Discover BCS National Championship Game Preview: #1 Notre Dame v. #2 Alabama Jan. 7, 2013 at 8:00pm EST on ESPN
They are the two storied programs in college football, and, this year, they are the number one and number two teams in the nation. Their defenses are number one and number two, their coaches are two of the three college coaches being heavily courted by NFL teams, and, according to Rivals.com, they currently have the number one and number two recruiting classes in the country. They are Notre Dame and Alabama, and this is a Battle for Supremacy.
The last three national championships have featured great matchups. The Auburn-Oregon game was supposed to be a shootout, but both teams struggled to score. Last year, the Alabama-LSU game was a great grudge rematch featuring two elite teams. This year’s matchup may be even more intriguing because of the teams involved. However, like the last two championships, there may be an additional twist to this game; I expect a higher score than most are saying.
While both legendary programs were down and out before their current coaches, they now appear to be firmly on the rise. Both bring back a ton of talent and are reloading with great recruiting classes. However, will they be able to hold onto their coaches? The possibility that Saban or Kelly (though both are denying the idea) could jump to the NFL shortly after the title game adds an extra layer of intrigue.
Keys to the game
- Who wins? Alabama’s offensive line versus the Notre Dame front seven: this matchup will determine whether Alabama’s running game can be effective. If A.J. McCarron is forced to win this game for the Tide, it will be a good day for Notre Dame.
- Who has a bigger game? Cierre Wood or T.J. Yeldon: The backup running backs of the two teams will have a huge impact on the offensive production of their teams -- expect big plays from the two.
- The turnover margin: While the offenses will perform better than expected, losing the turnover margin will be extra costly.
Quick scores: When moving the ball is difficult, a quick score can make all the difference. If either team can get a big play or two to put points up on the board, it may be the score that puts them over the top.
Breitbart Sports’ Top 15 NFL Prospects in the BCS National Championship Game (* denotes underclassman)
- LB Manti Te’o, Notre Dame (Top 10)- elite prospect with physical tools, instincts, and intangibles to be one of the best linebackers playing on Sundays for years to come. The kind of leader you want on your team.
- *CB Dee Milliner, Alabama (Top 10- may stay in school)- fluid, athletic, and instinctual shutdown corner that has all the physical tools to lock down his side of the field.
- DT Jesse Williams, Alabama (Round 1)- big physical tackle who could play in either a 3-4 or 4-3. He won’t be moved.
- *TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame (Round 1-may return to school)- great frame and skill set to be an elite NFL tight end.
- OG Chance Warmack, Alabama (Round 1 or 2)- a guard capable of just moving people; a road-grader who is still strong is pass protection.
- *DE Stephon Tuitt, Notre Dame (will be returning to Notre Dame)- outstanding athlete who could be a game changer off the edge.
- OT D.J. Fluker, Alabama (Round 1 or 2)- not as highly rated as some of the others, but the physical tools will cause him to be drafted higher than his play deserves.
- *DT Louis Nix, Notre Dame (will be returning to Notre Dame)- a huge, athletic defensive tackle and a solid performance against Chance Warmack could solidify him as one of the elite prospects going into next season.
- C Barrett Jones, Alabama (Round 1 or 2)- versatile, smart, and could probably play four of the five spots.
- *RB Eddie Lacy, Alabama (Rounds 2-4)- not as good as Ingram or Richardson, but gets good yardage and could be a workhorse at the next level.
- RB Theo Riddick, Notre Dame (Rounds 2-4)- great speed with good hands that could be intriguing for NFL scouts.
- S Robert Lester, Alabama (Rounds 3-4)- may be a step slow, but makes plays.
- LB Nico Johnson, Alabama (Rounds 3-4)- not quite at the level of previous Tide linebackers, but a solid player and leader of the defense. An NFL starter.
- S Zeke Motta , Notre Dame (Rounds 3-4)- great safety who may be a step slow. Can prove doubters wrong in the championship game.
- *LB C.J. Mosely, Alabama (will be returning to Alabama)- a little small, but was a standout on Alabama’s defense
By the Numbers
Avg. Pts/G (O)- 26.8 (75th)
Avg. Pass Yards/G (O)- 218.8 (75th)
Avg. Rush Yards/G (O)- 202.5 (29th)
Avg. Pts/G (D)- 10.3 (1st)
Avg. Pass Yards/G (D)- 194.4 (21st)
Avg. Rush Yards/G (D)- 92.4 (4th)
Avg. Pts/G (O)- 38.5 (13th)
Avg. Pass Yards/G (O)- 214.5 (79th)
Avg. Rush Yards/G (O)- 224.6 (19th)
Avg. Pts/G (D)- 10.7 (2nd)
Avg. Pass Yards/G (D)- 166.2 (4th)
Avg. Rush Yards/G (D)- 79.8 (1st)
Last year, Notre Dame was 8-5 and has made a tremendous amount of progress under Brian Kelly. While I don’t doubt that they will come ready to play and that the Irish will put up a fight; they aren’t ready for Alabama. It’ll be another championship for Nick Saban and Alabama.
Alabama 31, Notre Dame 20