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Advertising overkill and SEC pride aside, let’s discuss the BCS national championship

Published 10:11am Thursday, January 3, 2013

Unless you haven’t noticed and do not count, there are 124 teams who had the chance to play in a bowl game in 2012. Out of the 124 teams, only 70 could withstand the pressures of a possible bowl-berth.
It all began in New Mexico and will come to a merciful end next Monday evening in Miami.  We have swallowed our pride and also had to stomach
a few foods branded bowl games.
The ‘push-a-way bowls”-Idaho Potato; Beef O’ Brady; Little Caesars; Kraft; Buffalo Wild Wings; Chick-fil-A; Outback; Orange and the Sugar Bowl, now how is that for some festive holiday programming?
Throw in some advertising genus type names such as Russell Athletic (everyone in Alexander City’s favorite), Capital One, Alamo, Meineke  and Belk.
Let’s not stop without going a bit geographical, floral and directional with New Mexico (previously mentioned), New Orleans, Las Vegas, Hawaii, Heart of Dallas, Sun, Rose, Cotton and Poinsettia.
I won’t even try and figure out the purpose of the BBVA Compass or the bowls.
The Holiday, Armed Forces, Liberty and Independence have some value, but I can’t put my finger on it right now.
The Music City and the Pinstripe bowls were really one in the same. Only the names were changed to protect the innocent.
The Pinstripe game should have taken place where the Music City game was played, in Detroit, Michigan.
I would have named it the “Play at your own risk” bowl.
Then there was the Gator Bowl, where a very bad Mississippi State team was dissected by a bunch of nerds from Northwestern of the Big Ten Conference … let’s face facts here, any team from the state of Mississippi should never attempt to compete with a team of potential brain surgeons.
Can you imagine this, not only Northwestern won, but Stanford, and Vanderbilt were also victorious.  Duke was defeated, but they are a basketball school.
Just in — There will be no student-athletes leaving early for the NFL from any of these schools-imagine that.
When most of the country is enjoying the holiday season, the SEC fans are fattening up on bowl wins.
Every time an SEC team wins a bowl game, they begin that superiority chant.
In the far distance, I can now hear the chants of “S.E.C” from the conference honks.
Their humble approach to everything SEC just amazes me. Before I forget, they are the best college football conference on this planet.
At the time of this column, the SEC is a mediocre 3-2, with four games remaining, including the national championship game with Alabama and Notre Dame next Monday evening.
I will predict that the Southeastern Conference will come away from the 2012-13 bowl season with a 5-4 record.
Moving forward to the national championship game, I have given this some serious thought.
One moment I like Alabama, the next I like Notre Dame and their chances to stop the SEC dominance.
As a college football purist, I watch just about every game I can during the season, not just one specific team or conference. That is why this game is in my opinion, a tough call to make.
During the season, both teams have been dominant, and at times not so much, with both teams escaping losses because of the opponents’ failure to execute, rather than either Notre Dame or Alabama overwhelming their opponent.
The running game and the line of scrimmage should favor Alabama.  The Tide gave up an average of 79 yards per game and the Irish allowed 92 yards per game.
Alabama gave up nine rushing touchdowns, but Notre Dame only relinquished two on the ground.
Both teams are about dead even in sacks and passes intercepted.
Notre Dame and Alabama are ranked number one and number two, respectively, in scoring defense, and in red zone defense, Alabama is second and Notre Dame is third.
If there is a glaring statistic that I feel will determine the outcome, it is in the area of the red zone offense.
Alabama (15th) had 57 red zone opportunities, scoring points on 51 drives. They managed to score 30 rushing touchdowns and passed for 11 more. Bama kicked 10 field goals.
Notre Dame (77th) entered the red zone 58 times, scoring 46 times, but had to settle for 19 field goals.
They rushed for 18 touchdowns while passing for only nine TDs.
Finishing what they start will give Alabama the edge and another national championship under head coach Nick Saban.
Until next time.
Meyers is a college football columnist for The Outlook.