Alabama RB Eddie Lacy reacts after scoring the first touchdown of the BCS National Championship game Monday night against Notre Dame in Miami. Lacy scored twice in the first half to propel the Tide to a commanding 28-0 lead at The Herald’s press time.

Alabama RB Eddie Lacy reacts after scoring the first touchdown of the BCS National Championship game Monday night against Notre Dame in Miami. Lacy scored twice in the first half to propel the Tide to a commanding 28-0 lead at The Herald’s press time.

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — The coach no longer wears houndstooth. The result is the same. Another Alabama dynasty.

Quieting the Irish by the first play of the second quarter, Eddie Lacy, AJ McCarron and the No. 2 Crimson Tide rolled top-ranked Notre Dame, 42-14, for the BCS Championship on Monday night, locking up a second straight national title and third in four years with another laugher of a title game.

The Bear would've been especially proud of this one — Nick Saban and the Tide romping to the second-biggest rout of the BCS era that began in 1999.

"We're going for it next year again," said Alabama offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandijo, only a sophomore but already the owner of two rings. "And again. And again. And again. I love to win. That's why I came here."

Lacy, the game's offensive MVP, ran for one touchdown and caught a pass for another in the final minute of the opening half. He spun away from the vaunted Notre Dame defense not once, but twice, to cap a 28-0 blitz before the bands even got on the field.

"They just did what Alabama does," moaned Manti Te'o, Notre Dame's star linebacker and Heisman Trophy finalist.

Lacy finished with 140 yards on 20 carries, coming up with two of his best performances in the two biggest games of the year. He rushed for a career-high 181 yards in a thrilling victory over Georgia in the SEC title game, and was nearly as dominant against the Irish. McCarron wasn't too shabby, either, completing 20 of 28 passes for four touchdowns and 264 yards, adding another dazzling effort on top of his MVP in last year's title game.

You could almost hear television sets around the country flipping to other channels, a hugely anticipated matchup between two of the nation's most storied programs reduced to nothing more than the second straight BCS blowout for the Crimson Tide.

"We've had a lot of really great football players who've worked really hard," Saban said. "Because we've had a great team, we've been able to have a significant amount of success."

Alabama (13-1) scored 69 straight points against its title game opponents, going back to getting the final 13 against Texas in 2010, followed by a stifling 21-0 victory over LSU for last year's crown, then scoring the first 35 points on Notre Dame. Saban's team made the Irish (12-1) look like a squad that would be hard-pressed to finish in the middle of the pack in the mighty Southeastern Conference, which has now won seven straight national championships.

The Crimson Tide wrapped up its ninth Associated Press national title, breaking a tie with Notre Dame for the most by any school and gaining a measure of redemption for a bitter loss to the Irish almost four decades ago: the epic Sugar Bowl in which Ara Parseghian's team edged Bear Bryant's powerhouse 24-23.

Bryant won five AP titles during his brilliant career. The way things are going, Saban might just chase him down.

The diminutive man with the perpetual scowl has guided Alabama to the top spot in the rankings three times since arriving in Tuscaloosa in 2007, and if he's serious about finishing his career with the job he has, there seems no reason he can't win a few more before he's done with "The Process."

Already, Saban is the first coach in the BCS era to win national titles at different schools, capturing his first at LSU during the 2003 season. Now, he's the first coach with back-to-back BCS titles, and given the youthfulness of his team, Alabama figures to go into next season as a heavy favorite.

In an interesting twist, Saban's fourth college title came in the stadium where he had the only stumble of his coaching career, a two-year tenure with the NFL's Miami Dolphins that ended ugly, with the coach insisting he wasn't planning to leave — then bolting for Alabama just two weeks later. His tactics may have been underhanded, but it's hard to argue with the call he made.

Before a record Sun Life Stadium crowd of 80,120 that definitely included more green than crimson, Lacy ran right through Te'o and the Irish on a 20-yard touchdown run before the game was 3 minutes old, capping an 82-yard drive that was longest of the season given up by the Fighting Irish.

It would only get worse. Alabama marched right down the field on its second possession, this one a 10-play, 61-yard pounding that finished with McCarron completely faking out the defense and lofting a 3-yard touchdown pass to Michael Williams, standing all alone in the back of the end zone.

On the first play of the second quarter, T.J. Yeldon powered over from the 1 to make it 21-0, the finish to another impressive drive — this one covering 80 yards — that included two long completions by McCarron. First, he went to Kevin Norwood on a 25-yard gain. Then, he hooked up with freshman Amari Cooper for a 27-yard gain to the Notre Dame 6.

By that point, it was clear to everyone that Notre Dame's hopes of winning its first national championship since 1988 were all done. But Alabama just poured it on.

"We've got to get physically stronger, continue close the gap there," said Brian Kelly, the Irish's third-year coach. "Just overall, we need to see what it looks like. Our guys clearly know what it looks like now — a championship football team. That's back-to-back national champions. That's what it looks like. That's what you measure yourself against there. It's pretty clear across the board what we have to do."

Lacy's 11-yard touchdown reception with 31 seconds left in the half left the Irish fans shaking the heads in disbelief, while the Alabama faithful broke out that familiar "SEC! SEC! SEC!"

Alabama made it 35-0 on McCarron's second TD pass of the night, a 34-yarder to Cooper without a Notre Dame defender in sight.

The Irish finally scored late in the third quarter, a 2-yard run by Everett Golson that served no other purpose except to end Alabama's remarkable scoreless streak in the BCS title games, which stretched to 108 minute and 7 seconds — the equivalent of nearly two full games — before the Notre Dame quarterback fought his way into the end zone.

The only BCS title game that was more of a blowout was USC's 55-19 victory over Oklahoma in the 2005 Orange Bowl, a title that was later vacated because of NCAA violations.

About the only time Alabama stumbled was when McCarron had a miscommunication with his All-American center, Barrett Jones, in the closing seconds. The fiery McCarron shouted at Jones, who just shoved him away. But as the seconds ticked off, they were right on the same page, hugging Saban and celebrating another title.

Notre Dame went from unranked in the preseason to the top spot in the rankings by the end of the regular season. But that long-awaited championship will have to wait at least one more years. Golson completed his first season as the starter by going 21 of 36 for 270 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. But he got no help from the running game, which was held to 32 yards — 170 below their season average.

Kelly had vowed this was only beginning, insisting the bar has been raised in South Bend no matter what the outcome.

"We made incredible strides to get to this point," he said. "Now it's pretty clear what we've got to do to get over the top."

Comments

Sister_Ruby 1 year, 6 months ago

If you add in the National Sports Media Catholic Cabal Bias of 35 points.........then Notre Dame wins.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 6 months ago

You gotta Play Somebody if you want to Beat Somebody. Irish ain't played NOBODY!

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FryarTuk 1 year, 6 months ago

You're right, for the first quarter (the only one I saw entirely before I dozed off) the analysts embarrassed themselves with all the laudatory commentary about ND's season and what they were going to do and blah, blah, blah, blah.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 6 months ago

I went to sleep from boredom at the beginning of the second quarter. Awakened at 3:30 am to learn that ND scored 14 points. I don't know how. The Tide only scored 42? I can't believe that, did Nick just coast and substitute the rest of the night? Well, he is a good Catholic boy. ESPN is gabbling about how surprised they are that ND let Bama score so much. No one with any football knowledge expected any difference. They view the viewing public as simpletons. The National Championship was selected on December 1 in Atlanta. 2014 changes in the BCS process will bring changes but I don't think it will fully resolve the playoff morass. Go SEC.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 6 months ago

We want the National Championship Game to be on January 1st!!!

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The_Dude 1 year, 6 months ago

2014... National semifinals playoff will be Dec. 31. Title game will be Jan. 12.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 6 months ago

Not good enough! A month wasted when they could hold the playoffs to achieve a January 1 Finale.

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TRUTH101 1 year, 6 months ago

The National Championship was a great game! It featured 2 strong Ds and 2 pair of great RBs. It came down to the last min and some bad clock management.......Yea I'm talking about the REAL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME......SEC

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VSU 1 year, 6 months ago

I agree Truth, some people discredit UGA because they only beat Nebraska, but although I am glad Alabama won to keep the BCS champions in the SEC, but who did Alabama play? This game was a joke. Those so called experts that said Notre Dame belonged in the championship game are probably wearing paper bags over their heads. Notre Dame clearly showed they were not championship material. The SEC championship game was more of the BCS championship game than this one. I turned the game off after it was 21-0. This game was over before it started. Thanks Fighting Irish for making the Dawgs look even better.

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TRUTH101 1 year, 6 months ago

AND THE MEDIA STILL HAS ND INFRONT OF UGA AND TXA&M!!!! SMH.... I can understand Oregon and MAYBE Ohio State!!!!!

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VSU 1 year, 6 months ago

ND shouldn't even be in the top ten after last night.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 6 months ago

You guys need to get a room. Ya heah?

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VSU 1 year, 6 months ago

Maybe you and Parent should get a room. Ya heah?

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 6 months ago

The highlight of the game was seeing AJ's girlfriend in the stands.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 6 months ago

She was aiiigght. She'll be working for Victoria's Secret next time we see her.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 6 months ago

You know, there is just something unsatisfying about this college football season. Here everyone was all revved up and wanting a good game with a little red meat, some tight scoring, a few dust-ups on the field, an angry red faced coach on the side line stomping and swearing at an officials' call. AJ and his center was the only shoving of players and I think Coach Saban yelled at his water boy. Like Mick Jagger, ' just can' get no satisfaction. Damned I can hardly wait until next September. (This is a great article BTW.)

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 6 months ago

How about Texas A&M with a true freshman QB and a first-year coach? Pretty impressive I must say.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 6 months ago

Freshman QB was in the running for Heisman too.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 6 months ago

"We've had a lot of really great football players who've worked really hard," Saban said. "Because we've had a great team, we've been able to have a significant amount of success."

What a concept!! Success comes from hard work! Our President and the Democrats in Congress could learn something about that.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 6 months ago

I saw the replay of ND Coach Kelly's halftime interview when he was asked what could be done to revive his team in the second half, he said to the effect it would help a lot if Alabama wouldn't come out of the locker room for the second half. How funny is that?

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 6 months ago

Truthfully, ND was beaten in their heads prior to the kickoff. They came to the stadium not believing they could win. It was obvious to everybody but the television crew and the broadcast booth.

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