The Fighting Irish rattled off 12 consecutive wins during the 2012/13 college football campaign, and with each passing week moved further up the rankings until finally becoming the number one team in the land.
Now, they have played their way into the BCS Championship game, but to win it, Notre Dame will be required to dethrone the reigning champs Alabama, who have dominate college football over recent years.
You have to go all the way back to 1988 and 24 years ago to find a Fighting Irish Champions in college football; so needless to say this years version of the team will look to bring Notre Dame’s football program back to the forefront of the sport.
The Crimson Tide shot themselves in the foot when they lost to Texas A&M 29-24 back in November and seemingly looked to be on the outside looking in at the BCS Championship game. But, thanks to losses from both Kansas State and Oregon, Alabama found themselves ranked number two in the country and back playing for a title once again this season.
This is the second time in as many years Alabama was able to reach the BCS Championship game after losing one time during the regular season. Last year they suffered a defeat to LSU and then return the favor in the BCS Title game to become the best team in college football.
Tonight, Alabama will seek its third championship in the last four seasons.
The Point Spread
The College Football odds list Alabama as a hefty -9 ½ point favorite over Notre Dame, a line that many consider to be drastically inflated. In fact, 67.7% of the public’s betting money has been placed on Notre Dame as we are now just hours away from kick off.
The Fighting Irish may have finished its season with an unblemished record, with 12 wins and no losses, but their ATS numbers tell a different story.
Notre Dames was a modest 7-5 against the spread this season and 3-9 following a game where they gained 200 yards rushing in the last matchup they played.
However, the Fighting Irish were 2-0 this year as and underdog and are 4-1 ATS in their last five games played on neutral territory.
Meanwhile, Alabama was 12-1 straight up on the year, but they owned a losing against the spread record, overall and when listed as favorites; both producing six point spread covers compared to seven losses.
That said, Alabama is 6-1 ATS in their last seven games on neutral territory and 4-1 ATS in their last five bowl games.
However, Alabama is only 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall and against non-conference opponents.
Both schools feature stand out defenses and the oddmakers have recognized this as well by posting an over/under total at just 40 ½ points.
Notre Dame’s offense put up an average of 26.8 points a game, which ranked 76 in the country this year. Their defense however, was the best in college football, as they held opponents to an average of 10.3 points per game.
Ten of Notre Dame’s 12 games have stayed under the posted total this season. Furthermore, 21 of their last 28 games have stayed under the number following a straight up win in their prior contest.
Alabama’s defense was right there with Notre Dame, as they held opponents to an average of 10.7 points per game, which ranked 2nd in the country. Their offense was considerably better than the Fighting Irish, as they were good for 38.5 points per game, which ranked 15th in college football this season.
The Crimson Tide eclipsed the total seven times this season, while staying under five and falling right on the number once. Alabama has stayed under the posted total in 8 of their last ten games versus non-conference opponents.
Alabama obviously brings the experience, but it could be possible that Notre Dame has destiny on their side. With the two stingy defenses both teams offer, you would be hard-pressed not to side with Notre Dame and the under, as you one would expect a tight, low scoring affair.
I am not buying it for one minute. Alabama will comes out in front of a national audience and light up the scoreboard en route to its third title in four years, crushing Notre Dame for the win, point spread cover; and a final score that will end up going over the posted total.BCS Parlay: Alabama -9 1/2 & Over 40 ½ at 5Dimes