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Alabama vs Notre Dame

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#31
Noah

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In a dimly lit Tulane Stadium with a set of malfunctioning lights, Tom Clements still somehow spotted wide receiver Robin Weber streaking straight down the field.

Backed up to its own 3-yard line with 2:21 left in the 1973 Sugar Bowl, Notre Dame clung perilously to a 24-23 lead against top-ranked Alabama. Operating in a two-tight end formation, Clements ran a play-action fake and looked for his primary target tight end Dave Casper on a crossing route. But as Weber gained separation on a corner route along the left sidelines, Clements improvised and lofted a perfectly thrown pass over the outstretched arms of a Crimson Tide defensive lineman.

“Give Tommy Clements all the credit in the world,” Howard Cosell exclaimed in his famous raspy voice. “We said at the top of the show, he was a young man who was not afraid to throw … what a clutch play.”

The 35-yard gain clinched the one-point victory in a thrilling contest dubbed "The Game of the Century." ESPN.com writer Ivan Maisel ranked Weber's reception No. 7 in his comprehensive list of “The plays, performance and moments that define college football.”

In a series between two of the most storied programs in college football history, Clements' clutch completion stands out as arguably the top moment. On Jan. 7, the top-ranked Fighting Irish and second-ranked Crimson Tide are expected to meet in the BCS Championship Game at Sun Life Stadium in Miami. It will be the first meeting between the schools since 1987, when Notre Dame prevailed 37-6 in a Top 10 showdown that failed to live up to its hype. The Irish have won five of six all-time meetings between the schools, including twice for the de facto national championship.

In the Bear Bryant era at Alabama (1958-1982), even the elite programs in college football struggled against the Crimson Tide. In 37 games against Auburn and Georgia while at Alabama, the legendary coach went 28-9. Bryant also had little trouble against Tennessee, finishing his Crimson Tide career 16-7-2 vs. the Volunteers. The lone exception was Notre Dame. In four career matchups against the Irish, Bryant went winless. Bryant's 1973 team may have been his best not to go undefeated.

Years before the high-octane, spread offenses that are prevalent today, Bryant's team moved the ball at a record pace. An offense led by running back Wilbur Jackson set a litany of school records, including most yards per game (480.73), most yards per play (6.98) and most touchdowns in a season (61). In a 77-6 win over Virginia Tech in late-October, the Crimson Tide set SEC records for rushing yards with 748 and total offense with 833. On defense, Alabama recorded four shuouts -- the third-highest in school history.

The Crimson Tide's success could be traced to a meeting between Bryant and former USC coach

John McKay at Los Angeles International Airport before the 1970 season. For years Bryant wanted to integrate his all-white football team, but was hamstrung by Alabama Gov. George Wallace in the heavily segregated South.

McKay, who agreed to face the Crimson Tide in the 1970 opener in Birmingham for a reported fee of $150,000, coached a fully-integrated team led by Sam Cunningham, an African-American fullback.

In a game that is regarded for breaking the color barrier in college football, Cunningham rushed for 135 yards and two touchdowns, as the Trojans manhandled the Crimson Tide 42-21. It has been widely debated whether Bryant scheduled the game in efforts to desegregate the program.

“He scheduled them because he and their football coach were very good friends,” former Alabama basketball coach C.M. Newton told The Crimson White in 2011. “That whole USC thing has been mythologized. I don't think it was scheduled for Sam Cunningham.”

A year earlier, Jackson became the first African-American football player to receive a scholarship at Alabama. Though Jackson had to sit out the 1970 season because of freshman eligibility rules, the Crimson Tide had an African-American player on its roster in DE John Mitchell. By 1973, African-American players comprised roughly one-third of the Crimson Tide roster.

In a rematch of the 1973 Sugar Bowl, Notre Dame and Alabama met again in the 1975 Orange Bowl. The Irish raced out to a 13-0 lead on touchdown runs from Mark McLane and Wayne Bullock. Trailing by 10 in the fourth quarter, the Crimson Tide closed the lead to 13-11 after a 48-yard touchdown pass from Richard Todd to Russ Schamun. The Irish, though, again came through in a clutch situation, as Reggie Barnett ended a potential game-winning drive with an interception of Todd. With the win, Notre Dame sent coach Ara Parseghian into retirement with his second national championship.

The teams met three other times. Notre Dame defeated Alabama 21-18 in 1976 and 7-0 in 1980 in Bryant's final game against the Irish. In 1986, the Crimson Tide triumphed 28-10 in their only victory over Notre Dame. Mike Shula threw three touchdowns for the No. 2 Crimson Tide. The game featured future NFL All-Pros Cornelius Bennett, Derrick Thomas and Tim Brown.
Though Bryant's inability to defeat Notre Dame gnawed at him, he felt the losses were offset by his record against his bitter in-state rivals.

“Sure I'd like to beat Notre Dame, don't get me wrong,” Bryant reportedly told a group of Alabama boosters before a win over Auburn. “But nothing matters more than beating that cow college on the other side of the state."
After everything is said and done, more is said than done. - Noah

#32
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View PostThe Playmaker, on 02 December 2012 - 11:40 AM, said:

Notre Dame has a nice defense but they're not unstoppable.  They'll have a harder time scoring on us.

that is the point. nd's defense plays bama's offense. nd's offense plays bama's defense. now, where is the advantage? did i really have to ask?
Du-te la dracu 'LSU

#33
CrimsoNation713

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The name Tom Clements brings back memories of a broken hearted kid.
"Whenever I see those crimson jerseys and crimson helmets, I feel humbled to have played football for Alabama. Other players in the NFL talk to me about their schools and their traditions. I just smile knowing the immense love Alabama fans have for our school and its football program. I'm proud to be a part of that Crimson Tide heritage."

-- Derrick Thomas

#34
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LOL at the little Catholics that say Kelly is a better coach than Saban. You gonna learn realllllllllllll quick.

#35
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View PostCrimsoNation713, on 02 December 2012 - 04:53 PM, said:

The name Tom Clements brings back memories of a broken hearted kid.
My 14 year old heart still hasn't healed.
After everything is said and done, more is said than done. - Noah

#36
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I want Lacy vs. Te'o. 1 on 1.

#37
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Left tackle D.J. Fluker said the Tide's success is "about preparation. We're prepared for anything." And Warmack said he never worried about the score because "you don't want to deviate from the program. Whatever you do during the week is how you do in the game." This is what the best coaches do. They don't just call plays. They create a belief system and get players to subscribe to it. And that's another problem for Notre Dame. I just can't imagine this Alabama team getting cocky and assuming it will beat the Fighting Irish. And if Notre Dame does jump to a lead, the Tide won't panic. There is no fear in this group. Alabama is the best team in the country. It is almost an honor when a team this good stabs you in the heart.

http://sportsillustr...-bcs/index.html

Edited by Noah.Dreams, 02 December 2012 - 05:20 PM.

After everything is said and done, more is said than done. - Noah

#38
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After everything is said and done, more is said than done. - Noah

#39
Noah

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Posted Image Posted Image

Edited by Noah.Dreams, 02 December 2012 - 08:11 PM.

After everything is said and done, more is said than done. - Noah

#40
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Good thing this will be settled on the field, once and for all.

Though even a Notre Dame win over Alabama may not be enough to convince everyone that the Irish are the nation's best team.

And we're not talking about also undefeated Ohio State, either, which could theoretically win the AP title with a Notre Dame loss on Jan. 7.

Three coaches voted the Crimson Tide ahead of the Irish in the final regular-season USA Today coaches' poll.

What's more — one voted Notre Dame No. 4, behind Alabama, Florida and Georgia.

Vanderbilt's James Franklin picked three of his fellow SEC teams ahead of the Irish, while Middle Tennessee's Rick Stockstill and Texas Tech's Tommy Tuberville both voted Notre Dame second behind the Tide.

Franklin voted his Commodores 16th. They finished outside the top 25.

Edited by Noah.Dreams, 02 December 2012 - 08:07 PM.

After everything is said and done, more is said than done. - Noah

#41
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Edited by Noah.Dreams, 02 December 2012 - 08:02 PM.

After everything is said and done, more is said than done. - Noah

#42
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You see that one that says '77? We put a scar on it.
Du-te la dracu 'LSU

#43
zartan

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Rudy is a much better movie than Forrest Gump.

Go Irish
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#44
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View Postzartan, on 03 December 2012 - 06:23 AM, said:

Rudy is a much better movie than Forrest Gump.

Go Irish


The Blind Side was better than both.
Du-te la dracu 'LSU

#45
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View Postbbqit, on 03 December 2012 - 06:29 AM, said:




The Blind Side was better than both.

Have you seen Kiffin and Dooley in Dumb and Dumber?
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