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There are two things that I feel fairly confident about predicting in the 2013 BCS National Championship Game—Alabama is going to win this game, and it's going to be really, really boring.
As in, even more boring than it was a season ago, when Alabama defeated LSU in a dull game that was recorded and re-watched endlessly by insomniacs everywhere for therapeutic purposes.
If you love smash-mouth, defensive football and 14-10 scores, you'll probably love this game. You'll also love it if you enjoy taking naps during games and listening to announcers scramble as they try to find unique ways to analyze two-yard runs.
I'll get into exactly why I think this game will be boring in a minute. For now, why do I think Alabama will win?
Let me count the ways.
The Crimson Tide have the best offensive line in the country. They have, in my opinion, the best defense in the land as well. They have a pair of running backs in Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon who absolutely punish defenses. They have plenty of players who won a national championship last year.
Oh, and head coach Nick Saban has proven to be really, really good in marquee games and has his Alabama team mentally prepared.
Alabama has beaten three top-10 teams, has the more seasoned quarterback in AJ McCarron and has more pure talent across the roster. The Crimson Tide deserve to be 10-point favorites (via Bovada).
But despite all of those factors, I still expect this to be a close game throughout. I think the Notre Dame defense will keep things close, and I wouldn't be surprised to see the Fighting Irish come out with a few tricks up their sleeve and score an early touchdown.
And that's where the fun will end. Notre Dame might tease us with the possibility of an exciting game, but if the Irish score more than 14 points, I'll be shocked. And frankly, if Alabama scores more than 24 points, I'll be just as surprised.
This game is going to be a knockdown, drag-out contest marked by tough defense, a whole lot of three-yard runs and a fair amount of field goals.
Everett Golson isn't Johnny Manziel, so I highly doubt that the Notre Dame offense will really test this Alabama defense. On the other side of the ball, I think Alabama has plenty of playmakers but will be surprised at the resistance that it faces from Manti Te'o and the Fighting Irish defense.
Plus, games like this always suffer from the Hype Factor. As in, we've waited so long for a college football game that means something, we all come into the game with unrealistic expectations for how good the game will be.
We all want an instant classic after such a long delay, and we often are far more disappointed by a decent game than we would otherwise be.
Such will be the case tonight. I'm picking Alabama to win, 16-10.
And I'm predicting that I'll start flipping the channel or begin playing some PlayStation 3 by the third quarter.
Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets have a feeling that my Mass Effect playthrough will end up trumping this game.