Crimson Tide quarterback A.J. McCaron went 20-28 in the blowout win, slicing and dicing a lost Notre Dame defense. To add to the enormity of the Irish’s wounds, McCarron threw for 286 yards and four touchdowns.
If that wasn’t enough, if the Irish hadn’t already given up enough yards to McCarron, Crimson Tide running back Eddie Lacy ran through Notre Dame’s defense. Lacy had 20 carries and ran for 140 yards along with a touchdown. Despite a couple of questionable calls by the Pac-12 officiating crew that may have gone in favor of Alabama, it wasn’t enough to have affected the game in any meaningful way. Those questionable calls, including an early kick-catch interference ruling that wiped out an Alabama fumble on a punt, would not have given the Irish other chances to win this game.
– – – Forget about chances; the Irish just couldn’t keep up with the better team. After Monday night, if there was anyone in the stands, the press box, or, heck, even in the concession lines who had even a tiny smudge of a doubt the SEC was still the best conference in all of college football, they were educated by this course of events. If anyone had doubted that Nick Saban was going to continue to build an already sky-high legacy, not just for himself, but for the University of Alabama’s football program, they were proven wrong.
The Fighting Irish, on the other hand, failed to prove the critics wrong. Saban not only continued to grow a legacy; he continues to prove his legitimacy as a head coach. The legacy he’s built, though, isn’t just about him, but the Southeastern Conference, as well. Seven years in a row with a national title is an amazing achievement.
Alabama left the Miami Gardens with no question, doubt, argument, or even a smudge of the slightest hesitation that the SEC is the best conference in all of collegiate football. More importantly, the Crimson Tide won the national championship.
EXTRA ANALYSIS – – –
The Michigan Factor: While both team’s faced Michigan, and beat them, the Tide ran over the Wolverines, with a convincing win, a 41-14 win in the season opener at Cowboys’ stadium. The Fighting Irish beat Michigan 13-6. Though the Irish didn’t even give up a touchdown in that one, it’s the total margin of victory that is being looked at here. Alabama, without a doubt wins the “Michigan factor” here, in this case.
The Shut-Out Factor:
Alabama’s defense had four shut-out victories in the regular-season, the Irish had one, in what was a lopsided 38-0 victory vs. Wake Forest. – – – Alabama, once again had more than ND did in this category.
Thomas Brun is the lead supreme sports-editor in chief for the “Hawk Newspaper” at Birdville High School, as well as a contributing NFL Columnist for: “intheneutralzone”.com