Fiutak Final Thoughts: Good game, okay teams
Posted Jan 7, 2013

Pete Fiutak's Final Thoughts before the 2013 BCS championship

Fiutak: Great matchup, okay teams
Cirminiello: Golson, Golson, Golson
Zemek: Trenches, trenches, trenches
Harrison: Is there really an SEC dominance?
Johnson: It's 2002 Ohio State
Doan: Matchup nightmare for Alabama

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- Fine, I'll be the one to yuck everyone's yum. These teams just aren't that great.

- (Cue Eric Stratton pointing to face and mouthing the words, "not great?!")

- However, before we get started, let's put an end to this one – Oregon has absolutely no beef whatsoever. Notre Dame is unbeaten and beat the same Stanford team that beat Oregon. Alabama won the SEC after winning its division and its conference. Oregon didn't win its division. The end.

- Again, I'll be the jerkweed who has to do the dirty work. As much as ESPN wants to hype up this game because it really is the best possible matchup in the history of the BCS, the 2005 Texas vs. USC game was bigger because the entire season built up to the showdown between the two powerhouses. I'd argue that the 2002 Ohio State vs. Miami game was bigger for the same reason. To a point, and it gets lost now because the game was such a dud, the 2009 game was also enormous because it was always going to be Texas vs. the Florida/Alabama winner.

- But it is Notre Dame vs. Alabama. It matters.

- No one cared a lick about the 2012 BCS championship, but the Alabama of LSU of last year would've wiped the floor with both of these teams.

- In fact, of the 30 teams to play in the championship game since the BCS era began, the only teams worse than these two were 1998 Florida State, 1999 Virginia Tech, 2001 Nebraska and 2007 Ohio State.

- I'm sorry. I'm back now. Yay, BCS championship 2013 … WOOOOO! WOOOOO!

- Let's get one other thing straight. Even if Notre Dame wins, that doesn't diminish the SEC's dominance any less. I know, I know, I know, it sucks, and it's not fun when one league is night-and-day better than everyone else, but the gap is widening. One win by the Irish won't change that.

- But the non-SEC part of the college football world desperately needs a break. There has to be some hope for the unwashed masses.

- If Alabama wins in a blowout, that could kill the spirit of the non-SECers. It wouldn't matter if the SEC went 0-for-the-other-bowls if the league won its seventh straight title.

- And the music isn't going to stop. A quick look at the top ten for next year has to include Alabama, LSU, South Carolina, Georgia, Texas A&M and Florida, in some order. Arkansas, Missouri and Auburn aren't going to stink again; Tennessee is on the rise: Vanderbilt is going to be better; Kentucky will be revamped; and Ole Miss and Mississippi State are solid. In other words, the conference is loaded. Again.

- Notre Dame isn't going away, either. It'll take a wee step back next year with so much retooling to be done on offense, but if you despise all things Fighting Irish, take up another sport.

- It's just sad that Alabama still counts the 1973 team as a national champion because it got the UPI vote and Notre Dame got the AP crown.

- Notre Dame beat Alabama 24-23 in the 1974 Sugar.

- As I was taught in school, always go with your first answer. The first thought back in early December was that there was no way Alabama loses this game with so much time to prepare for a team with such a pedestrian offense, but the warning sirens are blaring loud and clear. The Tide's problems against LSU, Georgia and Texas A&M can't be ignored, and despite the history of Nick Saban and his staff getting time to prepare, this looks dead even.

- Again, though, not changing my answer – Alabama by double digits.

- But if the Irish win by double digits, I won't be the slightest bit surprised.

- After listening to every talking head on every network give an opinion on what's going to happen, the best talking point so far has referenced that the Alabama defense isn't quite up to snuff.

- Alabama finished first in the nation in total defense, first in run defense, second in pass defense and second in scoring defense. I get what everyone is saying – there were problems against Mettenberger, Murray and Football-Heisman, but it's not like the Tide D has fallen off the cliff.

- It's this simple. If Tommy Rees has to enter the game for any reason, Notre Dame is in trouble.

- Everett Golson has to play the game of his life. Don't think that Saban and Bama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart haven't fixed the short-passing game glitch that was such an issue over the final month of the season for the D.

- Golson doesn't have to complete 20-of-24 passes, but he has to keep drives alive and he can't take any unnecessary chances. He played with fire at times this year, and while he can't be timid, throwing it into the 19th row will occasionally be the best play.

- It'll be interesting to see what that Miami stadium looks like when it's full.

- It has been suckh a terrific season so far. Please, 2013 BCS championship. Don't suck.

- I'll be doing my always pretentious and goofy Stream-of-Consciousness notes quarter-by quarter for the game. Happy Championship!