Notre Dame-Alabama BCS title game? Fans can only dream
BY JOE COWLEY firstname.lastname@example.org November 4, 2012 8:36PM
SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 20: Danny Spond #13 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish celebrates with teammates including Manti T'eo #5 after intercepting a pass on the next to last play of the game against the BYU Cougars at Notre Dame Stadium on October 20, 2012 in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated BYU 17-14. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Updated: November 4, 2012 8:38PM
Glenn Sharpe can sleep better at night.
Don’t remember him? He was the Miami defensive back who was flagged for one of the worst pass-interference calls in recent college football history as the officials all but handed Ohio State the national championship in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl.
Bad calls are made every weekend, but on that big of a stage? Ohio State-Miami owned it. Until now.
The pass-interference call on Pittsburgh’s K’Waun Williams against Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert wasn’t only bad, it was a phantom call, especially on fourth-and-four in the fourth quarter with the national-championship picture still murky.
But there is a silver lining in all of this: As bad as the Irish have looked against subpar competition, a Notre Dame-Alabama BCS title game is exactly what college football needs. It likely won’t happen as long as all four unbeaten teams in the mix win out, and the way Oregon and Kansas State look that’s very likely, but no game would capture more attention in January than Irish-Tide.
Notre Dame is the most polarizing program in the country, and Bama is the standard for measuring a dynasty.
It’s the greatest matchup going this season — at least until kickoff. Then the hype would be replaced by reality.
Remember the Crimson Tide rolling over Michigan State 49-7 in the 2011 Capital One Bowl? It will look something like that.
And no flag would save the Irish.
◆ Those would-be title contenders thinking they’ll get past Alabama next season should think again. The Tide basically loses only six starters, and there’s more recruiting ammo coming. It’s not going away anytime soon, unless Nick Saban leaves for the NFL.
Players of the week
RB Kenjon Barner, Oregon: In the biggest regular-season game of the year for the Ducks, Barner rushed for a school-record 321 yards and scored five touchdowns against USC.
CB Allen Chapman, Kansas State: The senior cornerback had three interceptions against Oklahoma State, including a 29-yard return for a touchdown.
1,345 Total offensive yards combined for Oregon and USC. The game had only two punts.
Key games Saturday
Texas A&M at Alabama, 2:30 p.m., Ch. 2: A huge win at LSU kept the Tide in the driver’s seat for the BCS title game, but a letdown against the new kids on the SEC block must be avoided.
Kansas State at TCU, 6 p.m., Fox-32: With the health of leading Heisman Trophy candidate Collin Klein in question, the Wildcats could be in trouble.
Florida State at Virginia Tech, 6:30 p.m., Nov. 8, ESPN – The Seminoles can put a stranglehold on the rest of the ACC, but playing in Blacksburg on a Thursday night? Trap game.