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North vs. South

When Nick Saban left Louisiana State University in 2004 to skipper the Miami Dolphins back to competitive relevancy in 2005, he mistakenly assumed he was cut out for the NFL. Though the Dolphins finished 9-7 that year, the team missed the playoffs. A year later, Miami seemingly missed the entire season, finishing 6-10 before Saban said no mas and ran back home to the NCAA. Since accepting the head coaching gig at the University of Alabama in 2007, Saban’s Crimson Tide has been virtually unstoppable, winning two BCS National Championship titles (2009, 2011) against fierce competition. This Monday at 8 p.m., Alabama will play for its third title under Coach Saban. But if the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team continues playing the way it has all season, Alabama’s 15th overall title might have to wait. Notre Dame goes into Monday’s matchup at 8 p.m. with an unblemished 2012 record, decisively crushing most of its opponents this season. By comparison, the Crimson Tide also had impressive wins but lost to Texas A&M in mid-November. But the Fighting Irish are hungry. They haven’t won a national football title since 1988; they’re on the hunt.
Mon., Jan. 7, 8 p.m., 2013


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