Bowl Prediction total record: 20-14
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl
Prediction: TCU 27, Michigan State 23
Result: Michigan State 17, TCU 16
Prediction: LSU 34, Clemson 27
Result: Clemson 25, LSU 24
Allstate Sugar Bowl
AT&T Cotton Bowl
Prediction: Texas A&M 41, Oklahoma 33
Result: Texas A&M 41, Oklahoma 13
11. Discover BCS National Championship (Miami Gardens, FL) 8:30 PM ET ESPN
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are very much like the 2002 Ohio State Buckeyes. Notre Dame and Ohio State managed to have some luck on their side during the season and at times struggled offensively to score points. Ohio State's defense gave up an average of 12.2 points per game during the 2002 season and Notre Dame held their opponents this season to 10.3 points per game. It is going to be interesting to see if the Irish can do what the Buckeyes did just a decade ago.
Season in review:
|Pictured above: (5) LB Manti Te'o and (48) LB Dan Fox|
Source: NY Times
|Pictured above: quarterback AJ McCarron|
BCS Championship game analysis:
- Notre Dame and Alabama are both very physical football teams and depend on their defenses. The Fighting Irish are led by Heisman Trophy finalist senior linebacker Manti Te'o. The Irish defense held their opponents to 10.3 points per game this season and also held their opponents to an average of 92.4 rushing yards per game. The Irish offense is going to be the big question going into this game. The real question is going to be how sophomore quarterback Everett Golson handles the pressure of the Alabama defense and if he can manage the game and not make mistakes. Golson will need a big game from senior running back Theo Riddick, so the passing game can open up. Golson will need to get the ball to senior All-American tight end Tyler Eifert. Eifert leads the team with 624 receiving yards and four touchdowns.
Alabama comes in with a physical defense as well. The Crimson Tide defense led by junior All-American linebacker C.J. Mosley and junior All-American cornerback Dee Milliner. The Crimson Tide defense held their opponents to 11.6 points per game, 80.6 rushing yards per game, and only 172.3 passing yards per game. The statistics show that this Alabama defense can play, but they have shown vulnerability this season. The Texas A&M and Georgia games are the ones that stick out in my mind. The Crimson Tide offense has proved to be very talented again this season. Junior quarterback AJ McCarron threw for 2,669 passing yards, 26 touchdowns, and had only three interceptions during the regular season. The running game consisting of powerful running backs Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon have proved to be one of the biggest strengths this season, along with freshman wide receiver Amari Cooper and an offensive line led by senior All-American center Barrett Jones.
This game is going to come down to who can control the line of scrimmage. Notre Dame has to establish a solid rushing attack and avoid mental mistakes. Everett Golson needs to protect the ball and avoid big hits when he decides to take the ball and run with it. If the Irish offensive line begins to get beat upfront it is going to be very difficult for the Irish to win this ball game. Alabama is in better shape coming into this game, because they have a more experienced quarterback in AJ McCarron. The Crimson Tide can rely on their running game, but also have a passing game they can rely on with speedy receiver Amari Cooper. For Alabama to win their second straight National Championship, the offense needs to get points down in the red zone and the defense needs to avoid giving up big plays that keep the Irish in the game. I think this is going to be a very close game and we are going to see the Irish stay with the Crimson Tide until late in the fourth quarter. In the end, I feel it will be Nick Saban and his Crimson Tide winning their third National Championship in four years.
Prediction: Alabama 24, Notre Dame 21