BY COLIN “BIG C” MACGUIRE
The Greenville Standard
Today I will discuss Nov. 11, 1978.
# 1 Oklahoma lost to # 4 Nebraska 17-14. # 2 Penn State beat unranked North Carolina State 19-10. #3 Alabama beat # 10 LSU 31-10.
On Monday, Nov. 13 the polls were released, Penn State was ranked #1. #2 was Nebraska. Alabama was #3 and Oklahoma was #4.
Alabama fans were not happy with the polls that week, especially with Nebraska jumping over Alabama. The Tide opened the season against Nebraska and won 20-3.
Alabama had two open dates in a row on Nov. 18 and 25. Alabama was scheduled to play Nebraska on Nov. 25, but it was moved to Sep. 2 for television.
It made sense to do that because Nebraska would have played Oklahoma, Missouri and Alabama in three successive weeks.
Missouri at the time was called the giant killers of college football. Alabama needed help from two teams, Missouri and Auburn.
On Nov. 18 Missouri beat Nebraska 35-31. Nebraska had won nine games in a row and might be the reason for the jump over Alabama.
The SEC had a no repeat rule for hosting the Sugar Bowl when there were co-champions. The team, who had not played the most recent, would represent the SEC.
Alabama hosted Ohio State on Jan. 2, 1978. The Georgia Bulldogs were undefeated in SEC play and Auburn was their next opponent.
Alabama wanted to play Penn State for the national championship. If Georgia beat Auburn, The Sugar Bowl would be out.
On Nov. 18 Auburn came out in orange uniforms. Before the half, it looked like Auburn running back William Andrews scored on the last play of the half. It was ruled his knee went down on the one yard line. It was very close.
That year, college football did not have instant replay, like today. That started in 2006.
Georgia kicked a field goal late in the fourth quarter to tie the game 22-22. The game ended with the score 22-22 tie. The results of the two games opened the door for Alabama.
The Tide had to wait two more weeks to play Auburn. Alabama was in a must win situation, because if the Tide lost to Auburn, Georgia would be SEC Champions.
Next Week I will discuss Nov. 25, 1978.