Notre Dame is used to being the underdog, but the spread it’s projected to lose by versus Alabama in the 2013 BCS Championship should light a fire underneath the team.
According to ESPN, the Fighting Irish are supposed to fall to the Crimson Tide, not in a nail-biter—a defensive struggle between the nation’s No. 1 and No. 2 ranked defenses—but in a sound, 10-point display of superiority.
That’s downright disrespectful.
Alabama may be more talented than Notre Dame from top to bottom. But no matter how much better it looks on paper, the Blue and Gold have been the better team on the field this year.
Unlike the Crimson Tide, the Fighting Irish still have a perfect season on the line. On its memorable road to the national title game, Notre Dame defeated the likes of now No. 6 Stanford and No. 11 Oklahoma. In doing so, Brian Kelly and company proved they’re more than capable of competing with the best teams in the country.
Sure, Alabama’s resume is impressive as well. It boasts wins over now No. 7 Georgia and No. 8 LSU.
But nothing—I repeat, nothing—either team has done all season long against elite competition warrants a 10-point spread in the Crimson Tide’s favor.
Nick Saban’s crew only defeated the Bulldogs and Tigers by four points apiece. Alabama barely snuck away with victories against them, and it couldn’t handle the heat against Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M. So that translates to a 10-point spread over Notre Dame?
Why in the world is that number so large?
The Fighting Irish beat the Sooners by 17 in Norman.
According to ESPN, the over/under for the contest is 41.5. That means the Crimson Tide is projected to win the title by a score of about 26-16. Notre Dame’s No. 1 ranked defense hasn’t allowed more than 20 points in regulation the entire year.
The numbers Las Vegas is spitting out just don’t make sense. But I’m sure Coach Kelly doesn’t mind—it's giving him plenty of bulletin board material to fire up his troops.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.