Instead of waiting 10 years to return to the Orange Bowl, Alabama made two more trips to Miami during the 1960s. Up until the mid-1960s, most people looked at bowl games as just exhibitions. That's because the national champion was announced before the bowl game. In 1965, No. 2 Alabama was named national champion in late November after top-ranked Notre Dame lost to USC in the season finale.
Top-ranked, undefeated and national champion Alabama (10-0) would face fifth-ranked Texas (9-1) in the first Orange Bowl played at night.
The Longhorns opened a 21-7 lead at halftime before the Crimson Tide responded with 10 unanswered points to close the gap. Joe Namath, who didn't start due to a knee injury, led the Alabama offense after replacing an injured Steve Sloan.
With seven minutes remaining in the game, Alabama had a second down and goal from the Texas two-yard line. However, the Longhorn defense held and stopped Crimson Tide quarterback Joe Namath on a quarterback sneak from the 1-yard line on fourth down. Texas held on for a 21-17 upset victory over the national champions.
Despite suffering the loss, Namath earned MVP honors after 18-of-37 passing for 255 yards and two touchdowns. It should also be noted that the following season, the Associated Press determined the national champion after bowl games. This was done permanently beginning with the 1968 season.