Irish have best match up they could hope for - is it enough?

1/7/13 in NCAAF   |   Trokspot   |   65 respect

 
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All things considered, Notre Dame should be pretty happy that they are playing this year's 'Bama team for a shot at the National Championship.  While many are picking 'Bama to win this game (I am included in this crowd), this is still the most favorable match-up that the Irish could have hoped for. 

The Alabama team that they are going up against is not the championship team of '09 (featuring Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson), and it certainly isn't the championship team of last year (which featured Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacey and a terrific defense).  Alabama has found its way back into the National Championship game this year, despite losing thirteen players to the NFL from just a year ago.  I guess there is no such thing as "rebuilding" or a "down year" in Tuscaloosa.

So while this year's Crimson Tide is certainly a formidable opponent - and absolutely deserves to be playing for a national championship - I don't see them being as strong as those previous two 'Bama teams that won titles.  Notre Dame picked a good year for their resurgence.

The Irish can also be happy that it was 'Bama that the computers selected instead of a small handful of other teams.  Alabama is generally a plodding, methodical, ground and pound team.  This is exactly the kind of team Notre Dame has the best chance of beating with their strong defensive front and relatively weak and low-scoring offense. 

If they had to play an Oregon or a Kansas State, that are arguably more dynamic offensely and would force Notre Dame to put up big points to contend, I don't think they could keep up.  You could make a case that either Florida or Georgia would have cause more significant challenges for the Irish.  If the Ohio State Buckeyes were bowl eligible, you could make a strong case for that undefeated team posing more of a threat to the Irish.  If the playoff system had started this year, you could argue that Texas A&M would run the table over all of these teams. 

These are a lot of "ifs" - I know that.  But I'm just pointing out that it seems that things have fallen into place for the Irish to have the best possible chance to contend and win that they could possibly hope for - you could call it the luck of the Irish or fate.  

However, despite this being the most favorable matchup they could hope for, I still think that 'Bama wins.  Roll Tide 31-20 over the Irish.   
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