Printed on: January 08, 2013

Alabama walks to title in a laugher

By Ralph D. Russo
AP College Football Writer

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- Alabama romped to its second consecutive BCS championship, and third in four seasons, beating No. 1 Notre Dame 42-14 in a BCS championship game that was no classic after all.

AJ McCarron threw four touchdown passes and Eddie Lacy ran for 140 yards and scored twice for the second-ranked Crimson Tide, which scored on its first three drives and cruised to the second-most lopsided BCS championship game victory Monday night.

Alabama (13-1) became the third team to win three national titles in four seasons since polls started being used to crown champions in 1936, and the first since Nebraska from 1994-97.

Tide coach Nick Saban now has won four national championships. Only Alabama's Paul "Bear" Bryant, with six, has more.

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

The Fighting Irish (12-1) didn't score until they were down 35-0 late in the third quarter.

In a matchup of tradition-rich programs tied for the most AP national championships with eight, Notre Dame was looking for its first national championship in 24 years. The Crimson Tide got its ninth.

The Crimson Tide marched with ease on the opening drive, going 82 yards on five plays to take a 7-0 lead on Lacy's 20-yard touchdown run up the middle with 12:03 left in the first quarter.

Notre Dame (12-0) had allowed only two rushing touchdowns in its surprising run to the championship game. The Fighting Irish were the first team to reach the BCS championship game after starting the season unranked. They were trying to become the first team to go from unranked to national champion since BYU in 1984.

The Alabama fans seemed outnumbered at Sun Life Stadium by Fighting Irish followers, pumped to see their team try to win its first national title in 24 years. But the folks in Crimson and houndstooth were making all the noise as the Tide rolled.

The Southeastern Conference, winners of the last six BCS championships, was storming toward seven in a row. Those familiar "S-E-C!" chants started early in this one.

With the score 35-0 and some Fighting Irish fans in the stadium record crowd of 80,120, Notre Dame finally got on the board with 4:08 left in the third.

Alabama had 529 yards. The Irish defense came in allowing 286 per game.

The BCS title game was the most highly attended event in the history of Sun Life Stadium at 80,120.