The college football season ended the way it began, in a wild flurry of upsets. Notre Dame, beaten by USC 20-17 (page 26), was the most notable casualty, and the result dropped the Irish from the No. 1 spot among the nation's major teams. Alabama, 10-0 and headed for the Orange Bowl, was now clearly the best in the country. Only two other teams—Arkansas (10-0) and unranked Princeton (9-0)—were unbeaten and untied.
Meanwhile, persevering bowl committees, undeterred by the dwindling list of potential candidates, completed their pairings. Surprisingly, Oregon State (8-2) got the Rose Bowl invitation to play Michigan; Oklahoma (6-3-1) was in the Gator Bowl with Florida State; Utah (8-2) will meet West Virginia in the Liberty Bowl; Texas Tech and Georgia, both 6-3-1, were invited to the Sun Bowl.
THE TOP THREE:
1. ALABAMA (10-0)
2. LSU (7-1-1)
3. FLORIDA STATE (8-1-1)
Even before he got the news of Notre Dame's defeat, ALABAMA'S Bear Bryant, elated by his team's 21-14 Thanksgiving Day victory over Auburn, was telling everyone: "We think we are No. 1. We played the toughest schedule." Last Saturday The Bear had further evidence that Alabama was indeed No. 1. But there were moments against Auburn when Bryant must have wondered if his Crimson Tide was first, second or 25th. Fortunate to score on an Auburn end-zone fumble after an outrageously bad fourth-down center snap and battered shamefully by Tiger Fullback Tucker Frederickson, Alabama found itself behind 7-6 at half time. The pressure was eased somewhat when Ray Ogden, a 217-pound runner, took the second-half kickoff deep in his end zone, hesitated briefly until he got a go-ahead signal from a teammate, and then raced up the middle alley 107 yards for a touchdown. After that the Alabama defense stiffened, Quarterback Joe Namath threw one of his deadly passes over the middle to Ray Perkins for another score, and 'Bama had its undefeated season.
Vince Dooley, the 32-year-old rookie GEORGIA coach who likes to spend his spare time browsing in the school's Hah Dunlap Little Memorial Library, probably can have the whole building if he wants it. Brought in to banish the sour taste of the Wally Butts-Johnny Griffiths era, Dooley did that and more, putting enough bite in the Bulldogs to get them into the Sun Bowl. Last Saturday they nipped Georgia Tech 7-0. Quarterback Preston Ridlehuber gave Georgia a touchdown on a three-yard run in the third quarter, and then the Bulldogs played it safe. Specialist Douglas MacArthur Faircloth kept Tech at bay with his long punts (he averaged 41.4 yards), and a ferocious defense did the rest.
Two other Southeastern Conference underdogs also finished strong, VANDERBILT completed no passes but still beat Tennessee 7-0. TULANE'S aggressive Posse, a hard-hitting defensive unit, put a fearsome rush on Duke's Scotty McGlacken and the Blue Devils expired quietly, 17-0.
Miami had FLORIDA on the run in the first half. The Gators had gained only 12 yards and had no first downs. What is more, the hustling Hurricanes led 10-0. Then Coach Ray Graves split Lonesome End Charlie Casey out to one side and flanked Halfback Jack Harper to the other side. That opened up the Miami middle and allowed Harper and Fullback Larry Dupree to bang out touchdowns to give the Gators a narrow 12-10 win.
West Virginia already had the Southern Conference title but VIRGINIA TECH wanted second place badly. The Gobblers took it as Bobby Schweickert and Sonny Utz smashed VMI for 372 yards in a 35-13 rout, WILLIAM & MARY Quarterback Dennis Haglan threw three touchdown passes as the Indians trounced Richmond 33-13.