Throwback Thursday

On Saturday the Black Bears football team wrapped up their first outright conference championship in almost 50 years with a 41-0 pounding over Rhode Island. With the victory the team secured the Colonial Athletic Conference title along with an automatic birth in the FCS playoffs; a success our own Brian MacLeod predicted back at the beginning of September. Maine will travel to Durham to face UNH in their final regular season game and regardless of result, smart money is on the Black Bears earning a first round bye and hosting a second round game on December 7th.

With a 10-1 record and a deep playoff run on the minds of many in Orono, we couldn’t help but wonder just how the 2013 team ranks against the standard bearer of greatness for the program, the 1965 team. So for this Throwback Thursday we dug deep into the archives to find a rare color photograph of the “greatest team to ever play” at Orono.
A little background on this picture, it was taken at Memorial Field (now Morse Field) looking towards the visitors sidelines during a game between Maine and UNH (we think). The image was actually split in half with a seam down the middle of the offensive line so we had to photoshop in some of the missing pieces. The full size image can be viewed at the bottom of this post, notice Gannett Hall and the north wing of the Field House on the far right-hand side.
The 1965 Black Bears, shown on defense in the left-hand side of the picture, went 8-1 during the regular season to capture the Yankee Conference title and the school’s only trip to a bowl game, as we highlighted in this previous Throwback Thursday. There was no attribution for this photograph but we assume it is from a program or magazine and it was highly unusual to get color photographs of Maine sports from that time period. Even when the team traveled to Orlando for the Tangerine Bowl later that year all of the pictures were black and white.

This years team has a single loss was 35-21 on the road at Northwestern who were ranked No. 18 in the country at the time. How will the 2013 squad compare to the 1965 team? We will know more as the playoffs unfold through December. Best of luck to the Black Bears Football team!

Maine vs UNH – Orono, Maine – 1965
Click to Enlarge

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