Alabama vs. Notre Dame: The BCS Title Game College Football Needs and Deserves
A few weeks ago, I made my thoughts on the BCS National Championship Game as clear as the crystal football they’ll be vying for. Give me Alabama and Notre Dame, and save the “potential” chaos to come for another season.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish victory over USC secured half of this outcome, and the rest came down to the SEC Championship Game. And what a game we were treated to.
The Alabama Crimson Tide's thrilling 32-28 victory over the Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC Championship Game sealed the deal, and the remaining games played to form. No unexpected losses—although there were a few close calls—and college football’s biggest brands will meet up in Miami on Jan. 7.
As I stated in my prior plea, it’s nothing personal, Georgia fans. This is strictly business. I see your beef, Florida Gators, and I can’t argue much of the points you're attempting to make. The term “business” in my rationale has never been more appropriate to this discussion.
Notre Dame and Alabama—despite your strong love or disdain for either—is very good for the booming business that is college football. The strong opinions on both sides will generate interest, and it will generate more eyeballs than ever before.
This will be the most viewed college football game of all time, and it’s going to shatter the current records in place.
The Notre Dame-USC game—a matchup that was meaningless for one team and everything for the other—pulled in a 10.3 Nielson overnight rating. This crushed the previous high of 7.0, which was Alabama’s game at LSU on Nov. 3.
This was also a higher number than every BCS game last season outside the national championship, which drew a 13.8. In terms of regular-season implications, this was the highest regular-season number since 2006.
Keep in mind, this kind of intrigue came from the masses wanting to see Notre Dame get into the big dance (or stumble) against a team only looking to play spoiler. The next one will be for it all against Alabama, the college football giant and the current champion.
You will tune in whether you root for one of them or not. Even if you despise both of these teams, you’re curious to see what happens.
It’s just fine to admit it, and you can root for both to lose if you so desire. You’ll leave disappointed, but as I mentioned in my previous case for this game, your intentions need no justifying.
Love ‘em, hate ‘em, despise ‘em, you will still watch ‘em. It’s the kind of matchup that will drive interest in your favorite sport, and that is good news for all of us.
The rest of the BCS games are far from a guarantee in terms of providing marquee matchups on a yearly basis.
The automatic qualifiers give teams (like Wisconsin in 2012) a shot at playing on the marquee stage despite having five losses. The at-large bids are more about money than meaningful matchups, and the higher-ups involved in these negotiations will decide what they believe we would like to see while operating with some very loose criteria.
This is the BCS in a nutshell, and a process we’ve grown accustomed to seeing. In the case of the national title game, however, they nailed it, and that game will benefit greatly from it.
I’m eager to see how Notre Dame holds up against Alabama. I’m curious to see if this rebuilt Alabama team is capable of winning back-to-back championships, an incredible feat given today’s game.
This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to storylines, and we will have a full month to hit on every angle you wanted to hear and many of those you don’t.
The BCS isn’t perfect—and that’s putting it mildly—but it stumbled into a great one here. Whether you believe it will be a close one or not, the buzz surrounding the greatest game on earth will approach a stratosphere we’ve never seen.
And that is very good for business.
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