The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

January 7, 2013

Love 'em or hate 'em, all eyes on Tide and Irish

— MIAMI (AP) — Love 'em or hate 'em, it's hard to turn away from Notre Dame and Alabama.

They are storied programs that stir plenty of passions, college football's North and South versions of the New York Yankees.

Well, now they're facing each other for the biggest prize of all.

A national championship.

"Having those two traditions come together in a game like this certainly creates a lot of national interest," said Alabama coach Nick Saban, "which is probably really good for college football."

Indeed, this was shaping up as one of the most anticipated games in years, a throwback to the era when coaching giants named Bear and Ara ruled the sidelines, when it was a big deal for teams from different parts of the country to meet in a bowl, when everyone took sides based on where they happened to live.

"I'm pretty aware of our history. I've become more aware of theirs over the past few months," said Barrett Jones, the Crimson Tide's All-American center. "I know that they are a very storied program. We both are. I think that's part of what makes this matchup fun."

ESPN executives were hopeful of getting the highest ratings of the BCS era. Tickets were certainly at a premium, with a seat in one of the executive suites going for a staggering $60,000 on StubHub the day before the game, and even a less-than-prime spot in the corner of the upper deck requiring a payout of more than $900.

"This is, to me, the ultimate matchup in college football," said Brent Musberger, the lead announcer for ESPN.

For Alabama (12-1), this is a chance to be remembered as a full-fledged dynasty. The Tide will be trying to claim its third national championship in four years and become the first school to win back-to-back BCS titles, a remarkable achievement given the ever-increasing parity of the college game and having to replace five players from last year's title team who were picked in the first two rounds of the NFL draft.

Text Only
Sports
  • Tributes planned to mark Boston Marathon bombing

    The anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings started with a solemn wreath-laying ceremony Tuesday morning at the site of the twin explosions, the first tribute in a day dedicated to honoring the three people who died, the more than 260 people who were injured, and the first responders, doctors and nurses who helped them.

    April 15, 2014

  • Olympic great Michael Phelps ending retirement

    April 14, 2014

  • Bubba Watson wins another green jacket at Augusta

    One of golf's most exciting players squeezed most of the drama out of the Masters on Sunday. That's just fine with Bubba Watson.

    April 14, 2014

  • Mechanic gives himself belated 50th birthday gift

    Miguel Angel Jimenez gave himself a belated 50th birthday gift: one of the best rounds ever for a senior golfer at Augusta National.

    April 12, 2014

  • Prosecutor: Pistorius' story doesn't add up

    The prosecutor cross-examining Oscar Pistorius in his murder trial Friday tried to shred his version of events the night he shot and killed his girlfriend, saying they do not add up and go against how people would react in the situation the double-amputee Olympian has described.

    April 11, 2014

  • Haas grabs Masters lead with 68, Scott in the mix

    With dad in his ear, Bill Haas turned in the best round of his Masters career Thursday.

    Now he wants to do what his father never could — finish the job.

    April 10, 2014

  • Rookies grab early Masters lead, Scott in the mix

    A pair of Masters rookies grabbed the early lead at Augusta National on Thursday, while defending champion Adam Scott was off to a strong start in his quest to keep the green jacket.

    April 10, 2014

  • Masters opens with Woods on the sideline

    The Masters is underway with three shots right down the middle of the fairway. Just not terribly far.

    Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus hit the ceremonial tee shots Thursday morning with fans already lining both sides of the first fairway. Still competitive even after all these years, Nicklaus went last and hit a drive that went about a yard past Player's shot.

    April 10, 2014

  • The anticipation and mystery of the Masters

    A quick stroll across the manicured landscape of Augusta National afforded a glimpse of why this Masters is so hard to figure out.

    April 9, 2014

  • Without Tiger, the Masters has an open look

    One after another, some of the world's best players and favorites to win the Masters trudged up the hill on the opening hole to start their practice rounds.

    April 9, 2014

Poll

A recent national telephone survey found 75 percent of respondents believe the sale and use of pot will eventually be legal nationwide. Do you think marijuana should be legal in Alabama?

Yes
No
No, but I don’t think pot smokers should go to jail
Yes, but only for medical use
Yes, but only for personal adult use
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge US Supports Ukraine's Efforts to Calm Tensions Suspect in Kansas Shootings Faces Murder Charges Ukraine: Military Recaptures Eastern Airport Raw: Storm Topples RVs Near Miss. Gulf Coast NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse Pistorius Cries During Final Cross-Examination The Boston Marathon Bombing: One Year Later Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement First Women Move to Army Platoon Artillery Jobs Sex Offenders Charged in Serial Killings Police: Woman Stored Dead Babies in Garage OC Serial Murder Suspects May Have More Victims Family: 2 Shot in Head at Kan. Jewish Center Raw: Horse Jumping Inspires 'Bunny Hop' After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida Popular Science Honors Year's Top Inventions ND Oil Boom Attracting Drug Traffickers
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee