This is our last MNC Wednesday for the calendar year, as we need a vacation, too. We’ve reached the midway point of the 1970s, and there’s first here for one of the prouder programs in NCAA football history—and a program that would change the landscape of the sport forever soon after this season.
Intrigued? Read on, and we will catch you again on the flip side in 2021 …
The 1975 MNC: It’s all about the schedule this time around, and nothing more!
Here is the Associated Press Top 10, including final record with key bowl results:
1. Oklahoma: 11-1-0 — W, Orange, 14-6
2. Arizona State: 12-0-0 — W, Fiesta, 17-14
3. Alabama: 11-1-0 — W, Sugar, 13-6
4. Ohio State: 11-1-0 — L, Rose, 10-23
5. UCLA: 9-2-1 — W, Rose, 23-10
6. Texas: 10-2-0 — W, Bluebonnet, 38-21
7. Arkansas: 10-2-0 — W, Cotton, 31-10
8. Michigan: 8-2-2 — L, Orange, 6-14
9. Nebraska: 10-2-0 — L, Fiesta, 14-17
10. Penn State: 9-3-0 — L, Sugar, 6-13
The Buckeyes could have made this simple(r), but somehow they lost the Rose Bowl to the Bruins. The Sooners were off probation, so we have to consider them this time through. The Sun Devils went undefeated, although we expect the SOS to be too low—but we shall see. The Crimson Tide is definitely in the final conversation, and so are the Bruins and the Longhorns. The Razorbacks lost to Texas, though, so we cannot consider them.
Any other schools not noted above? The Arkansas State Red Wolves went 11-0 with a poor SOS (ranked 104th out of 137 schools), which included two wins against small schools. That’s a great season for that team, but it’s not going to get them anywhere with us. Likewise, Miami (OH) posted an 11-1 record, too, but again like last year, the school’s SOS is way down the hierarchy.
Here we go again! These are the 5 finalists and their respective SOS ratings, after our initial analysis and paring down of the pretenders above:
- UCLA: 12 Division I-A opponents, 7.79 SOS rating, 24th of 137
- Alabama: 12 Division I-A opponents, 5.89 SOS rating, 39th of 137
- Oklahoma: 12 Division I-A opponents, 11.32 SOS rating, 3rd of 137
- Texas: 12 Division I-A opponents, 8.08 SOS rating, 18th of 137
- Arizona State: 12 Division I-A opponents, -0.38 SOS rating, 75th of 137
This become a moot discussion after looking at these numbers: Oklahoma leaves everyone in the dust. In fact, the Sooners posted a 7-0 record against ranked teams in 1975: They won those seven games by an average margin of 14 points. That’s a pretty powerful statement, even if there could be some residual advantage from the aforementioned scandal that landed the school on probation.
For the record, this was Oklahoma’s fifth AP title—but it’s only the first we’ve confirmed in this whole project. Usually, it was weak schedules that did the Sooners in (1950, 1955, 1956), and last year it was the probation issue. This time, Oklahoma leaves no doubt it was the best team in the country, however.
Congratulations to the 1975 Oklahoma Sooners, the mythical national champion!
Check in every Wednesday for a new feature on the mythical national championship in college football on The Daily McPlay.