Just like that, it was over.
I respected Notre Dame’s defense as much as anyone in the country had. I didn’t buy into the notion that their strength of schedule was weak. Considering they beat the Rose Bowl champion Stanford Cardinal on the road, Southern California (a preseason number one) in Los Angeles (don’t forget they hung 50+ points on a University of Oregon team many thought should have been in the championship game), Oklahoma in Norman, and Michigan at home.
and the “cupcakes” on their schedule were not South Carolina State, Sam Houston State, or any other Division I-A or I-AA team you would see on a normal college football slate. They were BYU, Michigan State, Purdue and Pittsburgh; none of which can be overlooked by anyone.
The one thing missing with this Notre Dame team, the “it” component if you will, was an offense. That’s why they never received their full due from those who know what they’re talking about, and zero respect from those who have no idea what they’re talking about. That’s why we as sports fans are reading about another BCS title for the University of Alabama and the equally hated SEC.
I didn’t need to watch Lacy rumble for 31 yards on his first three carries to know this game would be over quickly. I figured that would happen when I watched him and backfield mate T.J. Yeldon wear out LSU and Georgia’s defense that featured a flock of first-round draft picks. I didn’t need anyone to tell me Everett Golson would struggle to throw the ball on Alabama, Dee Milliner is one of the best cover corners in the country and Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix is too. That goes without mentioning Notre Dame was a team built to run in a game they needed to establish their passing game.
But this is Southeastern conference football and, more importantly, it was Nick Saban football. No gimmicks, nonsense, and all power. You think the Tide yelling at teammates in the late quarters or taking shots down the field with a 35-7 lead was just for show? I’m here to tell you it wasn’t. They came to play football until the clock struck zero, and even then they had to shake the scowl off Saban’s face.
If you enjoy a particular brand of football (high scoring, fast pace, trick plays, etc.) I have no problem with that and neither does anyone else. it works for some people and in some places.
But it doesn’t win championships in college football.
That last sentence isn’t debatable, it has been proven every year for the past seven years. If you think its unfair, you might want to reconsider the brand of football you enjoy because one-dimensional teams are no longer an option. I’m not an Alabama fan, and this, as I said earlier, isn’t even about the SEC anymore. Alabama has broken down the fraction of this equation that used to equal SEC dominance. The remainder is Alabama, and the rest of the country is now looking for a solution. Brian Kelly after the game put it best:
“After the game, Kelly gave credit to Alabama, and seemed almost to treat the trouncing they’d just received as a lesson—a field trip, so to speak—to the big leagues. “Our guys needed to see what it looked like” to play a championship team, he said in the postgame presser. There was very little post-game analysis of what he or his players could have done differently; rather, there was a focus on the future, now that they’d seen the best. “We all now know what we need to do” to play like a team that wins championships, Kelly said, calling it a “great, great opportunity.” In other words, he seemed to be saying, I realized pretty quickly we were never really in it, so let’s at least try to learn something from it.” (SOURCE: Jena McGregor, Washington Post)
At this point its time to recognize the Crimson Tide for what they are in college football. Like Duke and UCLA basketball, the Lakers and Celtics in the NBA, and others in various sports before them Alabama has become that dynasty that everyone loves to hate.
Even if they have no legitimate reason to.