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ND could compete with anyone

November 15, 2012

My counterpart, Mr. Ron Haramia, has done an exceptional job skewering Notre Dame fans and the team itself.
But in this week’s column, Ron seems to think that if Notre Dame ends up making a BCS game (which is almost assured at this point) or the title game, they would be run off the field.
Not just run off the field.
You would think that Notre Dame would encounter such a throttling that Dana White might buy the game and sell it on Pay-Per-View.
I spent my Saturday watching college football.
I saw Notre Dame dominate Boston College. Sure, they only put up 21 points but they were methodical. And they aren’t going to try and put up 50 points just to please some curmudgeonly sportswriters.
I also saw the Texas A&M win over Alabama.
Now I’m not saying Notre Dame would or even could beat Alabama. But that game against Texas A&M gives me hope.
Remember a few weeks ago when some people were saying Alabama could beat the Jacksonville Jaguars or Kansas City Chiefs?
Now those are ridiculous claims.
But there was a faction of people that believed it. Now you know that in this age of recruiting and early entry into the NFL, in college, one team always has a chance against another.
So let’s fast forward to a potential BCS matchup of Notre Dame and Alabama.
When I was a kid, one of my favorite things was when sportswriter Lacy J. Banks would go through each matchup before a Chicago Bulls playoff series. He’d award a check mark to what team had the advantage in a certain area.
He’d then make a prediction.
Allow me to take a page from that legendary sportswriter’s book:
TALE OF THE TAPE
Position: Quarterback
Advantage: Alabama. AJ McCarron is probably the best QB in the SEC. Everett Golson is on the come up.
Position: Offensive Line
Advantage: Notre Dame. An experienced line may be the best in the country.
Position: Running Back
Advantage: Push. Alabama’s running backs are young and dangerous (See: TJ Yeldon) while Notre Dame’s 3-headed monster continues to close out games.
Position: Tight End/Wide Receiver
Advantage: Notre Dame. Despite the injury to Davaris Daniels, Tyler Eifert gives Notre Dame the advantage.
Position: Defensive Line
Advantage: Alabama’s front 4 will all be playing in the NFL
Position: Linebackers
Advantage: Notre Dame. Manti Te’o. Enough said. No. 5 on the roster but No. 1 in your hearts.
Position: Secondary
Advantage: Alabama. ND’s secondary has played well but are still young.
Position: Special Teams
Advantage: Alabama. Notre Dame may have the worst special teams of the top 50 teams in the country.
Coaching: Push. Both Kelly and Saban are at the top of their game.
Watching Texas A & M beat ‘Bama, one thing stuck out. The Crimson Tide don’t blow you away with speed on offense. Defense is a different story. Notre Dame can force turnovers on defense. That would leave Golson and that running game a short field to work with. An Alabama team with nothing to play for may also phone it in against Notre Dame.
Prediction: Alabama jumps out to an early 10-0 lead. The Irish are able to cobble together one scoring drive to make it 10-7 at the half. ‘Bama goes up 17-7 on a long run by Yeldon. Notre Dame responds with a kickoff return by George Atkinson III to make it 17-14. The score stays that way until late in the fourth quarter. Alabama has the ball late and is driving. Manti Te’o, who finished third in Heisman voting, picks of a McCarron pass and takes it all the way. Kyle Brindza misses the PAT to make things interesting but ND’s defense is stout until the end.
Notre Dame 20, Alabama 17.

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