Digital Postcard No. 7: The FWAA’s 1976 All-America Team

(Ed. Note: This is the seventh in the series of digital postcards commemorating 75 years of the FWAA All-America Team.  The first FWAA All-America Team was published in 1944 during World War II and is the second longest continuously published team in major-college football.) 

In 1976, after 45 years of coaching, Paul Brown announced his retirement from the NFL…Ted Turner purchased the Atlanta Braves for a reported $12 million. … C.W. McCall’s song “Convoy” hit No. 1 on the country music charts. … Jack Nicholson won a Golden Globe Award for “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” … TV comedy “Laverne and Shirley” premiered. … Jockey Bill Shoemaker won his 7,000th race. … Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs founded Apple Computers in the garage of Jobs’ parents. … The movie “All the President’s Men” was released. … Hank Aaron hit his 755th and final homer off Dick Drago of the Angels. … Outbreak of “Legionnaire’s Disease” kills 29 in Philadelphia. … Chicago White Sox suited up in shorts.

Heisman Trophy-winning running back Tony Dorsett led Pittsburgh to the national championship. … Quarterback Matt Cavanaugh and a stubborn Pitt defense dominated fifth-ranked Georgia, 27-3, in the Sugar Bowl to stake the claim to the FWAA’s Grantland Rice Trophy (national title). … USC landed three players on the FWAA All-American team – running back Ricky Bell, defensive lineman Gary Jeter and defensive back Dennis Thurman. … Notre Dame defensive lineman Ross Browner won the Outland Trophy. … Prominent names on the All-American team included quarterback Gifford Nielson (BYU), tight end Ken MacAfee (Notre Dame), kicker Tony Franklin (Texas A&M) and punter Russell Erxleben (Texas). – Dorsett

Go to to see the entire list.


In its first season in the Southwest Conference, Houston was able to grab a share of the league title, play in a major bowl game and beat an undefeated team (Maryland) from the Atlantic Coast Conference, 30-21. Running back Alois Blackwell ran for 149 yards and two first-quarter touchdowns to lead the Cougars. Houston, under coach Bill Yeoman, had a 21-0 lead after 15 minutes and never let the Terrapins get within serious striking distance.

1976 FWAA Selectors

  • Cooper Rollow, Chicago Tribune
  • Norman Miller, New York Daily News
  • Charles Karmosky. Newport News Daily Press
  • John Mooney, Salt Lake Tribune
  • Bob Galt, Dallas Times Herald
  • Roy Edwards, Memphis Commercial Appeal
  • Joe McGuff, Kansas City Star
  • Earl Luebker, Tacoma News Tribune
  • Regis McAuley, Tucson Daily Citizen.