I don’t know what was more evident Monday night: the establishment of sport’s first legitimate dynasty since the 2001-2004 New England Patriots or Nick Saban proving to be one of the all-time best college football coaches. Or Brent Musburger’s newfound creepy attitude toward young women.
The 2013 BCS National Championship game was supposed to be good. No. 1 in the nation against No. 2. Everything was set for a night of competitive and high-quality football. One team had a fantastic defensive line that only gave up two rushing touchdowns prior to this game while the other had an offensive line consisting of mammoths for men, who have five projected to make it to the NFL. The football stars had come out to play.
But just as the nation saw last year, one team ended up obliterating their opponent, leading to the increasing necessity for a playoff system.
The Alabama Crimson Tide destroyed the Notre Dame Fighting (that was tough to type…) Irish 42-14 as the SEC claimed its seventh straight national championship. Alabama now becomes the first school in NCAA history to win back-to-back BCS titles as they also win their third national championship in four years.
From the moment of the opening kickoff to the moment the red and white confetti was released, this was Alabama’s night. The disparity in toughness of schedule and toughness of teams became transparent when Heisman candidate Manti Te’o, who had only missed two tackles all season, missed tackle after tackle after tackle. After tackle. His draft stock dropped faster than Matt Barkley’s did this season with each successive failed attempt. Te’o and his Irish team were utterly outmatched on college football’s biggest stage.
With the running game being completely shut down (32 total rushing yards), the Irish offense was nothing short of stagnant. No progress could be made at any point in this matchup. The 14 points the Irish put on the scoreboard came in the second half when the game was already out of hand. Once this game became a 21-0 deficit for Notre Dame four seconds into the second quarter, it became clear those men in the gold helmets didn’t have enough offensive weapons to compete with an SEC powerhouse.
On the other end of the field, the Alabama front seven pushed their way to a second straight national championship as a new “Big 3” was created. AJ McCarron threw for 264 yards and four touchdowns, Amari Cooper received 105 of these yards and collected a pair of touchdowns, and Eddie Lacy balanced this attack with his 140 big-time rushing yards. For a team known for their defense, the offense showcased its lethal ways Monday night.
To go along with a potent offense, the renowned defense lived up to their name as these men continued to go about their business. Going back to last year’s title game, it took nearly 101 minutes for someone to find a way to put up some points against these Rolling Tide. Even though this phrase is often thrown around to describe some of the best defenses out there, the Alabama D was truly too big for Notre Dame to handle. At times, it looked as if this elite college program was squaring off against a North Indiana High School. The question will be raised – once again – if this is the best defense college football has ever seen. And they deserve this debate.
Speaking of the best college football has ever seen, Nick Saban has put himself right up there with the best. No matter if you like his blunt attitude with the media, the man knows how to win football and win it on the biggest stage. Even Bear Bryant did not win to this degree at such a fast pace so early on in his coaching career. This sustained level of greatness is unheard of with his five total crowns, three titles in four years, and back-to-back BCS championships – something no one has ever seen before.
No matter who gets the majority of the credit, the Alabama Crimson Tide football program has cemented itself as one of the few college football dynasties we have ever seen. This team has shuffled through different quarterbacks, running backs and every other position imaginable during their dominant run but one thing has remained constant – the will to win. To add to their undying success, they unquestionably play in the country’s most competitive conference, going up against the likes of LSU, Georgia, Arkansas, Florida and South Carolina.They play the best and have been the best for three of the past four years. That is a true dynasty.
Even though this point shouldn’t have a counterargument, their most recent blowout victory reminds the nation that the playoff system just around the corner can’t come soon enough. Notre Dame beat four ranked teams this year and three of these teams turned out to be disappointments. Michigan State barely squeezed into a bowl game, Michigan turned out to be anything but what their preseason No. 8 ranking reflected and Oklahoma had an off year based on Bob Stoops’ standards. Even if you consider Stanford a quality win, that is still only a single game to show off. Alabama had five.
Yes, Notre Dame was undefeated, which can’t go unnoticed, but they also needed three overtimes to beat Pittsburgh… Pittsburgh. With no defining victory and very few challenges during the regular season, who’s to say that half of the SEC couldn’t have taken down those Irish? It may not be the perfect system, but the upcoming college football playoffs will better protect the integrity of the NCAA while giving the championship game a better chance of being like a championship game – the two top teams playing to see who is better.
So, until that playoff system comes into form to challenge Alabama, we can only admire a football program and a football coach that have once again proven to be the best in the nation.
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