The Alabama Crimson Tide steamrolled the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Monday Night, winning their second-consecutive BCS National Championship.
Eagerly anticipated for over a month, the game was essentially over in under a quarter. Alabama jumped on Notre Dame right from the get-go and never let up.
It's a rough end to the career of Manti Te'o and the other Irish seniors, many of whom helped rebuild a broken powerhouse into a reinvigorated contender. But tonight isn't about lamenting the Irish; it's about celebrating the Tide.
Let's look at Alabama's biggest winners from Monday night.
RB Eddie Lacy
Put in the frankest terms I can find, Lacy dominated the game from start to finish. He finished with 157 total yards and two touchdowns on only 22 touches.
Notre Dame's defense was supposed to be able to match up with Alabama physically. No one was surprised (or at least THAT surprised) at how the Tide's defense stifled Everett Golson and Co. That was supposed to happen. But the way their offense torched Notre Dame was incredible.
No player better exemplified that than Lacy, who was seemingly able to throw Notre Dame defenders off of him at will. He initiated contact rather than taking it, the sign of a true power-running back.
If he decides to declare for the NFL draft, this game will improve his stock immensely. He was already considered one of the top five backs in the class, but this could vault him all the way top No. 1.
Huge game from Lacy.
Alabama Offensive Line
They functioned as one, cohesive unit as they did all season, dominating the point of attack against Notre Dame.
The Irish front seven is nothing to scoff at (or so we thought). Players like Louis Nix, Stephon Tuitt and Manti Te'o were supposed to give Alabama an SEC-redolent challenge in the trenches.
But Barrett Jones, Chance Warmack, D.J. Fluker and the rest of the lot would have none of that. They made Notre Dame look more Sun Belt than SEC, pushing them around like part of the practice squad.
In a time where offenses are finding ways to win outside of the trenches, it was refreshing to see Alabama dominate in such a traditional way. This whole line has an NFL future ahead of them.
What can you say that hasn't already been said?
After waiting 14 seasons to win his first national championship, Saban now has his third in four years. Much will be made of how Alabama outplayed Notre Dame on Monday, and all of that will be justified. But let us not overlook how much they out-coached them, too.
The Crimson Tide had a better game plan, a better system and a better leader on Monday. They made winning look easy, expected, methodical.
Parity has been alive and well in sports these past few years. We didn't know when, or if, we would get to see another true dynasty in action.
Nick Saban is coming very close to answering that question.
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