The Irish basked in the National Championship, and the sweet memories of the 51-0 thrashing of USC in the finale in the Coliseum, led by no less than the backup QB, Coleman Carroll O'brien. Sure, Lynch, Duranko, Page, Gmitter, Regner, Goeddeke, Conjar, and many more had left, but would Notre Dame ever lose again? Hanratty and Seymour returned and Ara had developed the Irish depth in thge many routs of 1966. Southern Cal was yapping about a "JC" transfer, Orenthal James Simpson. Yeah, right, like a jc transfer was going to come into Notre Dame Stadium and do anything. Sure there was an early road date at Purdue, but Griese had graduated, and the Boilers would have to rely on untested soph, Mike Phipps. HISTORICAL NOTE: The 60's, culturally, did not begin until the Summer of '67. When the Beatles released "Sergeant Pepper" in the Spring of '67, it legitimized pot use in suburban America, and marijuana recruits joined California and the rest of the US in welcoming the 60's, in full measure. The summer of love ensued, and the cross streets of Haight and Ashbury became as famous as Holloywood and Vine. Hello, Wavy Gravy!! The Irish began with a de rigeur troucing of Cal, 41-8. All seemed well in the valley. But then, in Purdue, Ara and Pagna's offense could not run the ball, and Hanratty had to put it up over 60 times. The Boilers won 28-21 in Phipps first win over Nore Dame (it wouldn't be his last). Things returned to normal with a 56-6 pasting of Iowa in South Bend, and the campus prepared for Southern Cal and O.J. Simpson. The Irish defense hit Simpson early and often, but Simpson, even in college, was even greater than his hype. He scored a dagger td late and USC won 24-7. The Irish, on the Ides of October were 2-2. Well, Irish students and fans sought liquid and aural satisfaction. Hey, how about that new place Bill Kurtz opened, the "Delphic Oracle,' featuring Captain Electric and the Flying Lapels? Ah, the 60's had arrived in South Bend!! Ara and Pagna got the offense untracked, and the Irish ripped off 6 in a row, to finish at 8-2. Only the 24-22 finale over Miami in the Orange Bowl was close. The Irish had no national championship, but Fling and Cling were coming back in 1968. We didn't know then that the Democratic Convention in Chicago in the summer of '68 would be more explosive than the Irish season. And as '67 ended, American was about to learn about an important lunar holiday in a land far, far away. The land was VietNam and the holiday "Tet." Same Cooke had predicted it "A Change Gonna Come."