After doing the math, I realized that I would have won my Bowl Mania group had I simply stuck with my original picks instead of switching every one of them starting with the Cotton Bowl.
Could’ve, should’ve, would’ve…I’m sure those are the words that I would hear from my roommate Zach, who is going to win the group, if I told him that.
Oh well. March Madness isn’t too far away.
The bowl season has been fun, but tonight it will finally come to an end in Miami. Here is a preview for the game taking place on January 7th.
BCS National Championship Game (Monday, 8:30 PM ET)
#1 Notre Dame vs. #2 Alabama
This is the game that everyone has been waiting for. Kind of weird when you really think about it, because I’m not sure that it is really the bowl season’s best matchup. At any rate, here we are: No. 1 vs. No. 2. The battle for all the marbles. This game brings up memories of a national title game that is very dear to my heart: the 2002 Fiesta Bowl between Miami and Ohio State. No one gave Ohio State a chance, but the Buckeyes pulled off an improbable upset in Tempe. Like that game, few are giving the Golden Domers a chance outside of the Notre Dame faithful.
Alabama has one of the most powerful rushing attacks in the entire nation, and will look to bully Notre Dame at the line of scrimmage like it did Georgia in the SEC Championship Game. But unlike Georgia, Notre Dame has one of the best run defenses in the nation. Third best, to be exact. In this game, Alabama won’t simply be able to run over the Fighting Irish and hope to wear them down in the second half as the Crimson Tide have been able to do to other teams. Instead, AJ McCarron will need to step up. But this time, it’ll have to be for real. No lucky fourth quarter check down pass that makes the junior quarterback look like a hero against LSU. This time, McCarron will have to perform well for an entire game. If Notre Dame makes McCarron look bad, the Crimson Tide will have trouble pulling away from the Fighting Irish in this one.
While Notre Dame definitely has the ability to hold Alabama’s offense to its most unsuccessful outing this season, the Fighting Irish may have offensive issues of their own. Alabama has the nation’s best run defense and will likely give Theo Riddick and Cierre Wood a very difficult time in this game. Like the Crimson Tide, Notre Dame will need a gutsy performance from its quarterback. Fortunately for the Fighting Irish, Everett Golson is the better quarterback of the two at this point. Golson is shifty and can extend plays longer than McCarron, and he will need to do so in this game. Golson’s play will be key in Notre Dame’s chances of winning this game.
Notre Dame has the advantage at quarterback, and had the SEC not performed well in its final two bowl games leading up to this one I would be skeptical of Alabama’s supposed invincibility. But Texas A&M torched Oklahoma for 42 points, and the Sooners were Notre Dame’s best win this season. Ole Miss handled Pitt well this past Saturday, and the Panthers nearly beat the Fighting Irish in early November. I hate to say it, but Nick Saban will win his third national championship in four years tonight.
My Pick: 31-17 Alabama
- K. Becks