1. UCLA (9-1)
2. WYOMING (9-1)
3. USC (7-3)
Fighting NOTRE DAME, minus Quarterback Terry Hanratty, Halfbacks Rocky Bleier and Bob Gladieux and Center George Goeddeke, all injured, was determined to prove it was indeed No. 1, even without them. The Irish lit into unlucky USC with such force it was hard to see how they could have been any better. Coley O'Brien, Hanratty's stand-in, threw passes, long and short, all over Memorial Coliseum. End Jim Seymour caught 11—two for touchdowns—and Nick Eddy and Larry Conjar pounded through the shocked Trojans. The net result: 255 yards passing, 206 rushing, 31 first downs and a 51-0 win for Notre Dame. It was time for reflection by Coach Ara Parseghian, and he observed, "This is by far the best team Eve ever had. Our defensive unit is the best Eve seen. I think we demonstrated we're No. 1." If there were some dissenters, USC's Johnny McKay was not among them. He said, "That's the best college team I've ever seen."
Arizona's Mark Reed threw 20 completions, good for 289 yards and two touchdowns, but ARIZONA STATE, behind 17-13, came back in the closing minutes as John Goodman passed 19 yards to Les Plummer to win the game 20-17. The Sun Devils ended in a tie with BRIGHAM YOUNG and Utah for second in the Western AC. The Cougars, meanwhile, humbled Pacific 38-0, with John Ogden running for 204 yards and three scores and Virgil Carter, who had 367 yards in total offense, passing for three touchdowns to tie Babe Parilli's NCAA career record of 50.
Colorado State, plumping for recognition by the WAC, finished off its best season since 1955 in style. Led by Jim Oliver's three touchdowns and Oscar Reed's slick runs, the Rams pounded Iowa State 34-10 for a 7-3 record.
1. ALABAMA (9-0)
2. GEORGIA (9-1)
3. GEORGIA TECH (9-1)
Alabama had just finished taking apart tough Southern Mississippi, the nation's No. 1 team in total defense, and Coach Bear Bryant had polls on his mind. "I just wish the players and I knew what the people who vote want," said Bryant wistfully. "Back in September we were voted No. 1 in the preseason poll, and we thought that meant they expected us to win. Well, we've been winning. No team had ever beaten Tennessee, Mississippi and LSU in the same year. Well, we did. If the voters want something besides winning, we'll try and do it." With one game to go against Auburn, and then Nebraska in the Sugar Bowl, the Tide may still find a way to satisfy the voters.
Georgia was thinking about the pollsters, too, after it spoiled Georgia Tech's unbeaten season, 23-14. All year long Coach Vince Dooley's combative Dogs had been getting themselves into a snarling mood for their old rivals. Led by Tackles George Pat-ton and Bill Stanfill, the defense went after Quarterback Kim King and he never got untracked. Kent Lawrence, a 9.5 sprinter, scored on a 71-yard punt return, Brad Johnson smashed over from the two and Bobby Etter kicked three field goals.
Everybody agreed that MIAMI'S Bill Miller, who had been an in-and-outer earlier in the season, was no Steve Spurrier. But, almost before Florida knew it, Miller had run and passed the Hurricanes into a 21-3 lead. Then Heisman Trophy winner Spurrier began getting away from the rough Miami defense. He completed 26 of 49 passes for 227 yards and a touchdown, Flanker Richard Trapp caught 11 for 150 yards (setting three SEC records), but still the Gators lost 21-16. "We were just outmuscled," said Florida's Ray Graves. Even worse, that gave the Orange Bowl two losers—Florida and Georgia Tech.