Poll: Who wins: 1970 Tennessee vs. 1977 Texas?

NoNC4Tubs

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Nov 13, 2010
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I'm too young to remember the 1970 UT team but in 1977 most Bama fans probably can't remember anything about Texas because every Bama fan just remembers how the season ended with ND finishing #1 and Alabama #2. Both teams were 11-1 but the thing everyone remembers was ND lost to Ole Miss while Bama beat Ole Miss by 3TD's. Bryant could have had a three-peat since he won in 1978 and 1979.
Isn't that the same season that an AP Writer left us off his ballot entirely and resulted in ND getting the title...? :unsure:
 

selmaborntidefan

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Isn't that the same season that an AP Writer left us off his ballot entirely and resulted in ND getting the title...? :unsure:
Are you referring to 1977?

I think you'd be hard-pressed to prove that one. Given that Notre Dame got 37 1/3 first-place votes and we got 19 1/3 and Notre Dame beat us by 48 points, I'm not sure how one guy not voting us in the poll at all is going to make us win it. Let's assume that happened: if he ranks us #1 then we gain 20 points and Notre Dame only loses either 1 or 2 or AT MOST 3 points. So even assuming a 23-point gain, how do we make up being 48 points behind?

Also - this is one of those common stories in sports lore that folks like to tell - "there was this biased voter and he left so and so completely off the ballot." One of the most famous is Ted Williams ranting to Coach Bryant's early biographer (John Underwood) that he lost the 1947 MVP to Joe DiMaggio by a single point. Williams's recollection was that a Boston sportswriter named Mel Webb had not even put Williams (an admittedly sandpaper personality - even Ted himself would probably admit that) on the ballot.

Makes a good story, right? "I was the best player in baseball and this crotchety old writer got his revenge on me by not putting me on the ballot."

Except Williams always failed to mention three things:
1) THREE writers left Joe DiMaggio (who won it) off the ballot
2) THREE MORE voted Joe seventh or lower
3) The Yankees (who won the pennant and World Series) had FOUR candidates who split the vote, which is the only reason Williams was so close in the first place.

Keep in mind DiMag STILL got 8 of the first-place votes while Ted only got 3 (Yankees relief pitcher Joe Page got seven).


But that doesn't make for a good story, does it?

In all honesty, it's probably another one of those yarns right up there with "the only reason our 1966 schedule was soft is because La Tech replaced Tulane", which is absurd on multiple counts:
1) Tulane was horrendous (11-47-2 from 1960-65)
2) La Tech didn't replace Tulane, Southern Miss did, it's in the newspapers of 1964 saying it

So I doubt there's any truth to this at all. There MIGHT have been a voter that left us off the ballot but that alone would not have cost us the 1977 title.
 

bamamoss2

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Because I hate both of these teams with the hatred of one million suns (including the two on Tatooine), I'm not going to to a deep dive, but surface level analysis suggests Texas wins, most probably in a blowout.

1) Phil Fulmer was a guard on the Vols, and he's a loser.

2) The entire SEC was not all that good at that point in time due to its failure on the subject of integration; Texas (for all their problems integrating) had Earl Campbell, and he would have run through the Vols like hot urine through snow.

3) Tennessee's SEC record in 1970 is inflated because the three best teams not named Tennessee were LSU, Ole Miss, and Auburn - and the Vols didn't beat ANY of those teams in 1970. They lost to Auburn by 13 points at Legion Field, and they didn't have to play Archie Manning or LSU. And LSU was so good they only lost to Notre Dame - the same Irish team that beat the 1970 national champion Longhorns in the bowl game - by a score of 3-0. Texas played a much tougher schedule.

Look, whether we want to admit it or not, the SEC of 1967-1979 was - to be blunt about it - not very good overall, which is why Alabama got trashed for winning a bunch of SEC titles and going 0-8-1 in bowls until we chickened out of facing Nebraska and beat State Penn in the 1975 Sugar Bowl. From 1967 to 1975, the SEC lost almost about twice as many bowl games as they won despite going to more than any other conference (the Big 10 wouldn't allow teams to play in anything but the Rose prior to 1974). Plus, my "review of teams records vs EOY ranked teams" shows the 1970s were BY FAR the worst decade of the law of gravity (Alabama won 8 of 9 SEC titles while Ohio State and Michigan won all the Big Ten titles (sharing it five times) and OU and Nebraska won or shared it every single year from 1961 through 1988.

Note also that while Tennessee's record on integration in football is perhaps the best (early on anyway) in the SEC, it was still more of a reminder of what was wrong than what was right.

I think Texas would blow them out by three touchdowns anywhere but Neyland Stadium, and they'd blow them out by two there.
I think you are right.
 

NoNC4Tubs

Hall of Fame
Nov 13, 2010
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Are you referring to 1977?

I think you'd be hard-pressed to prove that one. Given that Notre Dame got 37 1/3 first-place votes and we got 19 1/3 and Notre Dame beat us by 48 points, I'm not sure how one guy not voting us in the poll at all is going to make us win it. Let's assume that happened: if he ranks us #1 then we gain 20 points and Notre Dame only loses either 1 or 2 or AT MOST 3 points. So even assuming a 23-point gain, how do we make up being 48 points behind?

Also - this is one of those common stories in sports lore that folks like to tell - "there was this biased voter and he left so and so completely off the ballot." One of the most famous is Ted Williams ranting to Coach Bryant's early biographer (John Underwood) that he lost the 1947 MVP to Joe DiMaggio by a single point. Williams's recollection was that a Boston sportswriter named Mel Webb had not even put Williams (an admittedly sandpaper personality - even Ted himself would probably admit that) on the ballot.

Makes a good story, right? "I was the best player in baseball and this crotchety old writer got his revenge on me by not putting me on the ballot."

Except Williams always failed to mention three things:
1) THREE writers left Joe DiMaggio (who won it) off the ballot
2) THREE MORE voted Joe seventh or lower
3) The Yankees (who won the pennant and World Series) had FOUR candidates who split the vote, which is the only reason Williams was so close in the first place.

Keep in mind DiMag STILL got 8 of the first-place votes while Ted only got 3 (Yankees relief pitcher Joe Page got seven).


But that doesn't make for a good story, does it?

In all honesty, it's probably another one of those yarns right up there with "the only reason our 1966 schedule was soft is because La Tech replaced Tulane", which is absurd on multiple counts:
1) Tulane was horrendous (11-47-2 from 1960-65)
2) La Tech didn't replace Tulane, Southern Miss did, it's in the newspapers of 1964 saying it

So I doubt there's any truth to this at all. There MIGHT have been a voter that left us off the ballot but that alone would not have cost us the 1977 title.
Hmmm, it must have been a previous season where we came in a close #2. I can't recall which one though. :unsure:
 

selmaborntidefan

TideFans Legend
Mar 31, 2000
25,174
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Wishing I was somewhere close to Duluth with a sli
A former work colleague played ILB for Virginia, and they came down to Austin in 1977 to play Texas. He claimed he waived at Earl Campbell a couple of times as he blew past. It was a 68-0 final.
That was a good team. So was 1995 Florida, so much so that most of that team won the national title the next year. 1992 Miami was also a very good team.

But you get blown out in the last game and everyone forgets that.
 
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