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(This is the rule that upsets my Notre Dame friend.)
In 1966, Alabama had the rare opportunity to three-peat the national championship.
'Bama was poised almost perfectly to accomplish this feat, as it came into the season ranked No. 1.
Preseason rankings held Notre Dame at No. 6 and Michigan State at No. 2.
Michigan State and UCLA jumped Alabama in the first week because Alabama didn't play.
Notre Dame joined Alabama in the falling process due to the bye-week blues.
Then, Alabama and Notre Dame reclaimed the No. 3 and No. 4 spots after playing the next week.
Seemingly for no reason, as they had identical records, Notre Dame took over the No. 1 spot in the October 17th AP Poll. Alabama wasn't the only team with a bone to pick about that, since UCLA was undefeated with one more win than the Irish.
In the November 21st AP Poll, Michigan State and Notre Dame had just played each other to a tie.
This left UCLA and 'Bama with better records, yet neither team jumped over the top two. Not even after posting wins in the same week as the top two tied.
Entering bowl season, the top two both had 9-0-1 records, whereas 'Bama had a 10-0 record.
Alabama destroyed Nebraska in the Sugar Bowl 34-7, which did not affect the championship since it was still awarded pre-bowl in 1966.
For this reason, under no circumstance is a 'Bama fan ever to root for Notre Dame or Michigan State, unless a win will pit them directly against 'Bama in a bowl game.