THE TOP THREE:
1. ALABAMA (8-0)
2. MISSISSIPPI (7-0)
3. LSU (6-1-1)
After weeks of playing patty-cake with weak sisters, Alabama finally got a chance to show its muscles against a worthy opponent. Coach Bear Bryant had some fretful moments when Miami led 3-0 at the half, but then sophomore Quarterback Joe Namath took charge. He ran and passed the Tide into position for two short touchdown plunges by Cotton Clark, threw for a third score, ran over from the one for a fourth and Alabama went on to win 36-3.
While Mississippi rolled over Chattanooga 52-7, the other big wheels in the SEC had their hands full. TCU had the pitching (by Sonny Gibbs) but frugal LSU got the points—a 34-yard field goal by Lynn Amedee and a safety for a 5-0 victory. Florida State keyed its defense on Georgia Tech's Billy Lothridge, and it was rough enough to give Mr. Cool a hot afternoon. Tech survived with a 14-14 tie. Auburn survived, too, needing a hearty goal-line stand in the closing minutes to hold off Mississippi State 9-3. Tennessee beat Tulane 28-16 and Florida outscored Georgia 23-15.
The Atlantic Coast race was all but over. Duke saw to that as it forced Maryland's usually meticulous Dick Shiner to flutter his passes and won 10-7 with Bill Reynolds' 38-yard field goal and Mike Curtis' two-yard plunge. Except for 3-1 Clemson, which thumped Furman 44-3, the rest of the ACC was out of it.
Independent Memphis State, beaten only by Mississippi and yearning desperately for a bowl bid, used its game with The Citadel as a showcase. Fullback Dave Casinelli ran for three touchdowns as the Tigers piled up 529 yards and muzzled the poor Bulldogs 60-13.
THE TOP THREE:
1. USC (7-0)
2. OREGON (6-1-1)
3. WASHINGTON (5-1-2)
While his Stanford team was still aching from a 39-14 pounding by USC, Coach Jack Curtice declared, "USC is the best team in the country, the best I've seen in five years." The Trojans had just caught up-and-down Stanford at the bottom of its yo-yo string and added another knot to their own string—seven straight wins. After softening the big interior Stanford line with a fearful first-half beating, USC unleashed Backs Pete Beathard, Bill Nelsen and Willie Brown and End Hal Bedsole to finish the rout.