2013 Discover BCS National Championship

Posted Dec 10, 2012

2012-2013 Bowls - CFN's Preview & Prediction for the 2013 Discover BCS National Championship


Notre Dame vs. Alabama
January 7th, 8:30pm, ESPN
Miami Gardens, FL Sun Life Stadium

Three Reasons Why You Have To Watch This Bowl

1. It's Notre Dame vs. the SEC champion who's going for a second straight BCS championship and a third in four years. If you need two more reasons, you're not going to watch this game. You might be the only one – this should be the highest-rated college football game of the BCS era.

2. It's a battle of two of the nation's elite defenses playing on the game's biggest stage. Alabama leads the nation in total defense and is No. 1 against the run, while Notre Dame lead the nation in scoring defense allowing a mere 10.33 points per game. Only on team – Pitt – has scored more than 17 points on the Irish defense, and that game went into triple overtime.

3. The SEC is going for its seventh straight national title, while Notre Dame is trying to get its first since 1988. Considering the two coaching staffs and the respective styles of play – there isn't anything too fancy happening for either side – this should be a bruising, old-school fight that comes down to who can run the best. It should be as tough and as hard hitting a battle as any game this season.

And Why You Shouldn't Care A Lick: With over six weeks to get ready, Alabama could be a machine and there might not be anything the Irish can do about it. The Tide offense leads the nation in passing efficiency, while the Irish don't come up with too many deep passing plays. The SEC has won six straight national titles, and Nick Saban is Nick Saban, for a reason.

Three Names To Drop To Make Every Man Want You And Every Woman Fear You
1. WR Amari Cooper, Fr. Alabama – The Tide receiving corps was hit hard by injuries, but the super-frosh has grown up in a hurry with three 100-yard games in the last four including an eight-catch, 128-yard, one game-winning score day in the SEC championship.

2. DE Stephon Tuitt, Soph. Notre Dame – LB Manti Te'o is the Heisman-caliber star of the defense, but an argument could be made that Tuitt, with his 12 sacks, has been every bit as valuable.

3. LT Cyrus Kouandijo, Soph.; LG Chance Warmack, Sr.; C Barrett Jones, Sr.; RG Anthony Seen, Jr.; RT D.J. Fluker, Jr. Alabama - This is the best unit on the field and the best offensive line in the nation with five future NFL starters.

Gut-Reaction Pick That Might Change In The Next Few Days On A Whim: Alabama 23 … Notre Dame 13

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It's not possible to get a bigger or better BCS championship matchup.

Yes, there's a chance that these aren't the two best teams – Oregon is awfully strong – and neither team has looked like the sure-thing, be-all-end-all team of destiny like 2010 Auburn or even last season's LSU squad. However, it's Notre Dame vs. the defending national champion from the SEC, and it couldn't be more perfect.

The Irish have a great history of streak-busting, ending Oklahoma's epic 47-game run in the mid-1950s and stopping Army's 25-game unbeaten roll in the 1940s in the classic 0-0 tie. Throw in the halting of Miami's 35-game regular-season winning streak in 1988, and suddenly, the idea of being the first team outside of the SEC to win a BCS championship in six years doesn't seem so daunting – Notre Dame has done this before, and that's why it has become Notre Dame. This is the big program that plays the big games for the biggest of stakes – at least historically. A win against the Tide wouldn't just be the first national title under Brian Kelly, it could be the marking of a consistent resurgence that Irish fans have been waiting for since the end of 1988.

Much has been made about the Irish struggling in three overtimes against Pitt and catching a nice break in the overtime win over Stanford – Stepfan Taylor could've only tied it , not win it, on his fumble in the end zone. However, the team came through in a season with all substance but no style. In all, the Irish have beaten ten bowl eligible teams, but it's the carrot on the end of the stick that this group is shooting for. It's one thing for Notre Dame football relevant on a national scale again, but it's another to beat decent team after decent team and then have to deal with the SEC champion. However it looks, if the Irish beat the Tide, it'll have earned its national championship.

The Irish aren't going to come up with anything fancy, while Alabama is about as subtle as an Eddie Lacy forearm. The Tide has the most talented offensive line in the country, and it showed in a virtuoso performance against Georgia with big run after big run thanks to the holes and empty spaces to fly through. There were a few key deep passes – the offense leads the nation in passing efficiency – but Alabama's success stems from the front five that blasted away on the Dawgs.

And now the hype begins for the first showdown between the two since the 1987 Irish win. There aren't any excuses for either team, considering neither one has a high-octane passing attack that will lose its timing over the long layoff. This isn't going to be hard – see defense, run at defense, repeat.

Either Notre Dame will be back, or Alabama will win its third BCS title in four years. No matter what, something epic is going to happen.

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