The 1947 Big Nine Conference football season was the 52nd season of college football played by the member schools of the Big Nine Conference (also known as the Western Conference and the Big Ten Conference) and was a part of the 1947 college football season.
The 1947 Big Ten champion was Michigan. The Wolverines compiled a perfect 10–0 record, outscored its opponents by a combined total of 394 to 53, and defeated the USC Trojans by a score of 49 to 0 in the 1948 Rose Bowl game.
Michigan halfback Bob Chappuis led the conference with 1,395 yards of total offense, which was also the fourth best in the country. Chappuis also finished second in the voting for the 1947 Heisman Trophy, trailing Johnny Lujack by a tally of 742 votes to 555 votes, with both finishing ahead of Doak Walker and Bobby Layne.Wisconsin finished in second place in the conference, led by sophomore halfback Jug Girard. Girard, a triple-threat man who also returned two punts for touchdowns, was the first conference player selected in the 1948 NFL Draft, being chosen by the Green Bay Packers with the seventh pick in the first round.
The 1947 SMU Mustangs football team was an American football team that represented Southern Methodist University (SMU) as a member of the Southwest Conference (SWC) during the 1947 college football season. In its tenth season under head coach Matty Bell, the team compiled a 9–0–2 record (5–0–1 against SWC opponents), won the SWC championship, outscored opponents by a total of 182 to 90, and was ranked No. 3 in the final AP Poll. The team played its home games at Ownby Stadium on the SMU campus and at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.
The Mustangs won their first nine games before tying with rival TCU and Penn State, the latter in the 1948 Cotton Bowl Classic on New Year's Day.SMU's sophomore halfback, Doak Walker, led the country with 387 yards on 10 kickoff returns, an average of 38.7 yards per return. He won the Maxwell Award for 1947, was a consensus selection to the 1947 College Football All-America Team, and finished third in the 1947 voting for the Heisman Trophy. He finished second in the SWC (behind Bobby Layne) with 1,026 yards of total offense, including 684 rushing yards.Four SMU players received first-team honors on the Associated Press 1947 All-Southwest Conference football team: Walker; end Sid Halliday; tackle Jim Winkler; and guard Earl Cook.
The 1947 Toledo Rockets football team was an American football team that represented Toledo University (renamed the University of Toledo in 1967) in the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) during the 1947 college football season. In their second season under head coach Bill Orwig, the Rockets compiled a 9–2 record (2–1 against OAC opponents), outscored all opponents by a combined total of 255 to 115, and defeated New Hampshire, 20–14, in the 1947 Glass Bowl game. The 1947 season was the first nine-win season in program history, a feat that no Toledo team repeated until 1967.
Emerson Cole, who later played four years in the NFL, twice rushed for at least 200 yards in a game during the 1947 season. Cole also set a school record (later broken) with 31 rushing touchdowns in 1947. Lee Pete established a school record with a 65.2% pass completion percentage, a record that stood until 2001. Peete also established a school record (later broken) with an 86-yard touchdown pass to Dave Hamlar. Tony Wolodzko was the team captain. Tackles Ted Zuchowski and Frank Pizza were selected in the 1948 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers and Detroit Lions, respectively.
Richard Ernest Woodard (born July 26, 1926) is a former American football center in the National Football League for the New York Giants and Washington Redskins. Woodard also played in the All-America Football Conference for the Los Angeles Dons.Woodward was born in Britt, Iowa. He played college football at the University of Iowa and was drafted in the 21st round of the 1948 NFL Draft by the Giants. In 1948, Woodard was an honorable mention selection for the All-Big Nine team.
Douglas R. Belden (April 24, 1927 – July 8, 1972) was an American player of Canadian football who was a quarterback for the Regina and Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League (CFL). He attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where he played for the Florida Gators football team from 1945 to 1948. He also played baseball and basketball for the Gators. He was later inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame as a "Gator Great."Belden was drafted by the Chicago Cardinals in the 27th round of the 1948 NFL Draft. He signed with the Regina Roughriders in 1949, and played for them from 1949 to 1952.
William Davis Garrett "Dub" Jr. (January 29, 1925 – July 24, 1976) was an American football guard who played one season with the Chicago Bears of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the third round of the 1948 NFL Draft. He was also drafted by the Baltimore Colts in the second round of the 1948 AAFC Draft with the tenth overall pick. Garrett played college football at Mississippi State University and attended Dundee High School in Dundee, Mississippi.
Edward George Quirk (February 27, 1925 – June 13, 1962) was an American football fullback in the National Football League (NFL) for the Washington Redskins. He played college football at the University of Missouri and was drafted in the fifteenth round of the 1948 NFL Draft. He died of a heart ailment in 1962.
Floyd Weston Simmons (February 19, 1925 – August 6, 1996) was an American football running back who played one season with the Chicago Rockets of the All-America Football Conference. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 24th round of the 1948 NFL Draft. He played college football at the University of Notre Dame and attended Jefferson High School in Portland, Oregon.
Frederick William Enke (December 15, 1924 – April 13, 2014) was a professional American football quarterback who played in seven National Football League (NFL) seasons from 1948 to 1954 for the Detroit Lions, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Baltimore Colts. He started for the Lions for two years. Enke played college football at the University of Arizona and was drafted in the seventh round of the 1948 NFL Draft.
Enke was inducted into the Arizona High School Sports Hall of Fame as an inaugural member in 2007. He graduated from Tucson High School as a three-sport star (football, baseball, basketball) in 1943 after starting a 52-game winning streak for the school as quarterback. He was a two-time All State quarterback leading the Badgers to the State Championship in all three sports during the 1942–43 school year. He was the first Arizonan to start as a quarterback in the NFL.After leaving the NFL, Enke retired to Casa Grande, Arizona to become a cotton farmer.
Harry Bonk (April 16, 1926 – December 24, 2011) is an American former football player. He played college football as a fullback for the University of Maryland from 1945 to 1948, and for Dartmouth College and Bucknell University in 1944. The Boston Yanks selected Bonk in the 28th round of the 1948 NFL Draft.
Martin Peter Wendell (November 22, 1926 – March 7, 2012) was an American football guard who played one season with the Chicago Hornets of the All-America Football Conference. He was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the eighth round of the 1948 NFL Draft. He played college football at the University of Notre Dame and attended St. George High School in Evanston, Illinois.
William Michael Katrishen (May 7, 1922 – March 1980) was an American football guard in the National Football League for the Washington Redskins. He played college football at the University of Southern Mississippi and was drafted in the tenth round of the 1948 NFL Draft.
Norman Lawrence Cox (September 22, 1925 – April 28, 2008) was an American football quarterback who played two seasons with the Chicago Rockets of the All-America Football Conference. He was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the 31st round of the 1948 NFL Draft. He played college football at Texas Christian University and attended Grandfalls-Royalty High School in Grandfalls, Texas. Cox was also a member of the Montreal Alouettes of the Interprovincial Rugby Football Union.
Paul Edward Campbell (March 11, 1926 - February 10, 2005) was a former college athlete who was the starting quarterback for the Longhorns football team in 1948 and 1949. He was the 22nd pick overall in the 1948 NFL Draft, selected by the Philadelphia Eagles.
Robert Leslie Goode (June 5, 1927 – June 9, 2007) was an American football running back for the Washington Redskins and the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League. He played college football at Texas A&M University and was drafted in the first round of the 1949 NFL Draft by the Redskins. He was also drafted by the Chicago Bears in the 15th round of the 1948 NFL Draft and the Buffalo Bills (AAFC) in the 16th round of the 1949 AAFC Draft.
Thomas Edward "Shorty" McWilliams (May 12, 1926 – January 9, 1997) was an American football player who played one season with the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the eighth round of the 1948 NFL Draft and the Los Angeles Dons in the 16th round of the 1948 AAFC Draft. He played college football at Mississippi State University and the United States Military Academy.
Anthony Salvatore "Skip" Minisi (September 18, 1926 – May 5, 2005) was an American football halfback in the National Football League for the New York Giants. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1985 based on his college career at the University of Pennsylvania and the United States Naval Academy.
After being the second pick overall in the 1948 NFL draft, Minisi played his rookie season for the NY Giants. After completing his rookie season, Minisi retired from professional football to attend University of Pennsylvania's School of Law. He was a successful attorney for more than 40+ years with a practice in Philadelphia, PA.
Truett Henry Smith (March 17, 1924 – December 29, 2000) was an American football blocking back who played two seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the 32nd round of the 1948 NFL Draft. He was also drafted by the Steelers in the seventh round of the 1950 NFL Draft. Smith first enrolled at the University of Wyoming before transferring to Mississippi State University. He attended Hazlehurst High School in Hazlehurst, Mississippi.
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