2013 BCS National Championship Preview

I asked Mike Becker (@becksauce3) to write me up a nice post about the BCS Championship game due to the fact the guy knows more about ND Football and their history and BCS Championship game stats then Google does.  Anyway, here is his post.  Read it, it's pretty damn good.

The day has finally arrived.  The most nationally anticipated BCS Championship since Texas took on USC in the 2005 BCS thriller.  Two programs rich in tradition, pride and excellence. 

In one corner, the Crimson Tide of Alabama.  Defending national champions with a 12-1 record whose only loss came against a hot Texas A&M lead by this year’s Heisman Trophy winner.   Carrying the nation’s top defense and second scoring defense, the Tide went on to win the SEC title and looks to become the seventh straight SEC team to win a national title.  Alabama QB AJ McCarron leads the nation in passing efficiency, passing for 26 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions.  Alabama features two 1,000 yard rushers in junior Eddie Lacy and freshman T.J. Yeldon, who both combined for 27 touchdowns on the year. 

In the other corner, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.  A perfect 13-0, leaving the majority of the country scratching their heads after fighting their way to numerous underdog victories.  Once again, the Fighting Irish will play the underdog role in this championship game, led by the nation’s top rated scoring defense.  Notre Dame QB Everett Golson has overcome adversity after being pulled in three different games this year.  Each start, he continues to show his high ceiling in the Irish offense helped in the passing game by Tyler Eifert.  Notre Dame features a stable of three rushers, Theo Riddick, Cierre Wood and George Atkinson III.  Notre Dame’s passing offense struggled early in the season, but has developed more later in the season helping them to this championship game. 

Strength vs Strength:
The most anticipated matchup within the game is the Notre Dame front seven with against the Alabama rushing attack.  Alabama’s rushing attack (27 rushing TD) will be facing a front seven that has given up -28 rushing yards this season in goal to go situations.  Overall, the Tide will face a defense that has given up -5 yards in 39 goal to go plays this season.  On the other hand, Alabama boasts the nation’s top rated passer who seems to always make the smart decision. 

Alabama wins if..
QB AJ McCarron can take advantage of the Irish secondary in the play-action passing game.  Notre Dame’s secondary can be beat, but the Alabama receivers need to get separation and settle in the open zones of the defense as Notre Dame rarely stacks the box with more than 7 defenders to stop the run (having Manti Te’o helps). 

Notre Dame wins if..
QB Everett Golson can replicate what Johnny Football did against the Crimson Tide to hand them their only loss.  Everett needs to take care of the football and evade the pass rush of the Tide.  Alabama’s defense struggled when Manziel was able to create extra time outside the pocket, so if Golson can buy extra time outside the pocket, Alabama’s secondary will be in for a long night. 

With such a long layoff between games, how do the teams handle the heat?  With only 15 practices in between games, how did each team maintain their game-play conditioning?  I expect a little rust early on in the game, but hydration throughout the game will be a factor, especially with Notre Dame having the longer layoff. 

There’s so much more about this epic match-up you could discuss, but this game ultimately comes down to execution.  At the end of the night, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish will be crowned National Champions in a 21-17 victory over the Alabama Crimson Tide.  The echoes will be woken!

Written by Mike Becker (BeckSauce3)