So, because he was a friend, and because everyone realized they could make boatloads of cash, coach Bryant talked the Sugar Bowl into inviting Penn State in 1975 to play 11-1 Alabama (actually Penn State's second trip to the Sugar Bowl, and the second time they'd played Alabama in their history).
Alabama won the game, but Penn State had so much fun they came back in '79 (for the famous Goal Line Stand game) and '82 (when they beat Herschel Walker's Georgia). Plus they got a yearly series out of it with Alabama, something everyone is still pining for in 2010. So it worked out pretty well for everybody, really.
Back later with more. Roll Tide.