In the last exciting installment of the Perils of the Pacific Eight, we learned that Stanford had won the league championship and the accompanying trip to the Rose Bowl. And that the Pac Eight was really the Pac Seven because California was on NCAA probation for playing two young men who had been declared scholastically ineligible. But wonder of wonders, now we find that California is hypothetically eligible after all. And if it is, and if the Bears beat Stanford this week, then it might be California against Michigan in the Rose Bowl instead of the Indians.
It works like this: The attorneys for Isaac Curtis and Larry Brumsey showed up in U.S. District Court last week charging that the NCAA had acted "arbitrarily and capriciously" in ruling the players ineligible because they did not take the 1.6 predictability test as required. The action further charged that the NCAA had violated the due process clause of the 14th amendment. The matter turned into a civil-rights hearing when expert witnesses were introduced to testify that the college admission tests discriminate against blacks and underprivileged students. The case was heard by Judge Albert C. Wollenberg in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, who recessed the hearing and tentatively scheduled another late this month.
Should the judge grant the requested injunction, Cal's probation would be lifted and the Bears' 4-2 Pac Eight record would count in the league standings. And if the Bears also beat Stanford, then each would have a 5-2 record, and Cal just might get the Rose Bowl bid by virtue of its win over the Indians. "The court has not shut us out yet," said Coach Ray Willsey.
The Bears kept their ball rolling by beating Oregon 17-10 at Eugene. With the score tied late in the last period, Sam Garamendi intercepted an Oregon pass at the Duck 38 after it bounced off the shoulder pads of an Oregon receiver. Seven straight carries by Steve Kemnitzer put the ball on the four, and from there Rick Jones scored the winner with just 54 seconds left.
Meanwhile, Stanford, which has long since proven that it can lose to just about anybody, was embarrassed by San Jose State 13-12, thanks at least in part to some uncharacteristically shoddy kicking by Rodrigo Garcia, who has been troubled by a bad heel. Going into the game Garcia led the nation in field goals with 14 and had accounted for 64 points. But against San Jose he missed five field-goal attempts and even an extra point. His last missed field goal came with 17 seconds left and Stanford on San Jose's three-yard line. All day Garcia had been off to the left, so this time he tried to compensate with a strong kick to the right. It missed, too, and Stanford was done. The blame had to be shared, however. The Indians gave San Jose a TD in the first half when, on fourth down, Punter Steve Murray fumbled a poor snap in the end zone, then tried to run it out instead of settling for a safety. He was tackled on the one by Linebacker Dave Chancy, and San Jose was set up for an easy score. Also, Quarterback Don Bunce fumbled late in the game to stop a Stanford drive at the San Jose 40. Said Coach John Ralston, "I never thought until the last few seconds that we would lose this game." Well, no matter what happens to Stanford, San Jose may just have won itself a bowl trip to Pasadena—for the Pasadena Bowl on Dec. 18.
It was a weird day in Seattle, where Washington played host to USC. Instead of the high-scoring affair that everyone expected, the score was only 12-10, in Washington's favor, with only 3:40 left to play. Then came the biggest giveaway this side of foreign aid. Backed up in their own territory with a two-point lead, the Huskies made no attempt to run out the clock. Instead, Sonny Sixkiller went to the air and was intercepted by USC's Skip Thomas at the Huskies' 40. Four plays took the Trojans to the Washington 11. From there it was an easy chip shot for Kicker Mike Rae with 2:12 left. "It'll take a whole year for me to get over this one," moaned Huskie Coach Jim Owens.
Quarterback Rocky Long scored three TDs and passed for another as New Mexico beat Texas-El Paso 49-13 in the Western Athletic Conference. And Arizona State bowled over Wyoming 52-19 to win its third straight WAC title. Trailing 6-3 early in the third quarter, Arizona State began to roll behind Steve Holden's 90-yard punt return. According to Holden, he was supposed to run outside but went up the middle instead because his vision was blocked by beads of sweat in his eye.