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What went wrong for Notre Dame in its loss to Alabama?

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The only questions Alabama players and coaches will answer following another BCS championship game victory will be 1) who will be going pro (see what we did there? That’s a Nick Saban joke.) and 2) how do they feel about the term “dynasty?”

The questions Notre Dame must answer are more difficult and unwelcome.

Though ranked No. 2 in the country entering tonight’s game, the Tide was a 10-point favorite over the Irish, so the general storylines were more closely geared toward what Brian Kelly‘s program needed to do to win its first national title in over 20 years.

It started up front along the offensive and defensive lines. The trenches. Alabama’s O-line is anchored by All-American center Barrett Jones and has paved the way for one of the best rushing attacks in the nation while keeping the jersey of its quarterback, A.J. McCarron, clean. McCarron had just three interceptions on the season, a compliment not only to his decision-making, but the time he was given to make those decisions.

Notre Dame’s front seven needed to be able to disrupt Alabama’s run-first game plan without the help of an additional body in the box. Instead, Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon ran for most of the Tide’s 265 yards on the ground. When Notre Dame was able to get penetration up front, missed tackles and bad angles allowed Lacy and Yeldon to use their athleticism to get past the initial rush. For McCarron? He went 20-of-28 for 264 yards and four touchdowns. It wasn’t exactly chaos in Alabama’s backfield.

With little pressure up front, Notre Dame’s linebacker unit and secondary got torched in one-on-one matchups with Alabama’s skill players. Linebacker Manti Te’0 wasn’t the only Irish defender getting embarrassed, but considering his postseason accolades and role on the team, he was getting the most negative attention. Tape from the 2012 season shows that Te’o had only two missed tackles all year. He might have had two in one quarter tonight.

It was undisciplined defense all around and Alabama was so balanced and multiple on offense that it didn’t seem fair.

And Notre Dame’s offense hasn’t shown the quick-strike ability consistently to mount a comeback even if the defense stiffened up. The Irish have been flighty on that side of the ball all season as Everett Golson kept developing at quarterback and there were times when Tommy Rees had to step in to keep things going. But when Notre Dame clicked on offense, namely against Oklahoma and Miami, it has the playmakers in Tyler Eifert, Cierre Wood, Theo Riddick and TJ Jones to put up a lot of points.

Notre Dame had to have an offensive performance similar to the one it had in October against the Sooners. That didn’t happen either. Alabama’s defense under coordinator Kirby Smart did a nice job of disrupting Golson all night. There was no tempo, no rhythm for Kelly’s team.

Plus, the Irish probably needed either a big mistake from Alabama or an exceptional special teams play — something to swing field position or momentum for a quick and easy score. Not only was Notre Dame not able to take advantage of any mistakes, but it didn’t benefit from early judgement calls from the officials either (the Eifert catch out-of-bounds and Christion Jones muffed punt come to mind). With injuries to Louis Nix and Kapron Lewis-Moore along the D-line, the Irish couldn’t even catch a break on the injury front. Meanwhile, Barrett Jones played the entire game with a Lisfranc injury and never left the field.

That kind of night. Nothing went right for the Irish. Yes, Alabama was clearly the better team, but the Tide was also far more prepared and executed its game plan perfectly.

Now, it’ll be a long eight months as Kelly and his coaching staff look for some answers.

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89 Responses to “What went wrong for Notre Dame in its loss to Alabama?”
  1. bozosforall says: Jan 8, 2013 1:07 AM

    What went wrong? The antiquated way in which the participants were chosen for this game. Alabama would have likely won its way to the title game in a playoff system, but no way would ND have survived a playoff run.

  2. kozbee says: Jan 8, 2013 1:16 AM

    Just wern`t good enough to beat a SEC team.Tonight they actually played in the next level.Great game Bama.

  3. sharksfan754 says: Jan 8, 2013 1:19 AM

    It’s be a shorter list if the title was “what went right for the Irish” not a fan of either team but finally we get a semi playoff next year. Hopefully they bump it up to eight teams ASAP and there won’t be blowouts for the NC like in recent years

  4. bender4700 says: Jan 8, 2013 1:20 AM

    or the fact Notre Dame’s highly ranked defense benefited from not having to play a REALLY great team, outside of Stanford, ND played nobody. Oklahoma is in a “down” year, Michigan, Michigan State, and USC are the highlights of their schedule.

    USC sucks.
    Michigan sucks
    Michigan State is pretty weak
    Oklahoma down year (got mauled by A&M)
    Stanford is their one bright spot.

    SEC has a gauntlet schedule, we all know that and have heard the hype OVER and over, but tonight, the SEC gets another year of banging their chests, and deservedly so.

    Would A&M have won the title with a playoff? Georgia? Florida? Stanford? Oregon? Kansas State?

    All the more reason a four team playoff, but not going to be enough.

    At least this may teach AD and directors of Football operations to toughen their schedule. Sucks more when you get this far and get humiliated.

  5. bender4700 says: Jan 8, 2013 1:22 AM

    sharksfan754 says: Jan 8, 2013 1:19 AM

    It’s be a shorter list if the title was “what went right for the Irish” not a fan of either team but finally we get a semi playoff next year. Hopefully they bump it up to eight teams ASAP and there won’t be blowouts for the NC like in recent years

    No it’s after next season. The 2014 season, not just in 2014. Next season is the 2013 season.

    Which sucks.

  6. johnclaytonsponytail says: Jan 8, 2013 1:23 AM

    What went wrong? Bad taste from ND fans and their backward comments about the south. Smh… when will the country learn….. The South is Rising Again!!

  7. possiblecabbage says: Jan 8, 2013 1:25 AM

    I think the real problem was that Alabama was simply bigger, stronger, faster, and more talented than Notre Dame at practically every position.

  8. goodellsadouche says: Jan 8, 2013 1:26 AM

    To be brief, they played a schedule softer than a feather pillow, they were outcoached & over rated

  9. bucfan4lyfe says: Jan 8, 2013 1:27 AM

    This game was garbage. Bama would likely beat whoever would have played them BUT does anyone know why Oregon dropped so far in the rankings after losing to a ranked Stanford team that they were no longer in contention for the National Title? Surely it couldn’t have been because Saban has negative sentiments on Oregon’s offensive gameplan. I was just wondering because I remember when Bama lost to a good ranked opponent Texas A&M and I think only moved one spot down the rankings and still made it to the National Title. Pretty sure that going into this game, everyone knew that ND was overmatched at every position and all three facets of the game.

    The playoffs can’t get here soon enough.

  10. konds says: Jan 8, 2013 1:28 AM

    Because ND is nothing but hype. May be if certain tv channels don’t give them any importance then only truly deserving teams will be ranked higher.

  11. southpaw77 says: Jan 8, 2013 1:31 AM

    Notre Dame issues tonight-
    Have you defense show up and petition college football for neutral site games, BCS games and the upcoming playoff to be played in cold/snow.

    Watching Bama shiver in Lambeau Field, Chicago or New York and having their speed neutralized by a sloppy field would have been their only shot tonight.

  12. bender4700 says: Jan 8, 2013 1:34 AM

    The problem is far more deep too.

    The NFL works because 32 teams, 53 man rosters. Only the best play. Even the Chiefs are leaps and bounds better than Alabama. (because KC has 53 NFL caliber players, and Alabama does not, many but not 53 as well as many other reasons).

    For several decades, there were only about 30 programs at all good. Now there are 40 to 50.

    With all the $ and NFL connections, just makes the college football game that much more jacked up.

    When is the last great national title game? 05 USC v Texas. Whens the last boring Super Bowl? Oakland getting mauled by Tampa Bay several years ago?

  13. rtfox says: Jan 8, 2013 1:40 AM

    Hail Mary full of grace notre dame is out of first place!!!!

  14. johnclaytonsponytail says: Jan 8, 2013 1:46 AM

    Senator Harry Reid said before the game that he knew that Bama was good but had no comparison to Notre Dame.

  15. treesloth16 says: Jan 8, 2013 2:02 AM

    Notre Dame doesn’t belong in the title game, period.

  16. scubagolfjim says: Jan 8, 2013 2:10 AM

    What went wrong for Notre Dame in its loss to Alabama?

    They Played AL-A-BA-MA (said in a Forrest Gump voice)

  17. barbeaux says: Jan 8, 2013 2:33 AM

    They did not belong. Te’o certainly got exposed.

  18. brewcrewfan54 says: Jan 8, 2013 3:18 AM

    Bicfan4lyfe. You’re exactly right. The current system rewards teams for timing their losses better. K-State and Oregons losses were timed wrong and they were penalized for it in the final polls. Its been a stupid sustem forever and even a 4 games playoff will have some teams left out that many don’t think should be because of a late season loss.

  19. mungman69 says: Jan 8, 2013 3:47 AM

    Just shows that a playoff system is needed.

  20. alligatorsnapper says: Jan 8, 2013 5:01 AM

    In 1970, LSU went up to South Bend to play Notre Dame. The weather was miserable. Sloppy field of play. Mud, sleet, white outs, heavy winds and cold. With some questionable officiating calls as well as the weather the Irish beat the Tigers 3–0.

    The next season, the game was played at LSU. The weather was in the low 60s, light wind, clear skies, beautiful field of play, perfect conditions for a Saturday night of football. Some regular CFT posters were at the game. LSU wiped out Notre Dame, the final score was not indicative of the butt whipping they experienced, but final score LSU 28, Notre Dame 8.

    southpaw77 has it right. Sloppy field of play, inclement weather and conditions may have given the Irish some hope to compete. Given the ideal conditions of Miami, no hope from the beginning. All the hype by Irish fans in the media and here on these boards cannot change history. SEC dominant again. Want to watch the best football played in the United States? Forget the pretenders…watch SEC football as I have been doing all my life. Many thanks to southernpatriots and cometkazie for eye witness reports of the 1971 game.

  21. nicewolf64 says: Jan 8, 2013 5:17 AM

    What went wrong is one of the easiest questions of 2013. ND barely beat a bunch of bad teams, and then thought they deserved to play for the NC. Margin of expected victory vs actual margin of victory needs to be more important in rankings. If ND beat every MAC team by 1 point, the pollsters would still be over ranking them every year. Make ND actually win a conference and we won’t to ever hear about them again.

  22. kattykathy says: Jan 8, 2013 5:46 AM

    What went wrong???

    Maybe it’s because there is no way a team of amateurs will ever beat a team od paid professionals.

    If the NCAA wasn’t so crooked, they would have busted Saban long ago

  23. thegloriousone says: Jan 8, 2013 5:52 AM

    What went wrong?

    Notre Dame had to go against a real football team.

    Te’o sure looked pedestrian against legitimate football players.

    I wish Ohio State hadn’t been banned from bowls this year. It would have been nice to see them beat the daylights out of Notre Dame, too.

    Anyway, If I can leave all of you with this advice:

    Never put your money on Notre Dame in a bowl game. Always put your money on the team that actually belongs there.

  24. bucdaddy72 says: Jan 8, 2013 6:25 AM

    I would of rather seen Texas A&M vs. Alabama they would have competed at least!!!!!

  25. twoody50 says: Jan 8, 2013 6:46 AM

    Now that ND will play teams from the weak ACC this will happen every year. Get used to seeing Notre Lame up there every year because there are pre- season polls that will put them there and with the cupcake schedule will keep them there.

  26. matt2calvin says: Jan 8, 2013 7:08 AM

    What went wrong? Bias Refs…

    Don’t get me wrong, Bama was obviously better. But the horrible refs gave all the early momentum to Bama and stomped on ND’s momentum before it ever got started.

    These are kids, and with an honest ref crew – perhaps (maybe) they could have gotten on an early roll and made a competitive game out of it.

    The refs never gave them that opportunity. Even on Bama’s 4th TD drive in the first half – the refs favored Bama. The rb was down on one knee on 2nd down, but the refs allowed him to get back up and gain another 6 yards. Two plays later Bama goes for a 4th and 1 and makes the first down. With unbiased officials, they never get that chance. This is just one example of MANY obvious mistakes by the refs that helped Bama and hurt ND.

    I’m not a fan of ND, but I would have like to see them play on a level field – thanks to horrible refs, this was all down hill for Bama and ND wasn’t good enough to overcome both…

  27. foreverlsu says: Jan 8, 2013 7:36 AM

    @matt2calvin

    Seriously?! ND was not even in the same stratosphere as Alabama last night and you want to talk about the officiating? Granted that was a horrible call but please! If the change in momentum affected all of those super smart ND players the way you say, they need to acquire just a litte bit of mental tougness.

    Actually, Notre Dame was very fortunate with the officiating because I believe they actually called holding against Alabama last night …the first time since October 6. SEC fans can attest to that.

  28. foreverlsu says: Jan 8, 2013 7:43 AM

    toughness

    …before you grammar police come out

  29. foreverlsu says: Jan 8, 2013 7:47 AM

    Manti Te’o was completely overrated. Five linebackers in the SEC better than that dude. Great story and great kid but average linebacker.

  30. floridacock says: Jan 8, 2013 7:49 AM

    Notre Dame deserved to be there last night because they were undefeated and “on paper” had one of the toughest schedules in the country, at the beginning of the year. The fact that every one of the teams, with the exception of Stanford, sucked as the year progressed, is EXACTLY why we need a playoff and one larger than 4 teams.

  31. melikefootball says: Jan 8, 2013 7:58 AM

    Using the excuse of non tackles is the best you can come up with. On my TV the ND defense was outplayed and showed they weren’t what many thought they were.

  32. mshassen2015 says: Jan 8, 2013 8:07 AM

    they finally played a sec team, they were way over rated……..

  33. mshassen2015 says: Jan 8, 2013 8:14 AM

    every year theres this team that looks so good on paper, then they play a sec team for the nc and we see the sec is way UNDER-RATED…

  34. rmfields says: Jan 8, 2013 8:18 AM

    Doesn’t this prove the rankings are bogus? How can the #2 ranked team be 10-point favorites over the #1 ranked team? Makes no sense. Too much emphasis is placed on wins/losses without taking into consideration the team’s ability!

  35. bamafan36 says: Jan 8, 2013 8:29 AM

    Didn’t ND play on the same field as Bama? How is that an advantage for Bama, and not ND. The grass was the same length on our side of the field. It rained on both sides of the field, that morning. No, you can look for whatever excuse you want to, but the fact remains that ND was not the best team on he field. The one thing that seems to be missed with all of this, is that Nick Saban is one of the best coaches in the game, at scheming over a four week period. Not to be discounted, is the fact that the number one ranked defense in the country, was far better than the 75th ranked offense in the country. The numbers for ND’s defense were skewed, due to the fact that they only played 3 teams with an offense ranked in the top 50 this year! Their best defensive player, wasn’t even the best defender on the FIELD! CJ Mosley had comparable numbers to Teo, and with only half the snaps! Teo is good, but, wouldn’t start at the top six or seven in the SEC! OSU had the best LB (according to numbers) in the country. Jadaveon Clowney was the best DL. But, looking at production versus time on the field…..CJ Mosley was head and shoulders above the rest. He didn’t play, when it was an obvious passing down!

    You can make arguments that a playoff system would not have witnessed ND in the CG last night. I wouldn’t disagree. However, you would have most likely seen two SEC teams playing last night. The BCS is the best system that we have had in CFB. What will you all say, when the NCG is between two SEC teams, three out of four years? Should it be an 8 team playoff? How about a 10 game? Maybe you guys would make out better if it were a 16 team playoff! Heck…..get rid of the regular season altogether! Just start with the playoffs! The one factor that the other conferences won’t be able to remove: The SEC is the best conference in the country. You guys have one or two good teams……we usually have four GREAT times. There, in lines the rub!

    Roll SEC, ROLL!

  36. rsmeans says: Jan 8, 2013 8:35 AM

    As an Alabama fan I will say that Notre Dame is headed in the right direction. They will be a team to contend with in the future. They have copied the SEC model and have excellent coaches. Don’t write them off.

  37. zzztknk says: Jan 8, 2013 8:44 AM

    ND running game was horrible, ND run defense was atrocious and pass defense was terrible. For once I wish I could see a defense where the linebackers and corners are more agressive. Where linebackers stuff the tight-end on some plays and corners get up in the face of the receivers and bump them off their routes and either drop back into a zone or man. I remember when Bill Walsh use to drop Charles Haley a defensive end into pass coverage just to disguise the pass coverage and throw the quarterback off his timing. A. J. was never thrown his timing. Kelley did nothing with his linebackers and corners to confuse the offense. STUFF THE TIGHT-END sometimes and put your linebackers on the line of scrimmage and pull him back at the last minute to throw the lineman blocking schemes off! This was terrible defensive coaching!

  38. usmarine75 says: Jan 8, 2013 8:44 AM

    To say ND was a fraud is ridiculous… they beat Mich, Mich St, USC (albeit without Barkley, but aren’t they supposed to be loaded with talent?), Miami, Stanford, BYU, OK, and a tough Pitt team. They dominated most of the teams they played.

    They probably never should have been in the championship, because this game showed why you need a playoff tournament. If they met Stanford, Wisconsin, Louisville, Oregon, TAMU, etc in the playoffs they would probably have lost.

    The fact is, not many teams play that kind of smashmouth football anymore. Alabama lined up and dominated ND one-on-one. Alabama has the #1 LG, #1 C, top 10 OT, 3 elite RB, #1 blocking TE, and a good play action QB. And the two teams ND almost lost to were Pitt and Stanford, who both played that same kind of smashmouth power run game. That’s not scheme, that’s not coaching – that’s “my” elite talent is better than “yours”…

    Oh well, congrats to ND for continuing to try in the 2nd half. They could have been chumps like USC (vs GT) and not showed up at all.

  39. cometkazie says: Jan 8, 2013 8:50 AM

    The thing that was wrong is ND should not have been in the game.

    If ratings are to be used, they need to be objective.

    The quickness of the better SEC teams is not as obvious when we are playing each other. The commentariate predicted LSU would be blazed by Oregon’s speed in last season’s kickoff game, but we saw that game. Kelly said it best – they had a chance if ‘Bama didn’t show up for the second half.

    Complaining about the refs is typical mid-western cry-babying. Can’t accept they were handed their collective butts on a silver platter. Can’t be anything wrong with their teams.

    Barrett Jones said that a little pain from a Lisfranc injury wasn’t going to keep him off the field. Classic.

    ‘Snapper: Thanks for the kind comments. The ’72 LSU-ND game is indelibly branded in my memory along with other great games like Episcopal High School of Baton Rouge’s whomping of Ouachita Christian about twenty years later.

  40. tlmoon2112 says: Jan 8, 2013 9:19 AM

    Nothing went wrong for ND. Where everything went wrong was in the BCS ONCE AGAIN. So glad there will be playoffs next year.

  41. florida727 says: Jan 8, 2013 9:20 AM

    usmarine75 says: Jan 8, 2013 8:44 AM
    To say ND was a fraud is ridiculous… they beat Mich, Mich St, USC, Miami, Stanford, BYU, OK, and a tough Pitt team. They dominated most of the teams they played.

    ———————————————————-

    What planet are you from? “Dominated” most of the teams they played? They won five HOME games by a combined TWENTY-THREE (23) points! It took them three overtimes to beat Pitt! Yeah, the same “tough” Pitt team that finished WITH A LOSING RECORD (6-7)!

    Good gosh, man, be a freaking realist, will you? Notre Dame was, by far, the most over-hyped, overrated team in a national championship game in an awfully long time. This game was over in the first quarter… and even Kelly knew it (did you listen to his interview heading into the locker room at halftime?).

    Te’o lost a heck of a lot of money last night as well. Missed tackles too numerous to count. By all accounts he’s a nice kid and a heart-warming story, but he’s vastly overrated as a football player. He wasn’t even close to the best linebacker on the field last night. That honor would be reserved for CJ Moseley, thank you very much.

    Face it: all you Notre Dame apologists are going to have to live with this beat down for a long time to come. Your team was exposed, and you were embarrassed by a FAR superior team, coach, and game plan. Alabama was bigger, stronger, and faster, at virtually every position on the field.

    For all of you that hate the SEC, well, SEVEN National Championships IN A ROW should shut you up for at least the next 12 months. Better luck next year. Go ahead with the thumbs-downs. Unfortunately for you, it’s all you have to make yourself feel better. What the SEC has is simple: scoreboard.

  42. dennisofletcher says: Jan 8, 2013 9:21 AM

    Notre Dame shouldn’t have been there in the first place (Yep cometkazie).

    Notre Dame was overrated all season except for the first week. The media, in its overwhelming desire to cater to the masses (USC #1?), pushed for ND to be rated higher than it should have all year.

    Similar to the Miami Heat, Dallas Cowboys, etc… it seems that reporters now a days wish to put teams back up on the pedestals they once had.

    ND was extraordinarily overplaced in the polls and won’t even get close next year.

  43. mbankston says: Jan 8, 2013 9:24 AM

    Do you think Alabama is looking forward to next years A&M game? (15-16 returning starters!!!!!)Sumlin better hope he keeps some of those prized linemen from the NFL. A&M got lucky this year and caught Bama after the LSU game. That won’t happen next season. Of course the real luck in all of this is, after A&M knocks Alabama off, KState and Oregon both lose and let Alabama right back in the game.

  44. pudgalvin says: Jan 8, 2013 9:34 AM

    I say it every year, but a championship game played 6 weeks after a season is over has about as much to do with the actual college football season that was played this year as the Thunder/Wizards game last night.

  45. sportsdrenched says: Jan 8, 2013 9:43 AM

    The long layoff, the stupid way they BcS Game is selected & Notre Dame’s suspect schedule are all valid points. But there is only one reason Notre Dame got destroyed last night. They were out athleted. Alabama had the faster, stronger and tougher dudes. That’s all there was too it. I didn’t watch as much College Football as I would have liked this year, but I watched a lot. I can’t remember seeing a single game, even in the non-con, where the other team was that much faster than the other.

    If Notre Dame wants to get another title they will have to get into SEC country and win some recruiting battles.

  46. nofunleague says: Jan 8, 2013 9:44 AM

    Their coach said it best. If Ala doesn’t come out for the second half…..
    They played like dames.
    Man-Child Tebow was handed his lunch
    The band sounded great.
    They didn’t belong there…Thank the media for hyping them, yet again.
    I could go on but have to get back to work.
    Thanks for showing up though. Ala. needed tackling dummies.

  47. gatorprof says: Jan 8, 2013 10:00 AM

    Manti Te’0 = Brian Bosworth

    He definitely should get one more trophy this season…most over-hyped.

  48. florida727 says: Jan 8, 2013 10:07 AM

    By the way, where’s that loudmouth #irishtn?

    Noticeably absent from posting after all his boasting BEFORE the game actually had to be played. Go figure. Then again, that’s the problem with not knowing how to win with humility… when you don’t, you look like… well… #irishtn. What’s that old saying? “Better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you’re a fool, than open it and remove all doubt.”

  49. ruggyup says: Jan 8, 2013 10:20 AM

    Fact, “this other Kelly” who people thought might go to the NFL, did not (read as, failed to) properly prepare his team for Alabama. Most of the burden falls on his shoulders. Sure, Alabama probably would have won despite an over the top performance by ND but, folks, this team simply was not ready. The lack of execution and passion was an embarrassment to a championship game.

  50. mark953 says: Jan 8, 2013 10:29 AM

    So the mask comes off and we see the the real (non) fighting Irish. At least America could see how overrated they really are. There has been so much media bias for ND it’s incredible. Well, at least the truth came out in spades. We finally got to see what their defense and especially Te’o can do against a real team—and boy did we see a lot of nothing. I’m sure he impressed NFL scouts watching the game. If we had playoffs now, ND would not even come close to sniffing a BCS trophy. NOTE: The next time they play an SEC foe they need to first quit daydreaming about how great they are and put in the preparation it takes to compete. ND embarassed itself.

  51. woodyc says: Jan 8, 2013 10:30 AM

    Clearly, Notre Dame did not belong in this game. It is one thing to lose, but another thing to get completely embarrassed. This is not a knock against the Irish, but either Georgia or Texas A&M should have been Alabama’s opponent. If ever a case was made for a full college playoff system, this was it.

  52. gatorprof says: Jan 8, 2013 10:33 AM

    Is there anything more pathetic than Irish fans attributing the beat down to ref bias?

    I guess that ref bias was the reason that your DL was on rollerskates all evening.

  53. theroc5156 says: Jan 8, 2013 10:39 AM

    Before touting the SEC, remember that Lousville whupped Florida and Clemson beat LSU in their bowl games.

    Also, Texas A&M just got into the SEC, so don’t tell me they are a “real” SEC team. They beat your flag-bearer fair and square.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been saying that the SEC is the best conference in football and I love their style of play, but I don’t think it’s that far ahead of other conferences right now even though Bama would have beaten anyone last night.

  54. microbrewuga says: Jan 8, 2013 10:40 AM

    I believe Jarvis Jones is a superior player to Te’o, based on both perfomances versus AL. The most widely used pharse in the ND locker room at half time last night, “Are you freaking kidding me?”

  55. pudgalvin says: Jan 8, 2013 11:16 AM

    “Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been saying that the SEC is the best conference in football and I love their style of play, but I don’t think it’s that far ahead of other conferences right now even though Bama would have beaten anyone last night.”

    This. If Notre Dame had lost any of their games this year, Florida would have played Alabama in the title game. What do you think the score of that game would have been?

  56. rollobollio says: Jan 8, 2013 11:32 AM

    I think everyone who knows an ounce of college FB knew this was how the game was going to turn out. The media was just trying to hard to get ND in this game whether they deserved it or not. EVERYONE knows the best 2 teams did not play in this game. This really sucks for the fans…

  57. florida727 says: Jan 8, 2013 11:42 AM

    To answer your question, if Florida would have played Alabama last night, a) they’d have taken the game seriously, b) they’d have respected their opponent, c) they wouldn’t have embarrassed our fan base by trash-talking like little high school girls, the way they did against Louisville, and d) we would have lost.

    Florida’s defense would have kept the game close, but no one would have beaten ‘Bama last night. The REAL national championship game SHOULD have been Alabama v. Oregon. Those were the two best teams in the country if you consider both teams’ entire body of work. If there was a playoff, those two would have met for the trophy.

    Just an FYI for you #theroc, it’s not a matter of Texas A&M actually BEING in the SEC, it’s the fact that they PLAY THE SAME STYLE as the teams in the SEC… speed, physicality, athleticism. That’s what separates the SEC from other conferences, and that’s why A&M succeeded against Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

  58. 8to80texansblog says: Jan 8, 2013 11:48 AM

    Heisman Candidates..

    Colin Klein could do nothing against Oregon’s middle of the road defense

    Manti Te’o got COMPLETELY exposed as the most pedestrian Heisman candidate of all time.

    Johnny Football set an FBS Bowl record with 516 total yards and another record with 229 rushing yds for a QB.

    The Heisman voters picked right….

  59. 8to80texansblog says: Jan 8, 2013 11:49 AM

    Notre Dame gives up 10.5 points per game…

    Apparently they thought each quarter was a game…

  60. falstaffsmind says: Jan 8, 2013 12:03 PM

    It’s pretty clear to me that they would have done better if Miss Indiana had bothered to show up.

  61. louhudson23 says: Jan 8, 2013 12:17 PM

    The idea that a playoff is going to make it all good is laughable. If it is four teams in,then the pissing and moaning(before and after) will be for the two or three”other” teams that didn’t make it…..8 games,same thing…..14 teams and still someone will be left out….ad nauseum….Worst scenario will be ceding spots to tournament champs,which is what a great many schools want,as they have no chance of of making it otherwise. Best teams need to go,regardless of Conference champs(lookout for multiple SEC teams)….so who decides??We are right back where we started from in deciding who gets in and all the requisite bitching….and then playing a winner take all tourney like March Madness in B-Ball.It may make for some exciting games ,but it is a piss poor way to determine a season champ in football. Not that there is a perfect system,but playoffs will still rely on rankings…..so…..

  62. ddkendall says: Jan 8, 2013 12:21 PM

    Bama was the better team tonight, however ND defensively did NOT execute its tackles. All night long ND defenders were in position to make plays but Bama backs and receivers ran through or around poorly executed tackles. Plays that should have been stopped for little or no gain, maybe even losses were allowed to continue down field for additional yardage. On the other side of the field, Bama came in totally focused with a good game plan and executed it almost flawlessly. It would have been a much more entertaining had ND brought their ‘A’ game.

  63. pudgalvin says: Jan 8, 2013 12:22 PM

    @florida: I didn’t really mean that as a knock on Florida. I meant only that Alabama might have beaten the 85 bears last night, and that losing one game 6 weeks after the season ends doesn’t change what happened in 13 other football games. All this talk about exposed and overated is just silly. Just like Florida proved over the course of the season that they’re a pretty darn good football team, notre dame did too. It just so happens that they ran into an absolute buzzsaw last night. Kudos to Alabama, best team in the land, no doubt about it, but I still feel pretty darn good about the season and the future for the Irish.

  64. kozbee says: Jan 8, 2013 12:32 PM

    What went wrong`Nothing went wrong just the TRUTH in who is the better team and conference in college football.This is what went right…SEC RULES…

  65. florida727 says: Jan 8, 2013 1:06 PM

    #pudgalvin, I only disagree with you on one point: Florida is NOT a “pretty darn good football team”. Defensively, we did okay. Offensively, we sucked. It’ll change. We do have some good athletes, but we were so overrated all season long, it was a joke. We were ranked high because of history and the conference we play in.

    Do you realize that if we would have beaten Louisville, we’d have finished the season ranked NUMBER TWO? That’s laughable.

    I might be a Gator fan, but I’m also a realist. The AP ranked us 10th, I believe, in their final poll. WAY too high. Top 20? Maybe. We have a long way to go to be back in the same class with Alabama. Then again, maybe on a comparative basis, so does everyone else, so maybe we weren’t ranked ridiculously high, just too high.

  66. whatchutalkinboutwillis says: Jan 8, 2013 1:15 PM

    What went wrong for Notre Dame?

    One word. Everything.

    I don’t care much for Notre Dame, but I was hoping they’d put up more of a fight. I’ve grown up hearing from my dad and others about the great rivalry between these two teams and was hoping to actually witness it myself. I was excited to see Te’o play (haven’t watched him play before) and to see how the Bama boys played against him. I guess now we know.

  67. normtide says: Jan 8, 2013 1:19 PM

    A little note on A&M and the SEC. The SEC has no partial members, no wait to equal. From day one, you have the same say and get the same money. T&M, and Missouri, are SEC teams from day one.

  68. pudgalvin says: Jan 8, 2013 1:34 PM

    @florida: See, that’s my point though. One loss to a a team that played their absolute best game of the season doesn’t mean you were overrated or exposed. Florida still beat Florida St., LSU and South Carolina this year. One loss doesn’t mean that those games didn’t happen. Notre Dame and Florida and not perfect football teams and they both picked a terrible time to play some awful football, but both still had pretty good seasons. Both teams got to be rated where they are because they won football games, not because they started the season with lofty preseason rankings (See Georgia, ended beating one top 25 team all year, second best win is a toss up between Vanderbilt and Nebraska, will finish the year ranked 2-4).

    Nobody expected either team to finish in the top 10 this year. Notre Dame wasn’t really ranked anywhere, and Florida was barely ranked. They worked their way up the ranking by beating other football teams. That’s why everyone just needs to calm down about the media overhyping Notre Dame. It simply didn’t happen. Notre Dame for once earned a spot in the BCS game, regardless of whether or not they got steamrolled. Oregon, A&M, Georgia, etc. would have also lost that game by 30 points last night.

  69. microbrewuga says: Jan 8, 2013 1:45 PM

    @pudgalvin, you are right about my Dawgs, we played way over our heads against Bama in the SEC Championship game. AL shredded our defense, which is approx. 9 future NFL players. Our offense kept us in it………and almost everyone is back next year. We should win most games next year 70-60.

  70. pudgalvin says: Jan 8, 2013 1:47 PM

    @microbrewuga: So now what was your second best actual win again? Or does almost beating Alabama count as a win for you?

  71. vette7274 says: Jan 8, 2013 2:39 PM

    What went wrong for ND was Alabama,, DUH!

  72. 4thputt says: Jan 8, 2013 3:41 PM

    What went wrong? Scheduling miscue . . . Alabama is obviously not a service academy!

  73. gatorprof says: Jan 8, 2013 4:56 PM

    ddkendall

    RE: “It would have been a much more entertaining had ND brought their ‘A’ game.”

    It wasn’t that ND played poorly. It was that they were physically outmatched strength wise and speed wise, period. ND had zero experience against an OL like Bama’s and it showed. Ditto for their defensive front and it showed.

    Meanwhile, Bama is used to playing against elite big uglies on both sides of the LOS as that is a defining aspect of SEC football.

    ND is an o.k. team, but it is tough to out-recruit the SEC as you have to steal kids from their backyard if you want to compete. Kelly has done this nicely in several cases, like Nix, but it is a big deal for him to do something like that.

  74. Deb says: Jan 8, 2013 5:49 PM

    What went wrong is that you had in Notre Dame a bunch of kids experiencing that level of play for the first time, and in Bama a bunch of kids who’ve had three years’ experience at that level. The comments made about Notre Dame’s schedule coming into the title game were accurate. The team hadn’t been tested to the same degree the Tide had been tested, not only against tough SEC opponents, but in last year’s title bout.

    Yes, we can hope a playoff will resolve the situation. But since the playoffs have been set up to placate conference champions rather than ensure the top-ranked teams are ensured a spot, don’t count on it.

  75. killitandeatit says: Jan 8, 2013 6:35 PM

    The abomination of another BCS BS Bowl. The system is flawed and when the talking and media hype stopped and the game began, the man behind the curtain (media) was glaringly exposed. We soon saw the Cinderella story was over and we were in that Oz moment when the Wizard is cut down to size. The overwhelming reactions across the country are: we are tired of the current beauty contest media darling system. Sports,all sports ,must be decided on the field of play and not in smoke filled backrooms of the media and college “directors”. To answer the question is to continue the lie. Nothing went wrong ,the outcome was sealed before kick off. There was nothing N.D. could have done to change the result.

  76. fuzzyrider says: Jan 8, 2013 9:02 PM

    I wish some of you ‘experts’ would do a little thinking and analyze why Alabama was able to run so freely. Sure the O line is great but I think it was something more specific than that. All year long the ND middle guard required a constant double team. The Alabama center was able to handle him man to man and that freed the guards to go after the linebackers – something they were entirely unused to . I believe that was the fundamental reason it was such a blowout. Of course, the ND defensive backfield also appeared to be very open to attack. Even though it wasn’t a great game I enjoyed every minute of it, specially the fact that it didn’t turn into a fight as the ND guys realized the the dream was fading away…

  77. suprmous says: Jan 8, 2013 10:52 PM

    I wish somebody would give an objective explaination as to what happened because I’m tired of hearing biased Bama fans say they outplayed ND. Granted that’s part of it but another part of it is ND didn’t play like what they did all season long. I had 3 tell me that it was only a matter of time but of course anybody who knows those 3 will understand why my darlin brothers would say that. But c’mon guys ND just didn’t look like they did from earlier and it doesn’t take some rocket scientist to know that. I’ll give the devil his due tho, Bama did play their game and proved themselves and even if 3 didn’t play there I’d still be sayin nice things bout this game.

  78. bamafan36 says: Jan 9, 2013 12:22 PM

    1. The NFL offensive lines run what is called zone blocking. Zone blocking, is premised on man-to-man responsibility. Once you have opened the hole, you can release to make a block, at the next level (LB’s or secondary). This is not a new concept in the SEC. It is ran by every offensive coordinator in our conference. They had become accustomed to having Nix on a double team, and opening the door for one of the three LB’s to attack the pulling guard or tackle, and making the stop in the back field. Notre Dame had not seen this, by anyone this year, leading into Monday night. Taking nothing from the D line at ND, but, we see bigger, stronger, and faster…..every week!
    2. When you do overload the box with eight, and attack the gap, our RB’s are patient, and will bounce outside to the next gap. Now, you have a RB at full speed, in space, to open up six and seven yard gains…..assuming the DB’s make the tackle.
    3. ND also had yet to see physical RB’s, like what Alabama sported in this game. Eddie Lacy was on the side line, after a fifteen yard game, and instead of going out of bounds, he dropped his shoulder and pushed forward to punish the defender. That is a psychological attack, and plays a role in wearing down a defense.
    4. Y.A.C. Alabama’s RB’s are designed to run through arm tackles. They don’t usually fall down, with contact. They are big and physical, and run down hill. They are fast, but, they are trained to attack and punish anyone that tries to make a play.
    5. T.O.P. and depth. Regardless of how talented a defense is (ND has one), when you spend 40 minutes of the game on the field, you will get extremely tired. Since they are not three deep on the line, the BIG BODIES are succeptible to cramping and wearing out….which leads to injury.
    6. Scoring offense vs scoring defense. This kind of goes with number five. ND had the 75th ranked scoring offense in the country (against only one top 30 scoring defense) vs Alabama’s number 1 ranked defense (against five top 30 ranked scoring offense’s). A total mismatch. Our scoring offense was ranked 9th (against six top 30 ranked defense’s) vs ND’s 2nd ranked defense (against two top 50 scoring offense’s). Again, to only look at the numbers, you wouldn’t see the glaringly obvious. You have to analyze the opponents.
    7. Coaching experience. Nick Saban has been in the Big Game before, and knew how to prepare his Coach’s and team. Brian Kelly asks for advice from other coach’s, because he had no experience and no direction. It’s not a knock on him, just a fact. How do you gain experience? By doing! He now has the experience to draw upon. He now knows what works and what doesn’t.
    8. King of the hill. Like it or not, swagger is real. The psychological advantage of being the best, is sometimes a bad thing. However, hearing that you are the “little guy” and “underdog”, can be demoralizing. When a child is constantly told that he is dumb, he becomes dumb. Mind you, I’m not saying the child is dumb, yet he believes that he is….therefore, he becomes that which he thinks. Physical strength is only outweighed by belief.
    9. The secondary. ND’s secondary was not very good against decent passing attacks. Their speed and size, was lacking in comparison. The DB’s that Alabama’s WR’s saw all year, 30% of them will play in the NFL. ND’s best WR (Eiffert) was matched by Dee Millner, who will start in the NFL next year. He is a shut down corner, and arguably, the best in the country.
    10. Scheme. This one also includes coaching. ND came into this game, looking to hone what they do best. They didn’t figure to change their scheme to counter what Alabama does. They assumed they could do what they have done all year, and it would work. Similar offensive scheme’s, did not fare well against Alabama this year. Had they added screen passes, and short crossing routes, they would have seen much more success in terms of moving the ball. Alabama’s defense is young! They did not have the talent nor experience that last years team had. The secondary was succeptible to the pass, and vulnerable to crossing patterns. The flip side, was that Alabama did it’s homework, and schemed based of how ND’s defense was designed to stop the run at the line of scrimmage and run man coverage on the corners. Zone blocking, patience, and play-action pass is how you beat the aggressive play of ND’s putting seven or eight men in the “box” to stop the run. Deep post patterns, and crossing routes are very difficult to defend, when running man coverage.

    In all honesty, ND was not prepared to play an SEC Champion. From the coach, all the way down to the kicker. They are good,many look to be on the upswing, but, Brian Kelly is suspect….in my opinion.

  79. Deb says: Jan 9, 2013 2:31 PM

    Right, suprmous … Alabama didn’t outplay Notre Dame in a 42-14. Notre Dame just mystically forgot how to perform. And last year after Alabama won 21-0, you said it was because LSU had DRAMA in the pregame locker room, then someone paid the pollsters to rank Alabama #1. :lol:

  80. suprmous says: Jan 10, 2013 1:41 AM

    The Know it All Diva strikes again. Did you not get the point of what I said re ND not playing like what they did earlier? As for Bama not out playing em if you put on your thinkin cap instead of havin your claws come out you might be able to see what I’m sayin. I’d been told earlier in the season that should Bama meet the likes of ND they’d be playin on smack from bein they weren’t good enuff to play the likes of ND. Miss Rocket Scientist, the likes of not only ND would give your team fits but the likes of A&M as well. Now lets see if your comprhension can grasp and hold onto that. Now bring out your mental issues with your claws and bite me. How’s anybody supposed to keep walkin on eggshells around you when it’s uncalled for?

  81. bamafan36 says: Jan 10, 2013 7:26 AM

    Don’t make excuses. ND did not belong in the BCS NCG with the top 6 from the SEC. ND played EXACTLY like they did, all year long. They struggled with Pitt, who got their butts handed to them by middle-of-the-road Ole Miss. They struggled with BYU and Perdue. They outclassed an over rated Oklahoma and a first time starter at USC. No, ND was not ready for us, LSU, UGA, aTm, UF, or SC. I believe the hottest team in the SEC, at the end of the season, was Ole Miss. And, I give them and Vandy a REAL shot of beating ND. They played their schedule, and went unbeaten. But, that doesn’t mean that they were on the same level as us. It just doesn’t.

    As to your assertion that Deb is…..for lack of a better term….well mental: Is she wrong? I STILL hear LSU fans complain about Bama begging or paying off NCAA officials, to allow us into last years BCS CG. All you had to do is beat us again. You had already done it, in our house. I also hear them complain about everything Nick Saban says. He whines and complains! Blah, blah, blah. Y’all talk about his quote regarding UGA being in the Sugar Bowl this year, vs UF. It looks like he may have been right…..again! Besides, he was simply saying that it didn’t seem fair to be punished for losing in your CCG. Is he wrong?The SEC is the only conference that suffered from the rule, regarding only having two teams from each conference allowed in a BCS Bowl. You guys get mad about his being right? A guy just posted his statements regarding the play off system. He doesn’t agree that you take the top four Conference winners, as your representatives in the play off system. Is he right or wrong? Let me give you a scenario: Alabama wins the west, and is ranked #1 in the BCS, and undefeated. UGA wins the east, and is ranked #2 in the BCS. ND is ranked #3, and is undefeated. LSU loses 1 to Bama, and is ranked #4 in the BCS. Everyone else has lost two games. BAMA beats UGA, and they drop to #4, which moves LSU to #3. The play off would take Bama, and ND. And then have to decide between the highest ranked Champ from the B1G, ACC, and PAC. The B1G champ this year, had three losses. Should they go before LSU or UGA? Are they better than UGA or LSU? They won their conference! Should LSU get snuffed, having lost one game, for a two loss Oregon or USC? Not to mention, the SEC Champion would play fifteen games in this format. ND would play in 13 (assuming they lose in the first round, which they would have). Looking at WHO the SEC plays in conference, all year, why should our champ be punished for winning, with having to play an extra game? Why should LSU be punished, for only losing to Bama, by say….three points, in OT? Why should UGA be punished for losing their CCG, by four yards? It doesn’t make sense, does it?

    Now, to aTm. Johnny Manziel and aTm had ONE good quarter, against us. It proved to be too much to over come. But, to say the game was dominant, is an over statement. They put up 21 on us, in the first quarter. The next three, we out scored and out played them to the tune of 24 – 7. Now, is that a dominant performance? Is that giving us fits? I give them ALL the credit in the world. They had a game plan, and executed it. For all the Bammer’s that say “it was just luck”; I say you have to have some luck to win in this game. The ball has to bounce your way, every now and then. A good play, can change the tone of a game. A bad call by the refs, can change a game. aTm did what they had to do, to win. And, win, they did! But, they did NOT dominate or kill us.

  82. cometkazie says: Jan 10, 2013 8:23 AM

    Well put, BamaFan.

  83. bamafan36 says: Jan 10, 2013 9:16 AM

    Thanks, cometkazie.

  84. Deb says: Jan 10, 2013 2:53 PM

    Well put, but she won’t get it. She’s blinded by personal dislike of me (due largely to selective memory), hatred for Saban, and limited understanding of the game.

  85. bamamay453 says: Jan 10, 2013 11:11 PM

    With regard to Bama-Tex AM game Alabama came back strong in second half. What about the mis exchange handoff in the redzone between yeldon and mccarron then the int at the gold line that mccarron threw. there was lots of concern on the A&M sideline seen johnny kneeling down on helmet with his head down. no one wants to talk about how this could have made the difference in that game.

  86. amosalanzostagg says: Jan 11, 2013 3:26 PM

    Bama fan 36 and Bama fans,

    I attended the Bama- A&M game this year. I have been a Bama fan since the 1968 Cotton Bowl in which Bear lifted Gene Stallings in the air.

    A&m beat Alabama this year in a manner that should make Bama fans proud. We smashed them in the mouth, they smashed back, big time.

    At the beginning of the fourth quarter, I told friends, long time Bama supporters, we were going to lose the game. Why? A&M was having a mini mosh pit in front of their bench. If you were there, you saw it. They wanted it, They were focused, They had energy to burn. They earned it.

    To say that A&M had only one good quarter against Bama is denigrating the efforts of Bama players.
    Give A&M credit for what they accomplished.

    You also denigrate the team when you say that LSU took the fight out of Bama. It says that the boys
    were JUST good enough to beat LSU on the road. College football as we know it, particularly in the
    SEC, is about raw emotion and pure physical violence in extremely close quarters on a week in,
    week out basis. A&M played their third road game in as many weeks when they played us and had
    the talent and energy to beat us.

    To admit anything else is like ND saying we got beat in the first half but TIED Alabama in the second half, therefore we win.

    Give A&M credit.

  87. be4bama says: Jan 18, 2013 3:34 PM

    Now we know why Te’o spent most of the night on his back….he was hugging his imaginary girlfriend. BTW Musberger thinks Te’os gf is hot too.
    Go SEC. Where the champions are real and so are their girlfriends.

  88. alligatorsnapper says: May 8, 2013 9:17 AM

    I just came across this story again my emails 5 months later, and though likely no one will see it or care, I am going to state some things which are important for at least me to remember…

    1. Just as southernpatriots has posted many times here on CFT, the national sports media each and every year put out pre-season major college football rankings and the rank Notre Dame in the top 25, sometimes in the top 15, when there truly is nothing to justify those rankings.

    2. The national sports media will do the same thing this coming season, again without justification.

    3. College football is better served by fair media, not biased media.

    4. Like a tempered blade of a sword, which is heated and beaten, then cooled, then the process starts over again, the SEC providing this “tempering” during its season with so many traditional rivalries, as well as fierce competition. Though anything truly can happen in a football game, most of the time, the superior teams will win. For that reason, the SEC is the premier conference in football, baseball, and many other athletics. Improvements are being made in academia and research.

    5. The SEC will continue to dominate major college football for the foreseeable future, this includes the new playoff format.

    Geaux SEC!

  89. cometkazie says: May 8, 2013 1:47 PM

    ‘Snapper, I saw this and think you are right on!

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