How did I not see the result of the National Championship coming?

My judgment on this year’s BCS National Championship game between Notre Dame and Alabama was possibly my most incorrect, illogical judgment I have ever made on a sporting event in my entire life. I wasn’t sure that Notre Dame was going to win, but I was expecting it to be an extremely close game. Alabama only played two legitimate opponents all year, Texas A & M and LSU, losing to one of them and nearly losing to both. The Crimson Tide went on to defeat a variety of other powder-puff SEC teams, with weak non-conference games early on. Notre Dame defeated Stanford, Oklahoma and a variety of other schools with varying talent levels. So, although the SEC is the dominant conference in college football, the strength of these two teams’ opponents was fairly equal.

However, after seeing Oklahoma get dismantled by Texas A & M, I should have known that Notre Dame had no shot in this game. Oklahoma, arguably the Irish’s most impressive win of the season was completely overmatched, and was dominated by a team that Alabama nearly beat a week after a grueling a win over LSU. Look also at the one common opponent on the two teams’ schedule: The University of Michigan. The Wolverines had tons of hype going into the season, and an opening weekend matchup with Alabama was supposed to be the game of the week. However, it was an incredibly boring game with Alabama dominating all facets of the game winning 41-14, and everyone who watched that game knew the deficit could have been much worse. A few weeks later Michigan rolled into South Bend for a bout with the Irish. The game was highly competitive, dominated by the two defenses. Notre Dame squeaked by with a 13-6 victory. These results should have been enough to tell me this game would be extremely one sided, and that Notre Dame had no shot in this game. Some could argue that Notre Dame has grown throughout the season, and is a much different team now than when they played Michigan. Well Alabama played Michigan early too! Opening weekend for that matter. For as good as Alabama is, no one can tell me they did not improve from the beginning to the end of the season either!

The flash and resurgence of the Notre Dame football program tricked me into thinking that the Irish actually had a chance in this game. But after seeing the Irish’s two signature wins, Oklahoma (getting crushed by Texas A & M in the Cotton Bowl) and Stanford (barely squeaking by Wisconsin, a team who should never have been in the Rose Bowl), I should have been smarter, knowing the Irish had no chance. It was so blatent just by looking at the two teams’ schedules and opponents, along with Alabama’s immeasurable experience; it should have been an obvious choice for me to pick Alabama to blow out Notre Dame in the title game.

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Connor Doyle

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