How could you talk about Oklahoma-Nebraska as "This Year's Game of the Decade" (Nov. 22) without previewing the other Game of the Decade played the same week? This year's Alabama-Auburn meeting must certainly go down as one of those dream match-ups.
And of course the Sugar and Orange Bowls with this year's Big Four ( Michigan who?) create two more Games of the Decade.
On Jan. 1, 1971, mighty Texas (10-0) met (and lost to) Notre Dame (9-1) in the Cotton Bowl in what was certainly the most publicized of the bowl games. Notre Dame had indeed suffered that single, damning defeat, but it had come more at the hands of fate and the climate than at those of the Trojans of Southern Cal. At any rate, the existence of the grudge-match atmosphere in Dallas, resulting from a Texas victory a year earlier, and the Longhorns' 30-game winning streak surely made it a classic battle in the truest sense.
JOHN D. HAFELI
Bay Village, Ohio
Dan Jenkins listed 25 college football games that were supposedly the most publicized before and after they were played. But how could he leave out either the 1969 or 1970 Ohio Stale-Michigan games? These two teams are consistently among the best, and their rivalry is something that results in nothing but the best and most "animalistic" football in the country.
In 1960 Iowa, under Forest Evashevski, was rated No. 1 going into the game against No. 2 Minnesota, coached by Murray Warmath. Minnesota won 27-10. Minnesota finished the season as No. 1 while Iowa wound up No. 2. The national championship definitely rode on the outcome of that game.
GARY M. WIGDAHL
You left out the 1959 Penn State-Syracuse game. Syracuse, after all, went on to be national champion that year. Had the Orangemen lost, Penn State could have been No. 1. Both were unbeaten at the time.
Unfortunately, SI overlooked one of the greatest college football games ever. It was played on the state of Oklahoma's 50th birthday, Nov. 16, 1957, in Norman. On that beautiful afternoon the Sooners executed many successful goal-line stands, but one failed. Notre Dame won 7-0, thereby ending the longest winning streak (47) in the history of major college football.
RUSSELL D. SHUPE
One of the best Games of the Decade would have been the Jan. 1, 1955 Rose Bowl game between Ohio State and UCLA. One finished first in the AP poll, the other first in the UPI ratings. Both were undefeated and untied. But, of course, due to the absurd no-repeat rule for the Rose Bowl, they never met.
In reading your list of 25 of the most publicized games ever played in college football, it is of more than passing interest to note that only seven of these were played at postseason bowls. Eighteen, or 72%, were regular-season contests.
I think this again points out the need for the NCAA to consider an annual national championship game matching the two top-rated teams as of the end of regular-season play. It is my opinion that such a game would generate more interest and publicity than any other sports event in this country, including the Super Bowl and World Series.
WILLIAM E. STAUFFER
Associate Director of Development
Franklin and Marshall College