1. USC (9-0-1)
2. UCLA (8-1-1)
3. STANFORD (7-2-1)
For spectators who enjoy trapeze acts, flagpole sitters and rocket launchings—anything up there in the sky—it was a dream game. San Diego State, the nation's No. 1 passing team with Dennis Shaw, facing North Texas State, No. 2 with Steve Ramsey. When Shaw threw four interceptions and lost a fumble in the first half, Coach Don Coryell began reaching for aspirin. The Aztecs trailed 24-14, but in the second half they picked off four of Ramsey's passes, recovered a fumble and even got the ball once on an onside kick to win 42-24. Each quarterback attempted 46 passes, but Shaw completed 28 for 387 yards and three touchdowns to Ramsey's 15 for 254 and one touchdown. The winner: Shaw.
It's not a good idea to play a team that has just been bypassed for a bowl bid. If you don't believe it, just ask Colorado State. Arizona State was upset when the Sun Bowl ignored them in favor of Nebraska and Georgia, upset enough to beat the poor Rams 79-7 in Tempe, Ariz. So diversified was ASU's ground attack that Fullback Art Malone, the Sun Devils' All-America candidate, was the team's sixth best rusher with only 38 yards. Nine players scored ASU's 11 touchdowns. "I was sorry to see the score go that high," said the winning coach, Frank Kush, "but it's hard to put a third string kid in there when he's hungry for some action and tell him not to do his best." If the Sun Devils defeat Arizona this week, they win the Western Athletic Conference title. If Arizona wins, the crown goes to Utah, which concluded its season with a 5-1 conference record after a 16-6 victory against Brigham Young.
While the Pacific Eight title was being won by USC's defense, there was jostling for lower positions. Oregon State had a field-goal attempt blocked with the score tied 7-7 and just 56 seconds left. The ball bounced off an Oregon player and Jeff Kolberg recovered it for the Beavers on the four. Kicker Mike Nehl's second attempt gave State the victory.
Washington won its first game of the year, defeating Washington State 30-21 in Seattle. Both teams concluded their seasons with 1-9 records.
Stanford shared second place with UCLA by beating Cal 29-28. The Indians blew a 17-0 first-quarter lead and found themselves behind 28-23 late in the fourth quarter. But they marched 80 yards on the ground and completed the scoring with a Howie Williams plunge from the four.
1. PENN STATE (9-0)
2. WEST VIRGINIA (9-1)
3. DARTMOUTH (8-1)
There were some who felt that Dartmouth was the greatest Ivy League team since those long-ago days of bowl bids. The unbeaten Indians had routed eight foes by 26 points a game. Princeton, their final obstacle, had seen its own hopes for an undisputed league championship dashed by Yale just the week before. Ah, but not for nothing had Princeton Coach Jake McCandless done graduate study in psychology. All week long he kept replaying films of the Columbia-Dartmouth game, undoubtedly one of the Indians' lesser showings. Just when Dartmouth began to look human, he took the squad aside and told them to throw conservatism out the window—attack, attack. Finally, before the Tigers took the field, he stood before them and uttered only two words: "I'm proud."