Saturday, November 20, 2010

Iconic Shot: The 1956 Tennessee Volunteers

Ending the year ranked #2 in the nation behind an Oklahoma Sooner team in the midst of what would become a record 47-game winning streak (from '53-'57), the '56 Vols won the Southeastern Conference championship and finished with a 10-1 record.

Featuring a native son at tailback, Johnny Majors (#45) finished second in voting for the Heisman Trophy behind Notre Dame's Paul Hornung.  It marks the only time in the award's 75-year history that a player from a losing team has won the coveted award (the Fighting Irish went 2-8).  Over 50 years have passed, and many among the Volunteer faithful remain less than pleased about the snub.

And another for good measure...

A two-time Southeastern Conference MVP as a player, Johnny Majors led the Pittsburgh Panthers to a national championship as head coach in 1976.  He returned to his alma mater the following year, ultimately compiling a .645 winning percentage en route to three SEC titles and victories in seven bowl games.

This picture from 1982 (source unknown) is from the Vols' 35-28 victory in Knoxville over Paul "Bear" Bryant and the Alabama Crimson Tide.  It was the first win for Majors in six tries against the legendary Bryant, who retired at season's end and died the following January.

No comments: