It’s all on the line tonight in Miami for Alabama and Notre Dame. Winner gets to revel in the glory off winning a National Championship and the loser well doesn’t go home happy. When you say Notre Dame you think history, legacy and winners. When you say Alabama you think dominance, swagger and Roll Tide!. Notre Dame comes into the match up undefeated with an unblemished record. The boys from South Bend come in 12-0 and they have had their fare share of close calls during the season.
The Fighting Irish won close games against Stanford and USC with a last second goal line stands. They also won tight battles against Pittsburgh, Michigan and Purdue. Notre Dame was officially back when they pounded Oklahoma by a 17 in Norman. The Fighting Irish dominated that game from start to finish and had quarterback Landry Jones under duress all game long.
Notre Dame gets it done with defense and they are spearheaded by stud Linebacker Manti Te’o. Mr. Te’o is the leader of the defense with 105 tackles and 7 interceptions. Te’o is a first team All-American but his accolades don’t stop there. He has won the Lombardi Trophy, Walter Camp Award, Chuck Bednarik Award, Maxwell Award, Butkis Award and tonight looks to cap an excellent career with a National Championship. It isn’t just a one man show on defense because the Irish have the strength on all facets of defense. Defensive tackle, Louis Nix makes it hard to opposing offenses to run the ball with has massive 326lb frame. They can get pressure from the outside from Stephon Tuitt who is the leading sack artist with 12. Bennett Jackson patrols the secondary and leads the Irish with 4 interceptions.
The Irish can be explosive on offense as well. Sophomore Quarterback, Everett Golson leads the attack. He was capable targets in Theo Riddick, T.J and Tyler Eifert. Eifert is the best tight end in the country so look for him to make plays down the middle of the field and in the red zone.
The National Championship seems to be a regular breeding ground for Alabama. This is the 3rd time out of 4 years that the Crimson tide will be making an appearance in the big game. How do you replace Dont’a Hightower, Dre Kirkpatrick, Mark Barron and Courtney Upshaw easy well at least Bama makes it looks easy. Those guys rolls have been taken by: Dee Milliner, Adrian Hubbard and Robert Lester. The road back to the National Championship hasn’t been easy for Bama. They lost to Heisman Trophy Winner Johnny Manziel in thriller 29-24. They also went into Batan Rouge and defeated LSU 17-14 as quarterback A.J McCarron calmly drove his team down for the game winning score. They won SEC Championship by beating Georgia 32-28.
Back in April, Trent Richardson left for the NFL and he has been replaced by Eddie Lacy and T.J Yeldon. This 1-2 duo is one of College Football fiercest ground attacks. Both are over 1,000 yards and both have scored over 10 touchdowns. A.J McCarron is no longer a bus driver but a play maker for the Crimson Tide.
McCarron has completed nearly 67% of his passes, thrown for over 2,600 yards and passed for 26 td’s. He has a bevy of targets to throw to. Freshman Amari Cooper is the go to man with over 900 yards and nine td’s. Kenny Bell, De Andrew White, Kevin Noorwood and Christion Jones make up a talented receiving core for Alabama.
Keys to Victory:Who ever wins in the trenches. It’s simple Bama has the best offensive line in College Football. Chance Wormack, Barrett Jones and T.J Fluker are some of the best lineman to play for Alabama. They will also be high draft picks in April’s NFL Draft as well. Notre Dame isn’t too shabby on the Defensive line either, they don’t give yards on the ground and they like to put pressure on the quarterback as well. Whoever wins this match up will have a lot to say in winning the game.
Turnovers: It’s a simple fact whoever turns the ball over will lose. Whoever can cash in on the opportunities will more than likely come out victorious. Both defensive’s are stingy and like to take the ball away from the opposition. The team that wins the turnover battle will win.
Coaching: One one side you have Brian Kelly that has brought Notre Dame back to prominence with a high powered offense with a lot of play makers. On the other side you have Nick Sabin, College Football’s best coach. He has won 3 National Championships with 2 different schools. He is a master of taking away what you do best. The coach that puts their players in positions to make plays and can communicate to their players the best will win.
Will it a 7th straight National Championship for the SEC. Is it going to be a Modern day Dynasty if Sabin’s crew manages to win their 3rd National Championship in 4yrs. Or will it be the Notre Dame Fighting Irish who get back to College Football grandest stage by winning their 12th National Championship. It all happens tonight in Miami with the entire World Watching.