THE TOP THREE:
1. ALABAMA (6-0)
2. LSU (5-0-1)
3. MISSISSIPPI (5-0)
The Southeastern Conference was still anybody's race. First-place Alabama, continuing to pit its might against soft touches, methodically disassembled Tulsa 35-6, while LSU and Mississippi, its most dangerous challengers, moved resolutely toward their battle Saturday. LSU took the fight out of Florida in the very first quarter, then hammered away with its usual solid ground game and (for the Tigers) unusual air attack, winning 23-0. Halfback Jerry Stovall caught a 15-yard pass from Jimmy Field for one touchdown and wantonly bowled over Florida tacklers on an eight-yard run for another as Tiger rooters, warming up for the big game, chanted, "Go to hell, Ole Miss, go to hell." Out of earshot, Ole Miss was going to town. The Rebs shot their fullbacks and halfbacks through Vanderbilt's tissue-thin line for 313 yards, Quarterbacks Glynn Griffing and Jim Weatherly passed over the inept Commodores for 117 more, and Mississippi won 35-0. It was easy to understand why Vandy Coach Art Guepe decided to resign, effective December 2.
Auburn, unbeaten and a surprise SEC contender, was almost surprised itself by Clemson. The Tigers needed a 27-yard field goal by Woody Woodall to win 17-14. Georgia Tech, still hopeful after two losses, overpowered winless Tulane 42-12 as sophomore Gerry Bussell faked the Greenies almost out of their britches on a 93-yard kickoff return. "It was like a 10-year-old having to fight Joe Louis," mourned Tulane Coach Tommy O'Boyle. "We haven't got the right people for this kind of combat."
There was some excitement, too, among the lower echelon SEC teams. Tennessee, after four straight losses, took out its bitterness on Chattanooga 48-14; Kentucky and Georgia tied 7-7; Mississippi State lost to ambitious Memphis State 28-7.
The strategy was deep and daring in the Atlantic Coast Conference. When North Carolina State overshifted to the strong side against Duke's balanced line, Coach Bill Murray wisely sent his backs scooting to the short side. But it was the old favorite swing end pass that finally won for the Blue Devils 21-14, when Walt Rappold passed 14 yards to Stan Crisson with 1:20 left. South Carolina, knowing that Maryland's Dick Shiner had a pulled muscle under his left arm and couldn't throw long, bunched its defenses at the flanks. The device didn't half work. Shiner completed 17 of 26 passes, eight of them to Halfback Tom Brown, for 174 yards and a touchdown. However, it was John Hannigan's field goal, his second of the game, that won the game for the Terps 13-11. North Carolina beat Wake Forest 23-14, Virginia trounced Davidson 34-7. Southern Conference leader VMI squeaked by William & Mary 6-0 on Halfback Pete Mazik's 26-yard sprint.
THE TOP THREE:
1. NORTHWESTERN (5-0)
2. NEBRASKA (6-0)
3. MICHIGAN STATE (4-1)