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Arkansas. All is new at Fayetteville except for 23 returning letter winners from last season's surprise championship squad. Coach Bowden Wyatt, now back at Tennessee, is replaced by Jackie Mitchell, no moss gatherer himself (five jobs in seven years) and winner of the Missouri Valley championship at Wichita last year. Basic material is here but the big problem is conversion from single wing to Mitchell's "pigeon-toed" split-T in which the halfbacks face each other instead of straight ahead. The idea is to give them faster speed running to the opposite flank. The Razorbacks beat Tulsa 21-6 and Saturday took Oklahoma A&M 21-0.
Texas A&M. The Aggies are predominantly sophomores and Coach Bear Bryant will have his bumps before his young squad fires up for the conference games. But, says Bryant: "Our varsity staff last year worked with the freshmen 75% of the time and the sophomores should be more experienced than most first-year men." John Crow, a 200-pound fledgling half, is stamped for greatness. Two other fine prospects are Ed Dudley and Kenneth Hall. The Aggies, losers to UCLA in the opener, bounced back with a vengeance against Louisiana State 28-0. They look good.
THE BIG SEVEN
Oklahoma. The Sooners lost two All-Americas from last season's squad but that has become a calculated loss each year. More are coming on. This year's crop: Bo Bolinger, guard; Jerry Tubbs, center; Jimmy Harris, quarterback; and Halfback Bob Burris. Champions again and New Year's will find them by the orange-blue waters of Biscayne Bay, Miami.
Colorado. Gone from Boulder are two first-rate halfbacks, Carroll Hardy and Frank Bernardi. If Tailback Homer Jenkins' knee stands up after an operation he should do a splendid job in Dallas Ward's single-wing offense. The Golden Buffaloes are good.
Missouri. Don Faurot's young team pressed Maryland to the limit two Saturdays ago. Unfortunately, taking on Michigan last week proved too much of a dose. The 42-7 loss, however, could be misleading. "We can be quite a bit tougher," Faurot allows, and the patron saint of the split-T, who always does a workmanlike job, might be right.
Nebraska. Runner-up last year, Nebraska opened this glorious season with an astonishing 6-0 loss to Hawaii and a totally unexpected show of strength against Ohio State before going down 28-20. The conference race begins with Kansas State Saturday, which should decide fourth place.
Iowa State. Coach Di Francesca has a young team but much improved by greater depth, more size and speed.
Kansas. The situation at "bleeding" Kansas looked desperate before the season started but the leaky defense of last year (allowing 377 points and 4,005 yards total offense) seems less porous now after the 13-0 win over Washington State.