The Stage Is Set For A Classic BCS National Championship

The BCS has been criticized, scrutinized, and flat out hated on by many people over the years. Finally, after many years of countless arguments and debates about who belongs in that coveted national championship game, a playoff system has been installed to start next season. But we have one more year with the current system and the BCS got exactly what it hoped for. Two of the most storied programs in the country will collide in Miami Gardens, Florida on January 7th, as the Notre Dame Fighting Irish take on the Alabama Crimson Tide.

The Fighting Irish have gone undefeated but escaped with wins in some very close games this season. (AP)

Lets start off with the team from South Bend who has seen a prominant return to the top team in the land under head coach Brian Kelly. The Irish are undefeated this season and are deservingly the clear cut number one team in the country after losses by Alabama, Kansas State, and Oregon. But the Irish have been anything but dominant in their wins this season. They started off hot by demolishing Navy in Ireland, but then beat an average team at best in Purdue, by only 3 points at home. The Irish also beat Michigan by a touchdown, Stanford by a touchdown in overtime, BYU by merely a field goal, and Pittsburgh by a field goal in 3 overtimes. This shows one of two things: Either the Irish simply are not as good as everyone thinks they are, or they are a clutch team that knows how to win close ball games down the stretch. However, one thing is certain: the Golden Domers have made a return to prominence after many disapointing seasons.

Just when we thought we had seen the last of Alabama, they are back. Texas A&M came in to Tuscaloosa and shocked the nation by beating the tide 29-24 led by Heisman frontrunner Johnny “Football” Manziel. The Texas A&M quarterback scorched one of the top defenses in the land with 345 total yards, completely dominating the game. So there is no way Alabama will find its way back in the BCS National Championship this year right? Well, the dominoes fell into place for the Tide as the top two teams in the country went down in the same week and they find themselves sitting at the number two position going into the SEC Championship Game versus Georgia. This game was essentially a semi-final for the BCS National Championship with the winner going to Miami Gardens. The Tide and Bulldogs battled it out for four quarters, and the Tide came out on top 32-28 last night.

Alabama will take on the No. 1 Fighting Irish in the BCS Championship game in January. (Vasha Hunt/vhunt@al.com)

So here we stand with Notre Dame and Alabama at the top two positions in the BCS standings. If you are a fan of offensive explosions and shoot outs, you’re probably not going to enjoy this contest. But if you’re into defensive battles and hard-nosed football, then this is the game for you. Alabama has the number one defense in the country, statistically speaking, allowing merely 10.1 points per game, while Notre Dame is number two only allowing 10.3 points per contest. This game is looking as if it could end up being a battle of the kickers because it is going to be hard for either team to find the end zone.

With all that being said, the ratings for this game are expected to be the highest ever for a BCS National Championship. Mostly thanks to Notre Dame, who has a national fan base and alumni all over the country. The Irish are on magazine covers, billboards, and have taken over SportsCenter. Ticket prices for the game also skyrocketed when Notre Dame beat USC to secure a place in the title game. The 400 level seats are going for over $1,500, and those are the worst seats in the house. It is scary to think about what a good seat will run you. But this is exactly what the BCS wanted. Two storied programs colliding for the final BCS National Championship Game in the current format. The hype will continue to build as the game draws nearer, and the hardest part is that we have to wait over a month for this classic contest.

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