Seeking its first 12-0 season under legendary coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, No. 2 Alabama overcame a slow start to defeat No. 6 Arkansas, 24-9, in the Jan. 1, 1980 Sugar Bowl at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans. The win lifted Alabama to No. 1 in the final Associated Press and United Press International rankings, giving the Tide its sixth national title in Bryant’s amazing 25-year run at his alma mater.
Alabama had been ranked No. 1 for seven weeks during the regular season, but slipped to No. 2 after a narrow 25-18 win over No. 14 Auburn in its final regular season game. The win over Arkansas, coupled with Ohio State’s loss to Southern California in the Rose Bowl, put the Tide back in its rightful place atop the polls.