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Predictions 101 — BCS championship game

Nick Saban AP

No. 1 Notre Dame vs. No. 2 Alabama
Mon., Jan. 7 – 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Miami, Fla. – Sun Life Stadium

This one certainly has the marquee value befitting college football’s Super Bowl.

Alabama (12-1) has put its name on 14 national championships, including two in the last three years. Notre Dame (12-0) is gunning to claim its 12th title, which would be its first since 1988.

If the Crimson Tide are able to become the first-ever BCS repeat national champ, you’ll have to go back more than 60 years to find a school that won three titles in a four year span, which was none other than the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (1946, 1947, 1949).

It truly is a heavyweight battle and both teams appropriately qualified for this massive clash because of their excellent defensive units.

Alabama ranks first nationally in total defense and rushing defense, second in scoring defense and sixth in passing defense.

Notre Dame has a similar résumé, ranking first in scoring defense, fourth in rushing defense, sixth in total defense and 21st in pass defense.

Both teams allow less than 11 points per game (Alabama 10.7, Notre Dame 10.3). We won’t spend any time quibbling about the difference in the opposition. Games are games and wins are wins. Both units are exceptional.

It’s on offense where we find distinct separation.

In its last game, Notre Dame kicked five field goals and scored only one touchdown in a nail-biting 22-13 victory over middle-of-the-Pac USC. Yes, the same USC that was quarterbacked by Max Wittek instead of Matt Barkley. Yes, the same USC that had a pair of Kiffins leading the underachieving offense (Lane) and defense (Monte) all season.

Alabama’s last game was quite different. It wasn’t flawless football, but when the chips were down, Bama simply bowled over Georgia. The Crimson Tide ran the football 51 times against the Bulldogs, with the majority of those carries coming when Georgia fully expected the same zone running play. Nonetheless, Alabama finished with a whopping 350 yards on the ground against a unit that reportedly features nine NFL caliber defenders.

The Crimson Tide’s ability to run between the tackles with the linemen routinely getting to the second level was amazing. Irish inside linebacker Manti Te’o and his cohorts will have their hands full, getting off blocks and trying to bring down Alabama’s one-two punch of warrior running backs Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon.

We respect the job that the Irish have done against the run, allowing only two rushing touchdowns this season, but we ain’t talking Wake Forest here. Alabama has scored 35 rushing touchdowns and the Tide won’t be denied.

Notre Dame will be forced to stack the box to slow the Tide’s roll on the ground, but that’s dangerous business for a suspect secondary. At any moment, Alabama freshman wideout Amari Cooper can blow the top off your defense on the outside. Just ask Georgia.

The Irish are solid and balanced on offense, but not good enough to take advantage of Alabama’s few frailties.

Teams have been able to pass against the Tide, but that’s after establishing a running game. We don’t think the Irish will be able to do that and will end up one-dimensional. If that’s the case, we have little confidence that redshirt freshman Everett Golson will be able to a do a “Johnny Football” on the Tide.

Nick Saban’s defense has the size and strength to match up well with Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert and the athleticism on the outside to contain Golson.

Irish fans will contend that the Tide looked vulnerable in the SEC title game and that they would have lost if Georgia could have gotten another snap off.

This is true, but that fact actually works against the Irish. The Tide know that they didn’t play their best game against the Bulldogs. They don’t need Saban to remind them of that … but he will and there will be lots of fine tuning going on in Tuscaloosa.

The Irish beat representatives from five BCS conferences en route to 12-0, but not anybody from THE BCS conference. Until now. They’ll meet their match and then some.

Opening point spread: Alabama by 9 1/2

The pick: Alabama 24-13

Click HERE to get predictions for the remaining bowl games.

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60 Responses to “Predictions 101 — BCS championship game”
  1. southernpatriots says: Dec 3, 2012 12:28 AM

    John: Good reasoning, though I think your final score is conservative. There are probably 5 teams or more in the SEC which could beat ND. For all the reasons you have indicated and also the hardening play of the SEC, I will predict a 33-10 final score Alabama, making it 7 BCS championships in a row for the SEC. Sounds like such a nice number doesn’t it?

  2. whodatfootball says: Dec 3, 2012 2:15 AM

    Considering you couldn’t even look up the score of ND last game, I’m not going to put a lot thought toward this post.

  3. chocolateandconfection says: Dec 3, 2012 3:00 AM

    You guys really got to stick to Poll Area (1936-present) National Championships.

    Alabama has 9: 1961, 1964, 1965 (AP), 1973 (Coaches), 1978 (AP), 1979, 1992, 2009, 2011

    Notre Dame has 8: 1943, 1946, 1947, 1949, 1966, 1973 (AP), 1977, 1988

    If we go by the way Bama counts National Championships then Princeton and Yale reign the Supreme Gods of football with 28 and 26 National Championships respectively.

  4. rsmeans says: Dec 3, 2012 3:50 AM

    There are many different ways you can count NC’s. The author choose one of the best–AP titles where Alabama and ND have both won 8, USC and Okla 6, Nebraska and OSU 4 each.

    Another good way is to include both the AP and choaches Polls. In that case Alabama has won 9, ND 8, USC and Oklahoma 7 each and Nebraska and Ohio State 5 each.

    No other way means very much although Alabama and ND were powers before 1933 when the polls first began and multiple teams won NC’s during that period. But those NC’s were not truly national and were chosen in most cases ex post facto.

    Another matter is where a team wins a NC and then loses in the bowl. Alabama has had that occur on two occasions but at the same time they probably should have won the NC in 1945 when Army won and in 1966 when ND won. So everything sorta cancels itself out here and in my opinion games NC’s before 1933 should be discarded as well as losses in bowl games after 1933 given that everything balances out.

  5. nuggets43 says: Dec 3, 2012 5:09 AM

    Wow, Alabama ran for 350 against a Georgia defense with nine future NFL players. Sounds impressive until you look and see that Buffalo, Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina, Georgia Southern, and Georgia Tech all ran for at least 200 yards against Georgia. And the loss to Bama was actually the third straight game that Georgia had allowed over 300 yards on the ground.

  6. blitz4848 says: Dec 3, 2012 7:49 AM

    What really will piss the haters off is the SEC could go 9-0 in bowls and at worst 7-2.

    UF- 11-1
    South Carolina-10-2
    Texas A&M-10-2
    Miss St-8-4

    The top 8 SEC teams are 80-18 = 82% win pct
    In perspective all 8 have better records than the Big 10 champion (Wisconsin) and ALL 8 had tougher SOS than Wisconsin.

    I read all the SEC hate stuff but it’s time to face facts and admit “it is what it is!!!”

    The way to change perception is on the field and so far that hasn’t happened and it’s pretty obvious the status quo will remain the same after all the bowl games.

    What SEC team has the best BCS record?
    Wrong—NOT Bama or LSU
    Florida 5-1

  7. southernpatriots says: Dec 3, 2012 8:22 AM


    Dragnet’s St. Friday: (truncated) “Just the facts…”

    Hopefully, my thumbs up and others will counter those who are not thinking, and do not know and accept facts.

    The SEC is where college football is played the best. The best entertainment. Bring on the bowls!

  8. gatorprof says: Dec 3, 2012 8:28 AM

    The 4th quarter of this game will be tough to watch for ND fans.

    ND’s first team D is a fine unit and will battle for a while with Bama, but the big issue for top SEC teams versus the rest of college football is depth – Bama has it and ND doesn’t.

    Bama will wear down ND on both sides of the ball it will be a very ugly game for the Irish come the 4th quarter when they release that they would be the 6th or 7th best SEC team.

  9. dirtyharry1971 says: Dec 3, 2012 8:43 AM

    ND 17 bama 3, bank on it!

  10. cometkazie says: Dec 3, 2012 8:49 AM

    ND fans must still be in bed.

    Or accepting the inevitable.

  11. bralinshan says: Dec 3, 2012 8:56 AM

    Dirty, my advice to you is NOT to bank on it. Don’t let your heart take over your head buddy. ND has had a great season, been a terrific story. But, Alabama has a level of athlete that you haven’t seen, that can’t be duplicated in practice.
    Michigan thought they were ready and Bama could have scored 60 on them if Saban didn’t call it off. The ND offense has been stagnant in a lot of games this year….13 against Michigan, 20 against BC, 23 against a poor USC defense, 20 against Purdue, only 17 against BYU, 13 in regulation against Stanford, just 20 on Mich. St…..the Tide will harass the young QB into turnovers.
    ND also has a terrible secondary and the Tide will not only run, they will sting the Irish with the deep ball at least twice.
    Nice season for ND, great building block for the future, but it ends in Miami. Large.

  12. grattanstanford says: Dec 3, 2012 9:14 AM

    SEC fans are so strange.. I feel as if LSU / Auburn fans are actually pulling for Alabama in this game. Conference pride is a strange phenomenon. Stop convincing yourself that there are SEC ‘haters’ out there too. Everyone basically accepts the fact that the good teams in the SEC can handle anyone in the nation.

    Please don’t tell me that Notre Dame’s secondary is ‘ terrible, ‘ or even suspect. They have been extremely solid this year (Ask Landry Jones, etc).

    I don’t know why these Alabama fans would gloat BEFORE the game is played: yes you have a good team but this is not the NFL- caliber squad y’all were yapping about earlier this season.

    Just enetered the student lottery for ND tix.. see you in Miami

  13. pdmjr says: Dec 3, 2012 9:33 AM

    ND’s front seven will neutralize Bama’s O Line.

    Golson better than McCarren

    ND 23 Bma 9

  14. normtide says: Dec 3, 2012 10:08 AM

    The Irish have a great starting front 7, but how is the depth? If they don’t rotate those guys, they will be worn down by mid third quarter. Bama does not give up on the run, and the o-line if beast. I think is will be a close game, with Bama pulling away in the fourth.

  15. grendelg says: Dec 3, 2012 10:55 AM

    Yes, Alabama’s D can give up pass yards. My Dawgs were able to do it, but ND’s offense is not UGA’s. ND doesn’t have a running back as explosive as either Gurley or Marshal to draw attention and Aaron Murray is the most efficient passer in college football.

    This is going to be a repeat of the Michigan game and I hope Saban runs up the score. In fact, I hope all of the teams screwed over by the BCS run up the score… Bama, UGA, Florida, FSU, Stanford.

  16. jericoc says: Dec 3, 2012 11:30 AM

    Thank the voters for giving us another un-watchable Title game. Unless Saban channels his inner Bielema or Chip Kelly this game will be a 34-11 snoozer, instead of the 53 – 9 affair it should be …

  17. dolfan66r says: Dec 3, 2012 11:37 AM

    What a minute the Miami Hurricanes have 5

  18. kozbee says: Dec 3, 2012 12:40 PM

    ND will not stop Lacy and with Yelton speed and break aways giving Lacy the rest he needs.Bama will wear down the ND defense going into the second half.Bama will win by 11 points.
    Bama 35

    ND 24

  19. mrpigs says: Dec 3, 2012 1:35 PM

    I hope all you SEC clowns realize that your suppose to be a fan of a team… Not a conference. This whole SEC fan thing is disgusting! Support your team kooks

  20. Deb says: Dec 3, 2012 2:36 PM

    mrpigs, what an appropriate name you’ve chosen for yourself, you judgmental little twit! The fact that you can’t comprehend our regional loyalty doesn’t make it disgusting or kooky. It makes perfect sense from a historic and socioeconomic perspective, but clearly that’s over your little piggy head. Your inability to understand something doesn’t make it less valid.

    Riddle me this, mrpigs: When the United States competes in the Olympic Games, don’t you root for the American athletes no matter which individual colleges they represent? Rooting for the SEC, regardless of team, in the title game is a similar principle … though I don’t expect you to get that.

  21. nuggets43 says: Dec 3, 2012 2:43 PM

    Notre Dame rotates their front seven and the backups get plenty of snaps throughout the game, starting with the first drive. One constant throughout the season is that their defense actually gets better as the game wears on. I think some people that haven’t watched ND this year are in for a surprise.

  22. dolfan66r says: Dec 3, 2012 2:46 PM

    Oregon should be playing in the big game. Alabama will kill ND. ND got calls from the zebras against Michigan, Purdue, Stanford, BYU, and Pitt. Then get lucky that Barkley couldnt play. This team should have lost 4 games at least! Another pretender. Northern Illinois could bet ND.

  23. Deb says: Dec 3, 2012 2:48 PM

    @chocolateandconfection …

    Yes, if you’re assessing game strengths and weaknesses, you need to consider more recent championship experience. If we’re talking about Super Bowl savvy, certainly the Patriots’ five recent games are more relevant than the Browns’ five championships of decades ago. But that doesn’t mean previous championships disappear from the records. Historically speaking, the Browns were a powerhouse–as were Yale and Princeton. Alabama has won 14 championships. That some of them were won in the 1920s doesn’t mean they don’t count.

    In reading Tamanaha’s tidbit about Saban chasing a 60-year-old record of three championships in four years held by Notre Dame, my first thought was Frank Leahy! How cool is that! I love the history of the game, and respect the people who built it. Leahy may not be relevant to today’s Fighting Irish, but that doesn’t mean he’s not relevant to the game.

    I think it’s silly to argue about the old games. It does no harm to give those players and coaches their due.

  24. 808raiderinparadise says: Dec 3, 2012 3:24 PM

    Both teams allow less than 11 points per game (Alabama 10.7, Notre Dame 10.3). We won’t spend any time quibbling about the difference in the opposition. Games are games and wins are wins. Both units are exceptional.


    Nice article.? … Shortly thereafter he brings up USC and Wake Forest games for ND trying to knock opponents. hypocracy at its finest.

    Tough matchup for ND, but Alabama’s secondary is the best match-up for ND’s offense. ND will try to run, I think Riddick is a nice small back to get lost amoungst the trenches for some nice gains as he always does.

    Golson will have to be amazingly accurate and the recievers/TE needs to get YACs.

    ND’s run D will be tested to the max, I know the run D is farrrrrrrr better than Georgia’s. Even with Georgia giving up 400 rushing yards they could have WON that game, important to realize that when people counting our ND so quickly, ND just needs to either do better in red-zone or score with big plays, something Alabama only gave up seldomly all year.

  25. grattanstanford says: Dec 3, 2012 3:27 PM

    When the Yankees are in the World Series do Red Sox Fans root for the AL East? When tOSU is in the Champ game, are Wolverine fans pulling for the Big 10? No. Because its a completely ludicrous sentiment. I mean come on guys its starting to seem kind

    Then again I don’t understand country music or NASCAR either so I guess the deep south just confuses me in general.

  26. 808raiderinparadise says: Dec 3, 2012 3:32 PM

    dolfan66r says:
    Dec 3, 2012 2:46 PM
    Oregon should be playing in the big game. Alabama will kill ND. ND got calls from the zebras against Michigan, Purdue, Stanford, BYU, and Pitt. Then get lucky that Barkley couldnt play. This team should have lost 4 games at least! Another pretender. Northern Illinois could bet ND.


    ND beat Stanford.
    Oregon lost to Stanford at HOME !!!!
    Oregon has no defense, and their offense got stuffed by Stanford, Alabama and ND have defenses that are even better.

    Oregon is a parade of stats. Every year, its obvious, they HAVE to run up the score to get attention.

    Defense wins championships, maybe Oregon will learn that … some sort of epiphany after their 4,768 th uniform change.

    Your an idiot, great teams find ways to win. ND did that, you can’t take away anything from going 12-0.


  27. normtide says: Dec 3, 2012 4:12 PM

    Sounds like there is much you don’t understand. Southern people stick together, how completed is that? Actually, I feel sorry for people who have no regional pride. Then again, maybe they find nothing to be proud of. The south has its own culture, music, and language. That is something I am very proud of. I guess where you live is very generic. The fact that you hate what you don’t understand is very telling of your character.

  28. normtide says: Dec 3, 2012 4:14 PM

    808- the ducks put up great stats, but that offense kills their own defense. Also, if you can hold them to three and out, or just one first down, your defense don’t get tired. The most telling stat is this, every team with a good defense beats them.

  29. nd72mgr says: Dec 3, 2012 4:20 PM

    Folks, no one knows who’s going to win this game. If ‘Bama fans were all that prescient they would have all picked the winning Powerball numbers last week.

    For those of you who haven’t actually watched ND play this year and complain about SoS and such go to the NCAA and get some facts (
    For instance, ND played 3 of the top 50 teams ranked in total offense, ‘Bama 4 but lost 1. ND’s highest ranked team was Oklahome (a win), ‘Bama’s Texas A&M (a loss).

    ND played 6 teams in top 50 of total defense, ‘Bama just 4 and 5 of ND’s were ranked higher than all but one of ‘Bama’s.
    ND’s passing offense was better than “Bama’s (218.9 vs 214.5), while ‘Bama was a better rushing team (224.6 vs 202.5). ‘Bama faced more teams (6) in the top 50 of rushing offense. But all 3 of ND’s top 50 were ranked above ‘Bama’s best team (LSU) and they lost to the 38th team.

    These teams are a lot more even than the SEC fans think. No team has been stronger in 4th quarter than ND (just ask all those teams who “shoulda” beat them.

    I’m not ruling out a’Bama victory but it wouldn’t be a blowout. I believe, based on the evidence and having actually watched all of ND’s games, that ND can win and when push comes to shove will win. If ND does win please no SEC whining. Could all you SEC dudes just pick one team? Sheesh.

  30. southernpatriots says: Dec 3, 2012 4:21 PM


    I never realized what you posted: “every team with a good defense beats them.” All the incredible talk about how great their offense was, how fast, how unstoppable, how ___________. Then they played LSU at the Cowboy Classic beginning last season. LSU out ran, out blocked, out sped, out __________ them.

    Good point.

  31. normtide says: Dec 3, 2012 4:28 PM

    SP- its the truth. The put those stats up against teams that don’t play D. Stanford held them to 14 points, in 4 quarters plus OT. Chip Kelly’s presser after the LSU game sticks out in my mind. He was almost in tears. Saying he don’t see athletes on defense like that out west.

    To those who question why and how we root for teams. Why do you care what we do in the South? Obviously we are doing something right. We have a chance got SEVEN straight titles. I don’t think we are going to change a thing, especially since out makes y’all so mad.

  32. Deb says: Dec 3, 2012 4:46 PM

    @grattanstanford …

    I’m rare among Southerners in that I probably love the NFL even more than the college game. And much as I respect the Ravens, I won’t be rooting for them if my Steelers are eliminated ahead of them this year. I still get warm fuzzies thinking about Billy Cundiff missing that FG against the Pats last season. But pro sports is a different animal. NASCAR is a mystery to me as well, although I once sat through a Dale Earnhart biopic trying to figure it out. This region was not only the birthplace of country music, but of gospel, R&B, rock ‘n’ roll, and bluegrass. We’ve given a lot of music to the world … plus a lot of literature and many statesmen.

    The bottom line is that college football was the only game in this part of the country for many, many years. And during decades of poverty and despair, it was a source of regional pride. That heritage has been handed down through generations … the fierce competition among our teams and the us-against-them attitude toward outsiders. As I’ve said before, it’s both historic and socioeconomic. Wise people learn from other cultures. As normtide said, it’s pitiful to simply hate what you don’t understand.

  33. normtide says: Dec 3, 2012 5:18 PM

    Great post Deb. You hadn’t to remember too, early on in college football southern teams were left out of bowls. Southern football was black balled. When Bama was finally allowed to play, they beat Washington in the rose bowl. On the train ride back, the players were greeted by fans at every whistle stop in the south. We stick together because everyone else stands against us.

  34. Deb says: Dec 3, 2012 7:10 PM

    Excellent point, normtide!

  35. mrpigs says: Dec 3, 2012 10:41 PM

    Catholics v Cousins! The whole SEC roots for each other because there all freakishly related! Troll tide troll! Smoochies!

  36. normtide says: Dec 3, 2012 10:48 PM

    Pigs- keep this up and someone will mention priestly activities.

  37. cometkazie says: Dec 3, 2012 11:06 PM

    Norm, you and Pigs behave y’all’s selves.


  38. normtide says: Dec 3, 2012 11:15 PM

    All in good fun, comet. I have tremendous respect for ND.

  39. mrpigs says: Dec 4, 2012 1:12 AM

    Mr Pigs behaves for no one!!! Troll tide troll! Smoochiessssss

  40. ljdublin says: Dec 4, 2012 9:56 AM

    ROLL IRISH!!!!!

  41. ljdublin says: Dec 4, 2012 9:58 AM

    I went to ND but appreciate SEC football. It will be a good game for all the fans. I live in the South yet cheer for Notre Dame. Nothing better than a good college football game between 2 epic programs. Just appreciate that we have the opportunity to see it, no matter who wins, it will be a classic.

  42. normtide says: Dec 4, 2012 10:09 AM

    Great post Dublin.

  43. bamafan36 says: Dec 4, 2012 2:20 PM

    Just to explain it for you simpleton’s…ONE LAST TIME: When your team beats mine, and then loses to another, it makes my loss and team look worse. Like it, or not, that is just how we see it!

    As for the prediction:
    Alabama Cimson Tide – 54
    Nuetered Dames Irish Child Molestor’s – 9

  44. 1historian says: Dec 5, 2012 8:44 AM

    normtide: your 4:12 – “southern people stick together, how completed is that?”

    How far did you go in school, big guy? Sorry to take such an obvious shot at you, but you must admit that you DID ask for it.

    The game? Alabama will be favored as they should be, but ND has won a lot of close games, and I don’t think they have played their best yet either on O or on D.

    ‘Bama was very impressive against Georgia – they stayed calm after the blocked field goal and then just flat out took over the game, just when Georgia was feeling frisky. Georgia came back and could have won but – they didn’t.

    Gonna be a good game
    ND’s goal line stand against USC was pretty impressive.

  45. normtide says: Dec 5, 2012 9:12 AM

    Obviously I went to school longer then the auto spell on my phone did.

  46. alligatorsnapper says: Dec 5, 2012 12:56 PM


    Lane Kiffen’s calls on the goal line series was beyond pitiful! Classic Kiffen.

    This following info from southernpatriots, editing by me…

    In the early 70s, LSU played Notre Dame in South Bend amidst blowing sheets of frozen rain and very frigid temps. Portions of the game could not be viewed by fans in the stands due to white outs. Through referee shanangans, the local Irish won the game 3-0. A Chicago Tribune writer to pen, “If Notre Dame is number one, LSU has got to be one-A.”

    The next game was played at LSU’s home field on a Saturday night 1971. The Irish were not on the same field. Final score 28-8, but that does not reveal the complete domination of LSU on both sides of the ball, and the huge butt-whipping the Irish took.

    Ara Parsegian said after that huge butt-whipping at Death Valley that he would never return to LSU to play another game…and he didn’t. The series resumed some years later after he was gone and now stands 5-5.

    Alabama has won 1 game in 5 with Notre Dame.

    All that is history, historian1, not that it is determinative over the upcoming game.

    Most Louisianans have friends and relatives with Notre Dame lineages (nephews, cousins, etc.) and of course LSU. I am LSU and SEC so I am for the SEC champion. Though I at least approach the “hate Alabama” group, I am not quite there, because I don’t hate too many things. Alabama is our rival and we are roughly about 50 percent with them the past few years, but I hope they win out and bring another one to the SEC.

  47. cometkazie says: Dec 5, 2012 4:02 PM

    alligatorsnapper says:
    Dec 5, 2012 12:56 PM

    The next game was played at LSU’s home field on a Saturday night 1971. The Irish were not on the same field. Final score 28-8, but that does not reveal the complete domination of LSU on both sides of the ball, and the huge butt-whipping the Irish took.
    I witnessed the very game from the South End Zone. Always capitalized, BTW.

    Andy Hamilton was 10y behind the ND secondary, in front of the visitors’ bench, and everybody in the stadium held their collective breaths while the ball was in the air.

    Thanks for the memory . . .

  48. bucrightoff says: Dec 5, 2012 7:19 PM

    I love how Notre Dame’s defense is going to get fatigued, what with the 0 games in 50 days they’ll be playing leading up to it. Their brains might be sore because unlike SEC schools they actually go to class and excel. But fatigue will not be a factor.

    Notre Dame will win for one reason: desire. They will want to win it so much worse than Alabama, who’s team is full of guys who won last year, or young guys who will have multiple chances to win again. For Notre Dame, a lot of their seniors (Manti being the biggest of course) will want this worse than anything.

    Notre Dame 27
    Alabama 17

  49. chillyphil73 says: Dec 6, 2012 4:13 PM

    Wait just a minute, nd72mgr.

    nd72mgr says:
    Dec 3, 2012 4:20pm

    Folks, no one knows who’s going to win this game……

    Give me a break please, will ya? Look at the number of teams that the SEC ended the year with in the Top 10! Six, count ’em ,six teams: Bama, Florida, LSU, UGA, So Carolina, & Texas A&M. How many schools that ND played were in the Top 10? Just one! Stanford. Also Miss St., Vandy, and Ole Miss were ranked in the Top 25. You singled out OU for ND’s highest ranked win, but three other teams beat them too and by a higher margin at that. Does that make them better than ND? You forgot that Bama played LSU when they were still in the #5 and UGA at #3, also Miss St was #13, Michigan at #8 and Texas A&M at #15. That’s five opponents in the Top 15 when they played them on the field. ND play Mich St. at #10, Mich at #18, Stanford at #17, and OU at #8. The reason that Mich was so low when ND played them is that Bama had just whipped that tail 41-14 in which the score could’ve been much worse but for Saban calling off the dogs, so to speak. ND played them three weeks later and only won 13-6! It really isn’t close as far as who is really battle tested, now is it?

  50. draconian1111 says: Dec 7, 2012 2:57 AM

    3 titles in 4 years?
    94, 95, and split with Michigan in 97 (Michigan beat #8 WSU 21-16 in Rose Bowl, while Nebraska crushed Peyton Manning and the #3 Vols 42-17 in the Orange Bowl)

  51. gtizzo says: Dec 7, 2012 2:23 PM

    The analysis done is this article was relevant in August…not in January. First Cooper is a nice receiver but he is pocket change to Lee, Woods and Stills. I wouldn’t be so quick with the “ask Georgia” line either. Georgia gave up 350 yards on the ground and only lost by 4 points. With a timeout or more time on the clock (maybe better play calling) Georgia may have won. Everything in this article was known in the preseason and this crap passes for analysis. First fire the writer for an article that my 8 year old could right. Second the Irish have were underdogs to Oklahoma, Michigan State and USC. The worst thing to do is count out ND just as Mark May.

  52. foreverlsu says: Dec 8, 2012 7:36 AM

    Why I Won’t be Cheering for Old Notre Dame

  53. tigersgeaux says: Dec 8, 2012 7:53 AM


    I had heard rumors of Lizzy’s situation and I know some Irish posters on previous CFT blogs about this time last year assassinated Lizzy’s character (acting as agents of the Dome, I guess). My mother went to St. Mary’s, and my aunt also, then to Notre Dame when they finally began accepting women. I am printing the article and bringing it to them. Thank you again.

    Please stay on here and keep posting. We need you on these blogs.

  54. nickynick04 says: Dec 8, 2012 8:41 PM

    Ok SEC FANS lets discuss a few things…number 1
    The ” Sorry Educational Conference ” Yes,,,look at the football graduation rates,,,they are a disgrace…and you wonder why people all over the country snicker at the SEC….
    They are not Schools of higher learning for athletes.
    Any team with a lower then 70% football graduation rate,,,or any sport for that matter should be banned from Conference title games and BCS Bowl games or ANY Bowl games…Guys this is COLLEGE FOOTBALL. Where you go to learn.
    Football is a sport sponsered by a school of higher learning…
    I do not believe a school who is proud and works hard in academics should have to play schools who do not care about education….
    We need to remember what colleges are for,,,they are schools/institutions of higher learning…how many SEC schools have a 70% graduation rate….and 70% sucks ! it should be high 80 s 90 s
    Example South carolina s football graduation rate in 2011 was 57%…they should be a shame of themselves…so SEC fans,,,check your scholl s graduation rate before you compare them to a team that has to study, go to school and PASS

  55. normtide says: Dec 8, 2012 8:45 PM

    Even after your rant, the SEC will still beat you on the field.

  56. nickynick04 says: Dec 9, 2012 8:33 AM

    I am a South Carolina and a SEC fan,,,BUT my point is these graduation rates are embarrassing.
    We need to address this issue before the NCAA does

  57. bamafan36 says: Dec 9, 2012 9:35 AM


    Dude…..what the eff does graduation rate, as it relates to student athletes, have to do with ANYTHING? Are you so simple, to not realize that a young man that leaves school in his sophomore year to go to the NBA, his freshman year to go to the MLB, or his junior year to go to the NFL, are what accounts for the lowered graduation rates? You are talking like these kids that go to SEC Schools, are so stupid, that the can’t graduate. Bama has a center who won the Heisman of Academics, this year. Barrett Jones has been an Academic All-American since 2009. Greg McElroy was up for a Rhodes Scholarship. and, he is currently in the NFL (and I could argue that he should be starting, over Mark Sanchez).

    Let’s assume, for a moment, that the kids at Alabama are too stupid to graduate…..Now, how will this affect the predictions in this article? Exactly! It won’t! Kindly stick to facts!

  58. nd72mgr says: Dec 10, 2012 5:13 PM


    Please get your facts straight. From an earlier post of mine:

    According to the NCAA, ND opponents were 81 and 62 (19 games over .500). Seven (Navy, MI, Miami, Standford, BYU, Oklahoma, and SC) had winning records. Three (Purdue, Mich. St., Pittsburgh) had .500 records, only two, WF and BC, had losing records (combined 7 & 17). ND defeated 2 teams (OK and Stanford) which finished 10 & 2.

    Alabama also won 12 games, but did lose one to a good 10 & 2 team, Texas A&M. Their opponents’ record was 79 and 77 (and that would have been 68 and 75 without the SEC title game). Five of their opponents had winning records (W. Ky, Miss. St., LSU, T A&M, and Georgia). Only two finished at .500 (Mich. and Ole Miss). The rest were a combined 21 and 50. Which is the same losing percentage as ND’s losing record opponents.

    Yes, “Bama did play 3 teams which finished the year in the top 10 (not sure what relevance SEC teams finishing in the top 10 have when one does not actually play them). They defeated two and lost to one and the two wins were close victories that could have gone the other way. (as were several of ND’s early in the year)

    In their 3 games against teams in the top 12 (final rankings) ‘Bama was 2 and 1 and scored 73 points and allowed 74. In ND’s two top 12 games they scored 50 points and allowed only 26.

    ND has the best scoring defense and ‘Bama the best overal defense (about 33 ypg differential). ND has allowed -28 yards on running plays in the red zone and allowed just 2 rushing TD’s in twelve games and the fewest number of TD’s in the nation.

    ‘Bama has struggled on defense with mobile quarterbacks with good arms (LSU, TA&M & Georgia). ND’s QB has improved every game and certainly has both the arm and the legs to frustrate defenses. ND has the Mackey Award TE and will likely have a very speedy WR back by the bowl game.

    ‘Bama ran for an average of 224 ypg, ND 202. ‘Bama averaged 439 ypg on offense, ND 421.

    So yes, I don’t know who will win and neither do you. You are 100% confident that ‘Bama will win, right now I am about 50/50 that ND will pull the upset (#1 beating #2 is an upset? weird). But please don’t scream at people who think ND has a chance, the facts don’t bear you out. And its freakin’ impolite.

    I apologise for the long post. Oh, one more thing ND has Manti and you don’t.

  59. chillyphil73 says: Dec 14, 2012 3:53 PM


    If you’re going to say that the records of the SEC teams that ‘Bama didn’t play doesn’t matter, then how are you goging to turn right around and bring up total win/loss records of all the opponents that each team played? That doesn’t really make sense to me, or I just clearly missed your point. The six highest rated SEC teams each only lossed one or two games to OTHER SEC schools. The teams in the conference clearly each dished out and received punishment at some point within the conference. That speaks to the strength of the SEC. Usually, the top half of the confernce are each ranked and they all are tough to beat on the road and sometimes at your own stadium too. Every year for the last decade at least, week in and week out, the SEC keeps from five to as many as nine teams ranked at any given time. You can’t say this about any other conference, period. Who cares who Navy, Pitt, or BYU beat/played? Also ND played three games each against both the ACC and the (Little)Big Ten, so that’s basically substitutes for them not being in a conference. I would hardly match that schedule to ‘Bama’s. Yes, I said it before and I’ll say it again, “ND is going to LOSE!” I stand behind that, wholeheartedly even more now. If you believe that strongly otherwise and aren’t just hoping for your favorite school/alma matter to win, then put your money where your mouth is! I went to the Univ. of Arkansas, by the way, and I’m not a ‘Bama fan. However, I do support the SEC and I have common sense enough to call ’em like I see ’em. Evidently, the odds makers do to because ‘Bama is anywhere from 9 1/2 to 10 point favorite to win. Your call, sport!

  60. jericoc says: Jan 6, 2013 1:32 AM

    Here’s how ND’s regular-season opponents fared in games this bowl season:

    Navy (L) v. [NR] Arizona State, 62-28
    Purdue (L) v. [NR] Oklahomas State, 58-14
    Michigan State (W) v. [NR] TCU, 17-16
    Michigan (L) v. [10] South Carolina, 33-28
    Miami (FL)*
    Stanford (W) v. [NR] Wisconsin, 20-14
    BYU (W) v. [NR] San Diego State, 23-6
    Oklahoma (L) v. [9] Texas A&M, 41-13
    Pittsburgh (L) v. [NR] Ole Miss, 38-17
    Boston College*
    Wake Forest*
    USC (L) v. [NR] Georgia Tech, 21-7

    * Did not play in a bowl game

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