The college football notebook …
Alabama vs. Notre Dame. The BCS championship game couldn’t get much bigger.
The Crimson Tide locked up a spot in the title game in Miami on Jan. 7 with a 32-28 victory over Georgia for the Southeastern Conference championship Saturday.
Sunday’s selection show is just a formality.
The hype can begin now for what could be the most-watched BCS title game since the system was implemented in 1998. It’d be hard to find two more popular programs and a more enticing matchup.
The top-ranked Fighting Irish (12-0) have won eight AP national titles — matching Alabama for the most — but none since 1988. They’ll be playing in their first BCS championship game.
Alabama (12-1) is making its third BCS title game appearance in four years. The Crimson Tide is trying to become the first team to win back-to-back BCS titles, and three in four years.
“We created a great opportunity for ourselves,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said after his Tide beat the Bulldogs at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
The Irish and Tide have played six times, though not since 1987. Notre Dame is 5-1 against ‘Bama, including a 24-23 victory in the Sugar Bowl in 1973 that gave the Irish a national championship. They also played in the Orange Bowl in 1975, and the Irish won 13-11.
The buildup for this one, however, will be unmatched.
“I’m pretty sure it gets the old-heads excited, people that are in their 50s and 60s,” Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley told The Chicago Tribune. “It’s going to be a historic game.”
A return to glory for Brian Kelly’s Fighting Irish or a dynasty for Saban’s Tide? Seven straight BCS titles for the SEC or the end of a 23-year national championship drought for Notre Dame?
NEW YORK — Notre Dame ends the regular season as the No. 1 team in The Associated Press college football for the first time since 1988, the last championship season for the Fighting Irish.
The Irish (12-0) completed their regular season last week and will play No. 2 Alabama in the BCS championship game in Miami on Jan. 7.
The Tide holds its spot in the rankings after beating Georgia 32-28 in the Southeastern Conference title game.
Ohio State (12-0), which is banned from the postseason because of NCAA sanctions, moves up a spot to No. 3. Florida is No. 4, Oregon is fifth and Georgia fell to sixth.
Northern Illinois jumped to No. 16 after beating Kent State for the Mid-American Conference title. Kent State dropped seven spots to No. 25.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.— Virginia quarterback Michael Rocco is transferring.
Coach Mike London says he met Friday with the junior quarterback who started 21 games in the past two seasons and granted Rocco’s request to be released from his scholarship. Rocco plans to complete the current semester at Virginia.