THE TOP THREE:
1. ILLINOIS (4-0-1)
2. OKLAHOMA (4-1)
3. WISCONSIN (4-1)
Will the real Big Ten contenders please stand up?
Life in the Big Ten these days is just about as sedate as a Soviet-Red China shivaree—and almost as confused. Last week it was unbeaten Wisconsin's turn to go down, before OHIO STATE 13-10. When Northwestern lost to MICHIGAN STATE, three teams—Ohio State, Michigan State and Illinois—found themselves tied for first place.
Coach Woody Hayes, who recently has exhibited disquieting tendencies toward racy football, dusted off his old quarterback-fullback routine for Wisconsin, but with a surprise—Tom Barrington, a sophomore quarterback who had been sidelined by a fractured jaw suffered in a summer accident. Barrington, a slick roll-out runner, and Fullback Matt Snell hammered away incessantly at the Badgers, while the OSU halfbacks faked dutifully and stayed clear of the action. In the end, however, it was the weapon that Hayes admires least that helped Ohio State to its win. With Wisconsin ahead 10-6, Don Unverferth, another sophomore quarterback, took the Bucks 80 yards, mostly on short passes to End Tom Kiehfuss, for the winning touchdown. It was scored, of course, by Snell on an old-fashioned two-yard plunge. Hayes was pleased but characteristically cautious. "We passed much better than I dreamed," he said, "but I don't think we'll get heady over it."
Purdue, too, was back in the race. Quarterback Ron DiGravio passed and ran the Boilermakers past Iowa 14-0. MINNESOTA was not, but the Gophers, despite dreadful fumbling, beat Michigan 6-0.
Kansas State made the unpardonable error of scoring first on OKLAHOMA. Soon Jerry Cook's 26-yard field goal was lost in a swarm of Sooner touchdowns. Jim Grisham scored on a one-yard dive and a 56-yard run, Lance Rentzel ran 71 yards with a punt, and Oklahoma overwhelmed the Wildcats 34-9. The same thing happened to Colorado. Leading 6-0, the Buffs fell apart once NEBRASKA came alive. The score: 41-6.
Kansas had it easy against Oklahoma State. Halfback Gale Sayers and Quarterback Steve Renko led a 507-yard assault as the Jayhawkers won 41-7. But MISSOURI. perhaps looking ahead to Saturday's Big Eight showdown with Nebraska, had big trouble. The Tigers could manage only 54 yards and three first downs as they barely beat tough Iowa State 7-0.
Undefeated BOWLING GREEN rolled over Kent State 18-3, while OHIO U. edged Miami 13-10.