This offseason we will count down various topics from Monday through Friday, bringing you the top five of the important and definitely some not so important issues in college football. It’s the Doc Five, every week until we will thankfully have actual games to discuss.
THE BEST TWO-SPORT COLLEGE FOOTBALL/BASKETBALL PLAYERS
NO. 3, TERRY BAKER
When Terry Baker finished his career as a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback and a point guard for a team that made a deep run in the NCAA tournament, he had to think that dual feat would never be duplicated.
Baker got some company in the Heisman winner/basketball star club many years later, from someone you have probably guessed will make an appearance later in the week on this list. The fact that Baker had company on the list doesn’t take away from his greatness, including one accomplishment that might never be duplicated.
(Courtesy of Oregon State University)In late 1962, Baker was awarded the Heisman Trophy. In March of 1963 he played in a Final Four. There might never been another Heisman winner to play basketball, much less play on a team good enough to make a Final Four in the same school year.
Baker wasn’t a bystander on that Beavers Final Four team either. Baker was a point guard and averaged 13.4 points on that team. His scoring average increased from 7,4 to 10.7 to more than 13 in his three basketball seasons.
Baker came up big to help get Oregon State to what is still its last appearance in the Final Four. In the West regional final against Arizona State, Baker scored 15 points as the Beavers won 83-65. Imagine Johnny Manziel, Robert Griffin III or Cam Newton doing that four months after winning their Heisman Trophy.
Oregon State was blown out by Cincinnati in the Final Four, but Baker’s two-sport achievements are still legendary. According to Sports Illustrated’s story honoring Baker as Sportsman of the Year, in 1961 Baker played in the Liberty Bowl on a Saturday and practiced back in Corvallis with the basketball team on Sunday. Five days later he was Oregon State basketball’s leading scorer in a loss to West Virginia.
In his final football season, Baker passed for 1,723 yards and 16 touchdowns, and rushed for 538 yards and five scores. He was a consensus All-American and won numerous awards including the Heisman. He didn’t go on to NFL stardom, playing three seasons with the Los Angeles Rams while throwing no touchdowns and four interceptions. The first overall pick of the draft threw just 21 NFL passes, and only two after his rookie season. Baker’s name will show up on many lists of NFL draft busts.
While Baker was in college, however, he did things we’ll probably never see again.