Though the regular season is over for the Irish, Notre Dame fans are not left without a team to root for this weekend. Since the Fighting Irish will face the winner of Saturday’s SEC Championship game between Alabama and Georgia, it figures that Irishmen across the nation will have a vested interest in the outcome of the game. The only question is, who should Notre Dame be pulling for?
College football analysts are having a field day this week analyzing and predicting Saturday’s match-up. The weaknesses of both teams are under the microscope, not just for this weekend but for their National Championship implications. Some argue that Notre Dame should want to play Alabama, with the Tide's struggling secondary and the similarities between Everett Golson and Johnny Manziel. Others point to Georgia’s up-and-down season and trouble at the line of scrimmage in their arguments that Irish fans should want to play the Bulldogs.
For me, though, it’s as simple as who I do NOT want to play. And that team is Alabama every time.
Though both teams are immensely talented—they wouldn’t be playing in the SEC Championship if they weren’t—the possibility of facing an Alabama team that has had five weeks to prepare is something no college football fan would wish for their team. Ever.
Yes, the Tide had a very close game with LSU and lost to Texas A&M. But through each of those games, they never fell apart as completely as Georgia did in their 35-7 loss to South Carolina, and almost did in their frighteningly close win over Kentucky, 29-24.
I would rather face a wishy-washy Georgia team than a Nick Saban coached Alabama team. Let’s not forget that the last two times Saban has had extended periods of time to prepare for games, his team shut out LSU in the 2012 National Championship and crushed Michigan to begin the season this year. Though I respect Mark Richt and the Georgia team that he has put together this season, there is no competing with the master. And as much as any non-Alabama fan hates to admit, the master of the current era of college football is Nick Saban.
So when 4:00 rolls around on Saturday afternoon, it’s “Go Bulldogs!” for this Notre Dame fan.