Conference and award winners: Ivy League—Princeton; Lambert Trophy—still undecided but either Army or Navy; Big Three—Yale; Yankee—tie between Connecticut and Rhode Island; Little Three—Williams; Lambert Cup—almost certainly Lehigh.
Princeton, rebounding from the previous week's galling upset loss to Yale, hustled through snow and mud for a conclusive 34-14 victory over Dartmouth in the Ivy showdown. Sophomore Tailback Danny Sachs, his bum ankles notwithstanding, had his hand in four Tiger touchdowns. One was on a superb 60-yard punt return; another followed a pass interception.
Yale handed Harvard its worst scrubbing in the 82-year history of The Game, laid it on the helpless Cantabs 54-0. Quarterback Dick Winterbauer took up where he left off at Princeton, completed nine of 12 passes, three of them for scores. The last of these set a Yale career record of 20 touchdown passes.
Pittsburgh, out of the bowl picture for the first time in three seasons, made certain Penn state wasn't going anywhere either, inched past its upstate rival on two late touchdowns, 14-13.
Little Lehigh, with one of the best quarterbacks in the country, toppled Lafayette in their 93rd scuffle 26-13. Senior Dan Nolan ran the option play with all his usual finesse, passed with prudence and left the field the most effective back in Lehigh's long football history.
In Dixie, the two most important conferences found themselves in the peculiar situation where their champions were barred from bowl appointments by the NCAA. Both Auburn of the SEC and North Carolina State of the ACC are stay-at-homes over the holidays, their bowl spots most likely filled by Duke (Orange) and Mississippi (Sugar). Big surprise of the Southland was VMI, which so far has scooted through the season undefeated and, depending on its Thanksgiving Day frolic with Virginia Tech, may cop the Southern Conference. Should it lose, the title goes once again to West Virginia.
At Columbia, S.C., some 14,000 football fans found fodder for nine months of small talk as North Carolina State tripped South Carolina 29-26, in the season's most frantic finish. With only seconds remaining—and just moments after SC's tie-making extra point had struck the crossbar and fallen over—NC State threw a long and desperate pass. It was intercepted and brought back to State's 17 as the final gun went off. Fans poured over the field. But the play was then called back for pass interference and, with the fans crowding the sidelines, the Wolfpack's Dick Christy kicked a field goal from SC's 28. Christy was the Wolf pack hero: he scored all of its points.
Kentucky knocked Tennessee's bowl notions into a cocked hat, with a stunning 20-6 upset. Never has one team owed so much to one lineman as the Wildcats did to Tackle Lou Michaels. Big Lou recovered one fumble for a touchdown, jarred loose another to set up the second score and kicked two extra points.
Auburn's line, mean as seven mad dogs, and Fullback Billy Atkins were far too much for Florida state as the Tigers breezed home 29-7.
The dark cloud that crossed Duke's Orange Bowl path when North Carolina surged for two third period touchdowns to upset the Blue Devils 21-13 drifted harmlessly away some hours later when an Atlantic Coast Conference Committee voted to send the hot and cold Devils to Miami.
Out in those great spaces where more people watch college football than anywhere else in the United States, special pleasures came this season to Ohio State (Big Ten title and a trip to the Rose Bowl), Michigan State (strong chance for top national ranking), Notre Dame (the shatter of Oklahoma's winning streak) and Wisconsin (the surprise of the Big Ten).
Ohio state, which had clinched its bowl trip the previous Saturday, spotted Michigan a 7-0 lead, then turned loose its late-season sophomore sensation, Fullback Bob White, who plunged head-down for a total of 163 yards and sparked the 31-14 victory.
Notre Dame briefly excited a few million Irishmen around the country before dropping a 21-13 decision to the rugged, well-rounded Hawkeyes of Iowa.
Michigan state set a new school fumbling record (13) but hung onto the ball in the last 9½ minutes to ring up 21 points and turn back the alleged nobodies from Kansas State 27-9.
Wisconsin, expected to be a contender for the Big Ten cellar, won its sixth game of the season, dumping much-dumped Minnesota 14-6.
Free-for-alls here and there in the stands proved more exciting than the struggle below as Purdue won the Old Oaken Bucket for the 10th straight year, pummeling Indiana 35-13.
Kansas, apparently inspired by Coach Chuck Mather's midseason resignation, won its fourth straight game for Chuck, beating Missouri on a last-minute field goal 9-7.
Texas A&M seems doomed to be denied a place in the Cotton Bowl in its first year of eligibility since its recent rise under Coach Bear Bryant. The Aggies and Rice have each been beaten once in Southwest Conference play, but Rice, having slipped past Texas A&M, can grab the Dallas bid with a victory Saturday over Baylor. In this event, whoever wins Thanksgiving Day's Texas-Texas A&M game might take a consolation trip to the Sugar Bowl.
Meanwhile, Rice kept to its knitting, hammered through TCU 20-0. Owl Quarterback King Hill, playing with his broken nose housed in a plastic mask, once again turned in the best game in the area.
Houston, with another Missouri Valley championship in its hip pocket, won its first game in four tries at Tulsa's Skelly Stadium, scoring in the fourth period to spoil the Golden Hurricane's homecoming 13-7.
THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS
With such colorful rivalries as the Denver-Wyoming and Utah-Utah State games scheduled for Thanksgiving Day, the pass country of the Rockies was reasonably quiet.
Colorado did, however, nail down third place in the Big Eight by crushing Iowa State 38-21. The Buffaloes traveled 576 yards, 137 of them by Halfback Bob Stransky, their All-America candidate.
In Provo, Utah, a surprisingly virile Brigham Young team stayed alive in the Skyline Conference by clubbing Colorado state 26-9. Should Utah lose this week, BYU would take the title.
THE FAR WEST
On the coast, everyone was killing off everyone else, and when it was all over no one was left but Oregon and Oregon State. And Oregon, sporting a shaky 7-3 record, must represent the PCC in the Rose Bowl. Those two met at Eugene, and a costly fumbling prevented the Webfoots from taking undisputed claim to the PCC title. Oregon finally lost to last year's champion, Oregon state, 10-7, on a third-period field goal.
Halfback Al Harrington, his broken jaw wired up like an old bumper, came in to kick both extra points as Stanford won the Big Game for Retiring Coach Chuck Taylor. The Indians took back the Axe with the 14-12 victory over California.
UCLA, traveling in a void laid down by the NCAA, finished the season with a splendid 8-2 record by waltzing through use 20-9 in the crosstown Los Angeles rivalry.