SI Vault
Larry Keith
January 12, 1976
And where was Alabama while all this was going on? The Crimson Tide failed to win the national championship for reasons as clear as the huge images on the six superscreens 10 miles above the Mardi Grass in the New Orleans Superdome. It was not so much the opening-game loss to Missouri that cost Alabama the honor as it was Bear Bryant's reluctance to campaign for a berth in the Orange Bowl against the Big Eight champion. When he took the Tide inside the Dome to play Penn State in the Sugar Bowl, he left his No. 1 prospects outside on Bourbon Street. Bryant got what he wanted, Alabama's 11th straight victory and first bowl triumph since Jan. 2,1967, but the 13-6 outcome did relatively little for the Tide's chances in the final AP and UPI polls.
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January 12, 1976

Win A Battle, Lose A War

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After another Bahr field goal narrowed the margin to 10-6, Todd directed an eight-minute, 14-play, 62-yard march to Ridgeway's second field goal, a 28-yarder. Todd completed three passes for 20, seven and 15 yards during the drive, and after the game he talked about how he would like to play pro quarterback some day. "I don't think I hurt my chances tonight," he said.

Bryant said his ninth bowl victory after 11 losses and two ties "was one of the greatest wins we ever had. Because of the way we came back after getting our brains kicked out by Missouri, I've never had more respect for a team. Now I'll just sit back and see what happens to Ohio State and Oklahoma."

It is safe to say that only the first game made him happy.

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