BY COLIN “BIG C” MACGUIRE
The Greenville Standard
The University of Alabama 1966 football team entered the season ranked as pre-season number one by the Associated Press coming off back to back national championship seasons in 1964 and 1965.
Tulane was the opening opponent. They had withdrawn from the SEC in the spring. Alabama scrambled to get an opponent.
Louisiana Tech replaced Tulane as the season opening opponent on Sept. 24. This came back to haunt Alabama.
Michigan State and UCLA opened their season a week earlier on Sept. 17 ranked #2 and # 4. They jumped over Alabama who dropped to #3.
Alabama beat La. Tech 34-0 on 9-24. Alabama dropped to #4. They then beat Ole Miss 17-7 on Oct. 1.
Alabama beat Clemson 26-0 on Oct 8. #3 Alabama edged Tennessee 11-10 on Oct. 15. #4 Alabama beat Vanderbilt 42-6 on Oct. 22.
# 4 Alabama beat Miss State 27-14 on Oct. 29. #4 Alabama beat LSU 21-0 on Nov 5. Later that day #3 UCLA was upset 16-3 by Washington. Alabama moved to #3.
Nov. 12, #3 Alabama beat South Carolina 24-0. On Nov. 19, Alabama had an open date.
#1 Notre Dame traveled to face #2 Michigan State. It was call the Game of The Century.
Michigan State took a 10-0 lead early in the game. Notre Dame came back and tied it. Notre Dame had the ball last and ran out the clock. Despite the tie they remained in the top two.
The season was over for Michigan State 9-0-1. There was no bowl game, because of a no repeat rule in the Big Ten, played the year before.
On Nov. 26, #3 Alabama beat Southern Miss 34-0 in Mobile. #1 Notre Dame beat #10 Southern Cal 51-0 and they finished the season at 9-0-1.
On Dec. 3, #3 Alabama beat Auburn 31-0. A few days later the final polls were voted with Notre Dame #1 and Michigan State #2 with 9-0-1 record.
#3 Alabama was 10-0 with a bowl remaining. #3 Alabama faced # 6 Nebraska in the Sugar Bowl.
Alabama blasted Nebraska 34-7 and finished 11-0. They were the only undefeated team in the country.
They were preseason #1 and two time national champions, yet finished at #3. Can you say politics?