For most college teams the season is over. Only the traditional post-season games and the usual bowls remain to be played. USC (9-0) and Wisconsin (8-1) are set for the Rose Bowl, Texas (9-0-1) and LSU (8-1-1) for the Cotton Bowl, Arkansas (9-1) and probably Mississippi (8-0) for the Sugar Bowl, Oklahoma (7-2) and almost certainly Alabama (8-1) for the Orange Bowl, Georgia Tech (6-2-1) and Missouri (7-1-2) for the Bluebonnet Bowl. One other likely pairing: Penn State (9-1) and Miami (6-3) or Florida (6-3) in the Gator Bowl. The Gotham and Liberty bowls, still foraging for candidates, might find receptive ears at Oregon State (8-2), Duke (8-2), West Virginia (8-2), Boston College (7-2), Villanova (7-2) and even at TCU (5-4).
THE TOP THREE:
1. PENN STATE (9-1)
2. DARTMOUTH (9-0)
3. PITT (5-5)
Although Dartmouth's Ivy League champions completed an unbeaten season by polishing off Princeton, independent Penn State proved it was indeed the best in the East. But first the Nittany Lions had to overcome a surprisingly doughty Pitt defense. The Panthers pinched off State's runners, but they couldn't quite cope with Quarterback Pete Liske, the most prolific passer-runner in Penn State history. Liske threw to Roger Kochman and Al Gursky for touchdowns and the Lions won 16-0.
To the rest of the football world, it was hardly an earth-shaking event, but to the 39,000 bundled into Harvard's stadium, The Game was just that. A stubborn Yale defense finally succumbed to Harvard's hard-running backs. Bill Taylor smashed over from the four, second-stringer Fred Bartl scored from the two in the last period and Harvard won easily, 14-6.
Penn unexpectedly gave old rival Cornell some trying moments and even led the Big Red 22-21 in the last quarter. But Gary Wood, who ran and passed magnificently all day to set still another Ivy record, swept around end for 19 yards to give Cornell a 29-22 victory. Columbia's Archie Roberts, another record-breaker, spent most of his day dodging Rutgers linemen who poured through the weak Lion wall in a savage rush. The result: Rutgers 22, Columbia 6.
West Virginia Quarterback Jerry Yost was just too much for Syracuse. He fooled their tackles with trap plays, sneaked over for one score, passed for another, and the futile Orangemen bowed 17-6. Holy Cross clobbered Connecticut 36-14 as Pat McCarthy passed for two touchdowns and ran for a third.
THE TOP THREE:
1. MISSISSIPPI (8-0)
2. LSU (8-1-1)
3. ALABAMA (8-1)
Everybody, including Miami Coach Andy Gustafson, anticipated a passing duel between his George Mira and Northwestern's Tom Myers. Gustafson even dreamed up a special defense for the occasion—a five-man line with three linebackers. Mira passed as well as he could (11 for 25) in the face of Northwestern's furious rush, but Myers passed only occasionally and, instead, sent his backs, led by Dick McCauley and Steve Murphy, thundering over Miami's bruised tackles. Despite the frightful hammering, Miami stubbornly stayed with its defense and absorbed a 29-7 shellacking for its trouble.
If North Carolina never sees Duke's Bill Reynolds again that will be soon enough. A year ago he beat the Tar Heels 6-3 with two field goals. Saturday he beat them again, this time with three field goals. With Duke trailing surging North Carolina 14-13 and 49 seconds to play, Reynolds calmly kicked a 20-yarder to give the Blue Devils the game, 16-14, and the Atlantic Coast title.
Clemson, too, needed a field goal to win. Rod Rogers booted the ball over from the 14 (for the second time) in the closing minutes to beat South Carolina 20-17. Maryland got one from John Hannigan but didn't really need it as it whipped Virginia 40-18. Frisky sophomores did most of the damage, with some help from senior Tom Brown, who ran back an intercepted pass 100 yards to snuff out a late Virginia rally. North Carolina State trounced poor Wake Forest 27-3.
Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia Tech were all idle, but LSU's Bengals sharpened their claws for the Cotton Bowl by romping over Tulane 38-3. Auburn, with no place to go come New Year's, blew a 14-point lead and muddled to a 14-14 tie with perky Florida State. Kentucky's Charlie Bradshaw was so moved that he wept when his hardened but skimpy squad, down to 26 able bodies, upset Tennessee 12-10. Clark Mayfield's 19-yard field goal, with 16 seconds to go, brought on Bradshaw's happy tears.
VMI celebrated Thanksgiving Day with a scrambling, come-from-behind 14-9 victory over Virginia Tech and, for its efforts, won the Southern Conference championship.
THE TOP THREE:
1. WISCONSIN (9-1)
2. MINNESOTA (6-2-1)
3. OKLAHOMA (7-2)
Oklahoma's Bud Wilkinson is a man who likes his football hard and crunchy and that's the kind of game Nebraska's Bob Devaney was prepared to defend against. But Devaney was in for a surprise—and a 34-6 licking. Quarterback Monte Deere—when he wasn't steering sophomore Fullback Jim Grisham through the middle on trap plays—passed over the puzzled Huskers for three touchdowns as Oklahoma won the Big Eight title and a trip to the Orange Bowl. Groaned Devaney: "...and we were concerned with their running game. We should have shot the air out of the football."
The other Big Eight teams played out the string. Kansas, aware of Missouri's well-known reluctance to throw the ball, bottled up the Tiger runners with a nine-man front and squeezed out a 3-3 tie on Gary Duff's 26-yard field goal with 2:30 to go. Oklahoma State added to winless Kansas State's misery with a 30-6 victory and Dave Hoppman led Iowa State past Sun Bowl-bound Ohio 31-22. There was even some solace for Colorado. After Coach Bud Davis submitted his resignation, the Buffs tore into Air Force and shocked the unsuspecting Falcons 34-10.
The most turbulent Big Ten race in years was over. Wisconsin had the championship after beating Minnesota 14-9 (see page 24), but Purdue and Michigan State got their lumps again. Indiana upset the Boilermakers 12-7 on Marv Woodson's 92-yard run with an intercepted pass while Illinois scored in the second quarter, then held on grimly to outlast Michigan State 7-6. Ohio State, the biggest disappointment of all, finished strong. Fullbacks Dave Francis, Bob Butts and Dave Katterhenrich chewed up the Michigan line with their blasts inside the tackles and the Buckeyes won 28-0.
Notre Dame finally made up for the indignities heaped upon it by Big Ten rivals. Daryle Lamonica passed and ran brilliantly, little Frank Minik scooted around the bigger Iowa defenders, and the Irish whipped the Hawkeyes 35-12 for their fourth straight.
THE TOP THREE:
1. TEXAS (9-0-1)
2. ARKANSAS (9-1)
3. TCU (5-4)
For a while it seemed that Texas was in for its annual frustration. Texas A&M confused the usually sharp Longhorn defense with an unbalanced line and the Aggie backs zipped merrily through the gaps. Mike Clark kicked a 20-yard field goal, his seventh of the year, and A&M led 3-0 at the half. Then Texas adjusted its defenses, Quarterback Johnny Genung came off the bench to get the ball moving and pretty soon the Longhorns were in a position to count their spoils: a 13-3 victory, their first unbeaten season in 39 years, their first outright SWC title since 1952, and the host spot in the Cotton Bowl.
Second-place Arkansas was happy with its consolation prize—an invitation to the Sugar Bowl—and showed its gratitude by hammering Texas Tech 34-0 as Quarterback Billy Moore ran for three touchdowns and passed for two more. TCU's Sonny Gibbs scored twice, passed for two touchdowns and a two-point conversion and Rice fell 30-7. Baylor's Don Trull missed a new SWC passing record, but the Bears still beat SMU 17-13.
Arizona State, the nation's leading offensive team, looked like it for only 10 minutes in the second quarter, when it scored all its points. Arizona put across two touchdowns in the final period and upset the Sun Devils 20-17.
THE TOP THREE:
1. USC (9-0)
2. WASHINGTON (7-1-2)
3. OREGON STATE (8-2)
Despite persistent rumors, college football hadn't died in Los Angeles. It was merely hibernating. Some 86,700 crowded into the Coliseum to watch USC defend itself against UCLA and they weren't disappointed. Harassed and harried by the Bruins' sticky defense (a 5-2-1-3, with Halfback Kermit Alexander playing End Hal Bedsole man-to-man and the rover keyed on the man-in-motion), the Trojans almost stumbled on the way to the Rose Bowl. But Willie Brown pulled USC through. His leaping catch of Bill Nelsen's pass gave the Trojans the ball on the two in the fourth quarter and Ben Wilson bucked over for the score. After that, as Coach Johnny McKay put it, "a little tension went out of the game." Moments later, Pete Beathard plunged over from the one and USC had a scary 14-3 victory.
At Berkeley, 72,700 saw Stanford and California in the West Coast version of The Game. Cal's Craig Morton passed the Bears to a 13-3 lead, but Stanford's Clark Weaver was better in the second half. He completed nine of 11 passes, threw for three touchdowns, and Stanford won 30-13. The win was small comfort for Stanford Coach Jack Curtice, who was reported on his way out.
Up north, Washington State, with Dale Mathiesen pitching and record-breaker Hugh Campbell catching (10 passes for 178 yards), had Washington pinned in a 21-21 tie with about a minute to play. Then Husky Linebacker Norm Dicks intercepted a pass on the WSU seven. In the last 20 seconds Dom Stafford kicked a 20-yard field goal, Mathiesen was nailed in his end zone for a safety and Washington eked it out, 26-21.
Oregon State's Terry Baker was the most helpful man in Corvallis last Saturday. He helped End Vern Burke to new college records for passes caught (69) and yardage gained (1,007) in one season and then helped the Beavers overtake Oregon 20-17.
Colorado State lost its 26th straight game—a heartbreaker for Coach Mike Lude. Montana beat his Rams 16-15.
SATURDAY'S TOUGH ONES
Army over Navy. Staubach's passing will bother the Cadets, but not quite enough.
Boston College over Holy Cross. Both have good backs. The difference is up front.
Alabama over Auburn. Tougher defense and Namath's passing will win for Alabama.
Mississippi over Mississippi State. Ole Miss has too much firepower for State.
Tennessee over Vanderbilt. Tennessee's single wing will overpower poor Vandy.
Florida over Miami. With a bowl in sight, the hardy Gators will be ready for Miami.
TCU over SMU. Despite an often tender defense, TCU attacks too adamantly for SMU.
Rice over Baylor. Randy Kerbow will guide the Owls safely through this one.
USC over Notre Dame. But USC Can't afford to let down against the resurging Irish.
UCLA over Utah. Injuries have softened up the Utes. UCLA has more able bodies.
LAST WEEK'S PREDICTIONS
12 RIGHT, 6 WRONG, 2 TIES
SEASON'S RECORD: 124-65-11