Alabama 42, Notre Dame 14
Back-to-back national championships. Three in the past four years. Fifteen in Alabama history.
It’s definitely good to be a Crimson Tide fan.
Like last year, I decided to breakdown Alabama’s title game performance.
Here are 15 thoughts for 15 Alabama national championships.
1. As soon as Bama marched down the field and scored on its first drive, I knew the game was over. If the Tide were already having that much success on offense early in the game, I knew there was no way Notre Dame could hold up in the second half.
I predicted a 34-10 Bama victory before the game, but I never would have imagined a 28-0 lead at halftime. All I could do was laugh.
2. So much for that dominant Notre Dame front seven. Alabama’s entire offensive line could have been named the MVP of the game for its play.
Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon had big games, but honestly, they weren’t even getting touched until they were at least six yards down the field.
The key in my mind was Barrett Jones. Playing with a lisfranc injury (which is crazy he could even walk on it), he dominated ND’s best defensive lineman, Louis Nix III. That allowed Chance Womack and company to focus on obliterating Manti Te’o and the rest of the front seven. It was fun to watch.
3. Speaking of Manti Te’o, wow was he a nonfactor. Much talk was given to the fact he missed just two tackles all season. That totally increased significantly in the title game.
Look, Te’o is a great player, but he was a bit exposed by Bama. Once the Tide took his defensive line out of the game, Te’o couldn’t fight off blocks and tried to make too many arm tackles.
Those that put Te’o ahead of Johnny Manziel on their Heisman ballot should be ashamed after last night. If Te’o had won, it would have been one of the biggest crimes in the trophy’s history…and that’s saying something.
Te’o is still going to be a top 15 pick, but let’s hold off on declaring him the next Ray Lewis for now.
Everything Bama wanted to do they did in the game. I was joking by the fourth quarter that they were throwing darts at the offensive play calling sheet or taking suggestions from fans on Facebook.
Saban is the best coach in college football. I don’t see how this is even a discussion. He’s smarter than everyone and develops nearly everyone on his roster.
Once again, Bama was business-like and dominant. Saban deserves the credit for that.
5. The little Jones-A.J. McCarron spat at the end of the game gained more than a few reactions on Twitter, but honestly, it shows the intensity of this program.
Under Saban, Bama is never satisfied. The Tide were up big, and still, McCarron and Jones were mad about a 5-yard penalty.
Was a little shoving match between the stars a little extreme? Probably. But I’m sure a lot worse happens in practice as Saban pushes the team to the limit to achieve perfection.
6. A lot of early focus was on the refs. Yeah, those two early calls were close. If I was a ND fan, I would have been pissed, too.
However, ESPN’s officiating expert came on and said the non-fumble on the punt fair catch was the correct call. It was a close play, but it was the correct call.
All that said, anyone that thinks those two calls cost Notre Dame the game (like these idiots), is fooling themselves. All it would have done is made the score a little more respectable…maybe.
7. McCarron is one of the most underrated players in the country. I was saying for much of the season he deserved to be in the Heisman discussion. He may not have been throwing for four touchdowns a game, but he was doing a whole hell of a lot more than “managing the game” this season.
Obviously his performance against A&M ended any chance of him winning the Heisman. However, he showed Monday why he should head into next season as one of the favorites with Manziel.
It is still going to be tough, because he won’t have the gaudy stats as some of the other QBs. But if he can go undefeated next year, he’s got a shot.
8. One thing that could be on McCarron’s side is the skill players he is going to have at his disposal next season.
Alabama led the nation in yards from scrimmage by true freshmen with 2,573. Think about that for a minute. Now add in the returns of the receivers who got hurt this year, along with some stud recruits, and you can see why Bama could be a lot more pass-happy than years past.
The key will be the offensive line. It figures to have three new starters, which is never easy. However, if it can provide McCarron with some good protection, watch out.
Katherine Webb (@_KatherineWebb) started the game with around 2,000 followers. As of noon Tuesday, she had 149K. That’s nearing 50k more followers than McCarron!
It probably helped that Brent Musburger got a little creepy regarding Webb, but her sudden rise to fame was still funny to watch throughout the night.
BTW, this led to an awesome Twitter exchange between UGAquarterback Aaron Murray and McCarron.
Murray: Aj McCarrons girlfriend needs to become a Dawg fan #dawgsontop
McCarron: u don’t win enough bud!! #15
10. Enough with the Saban to the NFL talk. It’s not going to happen!
Sure, Saban may have regrets on how his tenure at Miami went, but I think this great article by the Miami Sun-Sentinel proves exactly why he won’t go back to the NFL. His style of coaching works with college kids, not grown men.
If Saban stays at Alabama and wins three more titles, he will be known as the best coach in college football history. Isn’t that a better goal to strive for than leading the Cleveland Browns to the playoffs?
Stop trolling Auburn fans. Saban’s not going anyway anytime soon.
11. Most critics were saying by the end of the game that Notre Dame had no business being there. I disagree. ND’s record and victories over Stanford and Oklahoma made them worthy of playing in the game.
Now, did they have any chance at beating Alabama? No. That game could be played 100 times, and ND may win once.
There were three teams that probably had a legit chance at beating Bama in a title game – A&M, Oregon and Georgia.
That said, the Bama team that was on the field last night probably couldn’t have been beaten. They played as flawlessly as you can.
I am glad, though, that Oregon lost to Stanford. I don’t think any Bama fan wanted to see the high-powered Ducks in the title game.
12. If you talk to a lot of Alabama fans, probably 80 percent will agree that this was the least talented of the three recent title teams. The offensive line and quarterback were better than 2009 and 2011, but those two squads were superior in every other way to this group.
I fully expect Bama’s defense to be better next season, especially in the secondary. That’s a scary thought for everyone else in the SEC.
13. Has Bama run earned the right to be called a dynasty? Absolutely. It isn’t just winning three of four titles; it is how the Tide did it. They were a dominant squad and were feared by most.
Yes, Bama needed a few breaks this year and last to make it to the title game, but you could say that about most teams that win a championship.
Is it the best dynasty in college football history? I wouldn’t go that far. But if Bama wins another two titles in the next three or four years, you can probably say it is.
14. Several early 2013 polls are coming out, and they all have Bama at No. 1. That’s well deserved.
I’m seeing a lot of Oregon at No. 2, which isn’t surprising considering Chip Kelly’s return to Eugene.
Here’s my preseason Top 5: Bama (1), Oregon (2), Georgia (3), A&M (4), Ohio State (5).
15. September 14, 2013. Kyle Field, College Station, Texas.
Could you say this could decide the national championship? Perhaps.
Could it be a preview to a title game, ala the 2011 season between Bama-LSU? Also possible.
Regardless, I intend to go to this game with a group of my friends. Revenge is on the mind, and you better believe Saban and the boys will be ready.
Roll Damn Tide!