This college football season ends with a real bang as 12-1 Alabama shoots for back-to-back titles against 12-0 Notre Dame in the BCS national championship game Monday, Jan. 7 at Sun Life Stadium in suburban Miami (8:30 pm ET, ESPN).
For the early BCS title game odds most books were listing the Crimson Tide, champions of the Southeastern Conference, as nine-point favorites over the Irish, who haven't played for all the marbles in over 20 years.
The favorite is 4-1 ATS in the past 5 BCS title games, which have all been won by the SEC. Alabama won and covered 4 straight bowl games, including last year’s championship game, while Notre Dame is a dreadful 2-8 ATS in their past 10 bowl games.
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BCS Betting Line: Oddsmakers at 5Dimes opened the Fighting Irish as 8.5-point underdogs in the matchup and it was bet quickly up to -10 by mid-December. Meanwhile the betting total was hovering around 41.5 at .
Alabama Bowl History
|1998||Music City Bowl||Virginia Tech||38||Alabama||7||5||VTECH|
|2001||Independence Bowl||Alabama||14||Iowa State||13||6.5||IOWAST|
|2004||Music City Bowl||Minnesota||20||Alabama||16||-3||MINN|
|2005||Cotton Bowl||Alabama||13||Texas Tech||10||-3||ALAB|
|2006||Independence Bowl||Oklahoma State||34||Alabama||31||2||OKLAST|
|2009||BCS Championship Game||Texas||21||Alabama||37||-4||ALAB|
|2010||Capital One Bowl||Michigan State||7||Alabama||49||-8||ALAB|
|2011||BCS Championship Game||Alabama||21||LSU||0||2.5||ALAB|
Notre Dame Bowl History
|1995||Orange Bowl||Florida State||31||Notre Dame||26||10||NOTRD|
|1997||Independence Bowl||Notre Dame||9||LSU||27||-7||LSU|
|1998||Gator Bowl||Georgia Tech||35||Notre Dame||28||2.5||GATECH|
|2000||Fiesta Bowl||Notre Dame||9||Oregon State||41||-3||OREGST|
|2002||Gator Bowl||North Carolina State||28||Notre Dame||6||2||N.C.ST|
|2004||Insight Bowl||Oregon State||38||Notre Dame||21||3||OREGST|
|2005||Fiesta Bowl||Notre Dame||20||Ohio State||34||-4.5||OHIOST|
|2006||Sugar Bowl||Notre Dame||14||LSU||41||-8.5||LSU|
|2008||Hawaii Bowl||Notre Dame||49||Hawaii||21||-2.5||NOTRD|
|2010||Sun Bowl||Notre Dame||33||Miami||17||-2.5||NOTRD|
|2011||Champs Sports Bowl||Notre Dame||14||Florida State||18||-3||FLAST|
How They Match Up:
Offensively, the game matches up Notre Dame's No. 76-ranked offense (26.8 PPG) against a Crimson Tide defense that ranks No. 2 at 10.7 PPG. The Fighting Irish passing attack has averaged 218.8 yards per game, more than the Crimson Tide give up through the air (166.2 YPG on average).
Defensively, the Crimson Tide feature the league's No. 3-rated road run defense, allowing 78.4 yards per game. Notre Dame, meanwhile, ranks No. 39 in rushing offense at home.
Alabama was a 32-28 winner in their most recent outing on the road against Georgia. They failed to cover the 9-point spread as favorites, while the total score (60) made winners of OVER bettors. Eddie Lacy ran through the Georgia defense for 181 yards in Alabama's last game, handing the Bulldogs a 32-28 setback on Saturday at Georgia Dome.
Last time out for Notre Dame, they were a 22-13 winner as they battled Southern Cal on the road. Notre Dame covered in the match as a 4.5-point favorite, while 35 combined points moved the game UNDER for totals bettors. Theo Riddick went over the 100-yard mark (146) in his team's latest effort as Notre Dame defeated Southern Cal by a score of 22-13 on Saturday.
Alabama Crimson Tide Trends:
When playing in January are 5-2
When playing on grass are 9-1
After outgaining opponent are 10-0
When favored on the road are 9-1
Notre Dame Fighting Irish Trends:
When playing in January are 0-6
When playing on grass are 10-0
After outgaining opponent are 10-0
When an underdog at home are 1-9
A few Crimson Tide at Fighting Irish trends to consider:
Alabama is 16-1 SU in its last 17 games
Alabama is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games
Notre Dame is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Notre Dame's last 11 games