1. NEBRASKA (11-0)
2. OKLAHOMA (9-1)
3. MICHIGAN (11-0)
While Nebraska and Oklahoma played the latest Game of the Decade (page 22), Michigan rested until New Year's Day and Stanford. The only other issue at stake in the Midwest was second place in the Missouri Valley Conference, and Tulsa, Louisville and North Texas State finished in a tie behind Memphis State. Tulsa gained its share of the runner-up spot by beating Wichita State 31-13. State had taken a 7-0 lead, but the Golden Hurricane blew past the Shockers when Sam Henry kicked a 27-yard field goal and Quarterback Todd Starks heaved a 61-yard touchdown pass to James Shaw.
Louisville, playing at home, wanted a win over Cincinnati for Coach Lee Corso, who was rumored to be leaving to take over at Maryland. But the Bearcats' Mel Riggins plunged for a TD from the one with 1:43 remaining and Defensive Back Jim Henderson stopped the Cardinals with an interception a few seconds later to preserve a 19-16 victory for Cincinnati.
1. ALABAMA (11-0)
2. AUBURN (9-1)
3. GEORGIA (10-1)
Alabama smothered Auburn in the biggest game in the South (page 25), but there was one upset, two close calls and at least one unusual incident in other regional games. "Everything went wrong for me this week," said Clemson Coach Hootie Ingram. That was his way of saying that South Carolina was in for trouble—and indeed it was as Clemson upset the Gamecocks 17-7 for its first victory over South Carolina since 1967.
Georgia and Tennessee were hard pressed to claim their respective state titles. Just about the time that most Americans were trying to digest too much turkey, Georgia Tech appeared to have chewed up the Bulldogs in a 24-21 upset. Even Georgia's sophomore Quarterback Andy Johnson thought his team was beaten when Tech scored its go-ahead touchdown and then stopped Georgia at the nine with only three minutes remaining. But starting from the Tech 35, with 1:29 left, Johnson passed the Bulldogs to the one-yard line and Jimmy Poulos plunged for a TD with 14 seconds left to win 28-24. "Johnson can pass, in case anybody still wants to know," said Coach Vince Dooley afterward. A writer responded, "We knew that. It's good Vince finally figured it out."
Tennessee trailed Vanderbilt 7-0 after three quarters. But Vol Quarterback Jim Maxwell escaped Vanderbilt's defensive end, George Abernathy, long enough to complete a six-yard touchdown pass to Sonny Leach to tie the game, and George Hunt booted a 39-yard field goal with 3:47 remaining for a 10-7 lead. Tennessee added another touchdown and a safety for a 19-7 triumph.
Florida, LSU and Mississippi had little trouble winning, but John Reaves of the Gators needed some hanky-panky from his teammates to surpass Jim Plunkett's career total-yardage record. Florida beat Miami 45-16, but the Gator defense—responding to Orange Bowl chants of "Let 'em score"—actually dropped to the artificial turf with 1:10 to play and allowed the Hurricanes an uncontested touchdown so Reaves could get one more chance to reach his ultimate 7,549-yard total, five better than Plunkett's. Florida Coach Doug Dickey later had words with a Miami assistant, but said the defense did the swan dive on its own. "I would rather not have had to do it that way, but certain records are worth going after, I guess," Dickey said. "It was the worst thing I have ever seen in football," said Miami Coach Fran Curci. "A disgrace. A pure lack of class. I was watching Dickey the whole time and saw him send the boy in with the call. I've lost all respect for Dickey as a coach and as a man." Reaves later did a dive of his own—into a fountain when his teammates dunked him. Mississippi humiliated Mississippi State 48-0, and LSU, with Andy Hamilton making six catches and two touchdowns, defeated Tulane 36-7. Hamilton broke two Tiger records held by Ken Kavanaugh Sr. Said Ken Kavanaugh Jr., Hamilton's teammate, "Shucks, that's great."
1. HOUSTON (9-2)
2. TEXAS (8-2)
3. ARKANSAS (8-2-1)
Utah should have realized something was amiss when its party was deemed too large to tour the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Center in Houston. The entire group finally was allowed to visit NASA and was given a personally guided tour by Dr. James Fletcher, NASA head, the day before a 42-16 loss to Houston. Dr. Fletcher, incidentally, is a former president of the University of Utah. Sentiment aside, Cougar Fullback Robert Newhouse carried 31 times through the porous Redskin defense for 204 yards to become the leading rusher in Houston history with 2,861 yards. Coach Bill Yeoman of the Cougars, in a last-minute campaign for his 5'11" (actually, the pros supposedly have found him to be 5' 9¾") star, said, "Any All-America team that doesn't have Newhouse is a farce." Newhouse is not as pushy. "I never worry about the publicity," he said, "I just do the running."
Everything was up to date in the Southwest Conference, where Texas defeated Texas A&M 34-14 on Thanksgiving Day to earn its annual Cotton Bowl assignment (a record fourth in a row), and Coaches Bill Beall of Baylor and Gene Stallings of A&M lost their jobs. Beall knew it was coming, since he had a 3-28 three-year mark and finished with a 23-0 loss to Rice. Bubba Berg, a sophomore split end, caught two touchdown passes and Mark Williams kicked three field goals as Rice ended Coach Bill Peterson's first season on an upbeat note. Stallings held a press conference after the loss to Texas, saying he felt he would be retained despite a 5-6 record. He was whistling in the dark, however. Two hours later, Dr. Jack Williams, A&M president, administered the coup de grace.
A 29-yard field goal by Berl Simmons in the final 13 seconds gave TCU an 18-16 victory over SMU, which appeared to have won the game on a two-yard TD run by Quarterback Gary Hammond with 2:42 to go. "Just call him George Blanda Simmons," said TCU Quarterback Steve Judy.
1. PENN STATE (10-0)
2. BOSTON COLLEGE (9-2)
3. DARTMOUTH (8-1)
"He swears up and down—and these kids are taught to be honest—that his knee did not touch the ground," said Navy Coach Rick Forzano. But Field Judge Louis Koerber ruled—and a television replay seemed to confirm his call—that Navy Quarterback Fred Stuvek's knee did touch the ground at the Army eight before he pitched back to Halfback George Berry for what appeared to be a go-ahead touchdown for the Middies on their last series against Army. The Cadet defense held and a few seconds later Army purposely took a safety on the game's final play for a 24-23 win, the first time in 72 years this game has been decided by one point. Forzano, whose contract expires this year, explained why he did not go for a field goal, which would have tied the Cadets: "Let me tell you something. We don't go for ties."
In another classic, the 67th Jesuit battle, Boston College defeated Holy Cross 21-7 for its winningest season since 1940. Coach Ed Doherty, who guided Holy Cross to a 4-6 record in his first season, knew he was in for trouble when the two schools finally found a place to play just 24 hours before kickoff. There was a foot of snow at Holy Cross, the scheduled site of the game, and the Crusaders, who would have liked another week to prepare, refused to play at Boston College. An agreement was reached with the New England Patriots at the last minute and the game was held in Schaefer Stadium in Foxboro. Doherty wanted more time to install offensive and defensive systems to confuse the Eagles. The Crusaders took a 7-0 lead on a four-yard touchdown pass from Pete Vaas to Joe Neary. Then BC Quarterback Ray Rippman started to connect. He threw 40 yards to Ed Rideout for the go-ahead touchdown and 46 to Mel Briggs. "Even the Patriots couldn't have defended against those passes," said Doherty.
Rutgers won the first annual Urban Classic, upsetting Morgan State 27-8. Quarter-back Leo Gasienica threw two touchdown passes to Tight End Larry Christoff and sneaked for one TD himself.
Remember Bill Cosby's "Hofstra" routine? That was the one in which Cosby and his Temple University teammates panic in the locker room over the possibility of having to play Hofstra on television. C.W. Post, which was a 25-point favorite against Hofstra on Thanksgiving Day, no longer thinks Cosby's act is funny. The final score: Hofstra 14, C.W. Post 12. Now the Pioneers must face Delaware, the nation's top college division team, in the Boardwalk Bowl at Atlantic City on Dec. 11.
1. ARIZONA STATE (10-1)
2. STANFORD (8-3)
3. WASHINGTON (8-3)
Arizona made it to the Arizona State portion of Tempo's Sun Devil Stadium just twice as the once-beaten Devils romped to a 31-0 win in a game that was supposed to be high-scoring—for both teams. The Wildcats, who had averaged 19 points a game, were limited to 168 total yards, just 63 rushing, and only 13 completions in 40 attempts. The explosive Sun Devils also fell below their season average of 471 total yards, but were hardly embarrassed with 406. Halfback Woody Green led the onslaught with a pair of touchdown runs. The only solace for Arizona was an interception by Cornerback Jackie Wallace in the last quarter, his 11th, to tie a WAC record set by Seth Miller of ASU in 1969.
Iowa State scored three touchdowns in a last-quarter comeback to beat San Diego State 48-31. Quarterback Dean Carlson ran for one TD and passed for another in the final flurry; overall, he completed three touchdown passes. Brian Sipe of the Aztecs also tossed three touchdown passes, all to Split End Tom Reynolds, as he completed 22 of 47 for 304 yards. Unhappily, he was intercepted four times.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
THE LINEMAN: Rich Glover, the 6'l", 234-pound Nebraska middle guard, took part in 22 tackles in the Cornhuskers' much publicized win over Oklahoma. Glover, who is a junior, was also credited with the recovery of a fumble.
THE BACK: Houston Fullback Robert New-house ground out 204 yards on 31 carries in a 42-16 win over Utah to finish the season with 1,757 yards, thus making him second to Ed Marinaro of Cornell, the alltime leader.