BY COLIN “BIG C” MACGUIRE
The Greenville Standard
Forty five years ago on Jan. 2, 1978. The New Year’s Day Bowl Games were played.
Jan. 1, was on a Sunday like this year.
No. 3 Alabama (10-1) faced No. 8 Ohio State (9-2) in the Sugar Bowl.
It was Coach Bryant vs Woody Hayes, the most winningest active coaches at that time.
Alabama led 13-0 at the half. They scored eight more points to go into the fourth quarter leading 21-0.
Ohio State scored in the fourth to make it 21-6. Alabama scored two more touchdowns win in dominant fashion 35-6.
In the Cotton Bowl, it was No. 1 Texas (11-0) vs No. 5 Notre Dame (10-1).
RB Earl Campbell of Texas won the Heisman Trophy. Six turnovers by Texas helped Notre Dame win 38-10. Texas was undefeated entering the game.
In the Rose Bowl, No. 4 Michigan (10-1) faced No. 13 Washington (8-4).
Michigan was favored by 14 points. Going into in the fourth quarter, Washington led 24-7 and, won the game 27-20.
Washington QB Warren Moon was the MVP of the game.
The last game was the Orange Bowl. It was No. 2 Oklahoma (10-1) vs No. 6 Arkansas (10-1).
Oklahoma was favored by 18 points. Arkansas Coach Lou Holtz suspended two offensive starters (RB and WR) who contributed 78% of the offense.
It did not matter. Arkansas jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
In the second half, they totally destroyed Oklahoma winning 31-6.
Backup RB Roland Sales rushed for 205 yards and was named the MVP.
Alabama fans were expecting to be named National Champions. It did not happen.
Notre Dame jumped from fifth to Number One. Alabama fans were outraged.
Needless to say, Alabama’s goal for 1978 was to win The National Championship.