What is at stake… Well the obvious is the national championship is on the line, but also, it is the return to glory for one of the most storied college football teams in history, the University of Notre Dame. Being able to cap off this season when they were not even ranked in the Top 25 would be incredible for the program now, and going forward. It would prove that Notre Dame indeed does not need a conference to be able to compete for the national championship. Also, it could go a long way in bringing balance to the college football landscape, in that the dominance of the SEC and the strangle hold that SEC has on the championship game. Hell, the SEC thinks it is their birthright to be in the game annually. Right now, you can’t argue with that logic.
Have overstated the Irish and their year with the Crimson Tide being favored by 9.5? Did we look at Notre Dame 12-0 record and give it too much credence or are the Irish about to shock the world and put the SEC dominance finally to rest. I am sure in various corners of the U.S. that is the case; that they would rather see the Golden Domers win to shut up the SEC backers say that the only championship caliber of football is played in the SEC.
Notre Dame comes into this championship game in very new territory for them, since the BCS was put together the Fighting Irish have not been at this stage with this type of spotlight on them. For a fairly young team who has not been in this position this could be a distinct disadvantage. Freshman QB Everett Golson is asked to lead Notre Dame like he has all year and the kid has played within himself the entire year accounting for 16 touchdowns (11 passing and 5 rushing). The key maybe with the ground attack and if they can run on Alabama. That starts with the 3 headed monster in the backfield in the previously mentioned QB Golson and the running back tandem of Theo Riddick and Gene Atkinson III. The 3 combined for over 1500 yards this year. It will be a challenge for the Irish to run on Alabama given the trouble that Texas A&M QB Johnny Manzeil gave the Crimson Tide by handing Alabama their only loss of the year. Irish QB Everett Golson has the same type of skills of elusiveness that Manzeil possesses.
It is not like Alabama has this great offensive juggernaut, they play a similar style of offense to Notre Dame but, with better talent running the offense. Alabama has two (1000) yard rushers in Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon. Yeldon is the more electric of the 2 running backs but both are equally a handful. While A.J. McCarron has been more than a game manager with his 66% completion rate and his 26/3 TD to INT ratio.
The defenses have their keys to victory as well. Here it is, stop the run and put the opposition in obvious passing down and distances. Pretty simple, whomever does this will win. Prediction, Sorry Cinderella the clock does strike midnight and the Fighting Irish lose. I believe that McCarron will make more plays than Golson and the defense for both teams will rule the day, in the end Alabama wins.
Alabama 24 Notre Dame 13
National Championship Game… Who you Got?!