The big play? It was made by a sophomore named Frank Riepl, from oft-beaten Pennsylvania, who ran back 108 yards with the opening kickoff to put Penn ahead of mighty Notre Dame—temporarily. Or perhaps it was the field goal kicked by UCLA's Jim Decker in the last 18 seconds of play to beat Washington 19-17. Or maybe it was not one play at all but three—all in the last four minutes and each good for a touchdown, as Texas A&M came from behind to beat Rice 20-12.
Winning was still pretty important. Hung in effigy because their teams had disappointing seasons were Pappy Waldorf of California, Jess Hill of Southern Cal and Al Kircher of Washington State. Also hanged by the figurative neck until figuratively dead was a sportswriter named Jack Murphy, who dared to defend them. Down in the Southwest no one proposed a necktie party for Coach Ed Price of Texas, but he still had his troubles. Football-mad alumni were so indignant when the Longhorns lost four of their first five games they organized a move to fire Price at year's end—and then were furious when he won his next three to foil their plans.
More and more players accepted the new look—plastic face masks—and thus became the nearest thing to knights in full armor since the Middle Ages. As for the rules, coaches appeared so pleased that no one even talked of a major change.
Attendance was on the upswing—except possibly in the rain-and-snow-spattered East. Michigan consistently played before crowds of better than 90,000 and ended its season before an alltime record Ann Arbor crowd of 97,369. On the same day, UCLA and Southern California played to 95,878 in Los Angeles' Memorial Coliseum. Although more than 100,000 tickets had been sold, it was the scalpers who got scalped when thousands stayed home to watch the game free on TV.
It isn't over yet. Next Saturday more than 100,000—the year's biggest crowd—will watch Army meet Navy for the 56th time (see page 21).
Unless you have your ticket, you better get settled beside your TV set or your radio. Or, loftier still, get an airplane and consult your fly boy.
The deer season is on, and herewith are early bulletins from several fronts:
The paramedics of the 49th Air Rescue Squadron at Selfridge Air Force Base in Michigan are accustomed, every year, to make a practice jump into heavily wooded country. The jumpers deliberately land in trees and then cut their way to the ground as part of their realistic training. This month, with the approval of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Huron National Forest near Mio, Mich. was selected for the maneuvers. Forest rangers and state police were alerted, and the paramedics took off for the jump area. They were scarcely airborne when a state trooper had a sudden, horrible thought: Wouldn't paramedics crashing through tree branches sound exactly like 10-point bucks breaking through underbrush? And, with deer hunters swarming through the forest, wouldn't there be some of the trigger-happy who would shoot first and look later?
A frantic phone call was put through to Selfridge Air Base and relayed to the paramedics' plane just in time for the jump to be called off. The paramedics were saved, but before the day was over, Michigan deer hunters had nonetheless killed one of their fellow hunters, wounded seven others.