1. TEXAS (7-1-1)
2. ARKANSAS (9-1)
3. HOUSTON (6-1-2)
Although Arkansas already had a Sugar Bowl bid assured, it went to Lubbock hoping to get its hands on a bowl of cotton. The Razorbacks wound up with a 42-7 win over Texas Tech and with at least a share of the Southwest Conference title. And if Texas A&M upsets Texas on Thanksgiving, the Razorbacks will get their Cotton Bowl trip and the Longhorns will have to be satisfied with sugar. Arkansas' win was built around Bill Burnett, who scored three times and ran for 130 yards, and an aggressive defense that stole seven passes and two fumbles.
As usual, SMU started slowly, but eventually the Alphabet Offense got rolling against Baylor by capitalizing on the running of Mike Richardson, who gained 154 yards, and the passing of Chuck Hixson, who completed 14 of his last 22 passes and 26 of 51 overall. Hixson's three touchdown passes gave him a total of 21, breaking an SWC record held by Davey O'Brien and Sammy Baugh, and SMU a 33-17 win. Winless Rice stayed that way, losing to TCU 24-14.
In the Astrodome, Houston mercilessly victimized Tulsa 100-6, not an alltime high score but certainly an indoor record. Paul Gipson scored three times and romped for 282 yards in less than three quarters, but even without him Houston piled on 49 points in the final period. In all, the Cougars, the nation's total-offense leader, accumulated 772 yards. UTEP, with Eugene Childs scoring on a short plunge and a 54-yard run, rallied from a 12-0 halftime deficit to down Colorado State 23-19.
1. OHIO STATE (9-0)
2. KANSAS (9-0)
3. PURDUE (8-2)
Missouri-Kansas games have a way of bringing back memories of the border warfare between the two states that supposedly ended in 1863. Tiger fans last week came up with a fight song that told Kansas backers they could take up residence where they would never have to worry about having cold feet. The Kansas chancellor himself retorted, "We'll put Missouri's Tigers so far in the tank they'll never come out." Well, the Orange Bowl-bound Jayhawks scored 14 quick points but barely kept the Gator Bowl-bound Tigers in the tank 21-19. The lid was finally clamped on by a Kansas defense that blocked a point-after kick and stopped a sweep on a two-point attempt, plus heady work by Safety Dave Morgan, who was in Missouri's hair all day. Kansas thus gained at least a tie for the Big Eight title.
Oklahoma will share the honor with Kansas if it beats Oklahoma State this week. Against Nebraska Saturday, the Sooners' Steve Owens set Big Eight single-game records with five touchdowns and 30 points, and a season rushing mark with 1,416 yards in a 47-0 rout. In addition, Bob Warmack of the Sooners neared the alltime conference record in total offense with 4,101 yards, and Eddie Hinton set another mark by upping his season's yardage on pass receptions to 803. Kansas State, trailing 14-0 at the half, rallied to beat Oklahoma State 21-14 and escaped the cellar for the first time in five years. Lynn Dickey of the Wildcats made good on 12 passes for another Big Eight record: 125 completions this season.
Ohio State settled the Big Ten race and a trip to the Rose Bowl by defeating Michigan (page 22). For the first time since he came down with acute hepatitis four weeks ago, Purdue Coach Jack Mollenkopf was permitted to leave the hospital. After giving a short pregame pep talk to his players, he returned to his bed, where he listened as the Boilermakers got past Indiana 38-35. Leroy Keyes scored four touchdowns, three in the fourth period; his last, with 1:35 left, gave Purdue the lead for the first time.