The have-nots are beginning to have in the Southeastern Conference. Kentucky, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt—as unlikely a winning parlay as you'll find anywhere—all continued their surprising success. Alabama and Auburn, meanwhile, stayed on top, winning 28-7 over Miami and 17-13 over Georgia, respectively.
Kentucky clinched its first winning season since 1965 with a 17-point fourth-quarter blitz that downed Florida 41-24. ""When we had a 2-2 record," said Coach Fran Curci afterward, ""I thought we were headed for a disastrous season. Now we know that if we hang in there something good's gonna happen. This was probably the most important game in our modern football history. We really know how to win around here now."
Mississippi State's seventh victory equals its best total in 27 years. The Bulldogs had not beaten LSU since 1963, when another 7-6 outcome resulted from precisely the same circumstances: the Tigers missed a two-point pass with less than three minutes remaining.
Vanderbilt Coach Steve Sloan said he felt 100 years old after his team came from behind twice to beat Tulane 30-22, making this the first time since 1955 the Commodores have won more than five games.
The only unusual thing about Alabama's victory was the Orange Bowl crowd of 26,265, the smallest ever to watch a Tide team under Bryant. Two goal-line stands, the second with just over three minutes remaining, keyed Auburn's triumph. Quarterback Phil Gargis rushed for 160 yards and one touchdown and Secdrick McIntyre had 112 and the other TD. Tennessee won its first SEC game with a 29-17 victory over Mississippi.
Virginia Tech ended Florida State's one-game winning streak 56-21 while Wake Forest, which succeeded the Seminoles as the nation's most consistent loser, fell 34-21 to South Carolina. Georgia Tech evened its record at 5-5 by topping Navy 22-0.
Maryland clinched the Atlantic Coast Conference title by pummeling Duke 56-13. Bob Avellini completed 10 of 11 passes and Walter White scored three touchdowns. North Carolina outscored Army 56-42 as Chris Kupec passed and ran for five TDs.
1. Alabama (10-0)
2. Auburn (9-1)
3. Maryland (7-3)
"You've already made me gray," Ara Parseghian told his Notre Dame team after the Irish pulled another one out, this time against Pittsburgh, "now you're trying to make me bald-headed." Tom Clements scored the winning touchdown in the 14-10 victory, crashing over from the three with 2:49 remaining. The outcome was not secured, however, until Defensive Backs Reggie Barnett and Randy Harrison batted away two Panther pass attempts in the final minute. Tackle Mike Fanning and End Steve Niehaus led a defensive charge that held Tony Dorsett to 61 yards.