THE TOP THREE:
1. MISSISSIPPI (8-0)
2. LSU (7-1-1)
3. ALABAMA (8-1)
It was a tough day for favorites in the SEC. Mississippi, with an uneasy 7-0 lead in the third quarter and backed up to its four-yard line, got the break it needed when Louis Guy intercepted a Tennessee pass and ran it back 100 yards for a touchdown. The stubborn Vols finally fell, 19-6, but only after a swinging free-for-all in the last period.
Georgia's Bulldogs, harmless most of the fall, suddenly turned on unsuspecting Auburn. Quarterback Larry Rakestraw pitched three touchdown passes to Halfback Don Porterfield, sophomore Joe Burson ran 87 yards with an intercepted pass, and Georgia surprised the wounded Tigers 30-21.
Florida barely escaped a similar fate. Just when it seemed that Florida State, sitting on a 7-6 lead, was headed for its first victory over the Gators, Hagood Clarke ran back a punt 63 yards, and Florida pulled through 20-7. But Xavier caught undermanned Kentucky with its weary defenses dragging and won 14-9. Things were easier for LSU, which whomped Mississippi State 28-0, and, strangely enough, for Vanderbilt. After 16 straight losses, Vandy beat Tulane 20-0.
While ACC leader Duke romped merrily over Wake Forest 50-0, Clemson and Maryland fought for second place. With the score tied at 14-14, Clemson on the Terps' two and 1:22 to play, even Coach Frank Howard "didn't know much what to do." But the officials solved his dilemma. They penalized the Tigers back to the seven for illegal procedure. So Howard sent in Rod Rogers, who kicked a 23-yard field goal to win for Clemson 17-14.
THE TOP THREE:
1. WISCONSIN (7-1)
2. MINNESOTA (6-1-1)
3. OKLAHOMA (6-2)
The Big Ten, once so full of contenders, was suddenly down to two—Wisconsin and Minnesota—and they were ready to settle the issue Saturday after Northwestern and Purdue, the midseason dark horses, expired quietly. But the big question—who would go to the Rose Bowl—was already settled. With Minnesota out because it went last January, it would be Wisconsin.
Northwestern's demise was completed by Michigan State. Duffy Daugherty countered Northwestern's pro-type offense with a pro-type defense—setting up a four-man front, with big Dave Behrmann (265 pounds) and Ed Budde (250 pounds) at the tackles and backing them with three red-dogging linebackers. They rushed Tom Myers when he tried to pass and broke up his draw play by converging on the ball carrier. George Saimes and Sherman Lewis swirled through the Wildcat line and, despite four costly fumbles. State won easily 31-7.
Purdue's title hopes were buried by Minnesota's defense, 7-6. For a while the spunky Boilermakers knocked heads on even terms. They even led 6-0 at half time on Skip Ohl's two field goals. But Minnesota's Duane Blaska passed to End Ray Zitzloff for a touchdown, and Collin Versich kicked the winning point. Meanwhile Wisconsin's Lou Holland was having the day of his life against Illinois. He slipped past the Illini defenders for three touchdown runs, caught a 16-yard pass from Ron VanderKelen and the Badgers won 35-6. Iowa, behind Michigan 14-7, eventually won 28-14.
Ohio State, annoyed with its own inept-ness, finally came up with an oldtime Buckeye game against Oregon. Alternating Fullbacks Dave Francis, Bob Butts and Dave Katterhenrich hammered away relentlessly behind explosive line-blocking, Quarterback Bill Mrukowski rolled out for two scores, and Ohio State won 26-7.
After a couple of years of enforced servitude, Oklahoma was back on top in the Big Eight. The ubiquitous Sooners jabbed Missouri off balance with a 42-yard screen pass on the second play of the game, and Joe Don Looney powered over from the three on the fifth play. After that, the Tigers never got a chance to show their teeth, and Oklahoma won 13-0. But Nebraska, a 14-0 winner over Oklahoma State, was waiting to challenge the Sooners for the title and a place in the Orange Bowl.
Kansas inhibited California's passing game early with a four-man rush and, almost before the Bears knew it, Fullback Armand Baughman had bulled the Jayhawkers to a 33-21 win. Notre Dame beat North Carolina 21-7.
THE TOP THREE:
1. PENN STATE (8-1)
2. DARTMOUTH (8-0)
3. PITT (5-4)
Even with Penn State holding a narrow 7-6 lead early in the second quarter, Holy Cross rooters squirmed apprehensively. When the expected blockbuster finally landed, there was little left of the brave Crusader defense. It was crunched to bits by Penn State's powerful line thrusts and bushwhacked by Pete Liske's deft passes. The final score: Penn State 48, Holy Cross 20.
Pitt was much less awesome but still good enough to beat fumbling Army 7-6. The Panthers scored first, on Bob Roeder's four-yard sweep and Rick Leeson's placement. The Cadets managed to hang on to the ball long enough for Joe Blackgrove to slither over from the three in the third quarter, but Army lost a two-point gamble. Revitalized Syracuse turned some more of its whizbang sophomore backs loose and, along with senior John Mackey, they led the Orangemen past George Washington 35-0.
Unbeaten Dartmouth tucked away the Ivy League title but not before Cornell's Gary Wood put the Indians through some of their own torture. He sifted through the usually impeccable Dartmouth defenses for 161 yards. But, in the end, Dartmouth's Billy King prevailed. He ran for three scores, and Dartmouth outlasted the Big Red 28-21. In other Ivy games, Princeton overtook Yale 14-10; Harvard thrashed Brown 31-19; Columbia beat Penn 21-7.
Bowl scouts had their eyes on Boston College and Villanova. BC (now 7-2) overwhelmed Boston U. 45-21 with Quarterback Jack Concannon's four touchdown passes (three to End Jim Whalen), while Villanova (7-2) crushed Rutgers 34-12.
THE TOP THREE:
1. TEXAS (8-0-1)
2. ARKANSAS (8-1)
3. ARIZONA STATE (7-1-1)
No one can accuse SMU of partiality. After terrorizing Texas two weeks before, the spunky Mustangs made Arkansas wait until the fourth quarter to score all of its points in a scared 9-7 win. While Arkansas was having more trouble than expected, Texas was having less. Quarterback Tommy Wade spread TCU's secondary enough, for Texas' running game to roll to a hard 14-0 victory.
Quarterback Randy Kerbow accounted for all Rice points in a 23-3 stomping of Texas A&M. He kicked a 36-yard field goal and two PATs, passed for two touchdowns, ran for a third. Winless Texas Tech, led by End Davis Parks's 98-yard interception return, feasted on hopeless Colorado 21-12.
THE TOP THREE:
1. USC (8-0)
2. WASHINGTON (6-2-1)
3. OREGON (6-2-1)
Obviously distressed by his team's bumbling, USC's Johnny McKay sighed with relief when his unbeaten Trojans shook Navy's Pat Donnelly loose from the ball on the goal line in the closing minutes. Navy's Roger Staubach had played havoc with the usually stern USC defenses and only some fancy footwork by Willie Brown, who skittered 56 yards for a third-period touchdown, saved a 13-6 victory for USC.
"Give Washington the ball inside your own 25," moaned UCLA's Bill Barnes, "and you'd better have a shotgun to stop them." Unfortunately, Barnes's Bruins were fresh out of weapons, and the Husky backs piled up 463 yards on the way to a 30-0 win.
Oregon State's Terry Baker had another one of his remarkable days. He ran and passed for 389 yards against Colorado State, helped End Vein Burke to a new season record for passing yardage (972) and the Beavers won 25-14. Meanwhile Washington State's Hugh Campbell also dipped into the record book as the Cougars beat Idaho 22-14. Campbell snared five passes for 63 yards to tie the three-year mark of 2,274.
All week long Utah State's John Ralston worried about playing Utah in Salt Lake City. He needn't have bothered. The Utes faded fast and State won 19-6. Listless Wyoming, with a chance for the first WAC title, folded like a spent accordion when Brigham Young's injured Eldon Fortie came in to score the tying touchdown. BYU won 14-7, giving the championship to New Mexico, which routed Montana 41-12.
SATURDAY'S TOUGH ONES
Harvard over Yale.
A gray year for the Blues and, anyway, Harvard is stronger up front.
Penn State over Pitt.
There are just too many roaring Lions for the on-and-off Panthers.
Miami over Northwestern.*
The Wildcats are flat. Miami will win with Mira.
Wisconsin over Minnesota.
Nobody cracks the Gopher line. Wisconsin will pass over it.
Nebraska over Oklahoma.
Nebraska's backs hit harder and run faster than the Sooners".
Missouri over Kansas.
Mizzou's deadly sweeps will bring down the so-so Jayhawkers.
USC over UCLA.
The forceful Trojans will run over UCLA en route to the Rose Bowl.
Stanford over California.
Cal's passing isn't enough to overcome its own leaky defense.
Oregon over Oregon State.
But the Ducks will have to find a way to stop Terry Baker.
Washington over Washington State.
The sinewy Huskies are too tenacious for State.
*Friday night game
AUBURN OVER FLORIDA STATE
DARTMOUTH OVER PRINCETON
MARYLAND OVER VIRGINIA
NOTRE DAME OVER IOWA
OHIO OVER IOWA STATE
OHIO STATE OVER MICHIGAN
CLEMSON OVER SOUTH CAROLINA
SYRACUSE OVER WEST VIRGINIA
TENNESSEE OVER KENTUCKY
TCU OVER RICE
LAST WEEK'S PREDICTIONS: 14 RIGHT, 6 WRONG
SEASON'S RECORD: 112-59-9