Once the BCS Championship Game between No. 1 Notre Dame and No 2. Alabama kicks off in Miami on Monday night, the number of national titles that each program boasts will become irrelevant. All that will matter at that moment is the next one.
"The tradition of Alabama and Notre Dame brings special attention to it, but we're just trying to be the best team on Monday, Jan. 7," Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly told ESPN ahead of the marquee matchup. "All of that tradition, what's happened in the past, is not going to help us Jan. 7, but we do respect the traditions."
Despite arriving in Miami without a blemish on its 12-0 2012 record, in possession of the No. 1 BCS ranking and boasting quite a bit of tradition, Kelly's Notre Dame team will take the field as an underdog as far as oddsmakers are concerned.
For Notre Dame to prove the doubters wrong, Manti Te'o and the team's vaunted defense -- which excelled in the red zone -- will need to limit Alabama's potent rushing attack -- which racked up 350 yards against Georgia in the SEC title game. On the offensive side of the ball, Irish redshirt freshman Everett Golson may need to conjure some Johnny Football-esque magic against the resolute Tide defense.
Is Golson up to the task? Can Alabama run the ball against Notre Dame? Will the Crimson Tide win its third BCS title in four seasons, establishing itself as a college football dynasty? Or will the Fighting Irish cement their place among the 21st century elite?
To help answer these questions and more, we've invited Joshua Vowles, the Editor-in-Chief of SubwayDomer.com, and Marquavius Burnett, the Sports editor of The Crimson White, to introduce us to both teams and argue on behalf of the one they cover. Whose side are you taking?