Monday, January 7, 2013

1 Alabama should collect its 97th national championship

By Kenny Howell

I am pretty sure Alabama is going to win their 97th National Championship tonight. Not sure what number Alabama fans are going with these days since they add them by the day, but they should beat Notre Dame.

I am not 100 percent confident. Bama has looked vulnerable at times, especially when LSU'S Zac Mettenberger lit them up, something he didn't do against any other team. Johnny Football is Johnny Football, so that is not that big of a surprise, although Bama is a better team on most days than A&M. It was just the Aggies day.

But then again, Notre Dame has looked crazy vulnerable several times this year. Needing three overtimes to beat a team Ole Miss beat by three scores. Struggling against BYU, who does have a good defense, but it is also BYU. Pretty sure Bama's defense is much better than BYU. But the Irish have won all their games, so you can't argue with results.

I think a mixture of good defenses, and the long layoff keeping the offenses out of sync will keep this one fairly low scoring. I wouldn't be surprised if both teams have a defensive score. I think Bama has a better chance to get the plays on offense they need with A.J. McCarron, Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon. Notre Dame has no one that really scares you too much except tight end Tyler Eiffert who is a matchup nightmare. Everett Golson still has to get the ball to him. Golson has only 11 touchdown passes this season. If Notre Dame is one dimensional, Saban will shut that down in a hurry. Ask Michigan about that. ESPN ran this story about 10 reasons Notre Dame will win, saying Golson is similar to Johnny Manziel.

I will pause for your laughter.

OK, he isn't anywhere near Manziel, the story even admits it, but then keeps running with it. That is ridiculous. He can make a play or two, but he has been pulled a few times this season for Tommy Rees. Plus, he has never been on this kind of stage. Everyone pretty much on Alabama has.

I think it will be fairly close, though Bama will keep a comfortable distance to get the win. Manti Te'o will record five tackles, and they will talk about how his leadership really led him to those five tackles. His leadership is probably not going to lead the Irish to a National Championship though. Those belong in the SEC.

Alabama 24 Notre Dame 16

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