University of Omaha Football Media Guides
The Municipal University of Omaha Athletics Department issued annual media guides prior to the start of each football season. These guides offered a wealth of information about the team, including biographies of the players and coaches, schedules, statistics, prospectuses, and information about the opposing teams. Presented here are selected pages from the 1964-1967 guides, featuring Marlin Briscoe.
The player thumbnail of Marlin Briscoe from the 1964 OU football media guide (page 11) read as follows: "MARLIN BRISCOE. . .5 -9 , 170, 20, Sophomore and one-year letterman from Omaha South. Served as defensive back and sub quarterback in 1963. Excelled defensively with several pass interceptions. A starter in basketball despite his size, he is very quick and an outstanding passer. Engineering major. "
Marlin Briscoe is not otherwise featured in the 1964 guide. The prospectus for the upcoming season is relatively subdued and cautious in tone, warning, "Dependence on newcomers, team morale and field leadership are the three most important factors in Omaha U.'s football outlook."
The prospectus for the 1965 football season (page 2) had the following to say about Briscoe: "The new offense—the pro-set—will feature a passing attack centered around junior quarterback Marlin Briscoe. Marlin (The Magician) is an expert passer who can throw short or long. If he can't throw, he can run with the abandon of Fran Tarkenton, Minnesota Viking's exciting scrambler."
The tone of the 1965 prospectus is considerably more upbeat than the prevous year's. Briscoe is mentioned repeatedly throughtout the guide, including the veterans roster, All-CIC players, the statistics section, and "Scouting the Indian's Top Performers."
"Omaha U. Preview: The Magician Is Back!" The 1966 prospectus (page 2) trumpets:
"The brightest spot this year is at quarterback. Marlin "The Magician" Briscoe is back. Pro scouts are drooling over Briscoe. He's hailed as one of the best in the midwest, including Big Ten and Big Eight signed-callers, and some scouts rank him with the best in the nation.
"OU switched to a new offense last year--the pro set. Briscoe and his mates took to it like kids take to Santa Claus. The Magician was fourth in the nation in total offense with 2,181 yards--passing for 1, 668 and rushing for 513."
Briscoe was featured on the cover of the 1966 football media guide, and mentioned repeatedly throughout the issue, including the veterans roster, depth chart, statistics, All-CIC players, "Rundown on prospective first units: offense," and especially the aforementioned prospectus, blinding in its optimism.
Alas, this would be the year Briscoe sustained a neck injury very early in the season, which put him out of the game for the entire 1966 season.
The player thumbnail of Marlin Briscoe from the 1966 OU football media guide (page 9) read as follows: "QUARTERBACK Marlin (The Magician) Briscoe. Senior, 5-10, 178. (Pictured on cover) Spot never more solid in school's history. Briscoe was fourth in total offense on NCAA college division charts last year with 2, 181 yards (1, 668 passing, 513 rushing) and was second in NAIA. Set three school marks last year; passing, total offense and touchdown passes (18). Was all-conference sophomore and junior years. A great scrambler. Pro scouts agree he could play at any university. A genuine All-America candidate."
1967 would be the final season Briscoe played for OU, returning after being out with a neck injury the preceding season. In the 1967 OU football media guide (page 7), "Reds Whip Whites, 31-19" describes Briscoe's performance in the Annual Spring Football Game, clearly illustrating that he was back in the game and no worse for wear after his injury.
The 1967 guidebook was much larger and more comprehensive than the guides from preceding years, and new featured content included a list of Omaha University football records to date (meaning, prior to the start of the 1967 season), which listed 12 held by Marlin Briscoe, plus 5 records that Briscoe seemed well-positioned to break.
The "1966 Season In Review" (page 15 of the 1967 OU football media guide) describes the first game of the season, against Idaho State, which would turn out to be the only game of the season in which Briscoe played. The summary of the second game opens with, "Stunned by the pre-game announcement that quarterback Marlin Briscoe would be lost for the season with a cracked vertebrae in his neck, Omaha U suffered a humiliating 13-7 loss to first-year school Hiram Scott College."
The prospectus from the 1967 OU football media guide (pages 21-22) foretells "its biggest year in history under great pressure." Despite the dismal 1966 season, the prospectus is optimistic about 1967, largely due Marlin Briscoe's return. "Brightness on the horizon is the return to action of two-time ALL-CIC quarterback Marlin Briscoe, who missed last season with a neck injury. The scrambling field general set nine OU records during an 8-2 season in 1965. Needless to say, his absence last fall was chiefly responsible for the collapse which dulled what might have been Omaha's finest hour. The little quarterback is going to be under intense pressure week after week from opponents who will mark him as the main way to stop the varied Indian attack that netted 381 yards per game in 1965 under Briscoe's direction."
The player thumbnail of Marlin Briscoe from the 1967 OU football media guide (page 24) reads as follows, "Omaha's top Little All-America candidate. He's already made the CIC All-Star team in '64 and *65 before missing last season with a neck injury suffered just before the first game. The little scrambler holds ten Omaha offensive records and was NAIA's 3rd leading passer and 4th in total offense in 1965. His 2,181 yards in total offense was record. There is very little he can't do and pro scouts are sizing him up as a possible defensive back. He returned interception 80 yards for score against Eastern New Mexico in '65. Is going into third season as Omaha starting quarterback. Secondary education major. Was All-City and Shrine Bowl selection as a halfback-quarterback in 1962 at Omaha South. A fine prep cage star, he was named the MVP in the 1962 Omaha Prep Summer Classic basketball game. Lettered in basketball at Omaha in 1963." Briscoe is pictured on the left.