Michigan nailed down a tie for the Big Ten championship with its finest effort of the year, a 51-0 trouncing of Purdue. The Wolverines amassed 581 yards to the Boilermakers' 185, with Gordie Bell running for 166 and Dennis Franklin passing for 149.
Ohio State prepped for The Showdown by pulling away from stubborn Iowa in the second half for a 35-10 victory. Champ Hen-son scored three touchdowns and Archie Griffin gained 175 yards in 23 carries. "We knew that either Griffin or Henson would carry," Hawkeye Coach Bob Commings said. "We knew what kind of play it would be. We stacked the defense to stop them but we just couldn't do it."
Rich Baes rushed for 159 yards and Quarterback Charley Baggett gained 151 as Michigan State overcame Indiana 19-10. The Big Ten's best rushing performance, however, was turned in by Bill Marek, who totaled four TDs and 230 yards as Wisconsin ripped Northwestern 52-7. Illinois got its first victory over Minnesota since 1964, 17-14, when Jeff Hollenbach completed his fifth consecutive pass in an 87-yard scoring drive with 45 seconds left. The 25-yard touchdown strike went to Marty Friel.
Kansas outnumbered Oklahoma at the pregame coin toss 18-4, then struck for a touchdown on the third play of the game, but still lost 45-14. The Sooners' final score came on a pass with six seconds left. "It was just egotistical on their part," said Jayhawk Linebacker Steve Towle. "They were doing it for their national ranking." Oklahoma Coach Barry Switzer agreed. "We had to have it to stay on top," he said.
Nebraska blasted Big Eight doormat Kansas State 35-7 behind David Humm's two touchdown passes and Missouri teat Iowa State 10-7 on Tim Gibbons' 37-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. Colorado, in the words of Coach Bill Mallory, "lined up and knocked them out of there," upsetting Oklahoma State 37-20.
Miami of Ohio completed its second straight unbeaten season by smothering Cincinnati 27-7. Kent State pounded Toledo 35-14 as Larry Poole's three touchdowns rushing gave him a career conference record 36, and Tulsa concluded an unbeaten season against Missouri Valley opponents with a 52-14 romp over Drake. Jeb Blount completed five touchdown passes, four to Steve Largent, who caught five altogether.
1. Oklahoma (9-0)
2. Michigan (10-0)
3. Ohio State (9-1)
The good news is that Texas Christian had its best scoring day of the season against Texas: 16 points. The bad news is that the Longhorns had one of the best scoring day in the history of the Southwest Conference: 81 points.
After it was over TCU Coach Jim Shofner was regretful, Darrell Royal was embarrassed and one flogged Hornfrog was saying, "It was like climbing uphill with no arms and no legs."