SI Vault
Don Parker
October 29, 1956
It hardly seemed possible, but another college football season had reached the halfway point, and now the ranks of the spotless leaders were growing thin. On a weekend of particularly heavy casualties, Ohio State, Texas Christian, Mississippi and Miami bit the dust. None was humiliated, to be sure, and only Miami—in its tie with a previously undistinguished Georgia team—showed that its ranking required a reappraisal. Oklahoma, with this week's Notre Dame game as the single small cloud on the horizon of another impeccable season, performed according to habit by stampeding over Kansas. Michigan State made Notre Dame look tamer than ever. Tennessee and Georgia Tech simply disposed of some neighboring opposition at their leisure. As expected, the major skirmish of the week took place in the Southwest, where Texas Christian and Texas A&M fought out a decision that must almost certainly decide the championship of the Southwest. As few expected, Texas A&M won it in a contest that was nearly as stormy as the Texas weather in which it was played, which included winds as high as 90 miles per hour.
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October 29, 1956

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With major upsets removing one challenger in each circuit from immediate contention, both the Southeastern and Atlantic Coast conference races turned into two-team squabbles last weekend. In both cases, the leaders are heading straight for climactic games with each other.

Powerful Georgia Tech and Tennessee stand at the head of the SEC and will meet on Nov. 10 in Atlanta. South Carolina and Clemson are alone in the ACC lead and come together this week in their annual "big Thursday" State Fair grudge match.

Two upsets grabbed the major attention. Tulane shocked previously undefeated Mississippi 10-3, and North Carolina Came suddenly alive to wallop Maryland 34-6 in conference battles.

The two remaining SEC leaders had little trouble with conference foes. Georgia Tech, improving with each game, methodically took Auburn apart 28-7. Tech has a different star each week. This time it was little (156 pounds) Johnny Menger, a halfback who ran 60 yards to set up a score, returned a punt 87 yards for another touchdown. Another little man, Tailback Johnny Majors (162 pounds), did some dazzling running as unbeaten Tennessee handed Alabama its 17th straight loss 24-0. Majors loped 43 yards for a touchdown, set up one more. In other intraconference games, Florida dumped Vanderbilt 21-7, as Vandy was powerless without injured star Quarterback Don Orr. In a night game, two fourth-down yardage gambles by LSU went wrong and Kentucky capitalized on both for touchdown drives and a 14-0 triumph. Outside the league, aroused Georgia played overconfident Miami off its feet for a 7-7 tie. Mississippi state, trailing unexpectedly at halftime, recovered for a 19-9 victory Over Arkansas State .

While Clemson and South Carolina were resting for their big game, other ACC teams were playing outside opponents. Duke lost to rugged Pittsburgh 27-14, and North Carolina state got its multiple offense going after three straight losses for a 20-0 triumph Over Dayton . Wake Forest battled Florida state to a 14-14 tie, while unbeaten George Washington stayed at the top of the Southern Conference by bashing VMI 40-14 with a five-touchdown avalanche in the second and third periods. Other scores:

Navy 13, Cincinnati 7
West Va. 20, Wm. & Mary 13
Wofford 23, The Citadel 19
Davidson 43, Stetson 7
Chattanooga 28, Ab. Chris. 20
Southwestern 42, W. & L. 0
Randolph Macon 20, Guilford 7
Hamp.-Syd. 34, West. Md. 14
Wabash 23, Sewanee 6
Miss. South. 27, Memp. St.
Miss. College 0, Milsaps 0
Centre 26, Georgetown (Ky.) 7
W. Ky. St. 14, E. Ky. St. 6
Va. Tech 46, Richmond 14


Big ten football prestige was both boosted and blasted on Saturday. No one in the Midwest will listen for a minute to the notion that Oklahoma is a better football team than Michigan state after Coach Duffy Daugherty's Spartans crushed Notre Dame 47-14. Yet, while the Spartans were winning friends and influencing sportswriters, powerful and undefeated Ohio State was upset by Penn state, a team from the East, of all places, 7-6. The Nittany Lions surprised everyone holding Ohio State's tremendous ground game to 188 yards. It was a scoreless tie with only 3� minutes remaining in the game when Penn State Halfback Bruce Gilmore plunged to a touchdown from the one-foot line. Quarterback Milt Plum kicked the extra-point that won the game, as Ohio State roared back to score a minute and a half later but missed the conversion.

Undefeated but once-tied Minnesota continued to flash power, defeating speedy Illinois 16-13 on a 22-yard field goal by Fullback Dick Borstad with less than three minutes to play. Michigan sophomore Fullback John Herrnstein scored three touchdowns as his team defeated stubborn Northwestern 34-20 for its first Big Ten win. Wisconsin , muffing five scoring chances, had to settle for a 6-6 tie with Purdue, Indiana rallied to beat Nebraska 19-14, and undefeated Iowa easily dropped Hawaii 34-0.

In the Big Seven Conference, Oklahoma scored its 34th consecutive victory over a fired-up Kansas squad 34-12, with the Sooners picking up 20 points in the second period. While Oklahoma was thus winning its second conference game, Colorado stayed a step ahead in the Big Seven standings by blistering Iowa state 52-0, for a 3-0 record. John Bayuk scored three times and outgained the entire Iowa State team, 145 yards to 133. Missouri opened its conference play by coming from behind to dump Kansas State 20-6.

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