The expectations for the 2013 BCS National Championship are through the roof. When Alabama and Notre Dame hit the field come January, fans across the country will expect nothing less than an instant classic.
Most will have the DVR ready and are hoping this is a matchups that will go down in history as one of the greatest games ever played.
The problem is that Alabama and Georgia just played one of those games in the SEC Championship—a game that many say will be remembered for quite some time, as it came down to the final seconds with nonstop action.
Alabama and Notre Dame really have to follow up that type of game? Will it really live up to the hype? Could it possibly be better than the SEC Championship? Is there even such thing as a game better than the one we just saw?
I think so. Here's why.
The part of this game that is exciting to most college football fans is the fact that these are two historic programs battling it out. This isn't a game between one powerhouse playing against a team trying to take that next step. Both of these programs have held their own over the years and have produced 24 national championships when you combine their crystal footballs together.
When Alabama and Georgia played last weekend, the Crimson Tide were playing a Bulldogs team that was looking to become somebody. Georgia hasn't won a national championship since 1980 and was looking to give fans something more than Herschel Walker to cheer about.
With Notre Dame and Alabama, the memories and accomplishments are endless. You can talk about great players, national titles, Heisman Trophy winners and great NFL players for days. The history and tradition go back decades and are part of this matchup that will bring so many people and generations together.
These two teams have only played each other six times, but both fanbases can respect everything that the other team has accomplished.
The national championship matchup will draw in fans who don't watch college football religiously, while the SEC Championship audience was more of your average die-hard fanbase. Because of this alone, the game in January will likely be better than the SEC title matchup.
Matchup of Two Teams
Most would assume that because Notre Dame is not an SEC team, the Irish aren't physical enough on either side of the ball to stand a chance against Alabama. However, the Irish have a front seven that is bigger than most SEC teams and are talented enough to slow down the running game of the Crimson Tide.
The defense is ranked sixth in the country and has held eight teams to under 100 rushing yards throughout the year.
Georgia came into the matchup as a really inconsistent team that was sketchy on defense due to suspensions. We weren't quite sure which team was going to show up, and it turns out we got a little bit of both during the SEC Championship. The Bulldogs played two completely different halves against Alabama, having an 11-point lead at one point and then blowing it all later in the game.
Notre Dame has been accused of playing down to its opponents throughout the year, but it finds ways to win each and every week. While there haven't been the blowouts you would expect from a national championship caliber team, Notre Dame still finds ways to win, which is really all that matters, especially in this matchup.
The Irish have the athletes to make this an interesting game, whether college football fans across the country want to admit it or not. They also should be treated with the same respect that Georgia was given heading into the SEC Championship.
Will the game come down to the final seconds like the SEC title game did?
I highly doubt it. After all, it isn't very often that we see a game end the way that one did. But that shouldn't be the only thing on everybody's mind when judging this matchup. If an entire game is based on the final two minutes of a game, why in the world do we play four quarters?
The tradition and history of these teams will create a magic that college football hasn't seen in quite some time. Having the Irish back in the national championship and playing Alabama really is a dream matchup that couldn't have been drawn up any better.
Past national championships really haven't lived up to the hype, but this one should. It includes a team that is hungry for success against a team that is itching to add another title to the trophy case.
Alabama may be the more talented team of the two, but there is something special about this Irish team that has made things interesting all year long.
I don't expect things to change in the month of January.
Regardless of who wins the title game, you can expect it to be one of those games that we will be talking about for quite some time.
Odds This Game Turns out to Be a Classic: 80 percent chance