IF THE UNTHINKABLE HAPPENS

Northeast Stinger

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Actually, they won three - the last one in 1946. Alabama also lost one and tied one. After '46 it was always Pac 10 vs. Big 10 until recently.

Part of me longs to be able to have seen football back in those days. Teams from anywhere in the country could be good though the most consistent teams were Notre Dame, Army and the Ivy League.

As I posted elsewhere Michigan State is credited with starting the modern era with speed, size and players from all over the country. The modern era had a nice run for over four decades, again with balance of power across the country. We are definitely in the post-modern period and so far the romanticism of history and tradition is being swallowed up by Wall Street types and we are down to having only 4 or 5 competitive teams, at the most. Sis-boom-bah.
 

Heisman's Ghost

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Ordinarily I think you have to separate college careers from pro careers because they are two different games and many times the best college players have been flops in the pros but, having said that, out of the first 8 players drafted in 1967, half played for Michigan State including the number one pick. I don’t think this was a team easily whipped.
Alabama had 9 players drafted. Michigan State would have been hard pressed to cover Ray Perkins and Dennis Homan. When Vince Lombardi was asked how it felt to have the best football team in the country after winning the Super Bowl he replied: "I don't know, we have not played Alabama yet." With all that talent, Michigan State only managed a tie against Notre Dame.
 

Northeast Stinger

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Alabama had 9 players drafted. Michigan State would have been hard pressed to cover Ray Perkins and Dennis Homan. When Vince Lombardi was asked how it felt to have the best football team in the country after winning the Super Bowl he replied: "I don't know, we have not played Alabama yet." With all that talent, Michigan State only managed a tie against Notre Dame.
I remember the Lombardi quote and loved it. And I knew Alabama had one more in the draft.

Look, I get it. The size of linemen is over-played, especially today. Back then Alabama had perhaps the smallest linemen in the country for a major college team. But even the Bear knew that the times were changing and Michigan State’s big fast linemen were the wave of the future. Michigan States players were drafted higher than Alabama’s primarily because people began to see that no matter how good your quarterback was or your receivers were you can’t count on them if your line is getting killed. Everyone criticized Notre Dame for playing for the tie but the coach defended saying we weren’t getting anywhere by the fourth quarter. Indeed, Michigan State had knocked out Hanratty, two key running backs and a top receiver during that game. Notre Dame was more like Alabama in style of play but with bigger linemen. But MSU were monsters compared to most teams and outweighed Alabama by 50 lbs on average across the line.
 

Heisman's Ghost

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I remember the Lombardi quote and loved it. And I knew Alabama had one more in the draft.

Look, I get it. The size of linemen is over-played, especially today. Back then Alabama had perhaps the smallest linemen in the country for a major college team. But even the Bear knew that the times were changing and Michigan State’s big fast linemen were the wave of the future. Michigan States players were drafted higher than Alabama’s primarily because people began to see that no matter how good your quarterback was or your receivers were you can’t count on them if your line is getting killed. Everyone criticized Notre Dame for playing for the tie but the coach defended saying we weren’t getting anywhere by the fourth quarter. Indeed, Michigan State had knocked out Hanratty, two key running backs and a top receiver during that game. Notre Dame was more like Alabama in style of play but with bigger linemen. But MSU were monsters compared to most teams and outweighed Alabama by 50 lbs on average across the line.
Indeed you are quite right and Nebraska who Alabama stomped in the Orange Bowl similarly had huge linemen not as fast and athletic as Bubba Smith to be sure but Stabler was renowned for his quick release and ability to read defenses. Before they could get to him the ball would have been long gone. The question should be why did Michigan State pass up an opportunity to seal the deal by playing in the Rose Bowl? As for Notre Dame, they were not anywhere near as fast as Alabama was.
 

Northeast Stinger

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Indeed you are quite right and Nebraska who Alabama stomped in the Orange Bowl similarly had huge linemen not as fast and athletic as Bubba Smith to be sure but Stabler was renowned for his quick release and ability to read defenses. Before they could get to him the ball would have been long gone. The question should be why did Michigan State pass up an opportunity to seal the deal by playing in the Rose Bowl? As for Notre Dame, they were not anywhere near as fast as Alabama was.
Glad you recognize that Nebraska and Michigan State were two entirely different animals. How Alabama would do against one would not be a predictor of success against the other.

Michigan State was prohibited from going to a bowl given the rules of the Big Ten and PAC 10 at the time and the Rose Bowl tie in.
 
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