MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Alabama Crimson Tide enter the Bowl Championship Series national championship game with most oddsmakers and media pundits picking them to beat the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. But if there’s one thing the BCS has taught everyone is that its full of surprises.
Whenever a team has been proclaimed almost unbeatable in a BCS championship game, the opposite typically happens.
In 2005, USC was being touted as possibly the best team of all time. When the BCS Championship game was over, Vince Young cemented his legacy with a last-second run to knock off the Trojans, 41-38.
2006 brought the vaunted Ohio State Buckeyes to the BCS title game to face an upstart Florida Gators team headed by coach Urban Meyer. A touchdown return on the opening kickoff painted a grim picture for Florida. But the Gators stormed back and thumped Ohio State in a 41-14 mauling.
In 2000, Oklahoma had the highest scoring and most prolific offense in college football going against Tim Tebow and the Florida Gators. Oklahoma was grounded by the Gators who captured the title with a 24-14 victory.
That said, sometimes the experts are right and the favorite comes in and knocks out the opponent. In 1999, Florida State was unbeatable and beat Virginia Tech by 17 points. The University of Miami also mauled Nebraska 37-14 to win the title in 2001 with one of the best teams in college football history.
The one thing that has remained constant over the past six years of the BCS is don’t bet against the Southeastern Conference. The SEC has won the last six national championships in a row dating back to Texas’ victory in the 2006 championship game.
Still, as good as Alabama has looked at times this season, Texas A&M proved the Tide are not unbeatable during any given game. The Crimson Tide needed last second wins against LSU and Georgia and lost to Texas A&M and Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel.
Notre Dame’s best victory is over the then-eighth ranked Oklahoma Sooners in Norman, Oklahoma. Alabama played three teams ranked in the top ten at the time including a 41-14 victory over Michigan, a 21-17 victory over LSU and a 32-28 over Georgia in the SEC Championship game.
Still, in the BCS-era of college football, no team has been able to do what Alabama is trying to do against the Fighting Irish Monday night. No team has won back-to-back BCS titles and no team has won three championships in four years during the BCS-era.
Florida State tried in 2000 only to be upset by the Oklahoma Sooners. Miami tried the feat in 2002 only to suffer a controversial loss to Ohio State. USC tried for back-to-back championships in 2005 and ran into Vince Young and Texas.
Even the Florida Gators and Tebow-time couldn’t muster back-to-back national championships. Alabama tried to repeat in 2011 only to lose to South Carolina, LSU, and eventual champion Auburn.
While Alabama has been to the championship game recently and Notre Dame is making their first appearance in more than a decade; the Fighting Irish have had to hear they can’t hang with the SEC for the past month.
Alabama has more talent across the board, especially along the offensive line. Alabama head coach Nick Saban is undefeated in BCS National Championship games at 3-0 as well.
Still, if a team like the 2002 Miami Hurricanes that had talent across the board including: Willis McGahee, Frank Gore, Andre Johnson, Kellen Winslow II, Vince Wilfork, Jerome McDougle, D.J. Williams, Jonathan Vilma, Antrel Rolle, and Sean Taylor, couldn’t win back-to-back titles; it makes Alabama’s challenge that much more forbidable.
One final note about the game, the SEC is undefeated in BCS Championship games. LSU was beaten by Alabama, a fellow SEC team at the end of last season.
Everything will be settled on the field at Sun Life Stadium starting at 8:30 p.m. Monday.