1972 Big Ten Conference football season
|1972 Big Ten Conference football season|
|Number of teams||10|
|Top draft pick||Dave Butz|
|Co-champions||Michigan, Ohio State|
|Season MVP||Otis Armstrong|
|1972 Big Ten football standings|
|No. 6 Michigan +||7||–||1||–||0||10||–||1||–||0|
|No. 9 Ohio State +||7||–||1||–||0||9||–||2||–||0|
Rankings from AP Poll
The 1972 Big Ten Conference football season was the 77th season of college football played by the member schools of the Big Ten Conference and was a part of the 1972 NCAA University Division football season.
The 1972 Michigan Wolverines football team, under coach Bo Schembechler, compiled a 10–1 record, tied for the Big Ten championship, led the conference in scoring defense (5.2 points allowed per game), and was ranked No. 6 in the final AP and Coaches Polls. Michigan won its first ten games with four conference shutouts, and was ranked No. 3 in the AP Poll prior to its 14–11 road loss to Ohio State. Defensive back Randy Logan and offensive tackle Paul Seymour were consensus first-team All-Americans. Schembecher won the first Big Ten Football Coach of the Year award.
The 1972 Ohio State Buckeyes football team, under head coach Woody Hayes, compiled a 9–2 record, tied with Michigan for the Big Ten championship, led the conference in scoring offense (25.5 points per game), and was ranked No. 9 in the final AP Poll. The Buckeyes received the conference's berth in the 1973 Rose Bowl and lost to national champion USC, 42–17. Linebacker Randy Gradishar was a consensus first-team All-American.
Purdue running back Otis Armstrong led the Big Ten with 1,361 rushing yards, received the Chicago Tribune Silver Football as the conference's most valuable player, and was a consensus first-team All-American.
- 1 Season overview
- 2 Statistical leaders
- 3 Awards and honors
- 4 1973 NFL Draft
- 5 References
Results and team statistics
|Conf. Rank||Team||Head coach||AP final||AP high||Overall record||Conf. record||PPG||PAG||MVP|
|1 (tie)||Michigan||Bo Schembechler||#6||#3||10–1||7–1||24.0||5.2||Randy Logan|
|1 (tie)||Ohio State||Woody Hayes||#9||#3||9–2||7–1||25.5||15.5||George Hasenohrl|
|3||Purdue||Bob DeMoss||NR||#18||6–5||6–2||22.3||12.3||Otis Armstrong|
|4||Michigan State||Duffy Daugherty||NR||#18||5–5–1||5–2–1||14.4||14.2||Gail Clark|
|5||Minnesota||Cal Stoll||NR||NR||4–7||4–4||16.8||27.6||John King|
|6 (tie)||Indiana||John Pont||NR||NR||5–6||3–5||18.5||24.7||Glenn Scolnik|
|6 (tie)||Illinois||Bob Blackman||NR||NR||3–8||3–5||17.9||25.2||Larry McCarren|
|8||Iowa||Frank Lauterbur||NR||NR||3–7–1||2–6–1||9.9||18.9||Dan Dickel|
|9||Wisconsin||John Jardine||NR||NR||4–7||2–6||13.8||20.8||Rufus Ferguson|
|10||Northwestern||Alex Agase||NR||NR||2–9||1–8||13.3||26.4||Jim Lash|
AP final = Team's rank in the final AP Poll of the 1972 season
AP high = Team's highest rank in the AP Poll throughout the 1972 season
PPG = Average of points scored per game; conference leader's average displayed in bold
PAG = Average of points allowed per game; conference leader's average displayed in bold
MVP = Most valuable player as voted by players on each team as part of the voting process to determine the winner of the Chicago Tribune Silver Football trophy; trophy winner in bold
On September 16, 1972, the Big Ten football teams played four conference games and two non-conference teams. The non-conference games resulted in one win and one loss.
- Michigan 7, Northwestern 0. Michigan defeated Northwestern, 7–0, before a crowd of 71,757 at Michigan Stadium. Dennis Franklin threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Bo Rather. The touchdown was set up by an interception by Michigan linebacker Craig Mutch which he returned 18 yards to Northwestern's 31-yard line. Northwestern's Jim Trimble rushed for 103 yards on 20 carries. Dennis Franklin, starting his first game, became the first African-American quarterback to play for Michigan.
- Ohio State 21, Iowa 0
- Indiana 27, Minnesota 23
- Michigan State 24, Illinois 0
- Bowling Green 17, Purdue 14
- Wisconsin 31, Northern Illinois 7
On September 23, 1972, the Big Ten football teams played nine non-conference games, resulting in three wins and six losses. Ohio State had a bye week.
- Michigan 26, UCLA 9. Michigan (ranked No. 11 in the AP Poll) defeated UCLA (ranked No. 6), 26–9, in front of a crowd of 57,129 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. UCLA was led by quarterback Mark Harmon, a junior college transfer and the son of Michigan legend Tom Harmon, and had opened the season two weeks earlier with an upset of No. 1 Nebraska, halting the Huskers' unbeaten streak at 32 games. Michigan rushed for 381 yards, including 115 yards and two touchdowns by Ed Shuttlesworth.
- Washington 22, Purdue 21
- Colorado 38, Minnesota 6
- TCU 31, Indiana 28
- Iowa 19, Oregon State 11
- Wisconsin 31, Syracuse 7
- Notre Dame 37, Northwestern 0
- Georgia Tech 21, Michigan State 16
- USC 55, Illinois 20
On September 30, 1972, the Big Ten teams played 10 non-conference games, resulting in four wins and six losses.
- Michigan 41, Tulane 7. Michigan defeated Tulane (ranked No. 18 in the AP Poll), 41–7, in front of a crowd of 84,162 at Michigan Stadium. Michigan rushed for 298 yards, including 151 yards and three touchdowns by Ed Shuttlesworth. In addition, Gil Chapman returned a punt 49 yards and Randy Logan returned an interception 32 yards for touchdowns. On defense, Michigan held Tulane to 56 rushing yards. Tulane did not score until the fourth quarter against Michigan's second- and third-string players.
- Ohio State 29, North Carolina 14
- Notre Dame 35, Purdue 14
- Nebraska 49, Minnesota 0
- Indiana 35, Kentucky 34
- Penn State 14, Iowa 10
- LSU 27, Wisconsin 7. The Badgers' first visit to a Southeastern Conference campus did not go well. The Bayou Bengals limited Rufus "The Roadrunner" Ferguson to 63 yards rushing on 17 carries, and Juan Roca booted an LSU record 52-yard field goal.
- Northwestern 27, Pittsburgh 22
- USC 51, Michigan State 6
- Washington 31, Illinois 11
On October 7, 1972, the Big Ten teams played two conference games and six non-conference games. The non-conference games resulted in three wins and three losses.
- Purdue 24, Iowa 0.
- Wisconsin 21, Northwestern 14.
- Michigan 35, Navy 7. Michigan defeated Navy, 35–7, in front of a crowd of 81,131 at Michigan Stadium. Michigan scored 28 points in the third quarter, including an 83-yard punt return for touchdown by Dave Brown. 
- Ohio State 35, California 18
- Kansas 34, Minnesota 28
- Indiana 10, Syracuse 2
- Notre Dame 16, Michigan State 0
- Penn State 35, Illinois 17
On October 14, 1972, the Big Ten teams played five conference games.
- Michigan 10, Michigan State 0. Michigan defeated Michigan State, 10–0, in front of a crowd of 103,735 at Michigan Stadium. The game was Michigan's first shutout victory over Michigan since 1947. Michigan scored on a 22-yard field goal by Mike Lantry in the second quarter and a 58-yard touchdown run by Gil Chapman in the fourth quarter. The Wolverines totaled 334 rushing yards, including 107 by Ed Shuttlesworth. The Spartans had a 24-yard touchdown run called back due to a clipping penalty, and their only other scoring threat ended when a hit from Dave Brown forced the Spartans' ball carrier to fumble into the end zone.
- Ohio State 26, Illinois 7
- Purdue 28, Minnesota 3
- Indiana 33, Wisconsin 7
- Iowa 23, Northwestern 12
On October 21, 1972, the Big Ten teams played five conference games.
- Michigan 31, Illinois 7. Michigan defeated Illinois, 31–7, in front of a crowd of 64,290 for the homecoming game at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Illinois. The victory was Michigan's sixth in a row against Illinois. Sophomore tailback Chuck Heater led Michigan's rushing attack with 155 yards on 29 carries with touchdown runs in the first and second quarters.
- Ohio State 44, Indiana 7.
- Purdue 37, Northwestern 0.
- Minnesota 43, Iowa 14.
- Michigan State 31, Wisconsin 0.
On October 28, 1972, the Big Ten teams played five conference games.
- Michigan 42, Minnesota 0. Michigan defeated Minnesota, 42–0, in front of a crowd of 84,190 at Michigan Stadium. Michigan's 42 points were its highest total of the season. Fullback Ed Shuttlesworth rushed for 86 yards on 19 carries and scored Michigan's first four touchdowns. Quarterback Dennis Franklin completed five of eight passes for 94 yards, rushed for 58 yards and scored a touchdown.
- Ohio State 28, Wisconsin 20
- Purdue 20, Illinois 14
- Northwestern 23, Indiana 14
- Iowa 6, Michigan State 6. On a second quarter play, the Spartans appeared to have the Hawkeyes' Dave Harris trapped in the end zone for a safety. However, Harris collided with referee Jerry Markbreit, and three defenders, including Brad Van Pelt, stumbled to the ground with Markbreit. Harris escaped for a 23-yard gain to take Iowa out of danger.
On November 4, 1972, the Big Ten teams played five conference games.
- Michigan 21, Indiana 7. Michigan defeated Indiana, 21–7, in front of a crowd of 41,336 on "a dull, overcast day" at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, Indiana. Michigan's offense fumbled five times. Bob Thornbladh was Michigan's leading rusher with 97 yards on 25 carries. After the game, coach Schembechler praised the defense, but called it "the poorest offensive game of the year."
- Ohio State 27, Minnesota 19.
- Michigan State 22, Purdue 12. Michigan State upset Purdue, 22–12, before a crowd of 58,649 at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Michigan. The game was played the day after Michigan State head coach announced that he would retire at the end of the season. The Spartans held Otis Armstrong to 74 rushing yards and limited Gary Danielson to 123 passing yards. After the game, Spartan co-captain Brad Van Pelt said "you could see it in all of the players' eyes -- there was only one mission. That was to send Duffy out in glory."
- Wisconsin 16, Iowa 14.
- Illinois 43, Northwestern 13.
On November 11, 1972, the Big Ten teams played five conference games.
- Michigan 31, Iowa 0. Michigan defeated Iowa, 31–0, in front of a crowd of 43,176 at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City. Quarterback Dennis Franklin completed six of 11 passes for 107 yards and threw touchdown passes covering 15 yards to Paul Seal and 37 yards to Gil Chapman. Franklin also rushed for 37 yards and a touchdown. Bob Thornbladh, playing in place of injured Ed Shuttlesworth at fullback, rushed for 98 yards and scored a touchdown. Mike Lantry added a 30-yard field goal and four extra points. With Ohio State losing to Michigan State on the same afternoon, the victory over Iowa gave undefeated Michigan sole possession of first place in the Big Ten standings.
- Michigan State 19, Ohio State 12. Michigan State defeated Ohio State (ranked No. 5 in the AP Poll), 19–12, before a crowd of 76,264 at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Michigan. The victory came eight days after Duffy Daugherty announced his intent to retire as Michigan State's head coach. Dirk Krijt, a transfer student from the Netherlands who had never seen an American football before arriving on campus that fall, scored 13 of Michigan State's points on four field goals and an extra point. Mark Niesen scored the winning touchdown on a six-yard run in the third quarter. The Michigan State defense held Ohio State to 176 yards of total offense, including 42 rushing yards by Archie Griffin.
- Purdue 27, Wisconsin 6.
- Minnesota 35, Northwestern 29.
- Illinois 37, Indiana 20.
On November 18, 1972, the Big Ten teams played five conference games.
- Michigan 9, Purdue 6. Michigan defeated Purdue, 9–6, in front of a crowd of 88,423 at Michigan Stadium. Purdue took a 3–0 lead at halftime. Michigan scored a touchdown on its opening drive of the third quarter (an 11-yard pass from Dennis Franklin to Paul Seal), but Mike Lantry missed the extra point kick. At the end of the third quarter, Purdue kicked its second field goal to tie the game at 6–6. With three minutes left in the game, the score remained a tie with Purdue having possession. At that point, Michigan's wolfman and co-captain Randy Logan intercepted a Gary Danielson pass at Michigan's 40-yard line. From there, Dennis Franklin scrambled 19 yards to Purdue's 41-yard line. Tailback Chuck Heater advanced the ball to the Purdue 19-yard line with a 22-yard run. On fourth down, with 64 seconds left in the game, Mike Lantry, a Vietnam veteran who had earlier missed an extra point kick and squibbed a kickoff, kicked a 30-yard field goal to put Michigan in the lead. Purdue's defense held Michigan to 100 rushing yards.
- Ohio State 27, Northwestern 14.
- Minnesota 14, Michigan State 10.
- Indiana 16, Iowa 8.
- Illinois 27, Wisconsin 7.
On November 25, 1972, the Big Ten teams played five conference games.
- Ohio State 14, Michigan 11. Michigan (ranked No. 3 in the AP Poll) lost to Ohio State (ranked No. 9), 14–11, in front of a crowd of 87,040 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. The game was part of The Ten Year War between head coaches Schembechler and Woody Hayes. Mike Lantry missed on 44-yard field goal attempt in the first quarter, but made a 35-yarder in the second quarter. Ohio State took the lead later in the quarter on a one-yard touchdown run by Champ Henson. Shortly before halftime, Michigan drove the ball to the Ohio State one-yard line, but the Ohio State held on three rushes inside the one-yard line, and Dennis Franklin then fumbled on fourth down at the two-yard line. Ohio State extended its lead to 14–3 on a 30-yard touchdown run by Archie Griffin in the third quarter. Later in the third quarter, Ed Shuttlesworth scored with a one-yard run on fourth down. Dennis Franklin completed a pass to Clint Haslerig for a two-point conversion, cutting Ohio State's lead to three points. In a memorable goal-line stand in the fourth quarter, Michigan running back Harry Banks crossed the goal line on a second effort, but the officials ruled the play had been whistled dead inside the one-yard line. Coach Schembechler opted not to kick a field goal that would have tied the game and sent the Wolverines to the 1973 Rose Bowl. Instead, Schembechler called for a quarterback sneak on fourth down, and Randy Gradishar stopped Franklin short of the goal line. The Buckeyes' fans rushed onto the field and tore down the goal posts with 13 seconds remaining. Michigan's defense held Ohio State to one pass completion, and the Wolverines out-gained the Buckeyes with 344 yards of total offense to 179 for Ohio State. However, Michigan's inability to score on two drives inside the Ohio State five-yard line gave the victory to the Buckeyes.
- Purdue 42, Indiana 7.
- Minnesota 14, Wisconsin 6.
- Iowa 15, Illinois 14.
- Michigan State 24, Northwestern 14.
On January 1, 1973, USC defeated Ohio State, 42–17, in the 1973 Rose Bowl. USC running back Sam Cunningham scored four touchdowns and was named the player of the game.
Awards and honors
All-Big Ten honors
|Quarterback||Mike Wells||Illinois||AP, UPI|
|Running back||Otis Armstrong||Purdue||AP, UPI|
|Running back||Rufus Ferguson||Wisconsin||AP|
|Running back||John King||Minnesota||AP|
|Running back||Ed Shuttlesworth||Michigan||UPI|
|Flanker||Glenn Scolnik||Indiana||AP [end], UPI|
|Split end||Jim Lash||Northwestern||UPI|
|Tight end||Steve Craig||Northwestern||AP [end], UPI|
|Tight end||Billy Joe DuPree||Michigan State||UPI|
|Tackle||Paul Seymour||Michigan||AP, UPI|
|Tackle||John Hicks||Ohio State||AP, UPI|
|Guard||Joe DeLamielleure||Michigan State||AP, UPI|
|Guard||Tom Coyle||Michigan||AP, UPI|
|Guard||Charles Bonica||Ohio State||UPI|
|Center||Larry McCarren||Illinois||AP, UPI|
|Lineman||Steve Baumgartner||Purdue||AP [front four], UPI [defensive end]|
|Lineman||Dave Butz||Purdue||AP [front four], UPI [defensive tackle]|
|Lineman||Fred Grambau||Michigan||AP [front four], UPI [defensive tackle]|
|Lineman||George Hasenohrl||Ohio State||AP [front four], UPI [defensive tackle]|
|Lineman||Clint Spearman||Michigan||UPI [end]|
|Linebacker||Greg Bingham||Purdue||AP [middle guard], UPI|
|Linebacker||Gail Clark||Michigan State||AP, UPI|
|Linebacker||Randy Gradishar||Ohio State||AP, UPI|
|Defensive back||Randy Logan||Michigan||AP, UPI|
|Defensive back||Bill Simpson||Michigan State||AP, UPI|
|Defensive back||Brad Van Pelt||Michigan State||AP, UPI|
|Defensive back||Dave Brown||Michigan||UPI|
|Defensive back||Brad Van Pelt||Michigan State||AFCA, AP, FWAA, NEA, UPI, WCFF, Time, TSN|
|Defensive tackle||Dave Butz||Purdue||AFCA, NEA, UPI, WCFF, Time, TSN|
|Running back||Otis Armstrong||Purdue||AP, FWAA, UPI, WCFF, TSN|
|Linebacker||Randy Gradishar||Ohio State||AFCA, AP, FWAA, UPI, FN|
|Offensive tackle||Paul Seymour||Michigan||AFCA, FWAA, NEA, Time, TSN|
|Defensive back||Randy Logan||Michigan||AFCA, UPI, WCFF, FN|
Other Big Ten players who were named first-team All-Americans by at least one selector were:
|Offensive tackle||John Hicks||Ohio State||AP, WCFF, NEA [offensive guard]|
|Offensive guard||Joe DeLamielleure||Michigan State||TSN|
|Defensive tackle||George Hasenohrl||Ohio State||FN|
1973 NFL Draft
|Dave Butz||Defensive tackle||Purdue||1||5|
|Paul Seymour||Tight end||Michigan||1||7|
|Otis Armstrong||Running back||Purdue||1||9|
|Darryl Stingley||Wide receiver||Purdue||1||19|
|Billy Joe Dupree||Tight end||Michigan State||1||20|
|Joe DeLamielleure||Guard||Michigan State||1||26|
|Brad Van Pelt||Linebacker||Michigan State||2||40|
|Gary Hrivnak||Defensive tackle||Purdue||2||48|
|Steve Baumgartner||Defensive end||Purdue||2||51|
|Randy Logan||Defensive back||Michigan||3||55|
|Jim Lash||Wide receiver||Northwestern||3||65|
- "1972 Big Ten Conference Year Summary". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved February 18, 2017.
- Roy Damer (December 26, 1972). "Armstrong most valuable in Big Ten". Chicago Tribune. p. 3-1 – via Newspapers.com.
- Curt Sylvester (September 17, 1972). "Defense Throttles Northwestern: U-M Wins a Squeaker, 7–0". Detroit Free Press. p. 1C, 4C – via Newspapers.com.
- Curt Sylvester (September 24, 1972). "U-M Throttles UCLA: Harmon Yanked In 26–9 Loss". Detroit Free Press. p. 1F, 9F – via Newspapers.com.
- Jack Saylor (October 1, 1972). "Michigan Blitzes Tulane, 41-7". Detroit Free Press. p. 1E, 2E – via Newspapers.com.
- George Puscas (October 8, 1972). "U-M's 'Kids' Clobber Stubborn Navy, 35–7". Detroit Free Press. p. 1E, 4E – via Newspapers.com.
- Curt Sylvester (October 15, 1972). "U-M Whips Spartans . . . But It's A Battle, 10–0". Detroit Free Press. p. 1D, 6D – via Newspapers.com.
- Curt Sylvester (October 21, 1972). "U-M Rips Illinois for 6th in Row, 31–7". Detroit Free Press. p. 1E, 4E – via Newspapers.com.
- Curt Sylvester (October 29, 1972). "It's a Laugher! Wolverines Rout Gophers, 42-0". Detroit Free Press. p. 1C, 4C – via Newspapers.com.
- Curt Sylvester (November 5, 1972). "U-M Survives Errors for 21–7 Victory". Detroit Free Press. p. 1E, 4E – via Newspapers.com.
- "MSU Stuns Purdue, 22-12". Lansing State Journal. November 5, 1972. pp. E1, E4.
- Bob Hoerner (November 4, 1972). "Duffy Daugherty Calls It 'Quits' After Season". Lansing State Journal. p. 1 – via Newspapers.com.
- Curt Sylvester (November 12, 1972). "Wolverines Rip Iowa, 31–0: U-M Alone Atop Big Ten". Detroit Free Press. p. 1E, 4E – via Newspapers.com.
- Bob Hoerner (November 12, 1972). "How Sweet It Is! MSU 19 - OSU 12". The Lansing State Journal. p. E1.
- "Whew! M Stays Perfect, 9–6: Last-Minute FG Downs Purdue". Detroit Free Press. November 19, 1972. p. 1E, 4E – via Newspapers.com.
- Curt Sylvester (November 26, 1972). "Bye, Roses! M Loses, 14-11: Goal-Line Stands Send OSU To Bowl". Detroit Free Press. p. 1E, 7E – via Newspapers.com.
- "2014 NCAA Football Records: Consensus All-America Selections" (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). 2014. pp. 5–6. Retrieved February 20, 2017.
- "1972 Heisman Trophy Voting". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
- "1973 NFL Draft: Full Draft". NFL.com. National Football League. Retrieved February 20, 2017.