What Alabama did to Notre Dame in the recently-completed Bowl Championship Series title match was nothing short of a mugging as the Crimson Tide shredded the Fighting Irish, 42-14, at Sun Life Stadium before a record crowd of 80,120.
This win now gives Alabama and Head Coach Nick Saban back-to-back BCS crowns, and three over the last four seasons.
“I’m satisfied with this team, and I’m proud of this team,’’ said Saban, who also led Louisiana State University to a title and is 49-5 spanning those four seasons. “I’m going to enjoy this for 24 hours, and then get back to work for next season.”
Not that anyone doubted just how potent the Southeastern Conference is, but this victory answered any question regarding the matter as the SEC has taken seven straight BCS title games and nine overall.
Alabama also captured its record 10th national championship since 1936, and proved it is the kind of team that has no weaknesses as the Tide ran for 265 yards, including Eddie Lacy’s game-best 140 yards on 20 carries, and T.J. Yeldon’s 108 yards on 21 rushes.
When throwing the ball, quarterback A.J. McCarron hit 20 of 28 passes for 264 yards and no interceptions.
“This feels really great,’’ said McCarron. “I’m so happy right now. I couldn’t have done it without my teammates.”
Alabama held Notre Dame to 32 rushing yards, and its secondary has the speed to stay with fast receivers.
The Tide (13-1) accounted for 309 total net yards after 30 minutes, while Notre Dame had 124.
Alabama scored on its first three series and led 28-0 at the break. The scoring began with the Tide driving 82 yards and Lacy, selected the game’s Most Valuable Player, scoring on a 20-yard dash and 12:03 left in the first quarter.
McCarron’s three-yard pass to tight end Michael Williams capped a 10-play, 61-yard march and made it 14-0 with 6:14 showing in the same quarter.
Yeldon’s one-yard run early in the second quarter made it 21-0 and ended an 82-yard jaunt.
Alabama (529 total yards) made it 28-0 when McCarron found Lacy with an 11-yard toss as 31 seconds remained before the intermission.
“It was all Alabama,’’ said Brian Kelly, the third-year Notre Dame Head Coach at the half. “We couldn’t tackle. I don’t know why.”
The Irish, who came in No. 1 and last won a title in 1988, ended the night with 302 total yards.
The onslaught continued into the second half as McCarron moved Alabama 97 yards on 10 plays and eventually hit wide receiver Amari Cooper (105 yards on six catches) with a 34-yard throw as 7:34 remained in the third quarter for a 35-0 lead.
Notre Dame (12-1) averted the shutout when redshirt freshman quarterback Everett Golson (21 of 36 for 270 yards and one pick) scored on a two-yard scamper and 4:08 left in the third quarter that finalized an 85-yard march.
Alabama answered with McCarron’s 19-yard pass to Cooper and 11:27 showing in the fourth quarter that capped a 14-play, 86-yard drive and made it a 35-point spread.
Golson’s six-yard strike to Theo Riddick with 7:51 left cut the advantage to 28 points.
Rick Assad has been a sportswriter for more than two decades. He has a political science degree from UCLA, a journalism degree from CSUN, is a staff writer for diamondboxing.com, and is a columnist for socalboxing.wordpress.com. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.