with both OU and ND coming on the road. They were 2-4 heading into ND, but won that game and wouldn't lose again until ND beat them in 1973. They finished 6-4-1 but were ranked 20th in the final AP poll. Both Alabama and Oklahoma lost only to national champion Nebraska that year, while ND went 8-2.
The previous year, Southern Cal opened the season with Alabama and Nebraska n consecutive weeks. USC again finished 6-4-1 but were ranked 15th in the final AP poll. They tied the team that finished No. 1 (Nebraska) and beat No. 2 (ND). Alabama had a down year, going 6-5-1 and out of the rankings, but USC trounced them in Birmingham, 42-21. The disappointing season prompted Bear Bryant to install the wishbone in the offseason, which they sprung on unsuspecting USC to win the 1971 opener.
The 1970 and 1971 USC-Alabama games were late additions to the schedule, and were arranged when the NCAA allowed schools to expand their regular season schedules from 10 games to 11, effective in 1970. ND was one of a few schools that waited to go to 11 games, not doing so until 1974 (I believe Georgia Tech was the 11th game scheduled that year). The Big Ten didn't allow 11 regular season games until 1971 (and only allowed 9 through 1964). Ohio State only played 9 regular season games in 1970, and 10 from 1971-1973 before adding an 11th game in 1974.