Maybe Kansas State really does have a "super, super, super, super" quarterback, which is the way Coach Vince Gibson modestly describes Lynn Dickey, the lad who made big sport of Oklahoma last week. And maybe Colorado's exuberant Bob Anderson really is so splendid a runner that kindly old ladies baked him cakes after he bounced his pals past Missouri. In the big Big Eight anything can happen—and already has. Just when it had begun to look as if college football would get through a season without any mind-boggling upsets, here came this Dickey and this Anderson to throw their conference into such confusion that it may take weeks to unravel the knots. Let it be restated that those weren't printer's errors. Kansas State, which has been back on the farm since about 1934, giggled at the powerful Sooners 59-21, and Colorado, which has the audacity to run wind sprints after a game, stuck it on unbeaten Missouri 31-24.
What all of this accomplished was massive chaos in what is certainly one of the nation's strongest conferences. There was lots of talk about the Big Eight before last Saturday, because the league had gone 16-8 against outside teams, fattening itself largely on Big Ten schools to the tune of 6-0. The Southeastern Conference could claim a superior intersectional record (25-5), but the Dixie teams had hardly left Dixie. The Big Eight not only whomped the Big Ten, it knocked off some pretty good independents in Air Force, Houston and Syracuse. And now, as they settled down to play their conference friends, the teams that had looked like the Big Eight's best—Missouri and Oklahoma—were suddenly in trouble in what has to be the liveliest conference race in the land.
The situation is this: unexpected Kansas State, thanks to Lynn Dickey's passing arm and the wisdom of Vince Gibson, who just might be thinking himself into coach of the year, stands at 3-0. But Colorado, Missouri, Oklahoma and Nebraska all have only one loss, and there are bunches of decisive games ahead. For instance, the Kansas State miracleworkers must go to seething Missouri this week, and Colorado must visit Nebraska. In the future there are Missouri-Oklahoma and Kansas State-Nebraska and Nebraska-Oklahoma, not to forget what might be the biggest of all on Nov. 22 when Bob Anderson takes Colorado into the forgotten nest of Manhattan, Kans., where only 35,000 seats are available for the big showdown with Lynn Dickey.
That would be a fitting place to end the race, for last week both Kansas State and Colorado got the victories they really wanted, and it was those upsets that caused all of the confusion anyhow.
A while back, the day before his team was to play high-ranked Penn State, and eight days before it would take on archrival Kansas, Vince Gibson sat at his desk by his purple and white telephone and said, "Beating Penn State would give us national prestige, and we don't have a bigger game than Kansas, but the game I want is Oklahoma." Small wonder Gibson wanted it. In 35 years Kansas State had managed only one measly lie with OU against 34 losses, most of them by thoroughly humiliating scores.
The Wildcats narrowly lost to Penn State (14-17), clipped Kansas (26-22) and went into the Oklahoma game with a 4-1 record and an astonishing lack of respect for the Sooners.
"We've got a better team than Oklahoma," Gibson told his boys. "They've got tradition, but we aren't awed by that. They make mistakes in their secondary, and we can get to them."
Lynn Dickey got to them, all right. A junior who wears white shoes because Joe Namath does, Dickey scattered passing records all over Manhattan as he hurled 28 completions for 380 yards and three touchdowns. He got the Wildcats on top quickly by 14-0. When the Sooners closed it to 14-7 on a long pass by Jack Mildren, Dickey came back throwing to make it 21-7. Another Mildren bomb made it 21-14, but Oklahoma never got closer. Before the half was over, Dickey had again driven Kansas State to a two-touchdown lead, and by the third quarter K State held a delirious 49-14 margin.
It was in the last quarter that OU's bruising Steve Owens got his 13th touchdown of the year and gained more than 100 yards for the 14th game in a row, all of which would be fairly impressive if it weren't for Kansas State's 59 points and 535 yards of total offense.
The big day for undernourished Kansas State was best summed up by one of its broadcasters, Paul DeWeese, who told OU fans, "It's no fun getting clobbered like this, and we are just the people to know how it feels."