The shopping for postseason bowl attractions is over. Despite some notable omissions, such as Army (8-1) and Syracuse (8-2)—one banned by the Pentagon, the other by its own choice—all the spots are filled. The Orange Bowl has the prize combination—Tennessee (8-1) vs. Oklahoma (8-1)—while the Rose has the season's two most interesting teams—USC (9-1) vs. Indiana (9-1). The other pairings: Sugar—LSU (6-3-1) vs. Wyoming (10-0); Cotton—Texas A&M (6-4) vs. Alabama (7-1-1); Gator—Penn State (8-2) vs. Florida State (7-2-1); Bluebonnet—Colorado (8-2) vs. Miami (6-3); Sun—Mississippi (5-3-1) vs. Texas at El Paso (6-2-1); Liberty—Georgia (7-3) vs. North Carolina State (8-2).
1. OKLAHOMA (8-1)
2. INDIANA (9-1)
3. PURDUE (8-2)
There was a hint of California in the air at Indiana's stadium last Saturday. The temperature was a balmy 57°, and most of the men in the overflow crowd of 52,770, including IU President Elvis Stahr, wore PASADENA A-GO-GO buttons. The women sported roses and signs that read WE SMELL ROSES. Indiana's happy team, which had been merrily turning its mistakes into unexpected victories all season, picked up the scent early against highly favored Purdue. Fullback Terry Cole's 42-yard run set up Quarterback Harry Gonso's seven-yard touchdown pass to Flanker Jade Butcher in the first quarter. After some Purdue fumbling, Mike Krivoshia scored from the two-yard line, and moments later Cole burst through the Boilermaker middle for 63 yards and a third Indiana touchdown, as the Hoosiers built up a 19-7 half-time lead. Meanwhile Purdue was having the kind of day teams do against Indiana. For example, All-America-for-sure Leroy Keyes dropped two passes, one in the clear on the Indiana five, and fumbled once. It was all over for the Boilermakers when their fullback, Perry Williams, who had scored twice, dropped the ball on the Indiana one in the last quarter. That gave the Hoosiers a 19-14 win, a three-way tie for the Big Ten title with Purdue and Minnesota and, best of all, their first trip to the Rose Bowl.
December 4, 1967
Minnesota, meanwhile, got a piece of a championship that it did not especially want by beating Wisconsin 21-14. The Gophers knew the only way they could share the title was if Indiana upset Purdue. But they also knew that it would knock them out of the Rose Bowl, since they had gone twice in the past 10 years and the Hoosiers had never been to Pasadena. The report of the Indiana score did not deter the Gophers, who crunched away diligently at the Badgers until they had their victory and, in this case, the consolation prize.
Michigan State, however, gladly would have settled for Minnesota's misfortune. The best last year's champions could get was a 41-27 win over Northwestern, their third in a disastrous year. Ohio State finished strong, beating Michigan 24-14 for its fourth straight and a 6-3 season.
Oklahoma won the Big Eight championship, but not until Nebraska had given the Sooners a most unpleasant day. The Huskers led 14-13 at half time, and then interceptions, fumbles and a poor punt stopped their offense. In the fourth quarter Halfback Eddie Hinton caught Nebraska's ends crashing on a sweep and went 22 yards for a touchdown, and the Sooners won 21-14. Kansas beat Missouri 17-6 to tie for second, the big play being Quarterback Bob Douglass' 52-yard pass to Flanker Ben Olison that put the Jayhawks ahead 7-6. "It was one of my pet plays," explained Coach Pepper Rodgers. "We call it everybody out for the long pass."
Houston's Cougars reaped the reward of running up the score a year ago. Tulsa, beaten 73-14 in 1966, reacted strongly by recovering six Houston fumbles, intercepting two passes and winning 22-13. Toledo, winding up its best season ever (9-1), buried Villanova 52-6.
1. PENN STATE (8-2)
2. ARMY (8-1)
3. SYRACUSE (8-2)
What started out as a "wait until next year" season ended as Penn State's best in five years. Coach Joe Paterno juggled his sophomores judiciously when injuries benched five starters, and his Lions upset Miami, barely lost to UCLA and then defeated Syracuse and North Carolina State. Last Saturday it was Pitt's turn to take a lashing. While the tough State defense frustrated the Panthers, senior Quarterback Tom Sherman passed for four touchdowns, sophomore Fullback Don Abbey scored twice and kicked six extra points and the Lions came up with a 42-6 win and a good chance to take the Lambert Trophy, which goes to the best team in the East.
Boston College Coach Jim Miller, under fire all season, finally quieted his detractors, at least temporarily, when his Eagles beat Massachusetts 25-0; but BC still has to play Holy Cross, a surprising 3-0 loser to Connecticut. Rutgers, coasting along with a 24-0 lead over Colgate, suddenly found itself in big trouble as Colgate rallied to go ahead 28-24. But Quarterback Bruce Van Ness, who had already thrown two touchdown passes, tossed another one to Halfback Bryant Mitchell with 2:41 to go, and Rutgers won 31-28.
The big Ivy League game was in New Haven, where Yale, the champion, survived against Harvard 24-20(page 32). Dartmouth salvaged some glory, beating Princeton 17-14 on Pete Donovan's 25-yard field goal with eight seconds to play, to take second place. Cornell battered Penn 33-14, and Brown, stirring to life under new Coach Len Jardine, defeated Columbia 14-7.
1. TENNESSEE (8-1)
2. ALABAMA (7-1-1)
3. FLORIDA STATE (7-2-1)
When Big Thursday falls on Saturday and Tigers wear orange shoes South Carolina can be expected to win a coin toss—and lose a ball game. Carolina guessed the toss right for only the second time in Paul Dietzel's 20-game tenure, but that was its last good guess, as Clemson's new burnt-orange booties walked all over the Gamecocks 23-12. This has always been a strange game—SC played it at home on Thursday for 57 straight years; the entire Clemson ROTC once marched on the SC campus with fixed bayonets; 5,000 fans once bought counterfeit tickets for which there were no seats—yet there was nothing strange about the way Clemson won this one. Crunch, sweep and Gore (Halfback Buddy G., who gained 189 yards to break an ACC season record) set the pattern.
"Now I know how Custer felt," said Florida Assistant Gene Ellenson, after a 21-16 attack by Florida State's Seminoles. "All those damn Indians!" Quarterback Kim Hammond led State to its victory before a record crowd of 62,944 by passing for two touchdowns and running for a third despite a neck injury.
Tennessee's strong Volunteers overcame surprisingly stern Kentucky resistance to win 17-7, and Georgia fumbled five times before beating Georgia Tech 21-14; but other bowl-bound Southerners rollicked through laughers. LSU celebrated by downing Tulane 41-27, and Mississippi bombed Vanderbilt 28-7 as Tailback Steve Hindman outgained the whole Vandy offense.
VMI revenged last year's 70-12 humiliation by beating Virginia Tech 12-10—teams do remember such things. Memphis State came from behind to upset North Texas State 29-20.
1. TEXAS AT EL PASO (6-2-1)
2. TEXAS A & M (6-4)
3. HOUSTON (7-3)
As Aggies leaned out of windows and hung from trees (in addition to filling Kyle Field), Edd Hargett faded back and unfurled a picture pass. Texas A&M Flanker Bob Long snaked down the sideline, cut sharp left, caught the ball on the Texas 36 and went all the way for the 80-yard touchdown that beat Texas 10-7. "Our defense was tremendous except for that one play, but that was the whole load of watermelons," said Darrell Royal, who had earlier predicted, "Hargett can either hum it in there or Andy Gump it." Maybe he meant Alley Oop.
Texas Tech knocked Arkansas out of a bowl a second straight year by rushing into a 24-0 lead and then holding on until the final whistle. Quarterback Ronny South rallied Arkansas for 27 points but, meanwhile, Tech Tackle Jimmy Moylan had turned a dumpy South pass into a touchdown and a 31-27 win. TCU defeated Rice 14-10, and SMU beat Baylor 16-10.
1. USC (9-1)
2. WYOMING (10-0)
3. OREGON STATE (7-2-1)
Syracuse had to travel 3,000 miles to strike a blow for eastern football. The Orange, coming at UCLA's ailing Gary Beban in waves, dumped him for big losses and eventually forced him out of the game to nurse his battered rib cage. All Beban had to show for his farewell was 17 yards passing and minus nine yards rushing. Worse yet for the Bruins, Syracuse's Rick Cassata performed as if he were the Heisman Trophy hopeful instead of Beban. Cassata passed for two touchdowns, ran for two, and the Orange upset UCLA 32-14. "Looks like we're No. 4 in the East and No. 3 in the nation," said Assistant Coach Chuck Fogarty.
It hardly took Texas at El Paso Quarterback Billy Stevens any time to get his name into the record books against Utah. He threw two touchdown passes in the first quarter, his 50th and 51st, to break Jerry Rhome's major college mark, as the UTEPs beat the Utes 28-8. Air Force never had a chance against Colorado, losing 33-0.
Undefeated San Diego State (enrollment 18,000), the nation's No. 1 "small-college" team, got its comeuppance from Utah State (enrollment 8,076), a major college. The Aggies won 31-25 on Gerald Watson's one-yard run with 48 seconds to go, breaking the Aztecs' 25-game winning streak.
Washington's season ended the way it began, in defeat, as Washington State upset the Huskies 9-7, while BYU overwhelmed San Jose State 67-8.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
THE BACK: Syracuse Quarterback Rick Cassata, who completed 11 of 15 passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 119 yards, scoring twice and outplaying UCLA's wounded Gary Beban in a 32-14 upset of Bruins.
THE LINEMAN: End Phil Odle, who scored three times in Brigham Young's defeat of San Jose State, became nation's leading receiver by catching 11 passes (he has 78) for 111 yards, set a Western AC record for receptions in a season.