Alabama and Notre Dame meet for the first time since 1987. The Crimson Tide are 0-2 in bowl games, including the 1973 Sugar Bowl.
Since the dawn of the BCS era, this is the game many of us have been waiting for. “We” being the purists of the game.
Don’t get me wrong, USC and Texas was great and deserves a spot among the top games in the history of the sport. Ohio State and Miami also etched a classic between college football powers. But Monday night something different will be in the air in Miami. The aura of college football history filling Sun Life Stadium may go uncontested for years, or decades before anything close to this match-up develops again as we transition in to the era of a four-team playoff.
Notre Dame. Alabama. This is college football history at its finest. Storied college football programs go toe-to-toe for the ultimate prize, and if that does not get you excited about the sport, then what possibly could?
We’re talking about two programs with a combined total of 25 claimed national championships and 1,691 total wins.
The Four Horsemen. Win one for the Gipper. The Golden Domers and Touchdown Jesus.
The Bear. Goal Line Stand. The Kick. The most bowl victories in college football history.
These are two programs who were among college football’s elite on a routine basis in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. They started to fall back to the pack a little bit in the 1990s, leaving fan bases either starving for a return to glory or stuck in their old ways believing their favorite programs could still do no wrong and it would only be a matter of when, not if their school would get back to the top.
Alabama has been back on top of the college football world for a few years now after a long-awaited return to such national prominence. The hiring of Nick Saban resurrected the program and brought Alabama back to a point where winning SEC titles is not a goal, but an expectation that is penciled in at the beginning of the season.
Notre Dame is hoping that this season marks the beginning of a similar level of success. Despite running the table with a 12-0 record, holding the top spot in the polls and BCS standings, road victories at Oklahoma and USC along with home wins against Michigan, Stanford and BYU, the Fighting Irish are a decided underdog against the Crimson Tide, the defending BCS champions.
But Monday night will not be Joe Montana vs. Joe Namath. It is not Knute Rockne vs. Bear Bryant. It is not even Rudy vs. Forest Gump (Forest Gump an easy 13 point favorite in a neutral theater by the way).
When the game kicks off history will be just another backstory with no impact on the game itself. … Continue Reading