Respect is earned, not given.
They say 'Roll Tide' for a reason. But all the experts and news magazines were making Notre Dame out to be some juggernaut. Even though they barely beat BYU, barely beat Purdue, and should've lost to Pitt, they continued to climb to #1 in the rankings.
When coupled with an enormous (and sometimes obnoxious) fan base, you get a lot of people who don't believe the truth.
That truth is Notre Dame sells tickets, and lots of them. They had almost 50,000 people travel to a game in Ireland. They have their own network. Moving them up to #1 was a money move. And it worked. Plenty of eyeballs watched this game. And millions watched as Notre Dame got steamrolled by 'Bama, and hopefully realized Notre Dame didn't belong there.
For the record, Notre Dame’s run was admirable, they play against a decent level of competition, and put together a good season.
But this is Alabama, flagship of the SEC. They thumped Notre Dame because they were an unworthy opponent. It's time to stop giving them an easy path to the national championship.
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