If there’s one outcome-determinative piece of information I can give you in advance of tonight’s college football national championship game between #1 Notre Dame and #2 Alabama, it would be this: Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron brought along thirty pairs of shoes for the occasion. Everything else you’ll read is nonessential.
That said, I’ll add my prediction, which isthat Alabama will win by about ten points. I initially was in Clay Travis’ camp, thinking that Alabama would win in a blowout, but I was swayed by this analysis, and this part in particular:
The current SEC BCS streak . . . includes Ohio State teams that mistakenly believed what they’d done in the Big Ten was meaningful and record-setting offensive powerhouses (Oklahoma and Oregon) that saw their fast-break theatrics grind to a halt. What recommends Notre Dame more than anything, and what has me convinced this will be a close game, is that they’ve gutted out wins, that they are not in the grips of hubris, that they won’t be looking around confusedly when it’s fourth-and-9, wondering what a punt formation is. Notre Dame will be comfortable in a give-and-take jawbreaker contest, and that’s why they’ll do OK.
Still, greater than making a formidable splash in the Heisman race as a defender, Manti T’eo’s most notable achievement may have been making everyone forget about his team’s offense. Even if Barrett Jones’ foot falls off and McCarron’s brutal tattoo becomes lethally infected, I still see the Tide taking this one because, as the drunk lady in the Music City Bowl concession line reminded everyone, Nick Saban has had a whole month to prepare for one game, and that means his team– unlike the N.C. State Wolfpack team the drunk lady’s husband favored– will win.
(And maybe some of McCarron’s shoes belong to his new girlfriend, Auburn graduate and Miss Alabama 2012 Katherine Webb.)