1. USC (8-0)
2. UCLA (6-0-1)
3. WYOMING (8-0)
UCLA's Tommy Prothro saw it coming. Earlier in the week he had predicted, "The percentages favor either UCLA or USC losing before we meet." Well, his No. 2-ranked Bruins did not actually lose, but they came as close as you can in a 16-16 tie with bruising Oregon State. The Beavers' tough defense concentrated on shutting off Gary Beban's running and succeeded, while Quarterback Steve Preece and his runners, Bill Enyart, Bill Main and Don Summers, prodded sluggish UCLA off-balance with quick pitchouts and thrusts up the middle. In spite of this, UCLA maintained the lead through much of the game, thanks in large part to Zenon Andrusyshyn's field goals from 52, 33 and 26 yards. Yet Oregon State kept coming back, and with 1:14 left Mike Haggard's 28-yard field goal tied the game for the last time. Beban took UCLA down-field in one of his heroic charges after that, but an Andrusyshyn field-goal try from the 27 with 12 seconds to go was blocked.
Things were rough for USC for a while, too. Without ailing O. J. Simpson, the unbeaten Trojans had trouble getting away from California's determined defense, led by 235-pound Tackle Ed White, and USC was ahead only 17-12 in the third quarter. Then Coach John McKay changed his strategy. He sent Earl McCullouch, his fast split end, outside on pass patterns, and Quarterback Steve Sogge began hitting him. It was all over for Cal when McCullouch beat Defensive Back Bobby Smith for two touchdown passes, and USC won 31-12. "Nobody can stay with McCullouch," said McKay. UCLA's Prothro probably heard him.
Long-suffering Stanford, unable to beat Washington since 1958, finally got to the Huskies in Seattle when Quarterback Chuck Williams threw two touchdown passes to give the Indians a 14-7 win, and Washington State lost a hard battle of the have-nots to Oregon 17-13. A crowd of 49,536, the largest sports gathering ever in Colorado, was at Colorado Springs to see the Air Force play Army, but there was not much for the home fans to cheer about. Army's Nick Kurilko kicked a 45-yard field goal the first time the Cadets had the ball, and Army never lost its lead in a 10-7 win.
Undefeated Wyoming beat San Jose State 28-7, but Brigham Young found trouble when it went out of the Western AC. It got upset by Utah State 30-9.
San Francisco State's Bob Toledo broke all NCAA records for touchdown passes in a season (32) held by Jerry Rhome of Tulsa, and George Bork of Northern Illinois, throwing eight in a 68-34 win over Humboldt State. He now has 39.