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Clock strikes midnight on Irish’s Cinderella season

Jan 8, 2013, 12:00 AM EDT

Discover BCS National Championship - Notre Dame v Alabama Getty Images

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Nick Saban was handed the Coaches’ Trophy just minutes before Monday night turned into Tuesday morning. But the clock struck midnight far earlier for Notre Dame, as the Crimson Tide ended Notre Dame’s Cinderella season in the game’s first fifteen minutes.

After a season where Notre Dame went from unranked to the No. 1 team in the country, the Irish’s unraveling in the national championship game was a shocking conclusion to a season where it seemed like the team’s fairy tale was destined to end hoisting the crystal ball. But the Crimson Tide turned Monday night’s game into a nightmare for Notre Dame, jumping on the Irish with a dominant first quarter, sprinting out to an early 21-0 lead before coasting to a 42-14 victory.

The humbling loss ends Notre Dame’s return to glory on a very sour note. After playing mistake-free football for most of the season’s twelve weeks, the Irish couldn’t get out of their own way early, and Alabama buried them.

The Irish defense that carried the team to the top of the mountain was exploited for most of the evening, as Alabama racked up 529 yards, putting up a staggering 7.2 yards a game. Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon both ran for over 100 yards, and AJ McCarron was a lights-out 20 for 28 for 264 yards and four touchdowns.

In a game that was to be won or loss at the line of scrimmage, Alabama proved to be the dominant team, abusing Notre Dame’s front seven as they rolled to 265 yards rushing. Forced to sell out to stop the run, McCarron punished Notre Dame’s young secondary, and the unit had mental lapses they hadn’t had all season, giving up yards by the chunk.

More to come as the night rolls on, but any hopes of a happy ending to the Irish’s dream season were dashed early, as Alabama won their second straight title, and the mighty SEC won their seventh straight championship.


  1. thefightinfloyds - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:13 AM

    All I can say is that ND wilted under the pressure of the game, of the moment. They didn’t play dominating football this season but they always kept themselves in the game and dictated the pace. This was certainly not the case tonight. I don’t know if it was the time off before the game or what but they looked lost tonight. They looked like the 2011 team out there; turnovers, penalties, missed tackles, etc. Aside from ND’s horrible preformance you have to give credit to Bama. It was definetly their night and no other team in the country could have beat them, unstoppable.

    • idratherbeinsouthbend - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:18 AM

      “no other team in the country could have beat them, unstoppable”…..exactly.

      • c4evr - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:40 AM

        A&M did, in their house, and still could.

  2. dickasman - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:21 AM

    We were thoroughly thoroughly thoroughly outclassed in every aspect of the game starting with coaching. What the hell were we doing during month off? We were way off, way off. Oh well, great season but to me season was over month ago. Very disappointing loss. A lot to be learned from this loss, a lot.

    • thefightinfloyds - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:19 AM

      I honestly think that Bama getting the ball first was the worst thing. It’s easy to say that in hindsight but after the muffed punt/missed call all the wind was out of ND’s sails. 14-0 like that followed up by another quick score At that point you could tell they didn’t know what hit them and they still hadn’t settled into the game. I thought Golson did a great job considering the situation but being forced to play catch up, down 3 TD’s in the 1st quarter of the national championsip is not a good position for any team to be in. I’m just wondering what happened to the defense. They really didn’t show up in this game, the responsiblity of winning was placed on their shoulders and they were completely neutralized from the start. I can’t help the feeling that ND showed up to play a gentleman’s game and Bama showed up to kick ass and win a championship.

      • 1historian - Jan 8, 2013 at 4:57 AM

        Your last sentence says it all.

  3. nd42fn - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:25 AM

    Man half you people crack me up! During the season and at the end damn near to a person we were all saying how great Coach Kelly is. Now that for God knows why we’ve laid our fourth BCS egg y’all are calling foe his head on a golden platter. Really!? Fact is Bama out coached and out played us. Maybe Kelly will learn and add a step to his “process” one can only hope. But everybody needs to remember it wasn’t all that long ago Notre Dame was the true laughing stock of college football. We went what 2-9 and now we went 12-1. Ok so we flat out suck when it comes to bowl games here lately but come on folks what this squad did this season is nothing short of down right amazing. We truly have something to look forward to. All be it if we can get over this BCS bowl funk.

    • ndirish10 - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:58 AM


      what blog are you reading? where have you been? who is calling for BKs head? And those who are must of just jumped on the wagon.

  4. kingofpop1981 - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:44 AM

    I simply could not have been prouder of this team. Four months ago, I would have given my left arm for ND to be 12-1.

    Obviously I’m insanely disappointed with the outcome, but I want to thank Manti, Tyler, Theo, Everett, Zeke, Cierre, Braxton, Zach, Chris, Louis, Stephon, TJ, Kappy, Dan, DeVaris, John, Ishaq, Christian, Chris, Matthias, Danny, Mike, Prince, Tommy, Kyle, Sheldon, Bennett, KeiVarae, Robby, Tony, George, and Troy (and everyone else I’ve forgotten) for my favorite team I’ve seen in 30 years as an ND fan.

    You all embody everything that makes me proud to be a Notre Dame fan, and you played like champions all year.

    Thank you for all the memories, best of luck to those moving on, and I can’t wait to watch the rest of you embarrass Saban in the National Championship game next year!

    • irishdrg1 - Jan 10, 2013 at 12:10 PM

      My thoughts exactly MANY THANKS to all ND players and coaches, hope all recruits and players continue what this group started

  5. c4evr - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:52 AM

    Even at ND’s lowest moments, supermodels weren’t taking shots at them on twitter. It’s a damn shame when a team overachieves for an entire season only to become a punchline in the biggest game. I feel bad for the players. Only silver lining is hopefully this bad taste will last 366 days.

  6. 1historian - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:00 AM

    remember, if you will the old saying – revenge tastes best when served cold.

    We WILL get over this. The underclassmen learned first-hand what a championship team looks like.

    • kapnd73 - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:18 AM

      Well said, 1historian. It hurts, but we will get over this.

  7. mungman69 - Jan 8, 2013 at 10:25 AM

    Irish were outclassed on the field. That’s not a putdown, that’s a fact.

  8. mungman69 - Jan 8, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    Notre Dame is who we thought they were. Slow. Notre Dame will have to vastly improve to even get back to the game. Everyone saw the real Notre Dame. Now everyone knows how to beat them. Maybe 7 wins next year, maybe.

  9. flyeredup - Jan 8, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    Mantei Teo = Brian Bosworth 2.0

    • irishdrg1 - Jan 10, 2013 at 12:12 PM

      your such a moron

  10. padomer - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    Seems as though Irish faithful is split between poor coaching or not enough talent. I agree with the latter and have nothing but extreme praise for BK getting this team this far: fresh QB, no dynamic offensive playmakers, secondary is who we thought they were, and in reality, our “vaunted front 7” really only has 3 studs in tuitt, nix and manti. So again, looking at this roster and seeing how they went undefeated against the top 3 most diff. schedules is an amazement and testament to BK and co.

    Last night’s debacle is another story.

  11. packhawk04 - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:05 PM

    Bama is just that much better people. I hate bama, but come on, get f’n real. This had nothing to do with the irish playing terribly and bama playing great. Thats what it looks like when team speed and talent is vastly superior to the other team.

  12. montjamz - Jan 8, 2013 at 4:40 PM

    All the talk all excuses all the pain an anguish …. You foolish people. RTR

  13. dbldmr - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    ND got its collective ass kicked. Big deal. Hard to look past twelve wins. Reading some of the drivel on this board would lead you to believe that the record was 1-12, not 12-1. Alabama was the better team. They were faster and more talented. Deal with it. It doesn’t mean next year’s team can’t be better. Somebody predicted a “lucky to get 7 wins.” Based on what?

    The end of 2011’s season would have suggested a miserable year in 2012. Past results don’t guarantee future performance. College teams turn over every year. This is a great opportunity for Kelly (whom I believe will be an increasingly effective coach) to show the team how much work needs to be done to reach Alabama’s level of performance.

    Stop bitching about Kelly, Diaco et al. This is the best season we’ve had in years. Enjoy it and understand that there’s a lot of work to be done. Do you think they (and the players) don’t know it? Unlikely. Failure isn’t a disgrace. Quitting is.

    Go Irish!

  14. padomer - Jan 8, 2013 at 9:06 PM


  15. modellforprez - Jan 8, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    Go back to Ireland you dumb Mick!!! yeah who in their right mind thought Notre Lame was really #1 NOBODY!!!! rudy rudy rudy… this should shut these clowns the fuck up…..

  16. twoody50 - Jan 9, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    Sad to say we college football fans will have to endure the ND mystique for years to come. They do not play in a conference, are allowed to set their own schedule, have an automatic BCS bid as long as they beat 10 high school teams…….and oh yes now will play five ACC teams every year, of which one will always be Duke. College football took a sad trn this year.

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