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January 8, 2013

Alabama wins makes history

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. | When Eddie Lacy executed a double spin move to give Alabama a four-touchdown halftime lead over the staggering and winded Fighting Irish, Crimson Tide players and fans could sense history in the making.

A season that started in Arlington, Texas, ended Monday night with a raucous celebration in Miami Gardens, Fla., and completed Alabama's maturation from defending national champion to modern-day dynasty.

The Crimson Tide turned Sun Life Stadium into its personal playground as it became the first team to win consecutive BCS National Championship Games and its third title in four years with a resounding 42-14 beatdown of Notre Dame.

Junior right tackle D.J. Fluker was one of the first players to hug Nick Saban following the traditional Gatorade shower and had no problem describing the Crimson Tide's incredible run the last four years.

"Dynasty!" Fluker proclaimed. "National championships! That's the best feeling in the world. We worked hard for it all year long. We had our ups and downs, but we came through. We had no doubt. We played this game a thousand times inside our minds."

When the post-game festivities and trophy presentation started, Alabama players savored the moment and accomplishment of winning the school's 15th national championship.

Although more than half of the 80,120 capacity crowd appeared to be Notre Dame fans, they had little time to celebrate after watching their previously impenetrable defense get ravaged by a fast, powerful Crimson Tide offense.

"It's something you can't even dream of," said Alabama tight end Michael Williams, who scored one of the first-half touchdowns. "You come to Alabama to win championships, but you never really have it in your mind you're going to win three national championships.

"It's a blessing. I'm thankful for it and I think I left a good legacy at the University of Alabama."

Before Monday night's one-sided affair, Notre Dame had allowed just two rushing touchdowns. Thanks to the dynamic duo of Lacy and T.J. Yeldon, Alabama doubled that total just seconds into the second quarter.

By the end of the first half and with the Tide holding a commanding 28-0 lead, the Alabama fans were already chanting "SEC! SEC! SEC!", while Fighting Irish fans headed to the concession stands.

Even though Notre Dame appeared to be a team of destiny and emerged as a sentimental favorite in its quest to return to relevance, the Crimson Tide left no doubt that Southern football still reigns supreme.

Notre Dame held a 5-1 series advantage over Alabama and its stinging victories in the 1973 Sugar Bowl and 1975 Orange Bowl created a sense or uneasiness for the Crimson Tide nation.

But Alabama never allowed the Irish to awaken their ghosts of the past as it continued its dominance in the second half.

"It's huge," said nose guard Jesse Williams, whose journey to the Capstone had humble beginnings in Brisbane, Australia. "It's one of those unforgettable things. It's going to stick with me for the rest of my life.

"I'm blessed and proud to be part of this great community and great team we've got here at Alabama. It's just unreal to do this and it just means a lot to us."

When freshman wide receiver Amari Cooper caught his second touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to give Alabama a 42-7 advantage, Notre Dame fans started walking to the exit portals.

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