1. MICHIGAN STATE (5-0)
2. OHIO STATE (4-0-1)
3. COLORADO (5-0)
For once, the Southwest Conference appeared to have an unbeatable leader—Texas. The powerful Longhorns, manipulated with deadly proficiency by Quarterback Mike Cotten, ignored a potpourri of Rice defenses and stomped the poor Owls half to death to win 34-7. When Rice overshifted its line in the first half, Cotten cleverly exploited the weak side with thrusts by Fullback Ray Poage. When Rice moved into a balanced six-man line in the second half, Cotten worked on the strong side. He sent Halfback Jim Saxton through for a six-yard touchdown run. Halfback Jerry Cook through for 63 yards in seven carries on the way to another score and, in between, flipped a six-yard touchdown pass to End Bob Moses.
Continuing what may well turn out to be a futile chase, Texas A&M knocked Baylor out of the race, 23-0, and SMU, outrushed and outpassed by Texas Tech, beat the Raiders 8-7 in the final minutes.
Unbeaten Alabama got some unexpected resistance from Houston, but the Crimson had Quarterback Pat Trammel! on its side, which was enough for a 17-0 win. The top three:
1. TEXAS (6-0)
2. ARKANSAS (4-2)
3. RICE (3-2)
Utah's big Redskins, grabbing a quick 6-0 lead, started out as if they were going to run Wyoming clear out of Salt Lake City's snow-filled Ute Stadium. But then the big Wyoming backs went to work. Chuck Lamson ripped the Utah line with keeper plays. Fullback Mike Walker bulldozed up the middle, and the steady pounding took its toll. Walker scored twice in the second half, and Wyoming won 13-6 to lay a firm hand on the Skyline title. Meanwhile, Utah State, the other contender, ran and ran until Idaho was humiliated 69-0.
It was hardly sensational football, but UCLA and USC both won. Stanford tried hard to blunt the UCLA shotgun with a five-man line, but it was futile and the Bruins won 20-0. USC, after going ahead of Illinois 14-10 on Pete Beathard's passing, watched in grateful amazement as the confused Illini milled around frantically on the Trojan six-yard line while time ran out. Up north, Oregon, which had lost to Washington by a single point for two straight years, beat the Huskies 7-6. The top three:
1. WYOMING (5-0-2)
2. UTAH STATE (6-0-1)
3. UCLA (4-2)