Twenty-five years later, Penn State Coach Joe Paterno said Thursday he is still annoyed that then-President Richard Nixon bestowed a national championship plaque upon Texas at the end of the 1969 regular season, even though the Nittany Lions also were undefeated.
But if the national championship race becomes a political issue after Monday's bowl games, Paterno said he expects support from the White House. First Lady Hillary Clinton's father, Hugh Rodham, played football for Penn State in 1934, and her brother, Hugh Rodham Jr., was a walk-on for the Nittany Lions, although he did not play enough to earn a letter.
Oregon Coach Rich Brooks was not very optimistic about the status of starting wide receiver Cristin McLemore, a junior from Huntington Beach, who sat out practice Wednesday because of an ankle injury. McLemore practiced Thursday at Glendora's Citrus College and made one outstanding catch, but Brooks said he expected the ankle to swell overnight.
"He's not going to be 100%," Brooks said.
But McLemore refused to be counted out of Monday's game.
"He's saying that stuff to get me going," McLemore said of Brooks. "I ain't that old that I can't come back."