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Notre Dame VS Alabama in the Rose Bowl Game: Staff Picks

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Love the energy

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish take on the Alabama Crimson Tide today in the Rose Bowl Game — which is part of the College Football Playoff (that’s a lot of words that didn’t include sponsor names). It’s been kind of a brutal two weeks if you’ve been looking around for kind words about the Irish, and while that should be expected, it’s a joy killer.

I don’t care what people say about Notre Dame right now, because none of it is original or even entertaining. It’s a chance for detractors to slam ND to get those valuable street cred points from other fans, and they get the pageviews from Irish fans just looking to get pissed.

And it’s fine.

Notre Dame is a 20 point underdog and that’s tough enough. There are cold realities to face, but none of those realities have anything to do with 2012 or whatever the hell the spin is. The Irish have to play the #1 team in the country that averages over 50 points a game.

There’s enough real trouble here that we don’t need to dissect the last 20 years. And if people are “tired” of Notre Dame making it to these kind of postseason games — then maybe they should start beating the Irish in the regular season.

All of that is to say... who knows what happens in AT&T Stadium. Maybe the Irish will get killed, and maybe they won’t — it’s why we play the game.

The staff picks are below:

Pat Rick Sullivan

I rewatched the Lord of the Rings movies over Christmas with my family, and I can’t escape the parallels my mind drew between this game and the battle at Helm’s Deep in The Two Towers. The 10,000-strong army of Uruk-hai — bred specifically for the purpose of destroying mankind — represents Clemson and Alabama and their bevy of 5-star talent. The Uruk-hai blowing up the wall of Helm’s Deep with explosives was full-strength Clemson crushing the Irish in the ACC title game, and now the Irish are holed-up in The Keep as Alabama closes in — there appears to be no hope for victory. The ultimate question is — do the Irish have Gandalf/the Riders of Rohan to come save the day and defeat Saruman’s Saban’s army when things seem most bleak?

No, I don’t think they do. I’m taking Alabama by a final score of 44-23. Hopefully I’m wrong, though, and Kelly/Lea/Rees have a special surprise for Alabama when we look to the east at first light on the fifth day (of the week — Friday).

Philip Gough

All I am hoping for is a competitive game. Things don’t have to all go ND’s way for a competitive game, but they do for ND to win. Some things that can make an upset a possibility:

  • Win turnover battle by +2
  • Ian Book rushes for 4 first downs
  • An explosive first half touchdown (40+ yards out)

I picked Clemson on Nov 7, so here is to hoping the Irish prove me wrong again!

Alabama 45, Notre Dame 27

Billy Gorman

I would love to be the optimist and pick Notre Dame here, but I just don’t see anybody beating Alabama. Notre Dame covers late and Alabama goes on to win the National Championship by double digits.

Alabama 42, Notre Dame 24

Lisa Kelly

After watching the Florida/Oklahoma bowl game, I’m not convinced that Alabama is as good as they are cracked up to be. I think it is difficult to compare teams this year as there was no out of conference play, so I’m going to pick the Irish to upset the Crimson Tide ... Notre Dame 45 - Alabama 42. Cheers & GO IRISH!

Cooper Klaus

otre Dame is going to need to play their best game of the season and get all the positive variance (turnovers, special teams, TDs, etc) in this game to win. And because I think they’ll fall into the trap of establishing the run early I don’t think that will happen. That being said I hope I’m wrong. Go Irish!

Alabama 45 Notre Dame 17

Jack Concannon

Coopers exact reasoning but I have to maintain my identity as the good cop of our pairing.

Alabama 45 Notre Dame 28

Brendan McAlinden

We’ve experienced games on this stage before. The Irish start slow give up quick scores and find themselves throwing the gameplann in the trash and losing in an embarrassing route...

But something is different this season. We already witnessed that game in Charlotte. I think they come ready to play and give an Alabama defense that gives up ground, all they can handle.

Does Notre Dame cover? Well. Last I checked the fight song wasn’t what though the odds be great or small, ol Notre Dame will COVER over them all... it’s win baby. Irish 37 Alabama 34

Matt Greene

I’m not even sorry. I’m not picking Notre Dame to lose. I see this being similar to a Miracle on Ice situation. I think we get into a bit of a dogfight and come out on top. There is enough fight in the guys to pull it off. We take it to Bama’s defense, and Jonathan Doerer makes the difference in the end. Go Irish! Beat Bama.

Notre Dame - 45, Alabama - 42

Joshua Vowles

Everything is true. Alabama is probably the best team in the country, and there’s almost no hope of winning. But you see... I was raised on Star Wars, and have nothing but hope in my heart. Quite simply... if Notre Dame can score touchdowns instead of field goals and have a 100% TD rate in the redzone AS WELL AS be +2 in the turnover margin — they have a shot. I’ll take that shot.

Notre Dame 38, Alabama 35