Alabama Football: Crimson Tide Are Still Favorite for National Championship

Josh Schoch@JoshSchochAnalyst IIINovember 23, 2012

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 17:  Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks on during a defensive huddle against the Western Carolina Catamounts at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 17, 2012 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Nick Saban's Alabama Crimson Tide are rolling right now and have to be considered the favorites to win the BCS Championship Game over the undefeated Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

With a stingy defense, a running game led by T.J. Yeldon and Eddie Lacy, and the development of quarterback A.J. McCarron, Alabama looks poised to win back-to-back national championships this season.

While the team still has to make it to the BCS title game before it can win it, I don't see the team having much trouble doing so.

The Iron Bowl will be the team's last regular game of the season. While the Auburn Tigers might normally put up a fight in this game, they have been among college football's biggest disappointments this season.

At 3-8, including a 0-7 record in the SEC, the Tigers are in danger of going 0-8 in the SEC for the first time in school history.

The Tigers' passing attack is inconsistent at best, the ground game is no longer as fearsome as it once was and the team has failed to beat a single good opponent all season. The team's three victories have come against UL-Monroe (OT), New Mexico State and Alabama A&M this season.

While the Tigers put up a fight against LSU, it's been a horrible season for Auburn, including a 38-0 shellacking by the Georgia Bulldogs two weeks ago.

Speaking of those Bulldogs, once Alabama blows by Auburn, the team will likely have to face No. 3 Georgia in the SEC Championship game.

The Bulldogs are going to be a much bigger challenge than the pitiful Tigers of Auburn. Georgia was nearly perfect this season, with the only blemish being a 35-7 loss to No. 6 South Carolina in early October.

The Bulldogs rank in the top 40 in the country in both rushing and passing offense and rank in the top 20 in both points scored and points allowed per game.

With quarterback Aaron Murray and running back Todd Gurley leading the way on offense, the team has managed to put together a great season, going 10-1, including a huge victory over No. 2 Florida on October 27, which put Georgia in place to play in the SEC Championship game.

However, the Bulldogs will have to play a tough Alabama team that has the No. 1 defense in the country and is scoring over 38 points per game.

The Crimson Tide will be able to stifle Georgia's offense in this game, with the Bulldogs unlikely to score more than 20 points in the contest.

Alabama simply has more experience against Top 25 opponents this season, going 3-1. The team blew out No. 8 Michigan and No. 11 Mississippi State, while doing everything it needed to top No. 5 LSU on the road.

While the team did lose to Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M, "Johnny Football" has been tearing it up at the college level.

Georgia, on the other hand, is 1-1 against Top 25 opponents, including the embarrassing loss to the Gamecocks.

Alabama has been much better against quality opponents, and the team should be able to top the Bulldogs en route to the BCS Championship Game.

On the biggest stage, the team will be playing against No. 1 Notre Dame, as long as the Irish stay undefeated against a USC team that will be without star quarterback Matt Barkley.

The Irish are tied with Alabama for the top defense in football, with both teams allowing 10.1 points per game this season.

This is going to be a game of defensive stars, including Manti Te'o of Notre Dame and Dee Milliner and C.J. Mosley of Alabama.

Points will be at a premium, and I'll take Alabama's offense over that of the Irish any day of the week.

A.J. McCarron becoming a good quarterback alone makes this team formidable, but the ground game is still there. While it isn't Mark Ingram or Trent Richardson in the backfield, the Tide still have Lacy and Yeldon giving the team the 27th-ranked rushing attack in the league, averaging 209.4 yards per game.

Notre Dame has a good ground game of its own, but Theo Riddick and Cierre Wood are nowhere near as talented as Lacy and Yeldon.

Alabama has the edge over Notre Dame, and as far as I'm concerned, the Crimson Tide remain the favorites to win the national championship once again this season.


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