The 1970 Alabama squad finished the regular season with a 6–5 record and losses against USC, Ole Miss, Tennessee, LSU and Auburn. During the week prior to the Iron Bowl, school officials announced the Crimson Tide accepted a bid to play in the Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl against Oklahoma. The appearance marked the second for Alabama in the Bluebonnet Bowl and their 24th overall bowl game appearance.
The 1970 Oklahoma squad finished the regular season with a 7–4 record and losses against Oregon State, Texas, Kansas State and Nebraska. During the week prior to their Bedlam Series game against Oklahoma State, school officials announced the Sooners accepted a bid to play in the Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl against Alabama. The appearance marked the second for Oklahoma in the Bluebonnet Bowl and their 14th overall bowl game appearance.
Alabama opened the scoring early in the first when Scott Hunter connected with Randy Moore for a four-yard touchdown reception and a 7–0 lead. Oklahoma responded on the ensuing possession by driving 74 yards with Joe Wylie running it in from two yards out to tie the game at 7–7. The Sooners extended their lead to 21–7 with two long touchdown runs of 58 and 25 yards by Greg Pruitt. The Tide cut the lead to seven when Hunter hit David Bailey for a five-yard touchdown with only 0:14 remaining in the half. In the third, Richard Ciemny hit a 20-yard field goal to cut the lead further to 21–17. Alabama took the lead early in the fourth on a trick play. Hunter handed-off the ball to Johnny Musso who then threw a 25-yard touchdown pass back to Hunter to give the Crimson Tide a 24–21 lead. However, the game ended in a tie after Bruce Derr hit a 42-yard field goal late in the fourth.