Some of the most memorable games from the 11-season coaching tenure of Ara Parseghian at Notre Dame: • No. 1 Notre Dame 10, Michigan State 10, Nov. 19, 1966
The Irish rallied from a 10-0 deficit against a Spartans team that featured Bubba Smith and three teammates who were among the top eight picks of the next NFL draft. Parseghian was criticized for his conservative play-calling after Notre Dame got the ball back with more than a minute left to play. Notre Dame won the national championship after beating USC 51-0 a week later.
• Southern California 20, No. 1 Notre Dame 17, Nov. 28, 1964
After finishing 2-7 a season earlier, the Irish started the season 9-0 under first-year coach Parseghian. They led the Trojans 17-0 at halftime and appeared to be on the verge of their first national title since 1949. USC rallied in the second half and won after Craig Fertig completed a 15-yard touchdown pass to Rod Sherman on a fourth-and-8 with 1:33 left to play. Notre Dame finished ranked No. 3.
• No. 1 Texas 21, No. 9 Notre Dame 17, Jan. 1, 1970
Playing in its first bowl game in 45 years, the Irish lost to the unbeaten Longhorns when Bill Dale scored on a 1-yard run with 1:08 left to play in the Cotton Bowl. A pass by Joe Theismann was intercepted with 28 seconds left to end Notre Dame’s comeback hopes. Notre Dame was ranked fifth for the season.
• No. 6 Notre Dame 24, No. 1 Texas 11, Jan. 1, 1971
The Irish defense forced nine fumbles in the Cotton Bowl and Theismann threw for one touchdown and ran for two more as Notre Dame ended Texas’ 30-game winning streak to keep the Longhorns from winning a second straight national championship. Notre Dame finished the season ranked No. 2.
• No. 3 Notre Dame 24, No. 1 Alabama 23, Dec. 31, 1973
The unbeaten Irish turned down a more lucrative deal in the Orange Bowl to face coach Paul “Bear” Bryant and the unbeaten Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl. After Bill Davis missed a point-after kick for Alabama in the fourth quarter, Notre Dame’s Bob Thomas kicked a 19-yard field goal with 4:26 left to give the Irish a one-point lead. The Irish clinched the victory when, on third-and-8 from the their own 3, Tom Clements completed a 35-yard pass from his own end zone to Robin Weber with two minutes left to lock up the national championship.