Greatest Moments
As long as there is college football, fans will continuously debate what separates a good player from a great player. For instance, a good player might be someone who is named to an All-Conference Team and the All-America Team at least once in their career. If they are fortunate enough to be named to those teams more than once, then it might push them into the area of great players. But what if they are All-Conference four times? What if they are a three time All-America? Then they are simply known as the greatest. This feat was accomplished by the greatest player in SMU history, Doak Walker, for one of the 90 Greatest Moments in SMU Football History.

As a freshman, Walker joined the Mustangs midway through the 1945 season, helping the team finish with three straight shutout victories. Despite the shortened season, he was named to the All-Southwest Conference team. After a year in the army in 1946, Walker returned for his sophomore season in 1947. By season’s end he had won the Maxwell Award which was given to the best player the country. He was named All-SWC once again as well as an All-America. Then in 1948, as a junior, Walker received the highest individual honor a player can receive, the Heisman Trophy. Once more, he was All-SWC and All-America. In his senior season, despite all of his injuries and illnesses, Walker was again honored as an All-SWC player as well as All-America for the third time. Only one other SWC player, Hub Bechtol of Texas, was ever a three time All-America selection.

There was doubt as to whether Walker would be named an All-America following his senior year because he had been either idle or limited in playing time during half of the games. Showing great class and sportsmanship, Walker wrote a letter to Bill Fay, sports editor of Collier’s Magazine, asking not to be considered for the honor because “there are other All-America candidates more deserving of consideration.” Honoring Walker’s request, Fay left him off Collier’s team.

However, other All-America teams had no plans of leaving Walker off their lists. Grantland Rice of Look Magazine had good reason to include him. He wrote, “Walker had overcome injuries and illness to retain his rating as the best all-around player in the history of the Southwest. Still ailing, he came off the bench to kick the winning extra point in the Texas game. When he was in good health, he just about wrecked a fine Arkansas team. He was, as he has been for three seasons, the nearest thing in our time to George Gipp of Notre Dame.”

In his four-year career, Walker scored 288 points. No other player in school history had ever eclipsed the 200 point mark. In the games that he played, SMU compiled a record of 25-6-4, including a two-year run in 1947 and 1948 where the team went 18-1-3. Walker was simply a winner, and SMU was thankful for that.

There has never been and probably never will be another player like Doak Walker. He was a complete football player, doing everything from kicking field goals to intercepting passes. Football, today, has become so specialized by position that it seems unlikely a player will be able to match Walker’s versatility. Any player that comes close will automatically be considered one of the best players in the game.

Doak Walker set the standard when it came to playing football. A statue outside of Ford Stadium will forever stand in honor of the greatest player in the history of SMU. Walker’s being named to four All-SWC teams and three All-America teams places him in his rightful place among the 90 Greatest Moments in SMU Football History.

THE COUNTDOWN
No. 90 :: First School Win (1915)
No. 89 :: Rutledge sets two school records (2003)
No. 88 :: Phillips 100 yard INT (1984)
No. 87 :: McCown completes 19 straight (1999)
No. 86 :: Brownlee kicks 57 yd. field goal (1985)
No. 85 :: Bennett records first career win (2002)
No. 84 :: SMU closes out the Cotton Bowl (1999)
No. 83 :: Ownby Stadium opens (1926)
No. 82 :: James sets SWC record (1982)
No. 81 :: Stewart named All-American (1993)
No. 80 :: Briggs sets new Mustang mark (2002)
No. 79 :: SMU defeats Arkansas 31-9 (1997)
No. 78 :: The 1980 Holiday Bowl (1980)
No. 77 :: Hopkins records 4 INTs (1981)
No. 76 :: Pony Express heads to Japan (1983)
No. 75 :: SMU plays in first ever bowl game (1924)
No. 74 :: Hayden Fry named head coach (1962)
No. 73 :: McIlhenny leads SMU over Baylor (1982)
No. 72 :: Flanigan sets total offense record (1997)
No. 71 :: Bell inducted into CFHOF (1955)
No. 70 :: Dickerson runs wild against A&M (1980)
No. 69 :: Charles breaks freshman record (2001)
No. 68 :: Johnson sets sack record (1999)
No. 67 :: Dupard leads pouding of Texas (1985)
No. 66 :: Sanders named first All-America (1928)
No. 65 :: Rossley breaks reception record (1994)
No. 64 :: First win over Texas (1924)
No. 63 :: Gregg returns to SMU (1988)
No. 62 :: Mann leads SMU over TCU (1926)
No. 61 :: Berry defines excellence (1954)
No. 60 :: Birth of the Mustang Name (1917)
No. 59 :: Ford scores first TD in Ford (2000)
No. 58 :: Wolf sets SWC record (1992)
No. 57 :: Meredith sets SWC record (1957)
No. 56 :: Choate Anchors SMU Defense (1978)
No. 55 :: SMU downs Texas (1965)
No. 54 :: Tolbert leads win over BU (1978)
No. 53 :: SMU downs Texas in Austin (1982)
No. 52 :: Partee kicks win over Baylor (1966)
No. 51 :: Hopkins recovers Pitt fumble (1983)
No. 50 :: Dickerson scores 19 TDs (1981)
No. 49 :: Romo breaks completion record (1990)
No. 48 :: LeVias breaks reception record (1968)
No. 47 :: SMU records 400th win (1997)
No. 46 :: SMU clinches winning season (1997)
No. 45 :: Walker on Life Magazine (1948)
No. 44 :: Rote No. 1 NFL Draft Pick (1951)
No. 43 :: SMU blanks TCU (1966)
No. 42 :: SMU downs UNT on Homecoming (1989)
No. 41 :: SMU RUNS over Razorbacks (1980)
No. 40 :: Richardson sets rushing record (1968)
No. 39 :: Wolf breaks NCAA record (1989)
No. 38 :: SMU downs Arkansas (1984)
No. 37 :: The Decision (1945)
No. 36 :: Doak Walker Day at SMU (1998)
No. 35 :: SMU Upsets A&M (1974)
No. 34 :: SMU Ties Ohio State (1978)
No. 33 :: SMU ties Penn State (1948)
No. 32 :: The Army game (1928)
No. 31 :: The TCU Game (1947)
No. 30 :: SMU comeback against Baylor (1975)
No. 29 :: Hixson leads nation in passing (1968)
No. 28 :: Back to the Cotton Bowl (1949)
No. 27 :: Smith picks off Marino (1983)
No. 26 :: The Aloha Bowl (1984)
No. 25 :: Mustang Mania (1978)
No. 24 :: First SWC Title (1923)
No. 23 :: LeVias Baffles Texas A&M (1966)
No. 22 :: Debut Of The Pony Express (1980)
No. 21 :: Undefeated SMU Beats Texas (1947)
No. 20 :: The Ohio State game (1950)
No. 19 :: Dickerson breaks SWC record (1982)
No. 18 :: Revenge against Houston (1992)
No. 17 :: Tie versus Texas A&M (1994)
No. 16 :: Win over Notre Dame (1951)
No. 15 :: Walker career accolades (1949)
No. 14 :: SMU ranked No. 2 (1982)
No. 13 :: The House That Doak Built
No. 12 :: Bluebonnet Bowl in 1968
No. 11 :: Opening of Ford Stadium (2000)
No. 10 :: The Navy Game (1963)
No. 9 :: Carter's block against Arkansas (1982)
No. 8 :: Miracle on Mockingbird (1989)
No. 7 :: The 1949 Notre Dame Game
No. 6 :: National Champions (1935)
No. 5 :: Signing of Jerry LeVias (1965)
No. 4 :: McIlhenny Cotton Bowl TD (1983)
No. 3 :: The Miracle Man (1982)
No. 2 :: The $85,000 Pass (1935)
No. 1 :: Doak Wins the Heisman (1948)