- Peter Keating, ESPN Senior Writer
YOU KNOW WHY the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are playing for the national championship: They're undefeated, for one, and sports writers, fans and (especially) sponsors love their story. As Ivan Maisel of ESPN.com put it: "When Notre Dame is atop the polls, the hot dogs are tastier, the popcorn is fresher and even the December sky is a little more blue-gray." Who can possibly argue against a Notre Dame-Alabama matchup?
I can. Because going through a season without a loss doesn't make a team No. 1 in the country. In fact, advanced metrics say Notre Dame, despite its 12-0 record, doesn't even belong in the title game. Let me explain.
In ESPN The Magazine, Peter Keating writes that the best college football rating system ever designed says Alabama belongs in the BCS title game. Notre Dame is another story.