Dave George, columnist: The weirdness of college football is proven in full when the No. 1 team in the nation is a heavy underdog in the championship game. Regardless, until somebody actually beats the SEC in a title game, I will stick with America’s power conference. Notre Dame can make it scary by putting a wall up against the Alabama running game but Nick Saban has too much talent on defense to get lit up by kid quarterback Everett Golson, who is good for a couple of turnovers. Alabama, 23-17.
Greg Stoda, columnist: The key to whatever success Notre Dame manages has to do with how much damage quarterback Everett Golson can do when scrambling or running by design. He’s dangerous when throwing across his body back to the left on escapes to his right, which might give Notre Dame its best hope for a game-changing play. Notre Dame, 24-20.
Jason Lieser, Gators beat writer: Alabama is very good, but not great. The Crimson Tide’s defense is not nearly as dominant as it was last season — it gave up an additional 60 yards of total offense per game after losing seven starters. Notre Dame’s defense shut down Oklahoma and could do the same to Alabama. The four ranked teams the Irish beat this season averaged just 8.8 points against them. Notre Dame, 20-17.
Jorge Milian, Hurricanes beat writer: There are two things I’ve learned since I began covering college football for the Post in 1995. First, press box food will make you fat. Second, don’t bet against SEC teams in BCS national championship games. I’m no fan of Nick Saban’s, but you can’t deny the guy’s ability to stockpile talent and have it produce on the field. Maybe I’m alone on this but the forecast of 88 percent humidity will also work against the Irish. Alabama, 27-17.
Tom D’Angelo, Seminoles beat writer: Everything points to Alabama’s third title in four years but do not underestimate the underdog. Privately, Notre Dame preferred to play Alabama over Georgia, believing it matches up better. Remember, Alabama’s loss came against a mobile quarterback. Everett Golson is no Johnny Manziel but he will give the Tide trouble. The only other double-digit underdogs in the BCS era — Oklahoma (2000) and Ohio State (2002) — pulled off the upset. Notre Dame will be the third. Notre Dame, 20-13.
A week after a pair of unimpressive losses, Georgia Tech regained a bit of its footing. The Yellow Jackets delivered an emphatic 87-57 thrashing of East Tennessee State on Saturday afternoon at McCamish Pavilion to head into their final exam week on an up note.