1973 College Football Recap

Updated August 5, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

Final AP Top 20

Bowl Games with Top 20 Teams

Major Conference Champions

Heisman Trophy Voting

Other Major Award Winners

Consensus All-America Team

A year ago, Notre Dame gave up 85 points in the last two games of the season. In 1973, it took 11 games for the new and improved Irish to yield 89 points and they won the national championship.

Ranked third at the close of the regular season, Notre Dame faced No.1 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl on New Year's Eve. In a battle that saw the lead change hands six times, the Irish came from behind to win 24–23 on a late field goal.

Notre Dame and Alabama were two of seven undefeated teams at the end of the regular season. Ohio State, Miami-OH, Michigan, Oklahoma and Penn State were the others.

Ohio State and Michigan were each 10–0 when they met in Ann Arbor to decide the Big Ten championship. The Buckeyes led at halftime, but the Wolverines rallied to tie. The conference chose OSU for the Rose Bowl and the Bucks justified their appointment by scoring 28 points in the second half to rout USC, 42–21.

Oklahoma (Barry Switzer) and Nebraska (Tom Osborne) had new coaches in 1973. They met for the first time in Norman and Switzer won, 27–0. The Sooners finished the regular season at 10–0–1, didn't play a bowl game (probation) and ranked 3rd. Nebraska (8–2–1) went to the Cotton Bowl, beat Texas and ranked 7th.

Penn State was 12–0 overall and beat LSU in the Orange Bowl, but the Lions only made it to No.5 behind Alabama. One consolation was that senior John Cappelletti became the first Eastern back in 10 years to win the Heisman.

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