MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — For the older generation of Alabama fans, the Crimson Tide's 42-14 thrashing of Notre Dame in Sun Life Stadium on Monday night represented 40 years of pent-up frustration that started with a one-point loss in a championship bowl and has continued through four additional losses in five attempts.
For a newer generation of Alabama fans, Monday night's game was business as usual.
The Crimson Tide won its 15th national championship and third in four years with a thorough whipping of the Irish, dominating on both sides of the ball and taking the nation's top-ranked team out of the championship equation before the first half was complete.
Older-generation fans wanted revenge against a team that stood in the way of national championships, either in the polls or on the field, in 1966, 1973, 1974 and 1977. The younger crowd only knows the Southeastern Conference has now won seven consecutive national championships dating back to 2007, continuing to show the rest of the college football world that SEC football is supreme.
In fact, during the past four years, no one has wrestled the crystal ball from the state of Alabama, with Auburn winning in the 2010 season and Alabama winning in 2009, 2011 and 2012.
By the second half, the Irish faithful that had made the trip could only cheer touchdowns because the game was long out of reach.
Alabama (13-1) scored on its first three possessions and added another late in the first half to take command of the game by halftime.
"I think we played well offensively," Alabama coach Nick Saban said. "We were controlling the line of scrimmage. We're running the ball and we've got good balance and that's what we want to have."
By halftime, Eddie Lacy had topped the 100-yard mark and AJ McCarron had thrown a couple of touchdown passes, giving both good qualifications for most valuable player honors.
By the second half, McCarron was in a league of his own. The junior completed 20 of 27 passes for 264 yards and four touchdowns, the best-ever performance by a Tide signal caller in a bowl game involving national championship implications.
Lacy finished with 140 yards on 20 carries and a touchdown, adding another score on an 11-yard reception late in the first half that featured his famous spin move that left Notre Dame linebacker Danny Spond grasping for air.
Amari Cooper could add his name to the list of big-play performers, pulling in six receptions for 105 yards and two touchdowns. He becomes the first Tide receiver to grab two touchdown receptions in a bowl game for an Alabama national championship team since Ray Perkins in the 1966 Orange Bowl, a loss to Texas.
Cooper's six receptions and 105 yards also broke Julio Jones' freshman records in both categories.
With the majority of a Sun Life stadium-record crowd of 80,120 pulling for Notre Dame, the stadium grew a little livelier late in the third quarter when Everett Golson's 2-yard keeper finally put the Fighting Irish on the board, but Alabama countered with McCarron's touchdown throw to Cooper to keep the Tide comfortably in front.
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