The Biggest Game of Them All: Notre Dame, Michigan State, and the Fall of '66

Mike Celizic, Author
Mike Celizic, Author Simon & Schuster $22.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-75817-2
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-1-4516-4657-3
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On Nov. 19, 1966, the two top-rated college football teams in the country met in a showdown, the first time in decades that Nos. 1 and 2, both undefeated, had done battle so late in the season. Notre Dame, coached by Ara Parseghian, and Michigan State, led by Duffy Daugherty, had both been rebuilding after several poor seasons. Each was drawing from national pools of players: nearly every Catholic football star in the country (and plenty of non-Catholics) wanted to play for the Fighting Irish, while Daugherty had tapped into the vast reservoir of black talent in the South (colleges below the Mason-Dixon line had no black players). Of the 44 starters that day, 25 received All-America mention and 33 would go on to pro careers. The game ended with the score 10-10 after Parseghian decided to play for the tie (and so preserve Notre Dame's No. 1 ranking), a decision that is still hotly debated. Sportswriter Celizic ( Courage ) deftly traces the seasons of the gridiron giants, ascribing a significance to the game that only readers indifferent toward college football are likely to argue with. (Nov.)
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