Photo's and descriptions are owned by Historic Football Posters.com
Tennessee 38, Army 7. The Cadets had a fine 8 and 2 record in 1966, but the difference between Eastern football and the SEC was just too much to overcome. And during the Vietnam war those Tennesse boys were all getting II-S draft deferments instead of being carted off overseas the way they were during World War II.
Alabama 34, Nebraska 7. Led by QB Kenny Stabler, the Bama boys had one of their finest seasons in 1966, sweeping through their schedule with only one close call against Tennessee, and finishing up with this absolute crushing of once-beaten Nebraska in the Sugar Bowl.
Auburn 43, Clemson 21. Clemson was unbeaten that year in the ACC, winning the conference crown with a 6 and 0 mark. But the SEC was another story altogether, as their Auburn cousins were but one of four schools from the Cotton Belt that taught the Tigers a thing or two about where the balance of gridiron power resided.
That's coach Vince Dooley, All-American tackle George Patton, and star end Jerry Vernado holding up the Cotton Bowl trophy that they'd won the previous New Year's Day, as the Bulldogs outran the home town boys from Southern Methodist in a comfortable 24 to 9 win. This win capped one of coach Dooley's best early years, as the Dawgs lost but a one point squeaker to Miami and wound up ranked fourth in the nation.
Purdue 14, Southern Cal 13. Only the bad luck to be scheduled against mighty Notre Dame and Michigan State prevented the Boilermakers from logging a perfect season, and what better way to celebrate the New Year than by spending it in Pasadena and coming back to frozen Lafayette with a Rose Bowl trophy in hand?
In 1968 the Bulldogs ran past the Tigers 17 - 3 as they roared to the SEC Championship with an 8 - 0 - 2 record. Arkansas upset the Dawgs 16 - 3 in the Sugar Bowl.
Ohio State 50, Michigan 14. It's hard to think of a much better game than this one. The Buckeyes not only thoroughly dismembered a hapless Michigan team and went on to win both the Rose Bowl and the National Championship, but in the process they wound up getting the Michigan coach fired, in spite of all the denials.
Tennessee 10, Alabama 9. Tennessee was just one of many brutal games on Alabama's schedule that year, but until the Gator Bowl only this and a 2-point loss to Ole Miss stopped the Tide from having a perfect season.
Auburn 51, Clemson 0. Not much to say about this 1969 game.
Alabama 38, Clemson 13. While the Tide averaged nearly 30 points a game this year, a mediocre defense let them down against the better teams. But here in Clemson's fearful Death Valley, Bear's boys were operating on all cylinders, and the Tigers never had a chance.
Michigan 24, Ohio State 12. With his suspicious Ohio lineage, Bo Schembechler wasn't always the revered figure in Wolverine Country that he is today. But this game changed all that. The Maize and Blue thoroughly befuddled Woody Hayes's Buckeyes, snapped their 22-game winning streak, and in the process grabbed their ticket to Pasadena. It was enough to make Mr. Bo an honorary Michigan native for life.
Ohio State 27, Southern Cal 16. This Pasadena showdown featuring two unbeaten powerhouses has to be ranked among the finest moments in Buckeye gridiron history, right up there with the 1954 national championship and that 2003 Fiesta Bowl stunner against Miami. Taking on the Southern Cal Trojans in O.J. Simpson's last game, Woody's men avenged a series of recent Big Ten Rose Bowl setbacks by spotting them the first 10 points, and then answering with three touchdowns and a pair of field goals. A meaningless USC touchdown during garbage time changed only the point spread, in what was certainly one of Woody Hayes's most satisfying games.
Georgia 31, Auburn 17. The Tigers were looking ahead to the Alabama game, and got waylaid by a lightly regarded Georgia eleven.
LSU 17, Auburn 9. We hope that Aubie took out one of those life insurance policies himself that day, because the Auburn boys stumbled and bumbled against their Bayou cousins. They righted themselves after this game, though, and finished the season with a fine 9 and 2 record.
The 1971 game saw the Tigers roll over the Wildcats by a 38 - 6 score. The Tigers finished with a 9 - 2 record.
Nebraska 35, Oklahoma 31. Against any other team in history on this day, the Sooners would have won. And against every other team on their schedule that year, they won by at least two touchdowns, scoring over 500 points in the process and finishing up with a rout of powerful Auburn in the Sugar Bowl. But this was Nebraska's magical year, and though the Sooners came up four points short, they had absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.
The Tigers outlasted the Yellow Jackets 24 - 14 on a breezy 1972 afternoon in Auburn.
Clemson 7, South Carolina 6. Neither the Tigers nor the Gamecocks were exactly at their best this year, but in the only game that really counts, it was nice to see that the Gods were smiling down on Death Valley. One point or a hundred, a win's a win. This was also one of the nicer non-Phil Neel covers, with the Tiger framed by portraits of the 22 Clemson seniors.
Nebraska 38, Alabama 6. Being as how the Tide itself came into this pre-BCS Battle For #1 with a perfect record, you can see by the score why many still look upon this Nebraska team as the greatest squad in the history of college football.
Clemson 14, Citadel 12. With all the great Phil Neel covers we've been featuring so far, we thought that this shot of the front of the stadium at the beginning of the season might be a nice change of pace.
Penn State 54, Army 3. Cover photo of Nittany Lion star John Cappelletti. And hard as it may be to believe, it got worse the next week. Playing their second straight team that would go on to a perfect season, the Cadets came home to Michie Stadium and took a 62 to 3 pasting at the hands of Notre Dame. Ouch and double ouch!
Auburn 31, Florida State 6. With all those great Phil Neel covers we're showing, we thought it'd be nice to include one of the few that Phil didn't draw during that period. And what better alternative than this great sky shot of Jordan-Hare filled to its usual capacity.
Alabama 21, Maryland 6. If ever there were a pair of coaches who were well acquainted with each other, it would have been the two who stared across the sidelines in College Park that day. Maryland coach Jerry Claiborne not only played under Bear Bryant at Kentucky, but he was also an assistant coach under him at both Texas A&M and Alabama. Didn't do Maryland much good, though. You knew the Bear wouldn't let it. Even the presence of All-American and future HOFer Randy White on the Maryland side of the line wasn't enough to hold back Bama's QB Richard Todd, and the Tide escaped College Park with a jumpstart to an 11 win season.
Tennessee 29, Mississippi 17. The Vols must have enjoyed their stay in Memphis, because just a month after dispatching the Rebels of Ole Miss, they returned to shell the Maryland Terrapins in the Liberty Bowl, dedicating their win to Elvis.
Texas 35, SMU 15. The Longhorns took one look at this program cover, and how could they do anything but win?
Texas 42, Texas Tech 18. The Longhorns got out of the gate with a bang this year, and by the end of the following week they'd won the first four games by an average of 44 to 9. The Red Raiders got off easy.
Georgia 41, Clemson 0. Give this terrific Phil Neel poster to a Clemson fan who's too young (or who was too drunk) to remember the game itself. You can photoshop the score.
Clemson 28, South Carolina 9. Or boiled, or broiled, or fricasseed, or maybe just dumped in a barrel of wet cement and taken down to the pier. Whatever the details of the Gamecocks' fate in Death Valley was that afternoon, it wasn't pretty, but other than that we don't know nuthin.
Pittsburgh 34, Clemson 3. After an opening loss to Maryland, the Tigers ran through the rest of their schedule with only a narrow loss to # 1 Notre Dame and a tie in Chapel Hill. But this Gator Bowl wasn't much to write home to Mom about. Pitt was at the top of its game and it was over almost as soon as it began.
Clemson 17, Ohio State 15. With Ohio State losing by a mere two points and driving downfield field in the final two minutes of the game for a go-ahead score, Clemson's Charlie Bauman intercepted an Art Schlicter pass to seal the Tiger win.
Missouri 45, Mississippi 14. This was a transition year for the Rebels, and the bowl bound Missouri Tigers, just two weeks from a win in Notre Dame Stadium, were a bit too much to handle.