1. USC (10-0)
2. UCLA (8-3)
3. ARIZONA STATE (9-2)
Arizona State found the going tougher than usual this year, but the Sun Devils still managed to capture their fourth straight Western Athletic Conference championship by crunching Arizona 38-21. They gouged out 555 offensive yards, 363 of them on the ground, where Brent McClanahan did the heavy duty with 153 yards and two touchdowns. Arizona could gain only 35 yards in 32 rushes, but Bill Demory passed for three scores. The victory gave Arizona State a Fiesta Bowl spot opposite Missouri.
Pete Van Valkenburg put on a sensational show as Brigham Young rapped New Mexico 21-7. He rushed for 190 yards and one touchdown and scored another with a 93-yard kickoff return. This overshadowed the performance of Fred Henry, whose 88 yards made him the WAC's alltime rusher with 2,935.
Tony Adams' outstanding career at Utah State had left little room for Mickey Doyle except as a kicking specialist. Then against Weber State, Adams, who had not missed a game in three years, went out with an injury and when his replacement couldn't move the team, it was Doyle do or die. Doyle did. He rushed for one touchdown, passed for another and kicked two field goals and two extra points as Utah State won 20-16 in the closing minutes. Utah had its biggest scoring day in 42 years when it blistered Colorado State 62-36. Quarterback Steve Marshall ran for three touchdowns and passed for four more, the first strike coming from 75 yards out on the second play of the game.
San Diego State tried to pull out of the Pacific Coast Athletic Association last spring, and maybe the league should have let the Aztecs go. They completed an unbeaten conference season and tipped their overall record to 9-1 with a 33-14 victory over Long Beach State. Alternating Quarterbacks Bill Donckers and Jesse Freitas combined to score two TDs, pass for a third and complete 22 of 37 passes. "They're so even it's impossible to pick between the two," says Coach Don Coryell. Although he didn't score, Isaac Curtis had an excellent game with 11 catches for 166 yards.
1. TEXAS (9-1)
2. TEXAS TECH (8-3)
3. HOUSTON (6-4-1)
Sweet September. The Razorback Hogs of Sooey Pig, Ark. had themselves one fine football team, a Heisman Trophy kind of a quarterback and a litter of fans who could not wait to buy Cotton Bowl tickets. Then the season opened. First came a loss to Southern California, followed by uncomfortable one-point wins over Oklahoma State and Tulsa. Refuge was sought in the Southwest Conference—the Porkers lost four straight. To set matters right. Coach Frank Broyles scrapped the passing attack and the passer, Joe Ferguson. A loss to Texas Tech would have left Arkansas in last place for the first time in 20 years. But the Hogs didn't lose. Directed by sophomore Scott Bull they saved what little self-respect remained by winning 24-14. Bull, who had already seen duty at fullback, tight end and safety, directed the attack to 17 fourth-quarter points. Arkansas passed only four times and rushed 70, 33 of them by Dickey Morton, who gained 135 yards.
Texas drubbed Texas A&M 38-3 on Thanksgiving night. Passing played an important role for the Longhorns, who trailed 3-0 before their first score midway through the second quarter. Alan Lowry set up the TD—which he scored himself—with a 39-yard completion, and produced a second on a four-yard toss to Julius Whittier. "I thought I was going to go all year without throwing a touchdown pass," said Lowry, a defensive back his sophomore and junior seasons. Wide Receiver Jimmy Moore caught three passes for 87 yards and returned a punt 61 yards for a touchdown.