It's Notre Dame and Alabama in the BCS championship, like it always should have been. Both programs represent the history, tradition and pageantry of college football.

We all know Notre Dame has been winning games with a stout defense led by Heisman Trophy candidate Manti Te'o, but Alabama has a pretty good defense as well — ranked No. 1 in the country in total defense and rushing defense.

On offense, Alabama has the one-two punch of Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon in the backfield. The two combined for more than 300 yards against Georgia in the SEC title game. Top it off with AJ McCarron's experience and Nick Saban's coaching, and it's hard to argue that the Crimson Tide won't capture back-to-back championships.

mmurschel@tribune.com


Get the Baltimore Football app for iPhone and Android

Go with the leprechaun

John Cherwa

Los Angeles Times

There is little doubt Notre Dame has been lucky — can you say Pittsburgh? And there is little doubt that Alabama is probably the second-best team in the country behind Oregon. But if the best team always won there would be no reason to play the games. Alabama's defense is extraordinary. let's not forget that Alabama tipped the pass that should have been dropped by the Georgia receiver on Saturday.

But instinct being what it is, the receiver caught the pass and time expired and Alabama had its share of luck. Intuitively, talent should always trump luck, but here's thinking that Notre Dame has one more leprechaun to pull out of its hat and pulls off an undefeated season in a game that goes down to the final three minutes of the game. Irish by four.

jcherwa@tribune.com