That was when the No. 1 Crimson Tide watched helplessly as Notre Dame ran out the clock to preserve a 24-23 win against “Bear” Bryant’s boys. Since then, Alabama clashed with the Fighting Irish five more times, winning only once.
Then came Monday night.
Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide utterly swamped Notre Dame 42-14, winning its second Bowl Championship Series title in a row and its third in four years.
Legions of Georgia fans became Alabama fans for the night Monday to cheer the team that edged the Bulldogs out in the Southeastern Conference title game. ’Bama’s win marks the seventh year in a row that an SEC team has won the title. No other college conference can come close to boasting that.
The win signals – and we’ll use the word even if Saban won’t – a college football dynasty.
It also signals that a playoff system for college football’s highest division can’t come soon enough. A lopsided title victory might be fine if you’re a fan of the winner, but it hardly displays a genuinely equitable matchup of the two top teams, which fans deserve. Southern Cal’s 55-19 destruction of Oklahoma in the 2004 BCS title game leaps to mind.
The game made fans cheer – and occasionally wince as the blowout unfolded. But you can’t deny the sheer excitement. Congratulations to yet another dominant Alabama team.