1956 College Football Recap

Updated August 5, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

Final AP Top 20

Bowl Games with Top 20 Teams

Major Conference Champions

Heisman Trophy Voting

Other Major Award Winners

Consensus All-America Team

How good was Oklahoma in 1956? The Sooners were good enough to hand Texas its worst beating (45–0) since 1908, pound Notre Dame 40–0 in South Bend, and beat up on the membership of the Big Seven by an average score of 49–8. They also extended their winning streak to an all-time record 40 games over four seasons.

How good a coach was Bud Wilkinson? In just 10 years at Oklahoma, Wilkinson had a record of 94–8–3, a winning percentage of .910, and three national championships.

The players were pretty good, too. Clendon Thomas led the nation in scoring with 18 touchdowns, while halfback Tommy McDonald and center Jerry Tubbs placed third and fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting.

Speaking of the Heisman, for the first time in 21 years the award went to a player on a losing team—quarterback Paul Hornung of 2–8 Notre Dame. Hornung edged Tennessee halfback Johnny Majors by 72 points. Jim Brown of Syracuse came in fifth.

Majors led No.2 Tennessee to an SEC title and unbeaten regular season. He didn't win the Heisman, but the Vols' Bowden Wyatt was named Coach of the Year. Unfortunately, Tennessee lost its perfect record in the Sugar Bowl, bowing to Baylor, 13–7.

No.3 Iowa and No.5 Texas A&M made it back to the AP Top 10 after long absences. The Hawkeyes had been away since 1939, the Aggies since '41.

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