Looking Ahead: Georgia, Alabama Battle to Play Notre Dame

In case you missed it, Notre Dame defeated the USC Trojans 22-13 to finish a perfect 12-0 and pick up a Number One ranking in the BCS and AP Polls. If you really did miss it, and I have a hard time believing you did, given the game’s 10.3 overnight television ratings, you must go back right away and read Tex’s fantastic recap. Once you’re up to speed, we can begin. Ready? Okay.

On January 7, 2013, Notre Dame will in all likelihood play the winner of the SEC Championship. To be played in Atlanta on December 1, the game will feature Georgia, the SEC Eastern Division Champion, against Alabama, the SEC Western Division Champion. Before the airwaves fill with the moonshine-fueled invective launched by either team’s partisans, I wanted to calmly compare the two teams and project a likely winner.

The University of Alabama began on December 18, 1820. It started its football program in 1892 and enrolled its first African-American student in 1956, promptly expelling her three days later “for her safety.” I am not making that up. Seven years later, Alabama managed to enroll and graduate two black students. As of 2012, Alabama has amassed 1,765 football national championships. Their GSR is 75%.

This season, the Crimson Tide sit atop the SEC West at 11-1. They’ve played three AP Top 25 teams (Michigan #21, LSU #9 and Texas A&M #10), losing to Texas A&M. They finished their season by whooping West Carolina (a FCS team) and Auburn (a FCS team) by a combined 98-0. Their FBS opponents’ average Fremeau Efficiency Index (FEI) is 56.8.

The Crimson Tide are averaging 39 points per game, on an offense producing 6.90 yards per play. On the ground, they are averaging 5.42 rushing yards per attempt, 2570 yards total and have converted 47.86% (68/142) of Third Downs and 60% (6/10) of Fourth Down attempts. They’ve thrown for 2626 yards in the air and two interceptions. Alabama’s defense gives up 9.3 points per game.

The University of Georgia was founded on January 27, 1785, making it the first publicly-funded place of “higher education” in the country. It started its football program in 1892 and enrolled its first African-American student on January 9, 1961. As of 2012, Georgia has amassed 2 football national championships. Their GSR is 69%.

This season, the Bulldogs sit atop the SEC East at 11-1. They’ve played two AP Top 25 teams (South Carolina #11 and Florida #5), losing to South Carolina. They finished their season by whooping Georgia Southern (a FCS team) and Georgia Tech (a fine engineering school) by a combined 97-24. Their FBS opponents’ average Fremeau Efficiency Index (FEI) is 65.0.

The Bulldogs are averaging 38 points per game, on an offense producing 7.04 yards per play. On the ground, they are averaging 4.98 rushing yards per attempt, 2281 yards total and have converted 46.00% (69/150) of Third Downs and 42.86% (3/7) of Fourth Down attempts. They’ve thrown for 3283 yards in the air and eight interceptions. Georgia’s defense gives up 17.7 points per game.

The ‘dogs and the Tide have each defeated acclaimed 2012 EssEeSee teams Tennessee, Missourri and Mississippi.

As you can see, this is a match between two evenly matched foes. ‘bama is the safe pick, but they struggled against and lost to Texas A&M, a passing team, and struggled against LSU, kind of a passing team. Seeing as how its essentially a home game for the Bulldogs, I’m taking Georgia in the slight upset, 21-17.

Spoiler alert: in case you haven’t already heard it, get ready for nothing but SEC “trash”-talk. I put “trash” in quotes because what you call “trash,” SEC-fan calls “patio furniture.” In any event, please consider the following as a helpful quiver of informational arrows in the weeks to come:

The University of Notre Dame began on November 26, 1842. It started its football program in 1887 and enrolled its first African-American student in 1944. As of 2012, Notre Dame has amassed 11 football national championships. Their GSR is 97%.

This season, the independent Fighting Irish are ranked #1 in the BCS at 12-0. They’ve played three AP Top 25 teams (Michigan #21, Stanford #8 and Oklahoma #12), beating them all. They finished their season by whooping Wake Forest (a FBS team) and USC (the preseason #1 team in the country) by a combined 60-13. Their FBS opponents’ average Fremeau Efficiency Index (FEI) is 47.92.

The Irish are averaging 26.8 points per game, on an offense producing 6.03 yards per play. On the ground, they are averaging 4.99 rushing yards per attempt, 2430 yards total and have converted 47.34% (80/169) of Third Downs and 60% (3/5) of Fourth Down attempts. They’ve thrown for 2626 yards in the air and seven interceptions. Notre Dame’s defense gives up 10.3 points per game.

Bottom line: scoreboard, baby. We’re Number One. And the data backs that up.

About Bayou Irish

Featured Columnist: Notre Dame Football & Other Notre Dame Sports
Hating Hurricanes Since 1990.

Bayou Irish is a Jersey boy and Double Domer who fell under New Orleans' spell in 1995. He's been through Katrina and fourteen years in the Coast Guard, so we cut him some slack, mostly in the form of HLS-subsidized sazeracs. But, when he's not face down on the bar and communing with the ghosts of Faulkner and Capote at the Carousel Bar in the Hotel Monteleone, he's our man in SEC-land, doing his best to convince everyone around him that Graduation Success Rate is a better indicator of success than the number of MNC's won in the last five years.

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  • trey

    BUT NO HAZ ESS EE SEE WINS!!!!! ND SUX!!!!

  • Big Red

    So you’re saying there’s a chance? I don’t want to believe, but I can’t help it!

  • NDtex

    “As of 2012, Alabama has amassed 1,765 football national championships”

    I donno that number seems low PAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWL

  • FightingSonOfNotreDame

    “Before the airwaves fill with the moonshine-fueled invective launched by either team’s partisans…”

    Ha!