American Football Database
1978 Cotton Bowl Classic
1 2 3 4 Total
University of Notre Dame 3 21 7 7 38
University of Texas 3 7 0 0 10
Date January 2, 1978
Season 1977
Stadium Cotton Bowl
Location Dallas, Texas
MVP Notre Dame Vagas Ferguson
Notre Dame Bob Golic
Attendance 76,701
United States TV coverage
Network CBS
Announcers: Lindsey Nelson, Paul Hornung,

Paul Alexander, and Don Criqui

Cotton Bowl Classic
 < 1977  1979

The 1978 Mobil Cotton Bowl Classic was the forty-second edition of the college football bowl game played January 2, 1978, at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas. The bowl game featured the Notre Dame Fighting Irish versus the Southwest Conference champion Texas Longhorns. According to, Texas was favored by 3-points. [1] A record crowd turned up to see the coronation of the Longhorns championship season, but fifth-ranked Notre Dame spoiled everything as they dominated the Longhorns 38-10. The loss by the Longhorns resulted in complete chaos in the polls, with Notre Dame vaulting past Alabama to win the National Championship.[2]


Texas' loss opened the door to the National Championship for several teams. However, second-ranked Oklahoma was beaten 31-6 by Arkansas in the Orange Bowl, and fourth-ranked Michigan was beaten 27-20 by Washington in the Rose Bowl. That left third-ranked Alabama and fifth-ranked Notre Dame as the teams left standing. Alabama felt that if they won, they would be champions due to the losses by Texas and Oklahoma, but the pollsters saw it differently. Notre Dame was voted number one in every poll. Perhaps the victory by fellow Southwest Conference member Arkansas in the Orange Bowl made the difference as it made Notre Dame's victory over Texas (who had beaten Arkansas 13-9 in October) even more impressive.