Three keys to the BCS battle in South BeachPublished 12:39pm Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Well you have all suffered long enough. I know you have all been anxiously awaiting my BCS title game analysis and below you shall have it.
Please forgive the lazy, numbered format as it has become painfully evident that spiked eggnog is no way to enjoy the coming of a new year.
1. The biggest key to the game is Barrett Jones’ health.
It is hard enough for a quarterback to adjust to a new center given full spring and fall practices.
It is even more difficult when you only have a few weeks to prepare for a defense that only gave up two rushing touchdowns all year.
If Jones’ foot injury causes him to be less than his usual stellar self, there is no doubt that defensive lineman Louis Nix of the Golden Domers will disrupt many a play in the Alabama backfield.
Keep in mind: Barrett Jones was out for the 2010 Iron Bowl and his absence led to many tackles by Nick Fairley.
Players that are as smart and talented as Jones don’t come around often and the Tide will need him at his best on Jan. 7th.
My bet is Jones will be ready for the game, but I have a hard time believing he will be 100%.
2. Alabama’s experience in BCS moments should be a huge help to UA as well. Notre Dame is historically the king of college football, but for the past few years they been less regal and more ordinary.
The BCS Championship games are much more involved than the last time the Irish played in a title game back in 1988.
The long layoff and media overload takes a toll.
Alabama has dealt with these issues in two of the past three years.
Notre Dame is just now finding out what all of that nonsense is about.
Distractions will most likely play a part in this contest.
3. As I compare the schedules, I keep coming back to the fact that Notre Dame struggled with so many opponents that would have certainly been waxed by Alabama, such as BYU, Pittsburgh and Purdue.
Does anyone doubt the Tide would have walloped all three of these teams by double digits?
Then, there is the lone common opponent in Michigan.
Alabama made road kill of the Wolverines from the opening kickoff. Notre Dame looked less than golden while sputtering to a 13-6 win at home.
The bottom line is that Vegas has tabbed this game as a 10 point spread in Alabama’s favor for a reason.
While I could certainly entertain the notion that Notre Dame is a team of destiny, it is undeniable that the better team usually wins the game and in this case, that team is Alabama.
Therefore, my official prediction is Alabama 30, Notre Dame 17.
Before I sign off for the year, I want to say something about a few young men here in Alex City.
All too often, we are inundated with the sights and sounds of various horrors all over America.
The 24-hour beast must be fed and for some morbid reason, the general consensus is that the viewing public enjoys tragedy over triumph.
Well, for just one moment let me say that there was one group of young teenagers last week that really ought to make this community proud.
In a sign of solidarity, these kids all shaved their heads just as one of their good friends is battling with a form of cancer.
I won’t say anyone’s name, but I think most everyone knows who they are by now.
At a time when we are worried about random shootings and fiscal cliffs, it is so refreshing to see such a show of friendship.
Happy New Year Everyone!
Robinson is a columnist for The Outlook.