The bowl picture was taking shape. Ohio State (8-0-1) and UCLA (7-3) were almost certain to appear in Pasadena; Texas (9-1) and Mississippi (8-1) were set for the Cotton Bowl; LSU (9-1) and Colorado (8-1) were paired for the Orange Bowl; Alabama (9-0) and Arkansas (8-2) for the Sugar Bowl. Still to be decided: the Gator Bowl, which has Georgia Tech (6-3) but not a second team; the Liberty Bowl, which was still looking for someone to play Syracuse (7-3); and the Bluebonnet, which was eying Rice (6-3). The best bets for the open spots: Utah State (9-0-1), Penn State (7-3), Duke (6-3), Miami (6-3), Auburn (6-3), Kansas (6-3-1).
For some 28 minutes the Pitt Panthers behaved like a pack of wild alley cats. They led Penn State 14-13, but then State's diversified power began to show. Quarterback Galen Hall spread the Panther secondary with precise passes to ends and halfbacks, who alternately went deep and buttonhooked; and Roger Kochman, Al Gursky and Buddy Torris pounded through gaping holes to give State an easy 47-26 win.
Syracuse, perhaps still contemplating its controversial loss to Notre Dame, almost got caught up in its own second thoughts against Boston College. But the Orangemen finally made it past the Eagles 28-13, when Ernie Davis, who finished the job of breaking Jim Brown's career records, and Gary Fallon ran back intercepted passes 61 and 25 yards for touchdowns in the last minute.
Not even the most loyal sons of Rutgers in the mob of 25,500 that overflowed the school's pretty little sunken stadium at New Brunswick gave the Scarlet Knights much of a chance after Columbia took a 19-7 lead late in the third quarter. But, fired up by Dave Brody's 58-yard kick-off return, the Knights attacked the weary Lions so relentlessly that they scored four times in the last period to finish unbeaten for the first time in 93 years. Bill Speranza's 10-yard pass to Lee Curley got Rutgers back in the ball game, his one-yard plunge put them even at 19-19, Steve Simms crunched over from the three-yard line, Pierce Frauenheim scored on a 30-yard pass interception and the Knights won 32-19.
While Columbia was getting its lumps at New Brunswick, Harvard was trading a few with Yale at New Haven where The Game almost erupted into a battle royal. The Crimson gratefully turned three Eli misplays into touchdowns, scored another on a pass and licked the bumbling Yales 27-0. Harvard thus tied Columbia for the Ivy League title, as Dartmouth spoiled Princeton's hopes of making it a three-way knot by beating the Tigers 24-6. The top three:
1. PENN STATE (7-3)
2. SYRACUSE (7-3)
3. RUTGERS (9-0)
The Atlantic Coast Conference has become inured to shock, but rarely has there been anything like what hit Maryland. The confident Terps scored against Virginia and then reeled under the pasting of their lives. The Cavaliers' Gary Cuozzo pitched three short touchdown passes to third-stringer John Hepler, Ted Rzempoluch ran an intercepted pass back 95 yards and Virginia lifted the Terps right out of the Gator Bowl, 28-16.
Miami's slick George Mira, pitching fast balls like a major leaguer, found a willing catcher in End Bill Miller. Between them, they picked apart Northwestern's secondary and led the Hurricanes to a 10-6 victory.