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.
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 titles 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 just two rushing touchdowns in its surprising run to the title 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.
Alabama quickly made the Fighting Irish look as if they were in over their heads.
Notre Dame did nothing to respond to Alabama’s opening march, and on its punt back, the Crimson Tide might have caught a break. Returner Christion Jones muffed the kick, but Notre Dame was flagged for interfering with the catch, though it was one of Jones’ teammates that made contact with him.
Lacy and the Crimson Tide went right back to work, hammering away at Notre Dame’s vaunted defense. The Irish struggled to bring down the 220-pound tailback, who even ran through Heisman Trophy finalist Manti Te’o on a screen pass.