I hate to do this, because I've been doing it all year, and I've been wrong all year. All I'm doing is inviting myself to criticism from the many Notre Dame fans who have been wagging their collective fingers in my face and saying, "I told you so, Rapp."
But once again, I'm predicting a Notre Dame loss, this time in the National Championship game against Alabama.
As the old saying goes, fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me; fool me all season long, and somebody is guaranteed to note in the comments that I should keep my day job even though, you know, this actually is my day job.
The issue I see for Notre Dame in this game is that it plays a similar style to Alabama—stout defense, strong running game, play-action passing built—but doesn't have the same level of talent across the board that the Crimson Tide possess.
Has Notre Dame faced an offensive line as strong as Alabama's this season? No. Does Notre Dame have the athletes at wide receiver or a steady quarterback like A.J. McCarron? Nope.
Is Notre Dame battle-tested in the elite SEC like Alabama? No they aren't, though the Fighting Irish have played a tough schedule.
Don't get me wrong, I think this will be a close game. Notre Dame's defense is too good to simply be brushed aside, and while I feel Alabama will turn more to the passing game to neutralize the excellent front seven of the Irish, the Crimson Tide still make their money pounding the rock.
Don't be shocked if we get a game just slightly more exciting than last year's National Championship Game, and just slightly more boring than writing a research paper or, uh, painting the hallway.
Which team wins?
I mean, if you love three-yard carries, play-action passing and a whole lot of defensive celebrations, this game will be your heaven. For the rest of us, not so much.
I just think Alabama has too much an advantage in talent and experience in games against top-level opponents to lose this one. Finally, my prediction of a Notre Dame loss will come true.
Well, at least I think it will. If not, I guess I'll have to look into that whole day job thing.
Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets are Rolling Tide in the National Championship Game (and hate themselves for it).