1974 College Football Recap
After three seasons at either No.2 or No.3, Oklahoma broke through in 1974 to win its first national title in 18 years.
The Sooners rolled through their 11–game schedule averaging 508 yards in total offense and a final score of 43–8. Only Texas gave them a fight before losing 16–13.
Actually, UPI gave Oklahoma a fight, too. At the beginning of the season the UPI coaches board decreed that any team on NCAA probation (as Oklahoma was) was not worthy of their consideration. AP's writers went for the Sooners but UPI's coaches, voting after the bowl games for the first time, selected AP runner-up Southern Cal.
USC finished up at 10–1–1 with impressive wins over Notre Dame and Ohio State. Trailing the Irish 24–0 at the half, the Trojans came storming back behind Anthony Davis (4 TDs) to score 55 points in 17 minutes and win 55–24. In the Rose Bowl, quarterback Pat Haden passed for a touchdown and a two-point conversion in the last two minutes to beat the Buckeyes, 18–17.
Hard luck continued to stalk Michigan and Alabama. The Wolverines lost 12–10 to arch-rival Ohio State and missed out on another trip to the Rose Bowl despite another regular season with 10 wins. And the Crimson Tide failed to win a bowl game for the eighth straight year, losing 13–11 to Notre Dame and retiring coach Ara Parseghian in the Orange Bowl.