It's a title wave as Alabama pummels Notre Dame in BCS rout

Bear Bryant, considered by many the best ever, coached Alabama to six national titles.

Saban said the talk of dynasty "are words I'm not interested in."

He lacks the fuzzy-warm personality that makes other coaches more popular and it's sometimes hard to tell whether he's just won a national title or returned from the dentist's office.

"Whether I look like it or not, I'm happy as hell," Saban said.

There hasn't been a title game over so fast since 2005, when USC jumped to a 38-10 lead over Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl en route to a 55-19 win. But that victory would later be vacated by the NCAA. Before that, you have to go back to the 2002 game at the Rose Bowl, when Miami led Nebraska, 34-0, at the half.

Alabama toyed with Notre Dame like a dog with a toy. It was 28-0 at the half and that wasn't even the half of it.

You knew something was up when Alabama got the ball first and drove 82 yards in five plays, scoring on Lacy's 20-yard run.

This wasn't supposed to happen to Notre Dame's defense, which entered the game allowing a nation-best 10.33 points per game.

The Crimson Tide made it 14-0 later in the first quarter on McCarron's three-yard scoring pass to tight end Michael Williams.

That put Notre Dame's defense over its weekly scoring cap with more than three quarters left to play.

That was followed by a one-yard touchdown run by T.J. Yeldon, and that was followed by McCarron's 11-yard scoring pass to Lacy with 31 seconds left in the half.

Die-hard Irish fans were left to construct perfect-storm second-half comeback plans. Maybe get back to basics, score on the first possession and try to cut the lead in half entering the fourth quarter.

That plan was immediately hijacked when Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix intercepted Everett Golson's pass inside the Alabama 10.

The Crimson Tide answered with a drive that ended in McCarron's 34-yard scoring pass to Amari Cooper.

That made it 35-0, with 7:34 left in the third, and there was no comeback plan for that.

Alabama returns to Tuscaloosa as repeat conquering heroes while Notre Dame skulks back to South Bend wondering how such a wonderful 12-0 year could unravel so dramatically.

Coach Brian Kelly said his team needed a game like this to know what it takes to compete at the highest level.

"You need to know what it looks like," he said.

Notre Dame did not win its first national title since 1988. Kelly didn't join Frank Leahy, Ara Parseghian, Dan Devine and Lou Holtz as Irish coaches who won national titles in their third season.

Te'o said Notre Dame laid a framework for good times to come.

"It creates fire, it creates fuel, both for the guys staying here and the guys leaving," he said.

Alabama, in the end, looked like the best team in the country.

And Notre Dame looked like the team that should have lost to Pittsburgh.

chris.dufresne@latimes.com

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