College GameDay produces feature on 1970 Alabama-USC game
On this date in 1970, an integrated USC football team came to Birmingham to take on the all-white Alabama team.
The game was an important one, and it was held at Legion Field in Birmingham. From a racial standpoint, many consider it to be the biggest game in college football history.
As you can see below, ESPN’s College GameDay aired a lengthy segment on the historic game during Saturday’s show:
We look back on USC's historic win over Alabama 50 years ago, a game that for many represented the last gasp of segregation in major college football.
— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) September 12, 2020
“Our spring practice was tougher than that game,” USC FB Sam Cunningham said. “The holes were big enough to drive trucks through.”
Cunningham scored twice in the first quarter and USC’s offense gained 559 yards en route to a 42-21 victory over the Tide.
The feature mentions that the legendary Bear Bryant may have actually wanted his Alabama team to lose this game to show that integration was needed. He was smiling during the postgame handshake, according to players.
Shortly thereafter, Bryant began recruiting Black athletes in earnest, seemingly getting what he — and many other Alabamians — wanted.