A month ago, people were talking about how Oregon or Kansas State could match up with Alabama in a possible national title game. People were wondering if their offenses could hold up against an elite SEC defense. Nobody gave Notre Dame the time of day except Irish fans.
With all three undefeated teams ahead of them falling, Notre Dame just kept winning and found themselves the No. 1 team in the land. They watched a terrific SEC title game come down to the wire, and with Alabama coming away victorious, it sets up an epic national title game between two elite defenses and storied programs.
Since the turn of the century in 1900, Alabama has 14 national championship claims to Notre Dame’s 11. The two programs are first and third in terms of most championships in that time frame. I’ve been wanting to see this matchup in the BCS Championship game since October, when it became clear to me they were two of the best teams in the country. I never believed in Kansas State or Oregon, and losses to Baylor and Stanford allowed that to transpire.
Many counted ‘Bama out after their loss to Texas A&M, but fate stepped in and showed us that anything can happen in college football.
The SEC championship game was a surprising shootout in the second half. A 10-7 half time score turned into a 32-28 final, with Alabama’s running attack being the difference. They rushed for 349 yards and made Georgia’s defensive line look like amateurs in the second half. Georgia has three potential first-round picks on defense, but they disappeared when it counted most. Offensive linemen Barrett Jones and Chance Warmack led a fierce charge and running backs T.J. Yeldon and Eddie Lacy each went over 100 yards.
The national title game will be a battle of two teams that play great defense, protect the football and try to limit mistakes. It could be a low scoring game, but it features several of the top players in college football. In my most recent mock draft, I had seven of the players in this matchup being taken in the first round. What more does one want?
The world will be watching as Notre Dame seeks a return to glory and Alabama looks to cement their legacy as a dynasty. The SEC has won six straight BCS Championships. Can the Irish dethrone the Crimson Tide? Tune in January 7 to find out. I know I will.