Hometown: Beaver Falls, PA
Record: 14-15, Bowl Record: 0-0
Paul Bischoff came to West Virginia University as the football program was in transition. WVU had recently replaced Coach Dudley DeGroot with Coach Art “Pappy” Lewis. In 1950, WVU had accepted an invitation to join the Southern Conference which was in the process of restocking its membership after 13 schools had left to create the SEC and there was talk of another split in membership (which would take place in 1953 when 8 schools would leave to create the ACC). Bischoff saw a great opportunity to put his mark on the newly revamped Mountaineers. Bischoff, like many of his contemporaries, played both offense and defense as the football team was short-handed due to the Korean War. While the Mountaineers would struggle during his first two seasons, Bischoff would have a memorable senior campaign. WVU would put together its first winning season in four years, finishing just shy of a bowl game. Bischoff’s senior stats would earn him first team All-America honors. His grades would earn him Academic All-America honors. Bischoff would complete his Mountaineer career with 96 receptions for 1,349 and 7 touchdowns. In 2001, West Virginia University inducted Paul Bischoff into the WVU Sports Hall of Fame.
Memorable Game: When players are this old, it is really difficult to dig up stats and box scores on their career. Fortunately, wvustats.com, provides career best numbers for each player. In Bischoff’s case, I would say that his best game was the 1952 Backyard Brawl in Pittsburgh. WVU came into the game at 18th ranked Pitt with a 2-2 record. The Mountaineers had lost the last 4 games against Pitt (and 19 of the last 20). Bischoff and the Mountaineers were looking to change their fortunes with a big upset victory. Bischoff would snag 4 passes for 53 yards and a touchdown to help give the Mountaineers a 16-0 victory over the Panthers.
Competition: It is hard to beat out a Hall of Famer here. There are some quality players that were also considered here: Rob Bennett, Bruce Huffman, Skip Fuller, and Joe Kopnisky.
Teaser: Tomorrow’s selection is really eating at me. There are two great Mountaineer receivers in contention: one for his impressive stats and the other for his impressive character. While I have a favorite in mind for the spot, the selection process is going to be quite hairy. Not quite sure how it will turn out, kind of like Harry and the Hendersons.