1. TEXAS (8-1-1)
2. ARKANSAS (9-1)
3. HOUSTON (6-2-2)
Although the scoreboard indicated that Texas began winning its game against Texas A&M when it blasted for three touchdowns in the first period, the initial stride toward the victory was taken 12 months earlier. It was a year ago that Longhorn Defensive Halfback Ronnie Ehrig put a picture on the wall of his room showing how the Aggies' Bob Long had outmaneuvered him to score the touchdown that beat Texas 10-7 and cost the Longhorns a conference championship. "I've been thinking about it ever since," Ehrig explained. Tackle Loyd Wainscott summed up the feelings of the rest of the team by saying, "We were out-of-our-minds ready for them." Thus prepared, the Longhorns took a 35-0 halftime lead before throttling down to a 35-14 win that moved them into a tie for the Southwest Conference championship with Arkansas and into the Cotton Bowl against Tennessee. (Arkansas will face Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.) Bill Bradley, the used-to-be quarterback, was, like Ehrig, a man with a score to settle with the Aggies. He did it by playing as a defensive back and intercepting four passes. In spite of such troubles, Aggie Quarterback Edd Hargett broke Sammy Baugh's conference mark for career touchdown passes by throwing for two more and raising his total to 40.
Only 4,000 people came to see Baylor Coach John Bridgers' final game—he had gotten a Dear John letter from his boss the day before after 10 years on the job—and some of them left in the first period with Rice leading 7-0. As a result, they missed a comeback by the Bears, who gave Bridgers a 16-7 win as a bon voyage present.
December 9, 1968
1. PENN STATE (9-0)
2. ARMY (7-3)
3. YALE (8-0-1)
All week the word coming out of Annapolis was about the new formations that Coach Bill Elias had been working on "ever since last year's Army-Navy game," that epic occasion when David beat Goliath with a handful of pebbles. West Point was singularly silent, but Coach Tom Cahill did make a slight change in his offensive alignment, and Fullback Charlie Jarvis was reported to be still brooding over his fumble which cost Army a chance to beat Navy last year. When the teams finally got together before the usual 102,000 in Philadelphia's John F. Kennedy Stadium, Elias' new quirk turned out to be a slot T with the slotback inside the tackle, while Ca-hill's gambit was to move his split end in tight in his wing T.
Neither change was very startling but for a while both defenses were thrown off balance by the maneuvers. Then Army, adjusting more quickly, took a 14-0 lead on two smashing plunges by the vengeful Jarvis. But Navy refused to stay sunk. Halfback Dan Pike scored from the one-foot line after a fumbled punt gave the Middies the ball on the Cadet 33, and Tackle Tom LaForce intercepted one of Quarterback Steve Lindell's passes and ran 36 yards for a touchdown to tie the score. Out went Lindell and in came Jim O'Toole, the second-string quarterback who had almost bailed out Army last year. On his second play O'Toole threw a short pass to Split End Joe Albano, who lost his shoe but gained 64 yards to the Navy 14. A minute later Jarvis hustled over from the 10-yard line for his third touchdown and Army had its win, 21-14.
Boston College had no such trouble bringing down Holy Cross, thanks to Frank Harris, a smooth sophomore passer, and Dave Bennett, a fast senior halfback with dipsy-doodle moves. Harris completed 17 of 24 passes for 206 yards and three touchdowns, and Bennett scored twice on 22-and 71-yard runs as BC rolled up 609 yards and a 40-20 victory.
1. OHIO STATE (9-0)
2. KANSAS (9-1)
3. NOTRE DAME (7-2-1)
"We stunk up the place," said Oklahoma State Coach Phil Cutchin, but Oklahoma's Chuck Fairbanks thought the air was filled with the sweet smell of success following his team's 41-7 win. With the victory, which Bob Warmack engineered by passing for two touchdowns and running for another pair, the Sooners earned a share of the Big Eight title with Kansas. Warmack attempted 20 passes and completed a dozen of them, 10 of which went to Wingback Eddie Hinton. Warmack set a Big Eight career record with a total of 3,527 yards.
Tulsa, leading 3-0 in the fourth quarter and unable to gain much yardage in the muddy going, scored three touchdowns on passes in the closing minutes to wipe out winless Wichita State 23-7 in a Missouri Valley Conference game.
1. GEORGIA (8-0-2)
2. TENNESSEE (8-1-1)
3. ALABAMA (8-2)
"We want 100" was what the fans were chanting at halftime, but the crowd was rooting for Florida State to get the 100, not Houston, which had scored that much the week before but now trailed 25-0. State only got to 40, however, as Houston's firm-as-marsh-mallow defense was rendered helpless by Bill Cappleman and Ron Sellers. Cappleman was on target all day, especially to Sellers, who caught 14 passes for 214 yards to finish first in the country with 86 catches good for 1,496 yards. Paul Gipson of the Cougars ran for 164 yards and wound up fourth nationally with 1,550 yards, but the blitzing Seminoles won easily 40-20. "We didn't execute. If we had, we would have butchered them," said Houston Coach Bill Yeoman after the game.
Georgia manhandled Georgia Tech 47-8, the Bulldogs' most lopsided win in the 75-year-old rivalry. The outcome was decided early, with Georgia going 98 yards for a score the first time it had the ball and with Tech Quarterback Larry Good being injured in the first period.
Although he did not step into a phone booth to change outfits, Mike Hall of Alabama looked like Clark Kent against Auburn as he switched jerseys to play both linebacker and tight end. The quick-change artist was largely responsible for Alabama's 24-16 victory.
In other SEC contests, Tennessee needed a 23-yard, third-period field goal by Karl Kremser to hold off surprising Vanderbilt 10-7, and winless Mississippi State, surprisingly, tied Mississippi 17-17. Tommy Pharr of the Bulldogs, an all-SEC quarterback despite playing for a team that was 0-8-2, passed for two touchdowns against Ole Miss and had his team ahead until late in the last quarter.
There were less than three minutes left, Florida trailed 10-7 and it had the ball on the Miami six-yard line. With Larry Smith gaining 90 yards, the upset-minded Gators had rallied from a 10-0 deficit, but now came the big play. Again Smith carried, this time breaking three tackles as he charged over the goal line to stun Miami 14-10.
Substitute Quarterback Wayne Humphries, who had not completed a pass all year, made good with three touchdown throws as Virginia Tech stomped VMI 55-6, while Memphis State routed Louisville 44-14 to take the Missouri Valley Conference title in its first MVC season.
1. USC (9-0-1)
2. OREGON STATE (7-3)
3. ARIZONA STATE (8-2)
Perhaps the worst psychological ploy of the season came when Arizona put the squeeze on the Sun Bowl selection committee and said, in effect, "Take us now or forget us." The Sun Bowl, running scared, took the Wondercats to play Auburn. But that was before last Saturday's Arizona-Arizona State game. ASU, naturally annoyed at being passed over by the Sun Bowl, took out its pique on Arizona. The first time ASU got the ball Fullback Art Malone ripped up the middle—where Arizona was supposed to be strongest—for 46 yards and a touchdown. Minutes later Malone ran 30 yards—through the same hole—for another score. ASU'S eventual 30-7 win gave idle Wyoming the Western AC title.
Despite the absence of seven black athletes who boycotted the game with Brigham Young because of contention over Mormon Church policies, San Jose State outscored the Cougars 25-21. San Diego State, unbeaten and the nation's No. 1 small-college team, enhanced its prestige against Utah State, a major-college opponent. The Aztecs piled up a 23-7 lead, then survived a brief rally by the Aggies to clinch their ninth win, 30-19, on Dennis Shaw's 24-yard touchdown run with 1:13 to go. The victory avenged San Diego's only loss in its last 37 games.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
THE BACK: Florida State Quarterback Bill Cappleman passed Houston dizzy, completing 25 of 34 for 351 yards and four touchdowns. He has totaled 25 scoring passes, tying Cincinnati's Greg Cook for the most this season.
THE LINEMAN: Alabama Linebacker Mike Hall had a full day against Auburn. On defense he intercepted two passes, recovered a fumble and was in on 16 tackles, while as an offensive tight end he caught a touchdown pass.