With the BCS national championship game less than 24 hours away, the time has come for some final words...and a game prediction.
Allowing myself to take the wheel, I will obviously be going with Alabama in this contest. I firmly believe that Notre Dame is not even the best team the Crimson Tide have faced this season. In my opinion, Georgia, LSU, and Texas A&M, from top-to-bottom, are all better than the Irish.
Thanks to NBC's contract to broadcast every Notre Dame home game, I've had the "honor" of watching a few Irish games during the course of the season. Most notably, I witnessed the second half of the contest with BYU, and virtually the entire contest against Pittsburgh.
Obviously the future had yet to be written, so little did I know that Notre Dame would be facing Alabama for all the marbles, but I do recall thinking how "pedestrian" the Irish looked and being totally underwhelmed with both performances.
Granted Notre Dame is undefeated, but the Fighting Irish could just as easily be looking down the barrel of a five loss season.
Notre Dame 20 Purdue 17
Notre Dame 13 Michigan 6 (Alabama 41 Michigan 14)
Notre Dame 20 Stanford 13 (OT)
Notre Dame 17 BYU 14
Notre Dame 29 Pittsburgh 26 (3OT - Irish trailed 20-6 entering the 4th quarter)
Alabama is roughly a 10-point favorite over the Fighting Irish, and rightfully so. Barring something unforeseen and a total mental collapse by the Crimson Tide, Notre Dame will not leave Miami with the BCS title.
Placing the Irish "media push" and the "game stage" aside, Alabama is the better team, and when the chips are down in a national title game, the better team typically wins.
Notre Dame is good, and they've certainly found a way to win the close games, but when you have to win close games against the likes of Purdue, BYU, and Pittsburgh, you're certainly not a great team.
When Alabama faced "bad teams" in 2012, they destroyed them. When Notre Dame faced three "bad teams" in 2012...they had to fight to survive.
Notre Dame is more than capable of pulling the upset, but they'll need Alabama to play quite possibly the worst game of the season in order to have the upper hand. Draw images of Alabama's performance against Utah in the 2009 Sugar Bowl for proper reference.
While the Irish will "give it a go" Monday night, the trophy is crystal clear, and the final outcome "should" be just as pristine.
Notre Dame 14
-2013 BCS Championship: Alabama vs. Notre Dame
-Time for Irish, Tide to stand and deliver
-HURT: It's not all fun and games for Alabama
-Fourth period benefits UA offense, defense