Irish Convinced They Belong No. 1
DALLAS (AP) - When you knock out the champion, says Notre Dame's monstrous Dave Huffman, then you ought to be the new champion. It’s as simple as that.”
Such is the basic rationale raised by the 6 foot 5, 247 pound offensive center to promote his argument that there can be no denying the Fighting Irish the mythical national title in college football after the team's crushing 38-10 victory over previously unbeaten and top-ranked Texas in the Cotton Bowl
“We have to be No 1,” 'he adds vehemently.
From the coast, the final notes have been belched from the brass horns of the marching bands. The majorettes have sheathed their twirling batons. The last pom-poms have been pom-pommed by the pom-pom girls. The curtain has fallen on the fuss and fanfare of the holiday games, which are supposed to appoint our football champions.
So what do we have? Nothing.
People all over the country, still waving those college banners, are running around with their index fingers stuck high in the air, like Chicken Little pointing at the falling sky
"We're No I”
"We're No l”
"We're No 1
The fault lies with the Fighting Irish, who dumped the season's leading team unceremoniously and untied the strings of a massive grab bag for teams claiming the championship. The Associated Press' final poll will be announced Wednesday
Going into the postseason playoffs, there were eight teams with 10-1 records behind 11–0 Texas. They were Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Alabama, Michigan, Penn State, Kentucky and Colgate. Kentucky was on probation and barred from bowl activity. Colgate was ignored Michigan was knocked out by Washington 27-20 in the Rose Bowl. Arkansas knocked out Oklahoma 31-6 in the Orange Bowl. Alabama smashed Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl and the thousands who worship at Coach Bear Bryant's shrine cried, "We should be No 1." Penn State, chagrined at being shunned by the Orange Bowl, blasted Arizona State in the Fiesta Bowl and staked out a similar claim.
Rookie Coach Fred Akers of Texas, unshaken by the one-sided loss to Notre Dame, insisted, "I still maintain our record as good as anybody’s.”
College football has only itself to blame for its present muddled state of affairs. Reluctant to tinker with the rich bowl setup, which rewards competing teams to the tune of $l million and more yearly, its administrators persist in scrapping every playoff plan submitted.
So the bowls have evolved into giant extravaganzas, more theater than sport. No. 1 depends on the section of the country you live in and the colors you wear.
But no one can deny that Notre Dame, beaten earlier in the year by Mississippi, made a case for itself Monday in the Cotton Bowl. The aroused Fighting Irish decimated No. 1 Texas. No subtleties. No mirrors. Just hard, crushing football.