The SEC could extend their National Championship winning streak tonight.
There is a lot on the line in tonight's National Championship, not the least of which is a big crystal football that'll be resting permanently either in Tuscaloosa, Alabama or South Bend, Indiana. Also, there is the matter of conference pride, as the SEC looks to lock up its seventh straight national title.
If Notre Dame were to win, this year would have to be known as the year the SEC finally fell off its pedastool a bit, as the conference would finish 5-4 with several key losses.
But that's not the big story. The big story is Crimson Tide vs. Fighting Irish. Knute Rockne vs. Bear Bryant. This is the story of 25 claimed National Titles combined, with a 26th to be awarded tonight to one of the two schools. In a lot of ways, this is the Yankees vs. Red Sox, the Cowboys vs. the Steelers, the USA vs. USSR. It is a classic rivalry in every way, and we're adding another chapter tonight.
As far as NCAA Football 13 goes, we had to simulate the game to find out which team EA Sports College Football title feels will walk away with that big crystal trophy. We used eight minute quarters with up to date rosters for both teams, so all the key players and injuries, etc. were taken into account.
First Quarter: Defense, defense, defense. Both teams traded three and outs throughout the entire quarter. The real story was that Alabama finally got a first down with just a minute to go in the quarter as the teams combined for 44 total yards at the end of the first 15 (scratch that 8 minutes simulated) minutes of play. 0-0 Tie
Second Quarter: Notre Dame strikes first with a 37 yard field goal after they picked off AJ McCarron deep in Alabama territory early in the quarter. However, Eddie Lacy broke a 55 yard run on the ensuing drive to put Alabama up. Everett Golson was then picked off, which set up a 22 yard McCarron TD pass to put the Tide up big at the break, 14-3 Alabama at the half.
Third Quarter: As it typically goes in NCAA Football, Notre Dame got the first offensive drive in the first half so Alabama got the ball first in the second half. The Tide wasted no time, scoring another touchdown on a 77 yard drive to take a commanding 21-3 lead. Golson then went to work, with two scrambles on third down to keep the Irish's first drive of the half alive. However, the Irish stalled out and had to settle for another field goal. The rest of the quarter was spent trading punts. 21-6 Alabama at the end of the third.
Fourth Quarter: Suddenly, it was like Notre Dame's Everett Golson received a dose of Robo-QB, and comeback logic was abound. The Irish's first drive in the fourth quarter was automatic. Golson went 7-7, the Irish drove 80 yards in less than 2 minutes and the game was suddenly much more interesting at 21-13. On the ensuing possession, the computer threw its own controller down when AJ McCarron was picked off by Manti Te'o (appropriate) and it was returned 33 yards for a Touchdown. Golson then scrambled around the edge and converted the two point conversion easily. In less than two minutes we went from an Alabama snoozer to a tied ballgame. The next several drives were tense, with a tied ballgame and two defenses stiffening up. With three minutes to play, Notre Dame finally broke through. Golson connected with TJ Jones on a 18 yard pass completion to set up a 30 yard field goal to put the Irish up 24-21 with 2:22 on the clock. Alabama's offense sputtered, and went three and out. However, as fate would have it, on fourth and 10 the Tide converted with a 44 yard pass from AJ McCarron to Amari Cooper to set the Tide up deep in Notre Dame territory with 42 seconds remaining. Three plays later, McCarron and Cooper connected again, this time for a 17 yard touchdown pass with 10 seconds remaining to give the Tide a 28-24 lead. Golson was picked off the first play from scrimmage and (in NCAA Football 13 at least) Alabama captured its 15th National Championship.