1. TENNESSEE (5-0)
2. LSU (5-0)
3. FLORIDA (5-0)
With only a minute left and the bail's nose resting six inches away from Georgia Tech's goal, Auburn's John Riley ran out to try a field goal. The score was 14-14, and Riley couldn't help thinking about what had happened exactly 364 days earlier, when he had missed a field goal late in the game as Tech beat the Tigers 21-20. "I could still see that ball, sitting four feet off the right hash mark—and going about four yards to the right," he said later. "I mean, I had a funny feeling when I went out there in about the same situation. I wore out the Good Lord's ears praying."
This time Riley kicked the field goal, and Auburn got away with a 17-14 victory—its fourth in five games. The field-goal try was considered something of a gamble, since Tech had blocked all of Riley's three previous attempts, but Auburn Coach Shug Jordan said he never considered trying a run instead. "We would have gone for the field goal if it had been fourth and a quarter of an inch," said Jordan.
Auburn's only conqueror, unbeaten Tennessee, scored three quick touchdowns in the first quarter and went on to stun Alabama 41-14 at Birmingham's Legion Field. Besides being Tennessee's third straight victory over Alabama, it stuck the Tide with back to back losses for the first time since Bear Bryant came to coach in 1958. "I couldn't believe we beat them that bad," said Tennessee's All-America linebacker, Steve Kiner. "They've forgotten what it means to wear that red jersey." Kiner made eight unassisted tackles and intercepted a pass in addition to harassing Alabama's passing game with repeated blitzes against Quarterback Scott Hunter.
After four straight nonconference wins, Louisiana State stepped into the SEC and promptly smashed Kentucky 37-10, despite fumbling the ball away four times in its first six series of downs. "We have to have a great team to make the mistakes we do and still win," said LSU Coach Charlie McClendon, who played all 52 boys who made the trip to Lexington. "Every time I looked up I was looking at a different tailback," said Kentucky Linebacker Wilbur Hackett.
At Gainesville, Florida's sophomore quarterback, John Reaves, passed for four more TDs in the Gators' 52-2 win over North Carolina, the Tar Heels' worst defeat since 1923. Reaves has passed for 15 scores in five games, only one less than Steve Spurrier threw in his 1966 Heisman Trophy season.
Vanderbilt fans had stayed until the final gun in the Commodores' upset of Alabama, but began leaving late in the third quarter as the home team fell farther and farther behind Georgia. The Bulldogs finally won 40-8 behind Mike Cavan's three TD passes, and Vandy Coach Bill Pace groused, "Our offense was the most inept I've ever seen." Memphis State Coach Billy Murphy had been (he object of bumper stickers reading, "Get Rid of Spook Murphy," so his Tigers put "Beat Miami" stickers on their helmets and did just that 26-13.
Ole Miss' biggest offensive display since 1935 ended in a 69-7 victory over Southern Mississippi at Oxford. The Rebels were so much in control that their star quarterback, Archie Manning, sat out the entire second half.
Virginia Tech looked like a winner when Gil Schwabe passed 26 yards to Jimmy Quinn for a 16-14 lead with 1:13 to go, but South Carolina came back to win on Billy DuPre's 47-yard field goal with only nine seconds left. The victory gave Coach Paul Dietzel's Gamecocks a 4-1 record and kept them ahead in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The No. 2 team, Clemson, got two TDs from Ray Yauger and beat Wake Forest 28-14.