Alabama vs. Notre Dame: Power Ranking MVP Candidates for Championship Game

Richard Langford@@noontide34Correspondent IJanuary 7, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 08:  Heisman finalists linebacker Manti Te'o of the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish speaks during a press conference prior to the 78th  Heisman Trophy Presentation at the Marriott Marquis on December 8, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Alabama and Notre Dame are going to wage in a defensive battle in the BCS Championship Game on Monday. After all, this game features the nation's two best scoring defenses. 

This is going to put yards and points at a premium and it will also create a wide-open race for MVP.

In a low-scoring game, it can take just one big play to wind up as MVP. So, this is really anyone's prize. 

I think this is going to be a close game and that both teams have about an even shot at victory, which means players from both teams will have an equal starting ground for this ranking.

Also, since 2005, the championship game has awarded an MVP to one offensive and one defensive player. So, we've got one offensive and defensive player from each side, and they are ranked in order of their chances to win. 


No. 4: Everett Golson, QB, Notre Dame

Everett Golson has made big strides as the season has gone on. Gone is the shaky, mistake-prone quarterback that Brian Kelly would pull from games early in the season and here is a more polished, confident and, most importantly, resilient player. 

This game will certainly put those qualities to the test. Alabama allowed just 2,161 passing yards while picking off 17 passes and allowing just seven touchdowns. 

This means Golson is sure to hit some struggles in this game, and he will need to keep his decision-making strong. 

If Notre Dame is going to win, it is going to need Golson to make some big plays, and that makes him an excellent candidate to win this award. 


No. 3: C.J. Mosely, LB, Alabama 

C.J. Mosely is a talented and highly-visible linebacker for Alabama. He covers a ton of ground, and he is as sure a tackler as there is in college football. These skills led to him leading the Crimson Tide in tackles this year. 

Mosely would need more than tackles to win the MVP and he doesn't spend a lot of time blitzing, which doesn't make him a strong candidate for flashy sacks. 

However, he should stuff his share of plays, and he is great in coverage. He had two picks on the season, and he will get one in this game if Golson tests him too often. 


No. 2: A.J. McCarron, QB, Alabama

A.J. McCarron has had a spectacular year. The Crimson Tide no longer need their defense to win every game. McCarron can lead this offense to some serious points. 

For the season, he has thrown for 2,669 yards and 26 touchdowns to just three interceptions. He was also consistent—McCarron threw a touchdown pass in all but one game this season. 

If the Crimson Tide win, McCarron is almost a lock for this award. He will have to have decent numbers for that to happen. Also, while they have a strong running game, Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon share the workload in the backfield. 


No. 1: Manti Te'o, LB, Notre Dame

Manti Te'o has been the face of Notre Dame's spectacular season. He is the leader and heart of this unbeaten team, and his penchant for big plays is a big reason why. 

Te'o has 103 tackles this season, and he almost always seemed to be in the middle of the action when his team needed a big play.

This didn't just happen with his tackling either. Te'o hauled in an amazing seven interceptions this year.  

It is hard to imagine Notre Dame winning this game and Te'o not being recognized with this award.