Notre Dame vs. Alabama or Notre Dame vs. Georgia: What's the Irish's Best Bet?

Luke PashkeCorrespondent INovember 25, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 24:  Linebacker Manti Te'o #5 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish celebrates his teams 22-13 victory over the USC Trojans at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 24, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

With Notre Dame's thrilling victory over USC last night, the Irish officially booked their ticket to Miami and finished their regular season undefeated for the first time since 1988. The Irish are headed by an elite defense that dominates opposing offenses and a steadily improving offense that gets better with each game.

Once again, ND tops the BCS rankings at No. 1 this week, and now all they have to do is wait to see who they will face in the BCS title game. Their opponent will be determined this coming weekend when Georgia and Alabama face off in the SEC championship game.

UGA, which sits at No. 3 in the BCS standings right behind Alabama, has been skyrocketing up the BCS rankings since it defeated Florida in October. The Crimson Tide looked like they would be out of title contention a few weeks ago when they were surprisingly defeated by Texas A&M, but after a few losses from Oregon and Kansas State, they have been given a second chance.

Now obviously, you don't reach the SEC title game if you're not a talented team, but one of these teams is a much better matchup for the Irish.

Alabama is led by arguably the best coach in the nation in Nick Saban, and the Tide have proven that they are fatal in big-time games, especially national championships. Saban has yet to lose a BCS title game and behind his tenacious defense and his consistent scheme, teams are hard-pressed to put points on the board. The Tide's offense takes care of the ball well and does a great job of relying on their talented offensive line to effectively move the chains. As a program, they have been the epitome of consistency and are a tough squad to bet against, especially this season.

On the other hand, you have UGA, with plenty of big-time names but far less consistency. Mark Richt has yet to coach in a BCS title game and has struggled in years past in big-time games. The Bulldogs are also more turnover prone and have played down to inferior opponents several times this season. They have an explosive offense but have been stifled before, and they're really not an easy team to trust.

The South Carolina Gamecocks completely blew the doors off UGA 35-7 back on Oct. 6, and although that was early in the year, it still happened and proved that Richt's team isn't completely flawless.

I can't say that this is a cut-and-dry answer, but if I were to trust a coach and his team in a national championship game, it would probably be Nick Saban and his squad against anyone.

Georgia has been a great story and there is talent all over their depth chart, but due to their inexperience in title games, paired with their inconsistent play this year, they are definitely the Irish's best bet in winning their first national championship since 1988.