Notre Dame and Texas seem headed for an inevitable showdown, the pollsters' dream and the Cotton Bowl's jackpot.
If the rest of the season goes as expected for those two teams, the national championship may be decided New Year's Day at Dallas in the Cotton Bowl. As an added attraction, this year's Heisman Trophy winner could be there, too.
The balloting will have taken place by then, but the winner won't have been announced. Two of the leading candidates are running back Earl Campbell of Texas and defensive end Ross Browner of Notre Dame.
The Cotton Bowl will be the showcase because the undefeated and top-ranked Longhorns are in the Southwest Conference and that conference champion goes to the Cotton Bowl automatically.
After doing away with Texas Tech, 26-0, Saturday, the Longhorns have four games remaining. They are against Houston, Texas Christian, Baylor and Texas A&M.
Texas A&M should provide the toughest competition Nov. 26 in College Station, Tex.
Notre Dame has lost only to Mississippi in seven games and after walloping Navy, 43-10, Saturday, has games against Georgia Tech, Clemson, Air Force and Miami.
The Cotton Bowl committee already has indicated it wants Notre Dame if the Irish should win their remaining games. And the Irish yearning for the national title, want to play the highest ranked team they can.
"We know we have to play every game one at a time and all of that," said Browner. "But in the back of our minds, no, not in the back, in the front of our minds, is the Cotton Bowl, Texas and the national championship, we want it and we're going to get it."
Browner, winner of last season's Outland Trophy as the best college lineman, wants the Heisman this year.
Campbell, the 220-pound Texas fullback is the front runner for the Heisman. He ran for more gained more than $1,000 yards in seven games.
The other top candidate for the award is Oklahoma State's Terry Miller. Miller rushed for 117 yards against Nebraska Saturday. But the Cornhuskers, led by I. M. Hipp's 71 yards and two touchdowns, bulldogged the Cowboys, 31-14.
North Carolina put Maryland out of the Atlantic Coast Conference race and probably any howl game, as well, with a 16-7 victory at College Park.
The Orange and Sugar bowls are looking closely at Oklahoma, Penn State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Michigan, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame - all routine winners Saturday.
Minnesota's glroy and Big 10 title hopes were ended by Indiana, 34-22. The Gophers shut out previously unbeaten Michigan a week ago, but 207 yards rushing on 33 carries by Indiana tailback Rie Ennis, did them in.
In the Pacific-Eight, Southern California lost t California, 17-14, and Washington lost to UCLA, 20-12. That leaves the Trojans, Bruins and Huskies tied for first in the conference with 3-1 records and Cal just behind at 2-2.