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UA vs. Notre Dame: A 40-year history

Published 10:36am Thursday, December 6, 2012

Was there any question whether or not a Southeastern Conference team would be in the national championship?
The answer is no, but the surprise may be why there isn’t a second SEC team in the big game, just like last year.
Another question seems to be the credibility of the media frenzy towards Notre Dame.
Everyone knows the SEC is only concerned with one conference-the SEC.
Go to Las Vegas, where there are no clocks in the casinos, you know, they seal themselves off from all communication to the outside world.
In the press box during any SEC game, there are few, if any updates pertaining to “other” games around the country.
The SEC has won six consecutive BCS titles and without a doubt, the only priority is to win No. 7.
Unless the opponent is from the SEC, all other teams are secondary, even Notre Dame.
For the younger fans, Notre Dame won its last title back in 1988.
Now for the older and wiser Alabama fans, they also know that Notre Dame holds a commanding 5-1 lead in the all-time series and that Paul “Bear” Bryant is winless in his four tries against the Irish.
When Bryant was asked about Notre Dame, he would mention how it was more important to beat that “cow college” over at Auburn.
The BCS finally got it right and burped out an epic matchup between two storied programs, and you can bet the BCS television ratings will blow up bigger than the Mount St. Helens Bowl.
I know all about Notre Dame and that goes back to the days of Ara Parseghian.
I also know the Associated Press gave them all 60 first place votes last Sunday and that is alarming.
My point is this: knowing that Ohio State (12-0) is sitting in the No. 3 spot makes me wonder if the AP is posturing itself for another split title.
Back in 2003, they did not like the way the BCS placed Oklahoma in the national championship game against LSU.  They and the coaches’ poll voted USC as the No. 1 team, but the computers made it so the Sooners played LSU.
The AP does not like the BCS and it would just love to split the championship again.
If Alabama defeats Notre Dame but it is not a convincing win, then watch out for a split-vote and an undefeated Buckeyes move into the top spot.
I know the Alabama fans will say I am way off base here, but to predict the future, you must first study history, which I certainly do.
Unlike the coaches poll, who is mandated by the BCS to vote the winner of the championship game the BCS trophy, the AP can do what they wish. They have been awarding the national championship trophy since 1936 and there are some split champions from previous years.
Forty years ago (1973), Alabama and Notre Dame split the championship. The Irish, coached by Ara Parseghian defeated the Crimson Tide 24-23 in the Sugar Bowl and finished 11-0, subsequently being awarded the AP championship. Alabama under Bear Bryant finished 11-1 but was awarded the coaches’ trophy.
Until next time.
Meyers is a college football columnist.