40 Years Ago: Lou Holtz, Fortune-Teller?


"But Coach Holtz, your interesting switch makes you an expert in both fields. So how about picking the two teams who will be in Super Bowl '77, and the top 10 college teams for 1977?

"He said he would and he did.

"He picked New England to win the American Conference and Los Angeles Rams to the win the National. Pressed, he took New England in the Super Bowl next January.

"The college? Since he's in that, he gave it a bit more thought, then picked Notre Dame to win the national championship.

"His top five, in order, were: 1. Notre Dame 2. Oklahoma; 3. Texas A&M; 4. UCLA; 5. Michigan. He said the next five, no particular order, would be Alabama, Texas Tech, Penn State, Ohio State and Houston.

"And Arkansas? How about Lou Holtz's first Arkansas team?

"'We'll have a better record than I had with the Jets.'"

- "Lou Holtz Likes Fishing Better Than NFL's Draft," by Tom McEwen, Tampa Tribune. (Reprinted in the Northwest Arkansas Times, May 8, 1977)

As for Holtz's predictions, New England finished 9-4, but out of the playoffs. Los Angeles lost in the wild card round. Notre Dame did indeed with the national championship. Oklahoma was 7th. Michigan was 9th. Alabama was 2nd. Penn State was 5th. Ohio State was 11th. A&M, UCLA, Texas Tech and Houston did not finish in the Top 20. Arkansas (11-1) definitely did better than the 1976 New York Jets (3-10).