By MIKE WANBAUGH
CNHI News Service
MIAMI — A season of destiny, as it had been billed in South Bend, was no match for a newly-minted dynasty from Tuscaloosa.
The return to glory for Notre Dame, which hasn't won a national championship since 1988, will have to wait after Alabama destroyed the Fighting Irish to claim its third national championship in four years Monday night at Sun Life Stadium.
For Alabama it was a coronation as the Crimson Tide claimed the storied program's 15th national championship.
Notre Dame didn't even get on the board until 4:08 was left in the third quarter on a 2-yard scramble by quarterback Everett Golson, making it 35-7. At that point the score barely provoked a polite applause.
A raucous Irish crowd that seemed to outnumber Alabama's contingent was quieted on the opening drive and really didn't have much cause to cheer the rest of the game.
Trailing 7-0, the Irish were forced to punt on their opening drive. Alabama returner Christion Jones fumbled the punt and Notre Dame's Zeke Motta recovered it. However, the officials ruled that a Notre Dame player had touched Jones first and called a penalty on the Irish.
Television replays show the ball was already loose. Instead of Notre Dame having the ball inside Alabama's 15 yard-line with a chance to tie the game, Alabama had the ball at their 39-yard line and would march down the field to take a 14-0 lead.
Notre Dame never recovered and Alabama was never seriously challenged after that. Exactly what couldn't happen if the Irish were to have a chance had happened.
Notre Dame lost because a defense that at one point in the season went 17 consecutive quarters without allowing a touchdown, gave up three in the first 15:04 Monday night.
They lost because a defense that held nine teams to fewer than 300 total yards this year was gashed for 309 in just two quarters.
They lost because they were overmatched at every position on the field, yes, even middle linebacker.
McCarron, whose performance Monday night chisels his face into 'Bama's football Mount Rushmore, had all day to do virtually anything he wanted in the pocket. Bama running backs Eddie Lacy and TJ Yeldon both rushed for more than 100 yards.
Notre Dame's glory day will have to wait. This night, and this season belongs to Alabama.