1979 Big Ten Conference football season

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1979 Big Ten Conference football season
SportAmerican football
Number of teams10
Top draft pickCurtis Greer
ChampionOhio State
Runners-upPurdue
Season MVPTim Clifford
Seasons
← 1978
1980 →
1979 Big Ten football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
No. 4 Ohio State $ 8 0 0     11 1 0
No. 10 Purdue 7 1 0     10 2 0
No. 18 Michigan 6 2 0     8 4 0
No. 19 Indiana 5 3 0     8 4 0
Iowa 4 4 0     5 6 0
Minnesota 3 5 1     4 6 1
Michigan State 3 5 0     5 6 0
Wisconsin 3 5 0     4 7 0
Illinois 1 6 1     2 8 1
Northwestern 0 9 0     1 10 0
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1979 Big Ten Conference football season was the 84th season of college football played by the member schools of the Big Ten Conference and was a part of the 1979 NCAA Division I-A football season.

The 1979 Ohio State Buckeyes football team compiled an 11–1 record, won the Big Ten championship, lost to USC in the 1980 Rose Bowl, and was ranked No. 4 in the final AP and UPI polls. Quarterback Art Schlichter led the team with 2,246 yards of total offense, finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting, and was selected as a first-team All-American by the NEA and The Sporting News. Offensive guard Ken Fritz was a consensus All-American. Earl Bruce, in his first year as head coach, was selected as the Big Ten Coach of the Year. Doug Donley led the Big Ten with 800 receiving yards, and Vlade Janakievski led the conference with 97 points scored. Defensive lineman Jim Laughlin was selected as the team's most valuable player.

The 1979 Purdue Boilermakers football team, under head coach Jim Young, finished in second place in the Big Ten, compiled a 10–2 record, defeated Tennessee in the 1979 Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl, led the conference in both scoring offense (32.5 points per game) and scoring defense (10.5 points allowed per game), and was ranked No. 10 in the final AP and UPI polls. Quarterback Mark Hermann led the conference with 2,377 passing yards and finished eighth in the Heisman Trophy voting. Tight end Dave Young was selected as the team's most valuable player.

The 1979 Michigan Wolverines football team, under head coach Bo Schembechler, compiled an 8–4 record, finished third in the Big Ten, lost to North Carolina in the 1979 Gator Bowl, and was ranked No. 18 in the final AP poll. Linebacker Ron Simpkins was selected as the team's most valuable player and as a consensus All-American. Defensive end Curtis Greer was also selected as a first-team All-American by multiple selectors. Butch Woolfolk ranked second in the Big Ten with 990 rushing yards.

Season overview[edit]

Results and team statistics[edit]

Conf. Rank Team Head coach AP final AP high Overall record Conf. record PPG PAG MVP
1 Ohio State Earle Bruce #4 #1 11–1 8–0 32.5 10.5 Jim Laughlin
2 Purdue Jim Young #10 #5 10–2 7–1 23.9 18.8 Dave Young
3 Michigan Bo Schembechler #18 #6 8–4 6–2 26.0 12.6 Ron Simpkins
4 Indiana Lee Corso #19 #19 8–4 5–3 26.2 21.0 Tim Clifford
5 Iowa Hayden Fry NR NR 5–6 4–4 21.7 19.6 Dennis Mosley
6 Minnesota Joe Salem NR NR 4–6–1 3–5–1 24.0 24.6 Mark Carlson
7 (tie) Michigan State Darryl Rogers NR #7 5–6 3–5 21.8 23.0 Danny Bass
7 (tie) Wisconsin Dave McClain NR NR 4–7 3–5 18.9 28.3 Tom Stauss
9 Illinois Gary Moeller NR NR 2–8–1 1–6–1 14.2 24.2 L. McCullough
10 Northwestern Rick Venturi NR NR 1–10 0–9 10.5 35.1 Chuck Kern

Key
AP final = Team's rank in the final AP Poll of the 1979 season[1]
AP high = Team's highest rank in the AP Poll throughout the 1979 season[1]
PPG = Average of points scored per game; conference leader's average displayed in bold[1]
PAG = Average of points allowed per game; conference leader's average displayed in bold[1]
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[2]

Regular season[edit]

September 8[edit]

On September 8, 1979, the Big Ten football teams played four conference games and two non-conference games. The non-conference games resulted in two wins.

  • Purdue 41, Wisconsin 20
  • Michigan 49, Northwestern 7
  • Indiana 30, Iowa 26
  • Michigan State 33, Illinois 16
  • Ohio State 31, Syracuse 8
  • Minnesota 24, Ohio 10

September 15[edit]

On September 15, 1979, the Big Ten teams played one conference games and eight non-conference games. The non-conference games resulted in four wins and four losses, giving the Big Ten a 6–4 record to that point in the season.

  • Ohio State 21, Minnesota 17
  • UCLA 31, Purdue 21
  • Notre Dame 12, Michigan 10
  • Indiana 44, Vanderbilt 13
  • Oklahoma 21, Iowa 6
  • Michigan State 41, Oregon 17
  • Wisconsin 38, Air Force 0
  • Missouri 14, Illinois 6
  • Northwestern 27, Wyoming 22

September 22[edit]

On September 22, 1979, the Big Ten teams played 10 non-conference games, resulting in six wins and four losses. The results gave the Big Ten a 12–8 record to that point in the season

  • Ohio State 45, Washington State 29
  • Purdue 28, Notre Dame 22
  • Michigan 28, Kansas 7
  • Indiana 18, Kentucky 10
  • Nebraska 24, Iowa 21
  • USC 48, Minnesota 14
  • Michigan State 24, Miami (OH) 21
  • UCLA 37, Wisconsin 12
  • Illinois 27, Air Force 19
  • Syracuse 54, Northwestern 21

September 29[edit]

On September 29, 1979, the Big Ten teams played one conference game and eight non-conference games. The non-conference games resulted in four wins and four losses, giving the Big Ten a 16–12 record to that point in the season.

  • Minnesota 38, Northwestern 8
  • Ohio State 17, UCLA 13
  • Purdue 13, Oregon 7
  • Michigan 14, California 10
  • Colorado 17, Indiana 16
  • Iowa 30, Iowa State 14
  • Notre Dame 27, Michigan State 3
  • San Diego State 24, Wisconsin 17
  • Navy 13, Illinois 12

October 6[edit]

On October 6, 1979, the Big Ten teams played five conference games.

  • Ohio State 16, Northwestern 7
  • Minnesota 31, Purdue 14
  • Michigan 21, Michigan State 7
  • Indiana 3, Wisconsin 0
  • Iowa 13, Illinois 7

October 13[edit]

On October 13, 1979, the Big Ten teams played five conference games.

  • Ohio State 47, Indiana 6
  • Purdue 28, Illinois 14
  • Michigan 31, Minnesota 21
  • Iowa 58, Northwestern 6
  • Wisconsin 38, Michigan State 29

October 20[edit]

On October 20, 1979, the Big Ten teams played five conference games.

  • Ohio State 59, Wisconsin 0
  • Purdue 14, Michigan State 7
  • Michigan 27, Illinois 7
  • Indiana 30, Northwestern 0
  • Minnesota 24, Iowa 7

October 27[edit]

On October 27, 1979, the Big Ten teams played five conference games.

  • Ohio State 42, Michigan State 0
  • Purdue 20, Northwestern 16
  • Michigan 27, Indiana 21
  • Iowa 24, Wisconsin 13
  • Illinois 17, Minnesota 17

November 3[edit]

On November 3, 1979, the Big Ten teams played five conference games.

  • Ohio State 44, Illinois 7
  • Purdue 20, Iowa 14
  • Michigan 54, Wisconsin 0
  • Indiana 42, Minnesota 24
  • Michigan State 42, Northwestern 7

November 10[edit]

On November 10, 1979, the Big Ten teams played five conference games.

  • Ohio State 34, Iowa 7
  • Purdue 24, Michigan 21
  • Indiana 45, Illinois 14
  • Minnesota 31, Michigan State 17
  • Wisconsin 28, Northwestern 3

November 17[edit]

On November 17, 1979, the Big Ten teams played five conference games.

  • Ohio State 18, Michigan 15
  • Purdue 37, Indiana 21
  • Iowa 33, Michigan State 23
  • Wisconsin 42, Minnesota 37
  • Illinois 29, Northwestern 13

Bowl games[edit]

1980 Rose Bowl[edit]

1979 Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl[edit]

1979 Gator Bowl[edit]

1979 Holiday Bowl[edit]

Statistical leaders[edit]

Awards and honors[edit]

All-Big Ten honors[edit]

The following players were picked by the Associated Press (AP) and/or the United Press International (UPI) as first-team players on the 1979 All-Big Ten Conference football team.

Offense

Position Name Team Selectors
Quarterback Art Schlichter Ohio State AP, UPI
Running back Dennis Mosley Iowa AP, UPI
Running back Butch Woolfolk Michigan AP, UPI
Fullback Dave Mohapp Ohio State UPI
Split end Elmer Bailey Minnesota AP
Flanker Doug Donley Wisconsin AP, UPI
Tight end Dave Young Purdue AP
Tight end Mark Brammer Michigan State UPI
Center Jay Hilgenberg Iowa AP
Center Tom Waugh Ohio State UPI
Guard Ken Fritz Ohio State AP, UPI
Guard Dale Schwan Purdue AP
Guard John Arbeznik Michigan UPI
Tackle Steve McKenzie Purdue AP, UPI
Tackle Ray Snell Wisconsin AP, UPI

Defense

Position Name Team Selectors
Defensive line Curtis Greer Michigan AP, UPI
Defensive line Ken Loushin Purdue AP, UPI
Defensive line Keena Turner Purdue AP
Defensive line Luther Henson Ohio State UPI
Defensive line Calvin Clark Purdue AP
Defensive line Jim Laughlin Ohio State AP, UPI [linebacker]
Defensive line Mike Trgovac Michigan UPI
Linebacker Ron Simpkins Michigan AP, UPI
Linebacker Dan Bass Michigan State AP, UPI
Linebacker Leven Weiss Iowa AP
Defensive back Mike Guess Ohio State AP, UPI
Defensive back Mike Jolly Michigan AP, UPI
Defensive back Tim Wilbur Indiana AP
Defensive back Todd Bell Ohio State UPI
Defensive back Vince Skillings Ohio State UPI

All-American honors[edit]

At the end of the 1979 season, two Big Ten players were consensus first-team picks for the 1979 College Football All-America Team.[3] The Big Ten's consensus All-Americans were:

Position Name Team Selectors
Offensive guard Ken Fritz Ohio State AP, FWAA, UPI, NEA, WCFF
Linebacker Ron Simpkins Michigan AP, FWAA, UPI, WCFF

Other Big Ten players who were named first-team All-Americans by at least one selector were:

Position Name Team Selectors
Quarterback Art Schlichter Ohio State NEA, TSN
Offensive guard Ray Snell Wisconsin TSN
Defensive end Curtis Greer Michigan AFCA, FWAA, NEA

Other awards[edit]

1979 NFL Draft[edit]

The 1980 NFL Draft was held in New York on April 29-30, 1979.[5] The following players were among the first 100 picks:[6]

Name Position Team Round Overall pick
Curtis Greer Defensive end Michigan 1 6
Ray Snell Guard Wisconsin 1 22
Doug Marsh Tight end Michigan 2 33
Angelo Fields Offensive tackle Michigan State 2 38
Keena Turner Linebacker Purdue 2 39
Ralph Clayton Wide receiver Michigan 2 47
Mike Fried Wide receiver Indiana 3 62
Mark Brammer Tight end Michigan State 3 67
Ray Sydnor Tight end Wisconsin 3 83
Jim Laughlin Linebacker Ohio State 4 91
Mike Jolly Defensive back Michigan 4 96
Elmer Bailey Wide receiver Minnesota 4 100

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "1979 Big Ten Conference Year Summary". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  2. ^ Roy Damer (December 25, 1979). "Indiana's Clifford captures Silver Football". Chicago Tribune. p. 6-1.
  3. ^ "2014 NCAA Football Records: Consensus All-America Selections" (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). 2014. pp. 5–6. Retrieved March 2, 2017.
  4. ^ "1979 Heisman Trophy Voting". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 2, 2017.
  5. ^ "NFL Draft Locations". FootballGeography.com. October 2, 2014. Archived from the original on 2015-09-05. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  6. ^ "1980 NFL Draft: Full Draft". NFL.com. National Football League. Retrieved March 2, 2017.