junior quarterback Roger Staubach. The Cotton Bowl, however, was not a safe haven for the Middies. Earlier in the year they suffered their only regular season loss there, 32–28 to SMU. The postseason was more of the same: Texas, 28–6.
The assassination of President Kennedy on Friday, Nov.22, resulted in the postponement or cancellation of many games the next day. The Army-Navy game was one of those delayed a week. When it was finally played, Navy won 21–15.
Pittsburgh also lost to the Middies, but it was the Panthers only setback of the season as they reached the final AP Top 5 for the first time since their national championship year in 1939. Big Ten champ Illinois returned to the Rose Bowl for the first time in 12 years and beat Washington 17–7.
Finally, Oklahoma's Bud Wilkinson retired after 17 years. The Sooners ranked 8th for Wilkinson's final season and he left Norman with three national titles, a 145–29–4 record and a winning percentage of .826.