As we continue to try to switch gears from basketball season to football season (it's been difficult, considering all the recent basketball news), we now switch from our basketball hall of fame of sorts (The Rafters) to the second class of our Football hall, The Wall of Excellence.
Class of 2009
We are redefining the tiers for the second go-round. The Class of 2010 will still skew a bit toward recent history, but not as much. Here are the tiers for this year's six inductees:
- Tier I: Pre-1950s
- Tier II: 1950s, 1960s
- Tier III: 1970s, 1980s
- Tier IV: 1990s
- Tier V: 2000s
- Tier VI: Administrators
One inductee will be selected from each tier. Voting will take place exactly as it did for The Rafters -- you will be given a list of nominees, and in the form below, you will rank your top three selections. Your #1 selection will receive five points, your #2 selection three points, and your #3 selection one point. Whoever gets the most points gets on the wall.
Today we begin with Tier I, the pre-1950s. What Gwinn Henry started in the post-WWI era, Don Faurot continued in the late-1930s and 1940s, and Mizzou built itself a decent history in the first part of the twentieth century. Below are your seven pre-'50s nominees. All but one of them are members of the Missouri Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame.
Herb Bunker (1920s)
Hall of Fame Bio: A native of Nevada, Mo., Bunker is one of only two four-sport letterwinnners in Missouri athletic history. He lettered in football, basketball, baseball and track and field, between 1920-23. In basketball, Bunker earned all-Missouri Valley Conference honors as a guard in 1921 and `922 and was an all-American in 1921 and 1923. A tackle/center in football, he captained the Tigers in 1922. He was a catcher/outfielder in baseball and threw the shot put on the track team. A Phi Beta Kappa student who earned a Ph.D. in sociology, Bunker headed Mizzou's department of physical education for many years before retiring in 1965. He spent nine years as football coach and athletic director at Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Mo., and also coached at Missouri, Auburn and Florida, and at Paseo High School in Kansas City, Mo.
Bus Entsminger (1940s)
Known as one of the best Split-T quarterbacks of the formation's first decade, Bus was a post-war star.
Hall of Fame Bio: A native of St. Joseph, Mo., Entsminger lettered as a star quarterback at Missouri on the 1942 Big Six championship team, and from 1946 to '48. A dazzling option quarterback, he is perhaps best known for engineering MU's 20-14 upset of the Doak Walker-led SMU Mustangs in 1948. That Missouri team went on post an 8-3 record, including a narrow 24-23 loss to Clemson in the Gator Bowl. An honorable mention choice on Mizzou's All-Century Football Team, Entsminger led the Tigers in rushing, passing and total offense in 1947, and in passing, total offense and scoring in 1948. He received all-Big Six honors in 1947, and was all-Big Seven in 1948.
Harry Ice (1940s)
Hall of Fame Bio: "Slippery" Ice came out of the Missouri intramural ranks to become one of the Tigers' top all-time running backs. A football and baseball letterman out of Kansas City, in 1940 and '41, Ice set Missouri records that still stand, as a member of Don Faurot's first Split-T team that led the nation in rushing in 1941. Ice's records include 240 yards rushing against Kansas in 1941, an average per carry of 30.8 yards in that same game, and a 95-yard touchdown run against Iowa State in 1941. He was an all-Big Six selection that year as Missouri won the conference championship and went on to the Sugar Bowl, where he was the game's MVP. Ice played in the College All-Star Game in the summer of 1942, and was chosen to MU's All-Century Football Team. Ice joined the MU athletic staff in 1952, and served in a variety of capacities, including interim athletic director and assistant athletic director, until his retirement in 1979.
Darold Jenkins (1940s)
A mean s.o.b. dominant enough to get his number retired, Jenkins was the X-factor in the Split-T's initial success.
Hall of Fame Bio: A center/linebacker from Higginsville, Mo., Jenkins starred on Missouri's football teams in 1940 and '41. He was all-Big Six both years, and as a senior, served as team captain and won all-America honors on Don Faurot's 1941 Sugar Bowl team. He was named to the State of Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 1976. During World War II, Jenkins served as a bomber pilot. He was shot down on his 27th mission and spent 17 months in a German POW camp.
Ed Lindenmeyer (1920s)
Missouri's first All-American, Lindenmeyer was an athletic lineman on Missouri teams that went 7-2 in 1924 (attending their first postseason game, the Los Angeles Christmas Festival game against USC) and 6-1-1 in 1925. It was with Lindenmeyer leading the way that Mizzou garnered national attention for the first time.
Bob Steuber (1940s)
The first Split-T quarterback, Steuber was absolutely dominant. He took over for Pitchin' Paul Christman, a seemingly thankless job, and ran and pitched his way to a retired number.
Hall of Fame Bio: A star halfback out of CBC High School in St. Louis, Mo., Steuber lettered at MU in 1940-41-42. He was a two-time all-Big-Six selection, who won all-America honors in 1942, and is one of three Tigers to have their jersey number (37) retired. He still holds six scoring and one rushing record at MU and his 2,030 career rushing yards ranks fifth in school history. That total stood as the MU career rushing record for 28 years. He posted MU's first 1,000-yard rushing campaign in 1942, ranking second in the nation with 1,098 yards. When MU led the nation in rushing in 1941, he was third in the nation with 855 yards. Steuber played in the East-West Shrine and College All-Star games following graduation, then played professionally with the Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Dons and Buffalo Bills. He was inducted into the State of Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 1968, and the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame in 1971.
Ed "Brick" Travis (1920s)
Hall of Fame Bio: From St. Charles, Mo., Travis starred for the Tigers as a tackle in 1919-20 earning all-Missouri Valley Conference honors both years. He went on to play professional football with Rock Island (Ill.) in 1921, and the St. Louis All-Stars in 1923. He was inducted into the State of Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 1972, and the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame in 1974. He was a member of the University's first Intercollegiate Athletic Committee.