Two of the most-storied programs in major college history - Alabama and Notre Dame - will meet at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens for college football's holy grail - the BCS title and the Waterford Crystal Football that accompanies it. Game time is Monday, January 7, 2013 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. at 8 p.m.
According to the website cfbdatawarehouse, Alabama ranks 7th in all-time wins among FBS schools and Notre Dame ranks 4th.
In the BCS era (1998-present), Alabama and other SEC teams have dominated the college football landscape. The Crimson Tide have won two of the last three BCS titles and are 2-0 in BCS Championship games. SEC teams have won the last six BCS titles and would be undefeated in 8 appearances if it weren't for the SEC vs. SEC (Alabama vs. LSU) matchup last season.
Alabama (12-1, 7-1 SEC) could become the first team in the BCS era to repeat as champions.
Notre Dame (12-0) is making its first appearance in the BCS National Championship Game after finishing the regular season undefeated for the first time since 1988, the last time they won a National Championship. Notre Dame is making its fourth appearance in any BCS bowl game and is looking for its first win. Not only did the Irish lose in all three previous BCS bowl appearances, they were slaughtered by an average of 24 points.
From 1994-2006, Notre Dame lost 9 consecutive bowl games, including a pair of Fiesta Bowls and one Sugar Bowl. The 9 losses is tied for the longest bowl losing streak in history with Northwestern which just ended its dry spell this season.
Notre Dame's 9-bowl skid was broken with a Hawai'i Bowl win in 2008 and the Irish followed that with a 2010 Sun Bowl victory over Miami. The Irish went back to their losing ways in bowl games with a 18-14 loss to Florida State in last year's Champs Sports Bowl (now Russell Athletic Bowl).
Alabama ranks 8th on the list of teams for best bowl winning percentage (minimum 20 appearances) with a record of 34-22-3 (.602). The 34 wins are the most of any team in bowl history.
Notre Dame is 15-16 all-time in bowl games, but refused to participate in bowl games from 1926-1969 after an initial appearance in the 1925 Rose Bowl.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban could claim his 4th BCS title in 10 years. In addition to the two with Alabama, he also has a 2003 title as the head coach at LSU.
The teams enter the BCS National Championship Game leading the nation in scoring defense. Notre Dame finished the regular season with the top-ranked defense, allowing 10.3 points per game, while Alabama finished second allowing 10.7 points per game. On the offensive side of the ball, both teams average over 200 yards per game rushing.
This will be just the seventh all-time meeting between Notre Dame and Alabama and the first since 1987. Notre Dame holds a 5-1 record in the all-time series, including two bowl victories in the 1973 Sugar Bowl and the 1975 Orange Bowl. Alabama entered the 1975 Orange Bowl ranked No. 1, but the Fighting Irish took an early 7-0 lead en route to a 13-11 upset victory in Ara Parseghian’s final game as head coach at Notre Dame.
The CollegeFootballPoll.com (CFP) All-America team includes a trio of players on Alabama's offensive line - Barrett Jones, Chance Warmack and D.J. Fluker. Jones took home the Rimington Trophy that honors the top center, a year after claiming the Outland Trophy as best interior lineman.
Notre Dame's Manti Te'o is a CFP All-American who collected a host of awards and finished 2nd in this year's Heisman voting. Among the hardware Te'o received are the Butkus Award for top linebacker, Bednarik Award for top defender, and Maxwell Award for top player. He led the team this year with 101 tackles, of which 46 were solo tackles, and he ranks third in Notre Dame history for career tackles at 427. Te’o amassed a school-record seven interceptions in his third-straight 100+ tackle season.
The Congrove Computer Rankings' preseason projections had Alabama going 9-3 and Notre Dame 7-5. But the computer went on to pick 10 of 12 Irish games correctly during the season, and repeated that same success with the Crimson Tide. It now projects Alabama to claim another BCS Championship with a 6.42-point margin.