The only thing consistent about college football is its inconsistency. This fact was never more clearly demonstrated than last weekend when Oklahoma, Auburn and SMU, among others, were buried in the debris of upsets, and their conquerors, Northwestern, Tennessee, and Georgia Tech, squirted into uneasy prominence.
For days, Oklahoma Coach Bud Wilkinson had muttered morosely that his Sooners were in for trouble. Few believed him until Northwestern, whooped up to a precise pitch by Coach Ara Parseghian, struck for two first-quarter touchdowns and finally trounced the Sooners 45-13. Quarterback Dick Thornton, pitching magnificently through a drenching cloudburst, and Halfback Ron Burton (see above), who skittered purposefully through the Oklahoma forwards, did the most damage (see page 15).
Two other Big Ten contenders opened on a quaky note. Ohio State, breaking with Coach Woody Hayes' meat-grinder tradition to unveil flashes of the wing T, resorted to a 23-yard pass from Quarterback Tom Matte to End Charles Bryant and Dave Kilgore's placement to overtake Duke 14-13 in the final minutes.
Wisconsin, correctly figuring Stanford to be weak down the middle, rolled to a 16-point lead early in the second half. But Stanford's Dick Norman began to fling the ball and Wisconsin just managed to straggle off with a 16-14 win.
Indiana won its Big Ten opener from fumbling Illinois 20-0; Missouri Quarterback Bob Haas jammed over from the one-yard line with two seconds to play to beat Michigan 20-15; Quarterback Charlie Milstead led Texas A&M to a 9-7 upset of Michigan State; Nebraska trampled Minnesota 32-12.
Coach Joe Kuharich, an old pro with an eye for perfection, exploited North Carolina's weakness to the outside for a 28-8 victory in his debut at Notre Dame. Sub Quarterback Don White and Fullback Jim Crotty, who scored two touchdowns, led the Irish. The top three:
1. NORTHWESTERN (1-0)
2. IOWA (1-0)
3. WISCONSIN (1-0)
Auburn's tigerlike linemen were turned into timorous cats by a stunting, gambling band of Tennessee forwards, and for once the Tigers found themselves beaten, 3-0. The enthusiastic Vols never let Auburn get past the Tennessee 20-yard line and mounted the day's biggest offense in the second quarter when Tailback Billy Majors led them within reaching distance of a field goal, promptly delivered from the 20-yard line by End Cotton Letner.
It takes a Texan to beat one, and Georgia Tech fortunately had a good one handy when it came face to face with SMU and Don Meredith. Fred Braselton, a freckled quarterback from Corpus Christi, completed seven of 11 passes for two touchdowns in a 16-12 upset victory. Meredith, who threw two scoring passes, had only the highest praise for Braselton: "He played like a Texan."
LSU met TCU head on and sent the Horned Frogs limping back home with a 10-0 defeat. The Bengals put together Sophomore Wendell Harris' 29-yard field goal and Warren Rabb's 45-yard pass to Johnny Robinson for all their points in the second period, then fought off the rugged visitors with some bruising line play.
Mississippi, its sweeping option stuff contained in the first half by Kentucky's boxing ends and alert cornerbacks, finally loosened up the Wildcats when Quarterback Jake Gibbs began to connect with jerky-quick spot passes and resourceful Ole Miss won 16-0.
In other games, Miami's little Fran Curci pitched the Hurricanes to a 26-7 win over Tulane; remorseless Clemson clobbered Virginia 47-0. The top three:
1. LSU (2-0)
2. MISSISSIPPI (2-0)
3. CLEMSON (2-0)
There was a time when Army teams thought the pass was something that one never made at girls who wore glasses, but Dale Hall, the new, young and able Cadet coach, has other ideas. Expanding the duties of the Lonely End to make him an occasional flanking back, Hall had his club throwing the ball from beginning to end as Army beat Boston College 44-8. Joe Caldwell, his spindle-legged quarterback, threw four touchdown passes to Lonely End Bill Carpenter (see above) and Halfbacks Bob Anderson and Steve Waldrop, while reserves Tom Blanda and Pete King also got into the aerial act. When it was all over the Cadets had completed 24 of 34 for 314 yards.
Navy dedicated its spanking-new stadium and treated visiting brass to a fine offensive show while working over William and Mary 29-2. Halfback Joe Bellino raced 53 yards for the Middies' first touchdown, and Fullback Joe Matalavage got two, one on an 85-yard sprint.
Penn State's Richie Lucas had another good afternoon, completing eight of 11 passes for 119 yards and two scores as the Nittany Lions beat VMI 21-0; Syracuse trailing 7-6 at half time, came back to throttle Kansas 35-21.
The Ivies also began to flex their muscles, but co-favorites Dartmouth and Princeton found them flabby. Holy Cross caught the Indians without Quarterback Bill Gundy and knocked them looping 31-8 while Rutgers scored first and held on grimly to edge the Tigers 8-6.
Columbia's Buff Donelli, weary of being the Ivy League door mat, outfitted his Lions with a new device called the "muddle huddle," and they used it to beat Brown 21-6. Meanwhile, Yale downed Connecticut 20-0; Harvard outscored Massachusetts 36-22; improved Penn defeated Lafayette 26-0. The top three:
1. ARMY (1-0)
2. PENN STATE (2-0)
3. NAVY (2-0)
While SMU and TCU were getting cut down to size in the south, Texas got off to a flying start on Jack Collins' 86-yard touchdown dash and turned Maryland mistakes into a 26-0 victory.
Texas Tech finally got its multiple passing patterns working and overhauled Oregon State 15-14 in the last minute. The top three:
1. TEXAS (2-0)
2. TCU (1-1)
3. TEXAS TECH (2-0)
USC, perhaps the mightiest Trojans since the days of the late Howard Jones, had Pitt reeling before the end of the first quarter and went on to win 23-0 despite a costly injury to Quarterback Willie Wood. Battered and bruised by the rough McKeever twins, Marlin and Mike, the Panther line folded and Quarterback Ivan Toncic came close to being the first football player to be trampled to death. Quipped Pitt Coach John Michelosen: "Either USC has the best defensive line in the country or our line should be sued for nonsupport."
Unleashing a typical Evashevski offense to go with its ground-tight defense, Iowa gave California another dose of Rose Bowl medicine and shattered the Bears 42-12. In other games, the Air Force shot down Wyoming 20-7; Oregon beat Utah 21-6; Baylor's Ronnie Bull dazzled Colorado 15-7. The top three:
1. USC (2-0)
2. AIR FORCE (1-0)
3 OREGON (2-0)
RED GRANGE PREDICTS
Dartmouth vs. Pennsylvania
The Indians must be better than their shocking loss to Holy Cross would indicate. Penn is improved but the choice is DARTMOUTH.
Pitt vs. UCLA
Porous pass protection cost Pitt dearly against Southern California, and the Panthers will find UCLA's defenders just as tough to contain. It looks like a win for UCLA.
Army vs. Illinois
The Illini are overmatched in this one. Joe Caldwell's great passing and Bob Anderson's running will make it easy for ARMY.
Iowa vs. Northwestern
A tough one to pick. Northwestern was up for Oklahoma, and the Wildcats can't afford any letdown against that smart-looking Iowa attack. In a close game, IOWA.
Oklahoma vs. Colorado
Coach Bud Wilkinson's teams rarely ever get thumped and, when they do, they get mad. Look for the Sooners to come bouncing back against Colorado. OKLAHOMA.
Purdue vs. Notre Dame
The Irish, even without Red Mack, George Izo, looked good against North Carolina. But Purdue's rough-tough defense will be harder to crack. A vote for PURDUE.
Louisiana State vs. Baylor
After this one, LSU will just about own the Southwest Conference. Billy Cannon and his three-deep Bengal teammates make Baylor their third SWC victim. LSU.
Georgia Tech vs. Clemson
Tech wins the close ones, but Clem-son's ground power and stifling defense will be more than the Engineers can handle. CLEMSON.
Southern Methodist vs. Navy
SMU's loss to Georgia Tech proved that the Mustangs need more than Don Meredith's great passing to win. Navy has a fine passer in Joe Tranchini and explosive runners in Joe Bellino and Joe Matalavage. A tossup, but I'll take NAVY.
Texas vs. California
This is the NBC-TV game, so I won't pick it. California showed defensive weakness against Iowa, and Texas, with its wide-open offense, will try to exploit these deficiencies.
Southern California vs. Ohio St.
Woody Hayes has jazzed up the Ohio State attack with the wing T, but the Trojan line will be more than a match for the big Buckeye forwards. A real ball game, with the nod to USC.
LAST WEEK'S PREDICTIONS:
6 RIGHT; 3 WRONG
RECORD TO DATE: 13-4-1
2ND WEEK LEADERS
Abner Haynes, N. Texas State
Ted Dean, Wichita
Bob Gaiters, New Mexico St.
Pervis Atkins, New Mexico St.
Paul Maguire, Citadel
Pervis Atkins, New Mexico St.
Tom Watkins, Iowa State
Nolan Jones, Arizona State
Dick Norman, Stanford
Charlie Johnson, New Mexico State
Pete Hall, Marquette
Dick Norman, Stanford
Pervis Atkins, New Mexico St.
Dwight Nichols, Iowa State
TOTAL TEAM OFFENSE
TOTAL TEAM DEFENSE