With the copious amount of hype and analysis that preceded this game, I was happy for the game to finally get here. Most sports pundits opined that the key matchup was the Crimson Tide offensive line versus Notre Dame's front seven.
Both Lacy and Yeldon had over a hundred yards of rushing in the game. And McCarron didn't get sacked.
After Yeldon scored at the start of the second quarter, it seemed as though the spirit of the Fighting Irish had been broken.
Of the three national championship teams ('09, '11, and '12), I think this team was probably the least purely talented team on the defensive side of the ball. However, they played strong team defense supported by a rock solid offense. Like the commentators who announced the game, I was also surprised by Golson throwing on Dee Milliner, who could be the first corner taken in the NFL Draft. Then again, a good portion of the time, he was covering the Irish's ultra-talented tight end.
Now people who follow the Tide will turn their attention toward which Alabama juniors will enter the NFL Draft. I'm pretty sure Milliner will and probably monstrous right tackle DJ Fluker and running back Eddie Lacy.
As for next season, it's safe to assume the Crimson Tide will ranked in the pre-season top five. However, they only will return two starters on the offensive line because Jones, Warmack, and Fluker (likely) will depart. So, they'll need to replace the center, left guard, and right tackle positions. That's a lot of talent to replace.
We also lose quite a bit of talent on the DLine: nose nose tackle Jesse @ThaMonstar Williams, defensive linemen Damion Square, and defensive lineman Quinton Dial. In the linebacking corps, Nico Johnson is a senior. In the defensive backfield, Lester is a senior, and I've already noted Milliner.
2013 will present a very young Crimson Tide team except at quarterback, linebackers, and wide receivers.