BY COLIN “BIG C” MACGUIRE
The Greenville Standard
In the 1970’s, Alabama ruled the SEC by winning eight conference championships, 1971-1975 and 1977-79.
In 1970, they finished 6-5-1. In 1976, they had a young team that started slow and finished strong. Alabama blasted UCLA 36-6 in the Liberty Bowl.
There was lot of excitement going into the 1977 season. Alabama was ranked No. 6 by the Associated Press pre-season poll.
Alabama opened the season vs Ole Miss at Legion Field in Birmingham. Revenge was on the team’s mind for losing 10-7 the year before. Alabama beat Ole Miss 34-13.
On Sept. 17 at Nebraska, QB Jeff Rutledge was intercepted five times. Alabama lost 31-24.
On Sept. 24 at Vanderbilt, it was a windy day. Punter Buddy Holt had an 82-yard punt. Alabama won 24-12.
On Oct. 1, Alabama faced Georgia. There were another team that beat Alabama in 1976, 21-0. Alabama won not in spectacular fashion, 18-10. They could have been looking ahead.
On Oct. 8, Alabama faced USC in Los Angeles. USC was ranked No. 1 with a 15 game winning streak. Alabama was ranked No. 7. They trailed 3-0 at the half. Alabama was up 7-6 in the second half, and then scored two touchdowns to go up 21-6.
USC stormed back to make the score 21-20 going for two with less than 40 seconds left in the game. The two point was intercepted by Barry Krauss. Wayne Hamilton’s pressure caused the interception.
On Oct. 15, Alabama beat Tennessee 24-10 at Legion Field. On Oct. 22, it was Homecoming and Alabama beat Louisville 55-6.
On Oct. 29, The Tide routed Mississippi State in Jackson 37-7.
On Nov. 5, Alabama faced LSU at Tiger Stadium. The game was on national TV as was No. 2 against No. 18. Despite losing five fumbles, Alabama blasted LSU 24-3.
On Nov. 12, Miami visited Bryant-Denny and Alabama won 36-0.
On Nov. 26. Alabama beat Auburn at Legion Field 48-21. They scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to Auburn’s one.
In the Sugar Bowl it was No. 3 Alabama vs No. 8 Ohio State, ‘The Bear vs Woody’. Alabama won 35-6.
Texas who was ranked No. 1 lost to No. 5 Notre Dame 38-10. No. 2 Oklahoma lost to No. 6 Arkansas 31-6.
Notre Dame leaped frog Alabama to win the National Championship. Needless to say there were a lot of upset people in Alabama.