In the end, it wasn't even close. And really, you have to wonder why we thought it would be.
Nick Saban took another step toward establishing himself as one of the greatest coaches in the history of college football Monday night, as his Alabama Crimson Tide crushed Notre Dame, 42-14, at the Orange Bowl in Miami.
'Bama showed their superiority from the start, scoring on their very first drive and racking up 202 total yards in the first quarter alone. By halftime, with the score 28-0, the result was inevitable. The Irish looked shell-shocked and, more to the point, completely overmatched. The gap in talent was obvious.
In the end, 'Bama had rolled their way to 529 total yards (the Irish only managed 302), with 264 coming through the air and 265 on the ground. Both Eddie Lacy (20 carries, 140 yards) and T.J. Yeldon (21 carries, 108 yards) managed 100-yard rushing days as the massive 'Bama offensive line overwhelmed Notre Dame's front seven, and for large stretches of the game, Notre Dame's star linebacker, Manti Te'o, was nowhere to be found.
With the win, Saban claimed his fourth national title, including his third at Alabama. He's built a dynasty down in Tuscaloosa, and there's no telling how many more titles he can win should he decided to stay for another few years.
Asked afterward to explain his massive success, Saban was, as always, understated and to the point.
Said Saban: "We've had a lot of really great football players who've worked really hard. Because we've had a great team, we've been able to have a significant amount of success."
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