SEC Football: Surviving Stacked Conference Gives Alabama Edge over Notre Dame

Ben ChodosCorrespondent IIDecember 1, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 01:  The Alabama Crimson Tide celebrate after winning the 2012 SEC Championship against the Georgia Bulldogs at Georgia Dome on December 1, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

No. 2 Alabama fought its way through an insanely competitive SEC with just one battle wound, and such difficult competition each week will give the Crimson Tide an edge over Notre Dame in the national championship game.

The final step in the gauntlet was a showdown with Georgia in the SEC title game, and this game was everything it was billed to be.

The two teams went back and forth in a first-class slug fest. There were 43 second-half points, but when the chips were down, Alabama’s defense and running game delivered.

Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon each had over 150 yards rushing and combined for three scores.

Quarterback A.J. McCarron didn't post eye-catching statistics, but when the Crimson Tide were down in the fourth quarter, he dropped a deep ball directly into Amari Cooper's arms for what ended up being the game-winning touchdown.

Once again, Nick Saban’s players came through in the game’s most important moments.

Victories over LSU and Georgia—and a defeat to Texas A&M—have taught this team valuable lessons and will give the team an infinite amount of confidence heading into the national title game against Notre Dame. 

The Fighting Irish’s schedule has certainly not been easy this year, and they have beaten four ranked teams. However, at this point in the season, wins over then No. 10 Michigan State and then No. 18 Michigan are nothing to brag about.

The two most impressive Irish victories this season came against Stanford and Oklahoma. While dismantling the Sooners in Norman is certainly an admirable accomplishment, this was not more impressive than the Tide’s ability to pull off a comeback win in Death Valley.

Notre Dame deserves credit for its other noteworthy victory against Stanford, but this win does not compare with Alabama’s triumph over Georgia.

The Crimson Tide do have a loss on their record, and because of this, the Irish deserve the No. 1 seed. However, both team’s most impressive victories this season show that Alabama is the more seasoned team.

Against Stanford and Oklahoma, the Irish aced Football 101. The Tide had to step up and earn top marks in advanced courses because they play in the SEC, and that is exactly what they have done this season. 

The Crimson Tide’s road to the national title game has been more difficult, and because of this, they will be sharper and more aggressive than Notre Dame. After winning the SEC, Alabama will go to win its second consecutive national title.