CBS Sports’ Gary Danielson, who will call the SEC Championship game Saturday, said yesterday that #1-ranked Fighting Irish will give either Georgia or Alabama trouble in the national championship.
“Alabama never was unbeatable – they’ve proven that – but you’d better be good enough to take advantage of what they give you,” Danielson added. “(Alabama coach) Nick (Saban) makes you play NFL-style football against them. Your quarterback has to complete passes. When you do it like (LSU’s Zach) Mettenberger did or (Texas A&M’s) Johnny Manziel did, they’re vulnerable. But if you don’t have a quarterback that can do it, forget it. You have no chance.
“We don’t know how real Georgia is,” he said. “They hit a terrible slump in the middle of the season when even their own players called their team out. That seemed to ignite them. They played a very good defensive football game against Florida where their quarterback had a really tough first half and he almost kind of tossed a game away that they should have won pretty easily.
“But since then, when the rest of the country was playing really tough football games, Georgia has played Ole Miss, Auburn, Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech. They haven’t been tested. So they’re basically coming from the Oct. 27 game into the championship game and we don’t know if they’ve gotten any better or where they stand.”
Gary and I may be in the minority, but Notre Dame will absolutely give the SEC champion all they want and more in Miami.
If I’m Notre Dame, I want to play Alabama more than I want to play Georgia. The Irish have a mobile quarterback who can make plays and feature a down-hill power running game, eerily similar to what we see week-in and week-out in the SEC. Although AJ McCarron has had a very efficient season, I want to face Bama’s offense more than Georgia’s explosive offense. The Irish’s strong front seven is a force to contend with, led by linebacker Manti Te’o. And no – they don’t play the SEC schedule, but they are the only eligible undefeated team in the country. You have to tip your cap to them, no matter what teams they have or have not played.
Georgia matches up better with Notre Dame than does Alabama because of their ability to feature both a power running game with Todd Gurley and a quarterback in Aaron Murray who can absolutely stretch the backend of the secondary, the weakest point of the Domers’ defense.
To say Notre Dame has no shot against the SEC is just wrong, and I’m an SEC guy. This Irish team is tested, they’re good, and they are built like an SEC team.
Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE