Arkansas was not forgetting anything, especially all the records other SWC teams have been setting for years. The Hogs smothered Texas A&M 31-0, tying two of those records (19 consecutive wins, 12 straight in the league). While the Aggies watched Harry Jones, his alter ego, Tailback Bobby Burnett, took up the cause with 111 yards for two touchdowns.
But the path to the title is not all that cotton-soft. In the way, besides SMU, is TEXAS TECH, whose Halfback Mike Leinert is quite frank about it: "We've got pride and we'd like to go to a bowl—the Cotton Bowl." The Red Raiders also have Donny Anderson, who accounted for 224 yards and scored twice in a 27-0 victory over Rice. Little-used Quarterback Kent Nix led TCU to a 10-7 upset of Baylor.
1. USC (4-1-1)
2. UCLA (4-1-1)
3. WASHINGTON STATE (6-1)
While USC, with a week off after its humiliation by Notre Dame, spent the time regrouping, neighboring UCLA as well as WASHINGTON STATE continued to look like legitimate Rose Bowl contenders. Loser only to Michigan State—in its opener and not by much—UCLA beat Air Force 10-0. A perfect play caught the Falcons flying the wrong way. Halfback Mel Farr slashed over right guard on a counter, angled sharply to his right and fled 37 yards for a touchdown. Kurt Zimmerman's 31-yard field goal put the Bruins out of reach.
The Uclans now have to get by WASHINGTON, and that may not be as easy as it seemed a couple of weeks ago. The normally landlocked Huskies came alive and drubbed startled Stanford 41-8 as Quarterback Ted Hullin completed 10 passes for 149 yards and two touchdowns and End Dave Williams caught 10 (a school record). Meanwhile, Halfback Don Moore and Fullback Ron Medved ran for three more scores. "Our execution improved," said Coach Jim Owens happily. That is what it was too—an execution.
Washington State changed the script against Oregon State. Usually, the surprising Cougars come from behind to win. This time they took a 10-0 lead on Ted Gerela's 35-yard field goal and Larry Eilmes' one-yard plunge. Then they hung on for dear life to win 10-8. OREGON, however, had to rally to catch Idaho 17-14. Discerning coaches stationed in the press box sent word to the Oregon bench in the last quarter that the sideline passes would work against the tight Vandals. They did. Quarterback Mike Brundage hit Ray Palm and Steve Bunker with three of them and then threw to Bunker again for the winning touchdown.
Everything possible, it seemed, had already happened to Penn State this season. Bumbling and fumbling had cost the Lions three games, but it appeared their luck finally had turned when Quarterback Jack White's 14-yard pass to Jack Curry put State ahead of CALIFORNIA 17-14 with only 42 seconds to go. However, on the last play of the game Cal's Jim Hunt threw a desperate 46-yard pass into the end zone where little Jerry Bradley, surrounded by three Penn Staters, waited without much hope. Up the three went for the ball, down they came with only a touch of it. It slithered into Bradley's eager hands and Cal won 21-17. "You stick around long enough and good things happen," said Coach Ray Willsey, who seemed suddenly wise.
Brigham Young had something new ready for unbeaten UTAH STATE. The Cougars split both ends, sent four receivers down the sidelines and through the middle and BYU took a 7-0 lead on Virgil Carter's nifty passes. But the alert Aggies soon spread their defense wider and got going themselves. Quarterback Ron Edwards threw three touchdown passes, Halfback Roy Shivers ran through the Cougars for 180 yards and scored twice, and Utah State won its seventh straight game 34-21.