Notre Dame BCS Title Game Preview

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alabama preview The and Alabama meet in another national championship showdown Again Dream Matchup — Notre Dame By Lou Somogyi "Notre Dame and Alabama. At Notre Dame, football is a religion. At Alabama, it's a way of life." — Howard Cosell in the closing minutes of the 1973 Sugar Bowl won by Notre Dame, 24-23 F Junior running back Eddie Lacy is an integral part of the Crimson Tide's potent ground attack, amassing 1,182 yards (6.4 yards per attempt) and 16 touchdowns through 13 games. photo courtesy alabama ✦ Game Facts Date: Jan. 7, 2013 Site: Sun Life Stadium (73,230) in Miami Kickoff: 8:30 p.m. EST Television: ESPN Radio: This broadcast can be heard live on SIRIUS Satellite Radio (channel 129) and ESPN Radio (check local affiliates). Coaches: Notre Dame — Brian Kelly (28-10, third season), Alabama — Nick Saban (62-13, sixth season). Series Facts: This will be the seventh meeting between the two storied programs. Notre Dame owns a 5-1 record against the Crimson Tide and won the last showdown 37-6 in 1987. Prime Personnel: Offense — Junior quarterback AJ Mc- our decades later, the words of Cosell still resonate and hold true. One would be hard pressed to find a national title contest in college football that evokes more tradition and excellence than the Fighting Irish and Crimson Tide. That 1973 national title dream matchup had a 25.3 Nielsen television rating, according to The New York Times. The highest ever in the BCS era, which started in 1998, was 21.7 between USC-Texas for the 2005 national title. The 1987 Fiesta Carron leads the nation in passing efficiency (173.08), has thrown an Alabama single-season record 26 touchdown passes versus just three interceptions and is completing 66.8 percent of his passes for 2,669 yards. His 45 career touchdowns rank second in school history behind John Parker Wilson's 47 from 2005-08. His .923 winning percentage (24-2) as a starter is second all time behind Jay Baker (.934) among Crimson Tide quarterbacks. Defense — Junior linebacker C.J. Mosley leads the Crimson Tide with 99 tackles and was a finalist for the Butkus Award, which goes to the country's best linebacker and was won by Notre Dame senior Manti Te'o. He has seven tackles for loss, four sacks, two interceptions, two passes broken up, one fumble recovery and one forced fumble. Mosley's three career interception returns for touchdowns also tie an Alabama record. Jan. 3, 2013 Bowl between Miami and Penn State is listed by Wikipedia as having the highest share (24.9) in the last 30 years, but it doesn't eclipse the 1973 showdown between Notre Dame and Alabama. Could the two titans top it this year? • Both programs have recorded a NCAA-high eight Associated Press national titles, with Oklahoma's seven in third place. • Only one school has recorded three consensus AP national titles over a fouryear period — Notre Dame from 1946-49. This year, Alabama is on the cusp of being the second, but must get through Notre Dame to do it. (Nebraska also won three in four years from 1994-97, but Michigan finished on top of the AP poll in 1997, while the Cornhuskers were awarded No. 1 in the coaches' poll.) • Notre Dame is on the threshold of reclaiming the best winning percentage in college football history for teams that have played at least 100 years. A victory over Alabama would put it at .73427, barely For The Record: Alabama is going after its second consecutive BCS National Championship victory after beating No. 1-ranked LSU 21-0 last year. With a victory over Notre Dame, the Crimson Tide would be the first program to repeat in the BCS era, which began with the 1998 title game between Tennessee and Florida State … Alabama's senior class has posted a 48-5 record, just one victory shy of Nebraska's class that went 49-2 with three national titles from 1994-97 to set the BCS standard … The Crimson Tide has 60 victories since the start of the 2008 season, which is the most in a fiveyear span in SEC history and is tied with Nebraska (1993-97) for the most ever in major college football … Alabama has a record of 5-4 against teams ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press poll, notching victories over USC (1977), Penn State (1979), Miami (1992), Florida (2009) and LSU (2012).

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