SI Vault
Mervin Hyman
November 27, 1961
As Texas' sun set in the West last week, Alabama's rose in the East. Undefeated, the Crimson Tide beat Georgia Tech, perhaps the toughest team on its schedule, 10-0 and replaced Texas as the nation's highest-ranked team.
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November 27, 1961

Football's Week

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California football, which had seemed to be on the rise, was suddenly down on all fours again. In the most disastrous weekend of the season, UCLA and USC, who meet Saturday for the right to go to the Rose Bowl, and California and Stanford sadly came to defeat.

Washington's tricky Charlie Mitchell put UCLA in a hole when he ran the opening kickoff back 90 yards for a touchdown. The Bruins fumbled the first time they got their hands on the ball and, three minutes later, Washington's Dick Schmidt kicked a 21-yard field goal to put Washington ahead 10-0. Forced to throw when Washington's ends and corner backs throttled their favorite sweeps, the Bruins passed for 241 yards, but it was Mike Haffner's two short runs that put them in front 13-10 in the second quarter. However, the lead proved to be a temporary one. Bill Siler broke through the UCLA line for 25 yards in the last period, and Washington won 17-13. "We made enough mistakes to last for 10 years," said a disgusted Coach Bill Barnes. "We just played a damned lousy game."

Things were even worse up north. Washington State, wisely mixing a potent ground game with Quarterback Mel Melin's passes to End Hugh Campbell, who scored twice, had no trouble rolling over Stanford 30-0. But the most humiliating disaster was the one that hit Cal. Kansas, aiming for a bowl bid, sent John Hadl, Curt McClinton (who scored four touchdowns) and its other talented backs running through, around and over the sprawling Bears, flattening them 53-7. The top three:

1. UTAH STATE (9-0-1)
2. UCLA (6-3)
3. WYOMING (6-1-2)

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