Notre Dame Football: BCS Championship Game with Alabama Is Rightful Matchup

Josh SchochAnalyst IIINovember 21, 2012

SOUTH BEND, IN - NOVEMBER 17:  Manti T'eo #5 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish waves to the crowd as he leaves the home field for the last time during a game against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Notre Dame Stadium on November 17, 2012 in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated Wake Forest 38-0.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Notre Dame is the No. 1 team in the nation. Get over it.

The Fighting Irish have earned their ranking in every major poll, and now (barring an upset to USC) the team deserves to play Alabama in the BCS Championship Game.

Notre Dame is undefeated at 11-0, and with a win over the rival Trojans on Saturday, the team will clinch a spot in the title game.

The Irish heard the noise all season. That they had become insignificant. That fans think the team is overrated and overhyped.

Well, guess what? No other team in the country has managed to put together an undefeated season other than an Ohio State team that is not bowl-eligible.

Call it the luck of the Irish or what have you, but the team hasn't lost since last season.

The team played a tough schedule, beating four ranked opponents by an average of 12.0 points per game. By beating the Trojans, they will have taken down seven different rivals (with three of those being ranked rivals).

The Irish have surrendered just 10.1 points per game, which is the best in college football, while scoring 27.2 per contest.

There is the knock on the Irish that it took the team three overtimes to beat Pittsburgh. In response to that, I say that every other team in the BCS standings has had a close game like that, but Notre Dame is the only one to have actually avoided a loss (no matter how narrowly).

Led by the dual rushing attack of Theo Riddick and Cierre Wood, the Irish are averaging 200.7 rushing yards per game and have scored 21 rushing touchdowns in 11 games. The team's rushing attack has been incredible, with no less than six different players running in a touchdown for the Irish this season.

The Irish have found a way to win every game this season, and while some have been ugly, they deserve to play in the championship game.

When Boise State went undefeated, there was an incredible number of fans ready to let the team play in the title game, and the Broncos are a mid-major.

This is Notre Dame we're talking about.

I know that's why many people think that the team is overrated and doesn't deserve to play for a national championship, but if you're ready to let Boise State play for one after beating up on glorified high schools, why not let the Irish do so after beating some real opponents?

The Irish deserve to play in the game, and there is simply no question about that. The only question remaining is who they should play.

I'm so glad you asked.

Nick Saban's No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide play against Auburn in the Iron Bowl on Saturday, and as long as the Tide aren't stunned by the 3-8 Tigers and win the SEC Championship Game, we should see the Irish play Alabama.

The Crimson Tide have remarkable similarities to the Irish, including the fact that both teams played against four ranked opponents and have stingy defenses that allow—wait for it—exactly 10.1 points per game.

Alabama is the best team in football, and despite a loss to Johnny Football and Texas A&M, the team is already No. 2 in the country and deserves a spot in the championship game.

Through all the moaning and groaning in the sports world surrounding them, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame absolutely must play in the championship game—they've earned it.

On January 7, I expect to see Notre Dame and Alabama square off in a defensive struggle for the national championship.