BEST AND WORST OF THE BOWLS

January 09, 1967

Be truthful now, Notre Dame and Michigan State. Would you really want to play Alabama? Would you honestly care to spend an afternoon trying to swat those gnats who call themselves linemen and swirl around your ankles all day long? Why, heavens to Bear Bryant. Nobody ought to want to play Alabama unless it just plain enjoys going to football clinics. Which is what last week's Sugar Bowl was—a clinic, with The Bear instructing the nation on what a top team is supposed to look like.

The New Orleans game bore the only resemblance to a contest of importance as the collegiate season finally ended last Saturday and Monday with five bowl attractions. Alabama went into its game wanting to prove that it was as good, or better, than either Notre Dame or Michigan State by defeating a big, talented Nebraska team convincingly. It did exactly that, 34-7, with Bryant second-and third-stringing it throughout the damp afternoon. Had he not substituted mercifully, the score might have gone much higher and the chart of superlatives below would have been even more heavily weighted in his favor.

There was little doubt that Alabama would remain the only unbeaten, untied major team in the land (11-0) after the first play of the game. Quarterback Kenny Stabler, a cool, bazooka-armed junior, faked, raised up, waited, then passed 45 yards to End Ray Perkins, and the rout was under way. No fewer than 12 different Alabama backs darted through and around Nebraska's huge but outquicked line any time yardage was needed on the ground. Overall, Alabama's mistakes could have been charted on a postage stamp.

It was a happy holiday for the whole Southeastern sector. Tennessee got it started early on Saturday in the Gator Bowl by bombarding landlocked Syracuse on Dewey Warren's passes and some vaudeville-type catches in the first half, then holding on for an 18-12 victory. Syracuse's Floyd Little rushed for 216 yards, but the game was out of sight before he really got started.

Then came Georgia. The Bulldogs handled SMU as easily as expected in the Cotton Bowl 24-9, largely on the hammering of Ronnie Jenkins and the speed of Kent Lawrence. It didn't matter between Florida and Georgia Tech and only in the Rose Bowl did a Southeastern team fail to win. None, of course, was represented.

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NINETEEN ILLUSTRATIONSJAMES FLORA

BEST TEAM
Alabama, easy victor over Nebraska

MOST DISAPPOINTING TEAM
Georgia Tech

BEST OFFENSE
Alabama, particularly in first quarter

MOST EFFECTIVE DEFENSE
Georgia, which smothered SMU's razzle-dazzle

BEST COMEBACK
Syracuse, although it fell short

MOST EXCITING DRIVE
Syracuse, 74 yards to TD despite 30 yards in penalties

BIGGEST SURPRISE
Florida's easy 27-12 win over Georgia Tech

MOST UNUSUAL PLAY
Tennessee's fake field goal for TD

BEST STRATEGY
Alabama's mixing inside traps with wide variety of passes

WORST STRATEGY
SMU's sparing use of Jerry Levias

CLOSEST CALL
USC's touchback after Beirne's goal-line catch

MOST DRAMATIC MOMENT
USC's last gasp in 14-13 loss to Purdue

DULLEST GAME
Georgia-SMU in the Cotton Bowl

MOST CRUCIAL PLAY
USC's missed try for two points

BEST RUN
Larry Smith's 94-yard TD burst for Florida

BEST CATCH
Austin Denny's leaping grab for Tennessee TD

LAST LAUGH
Bear Bryant on the country

BEST PLAYER
Ken Stabler, Alabama quarterback

BEST PASSER
Stabler

BEST RUNNER
Floyd Little, Syracuse halfback

BEST RECEIVER
Ray Perkins, Alabama end

BEST DEFENDER
Bobby Johns, Alabama halfback

BEST BLOCKER
Cecil Dowdy, Alabama tackle

BEST KICKER
Steve Davis, Alabama

THE ALL-BOWL TEAM

OFFENSE

DEFENSE

E

Ray Perkins Alabama

E

Herb Stecker Syracuse

E

Austin Denny Tennessee

E

Charles Harris Alabama

T

Cecil Dowdy Alabama

T

Louis Thompson Alabama

T

Ron Yary USC

T

George Patton Georgia

G

Gary Bugenhagen Syracuse

G

Chuck Kyle Purdue

G

John Kasay Georgia

LB

Paul Naumoff Tennessee

C

Jimmy Carroll Alabama

LB

Bob Childs Alabama

Q

Ken Stabler Alabama

DB

John Charles Purdue

H

Floyd Little Syracuse

DB

Bobby Johns Alabama

H

Larry Smith Florida

DB

George Catavolos Purdue

F

Ronnie Jenkins Georgia

DB

Larry Rentz Florida

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)