All season long Auburn has performed diligently but without national honor. Saturday, Georgia Tech discovered much to its horror how good the Tigers really are. Halfback Jimmy Burson stunned the Jackets with a 57-yard touchdown sprint on the first offensive play and soon Auburn led 17-0. Billy Lothridge tried desperately to bring Tech back but Auburn's line throttled his runners, its secondary double-teamed Billy Martin, his pet receiver, and the Jackets went down, 17-14.
LSU had a close call against hardened Kentucky but managed a win, 7-0, on Jerry Stovall's last-quarter plunge. Alabama limbered up with two field goals in the first period, then Quarterback Joe Namath scattered Tennessee's leaky pass defense with his pitches and the Crimson Tide won easily 27-7. Mississippi defeated Tulane 21-0; Florida smothered Vanderbilt 42-7; Florida State outscored Georgia 18-0.
Maryland's Tom Brown got the Terps off in front against Miami with a 98-yard opening kickoff return and then the fun began. The lead bounced back and forth until Miami's George Mira, passing superbly, put the Hurricanes ahead to stay, 28-24, with a 22-yard pitch to Bill Sparks.
Duke caught Clemson paying too much attention to its swing end and ran its swift backs through the weakened left tackle hole to whip the Tigers 16-0. North Carolina won its first game, beating South Carolina 19-14 on Junior Edge's last-minute 49-yard pass to Bob Lacey. Virginia eased past Wake Forest 14-12; Mississippi Southern defeated North Carolina State 30-0; West Virginia blew a three-touchdown lead, then recovered to overtake George Washington 27-25 in the final minute.
THE TOP THREE: 1. TEXAS (5-0) 2. ARKANSAS (4-1) 3. NEW MEXICO (4-1-1)
If Texas, squirming in the hot seat of a No. I national ranking, got a stay of execution by squeaking past Arkansas (see page 18), SMU got a reprieve from what was beginning to resemble a life sentence by upsetting Rice 15-7. Before a fumble and Linebacker John Hughes's four interceptions set up their victory, the Mustangs had been winless in eight straight. Another case of Southwest fratricide was contributed by TCU, 20-14 winners over Texas A&M. Only Texas Tech showed fraternal love (and pitiful offense), as Baylor won its first, 28-6.
Seemingly chained to the losing column for eternity, Hardin-Simmons finally found a team it could beat. The Cowboys roped in Trinity, 14-6, after 27 straight losses.