After what seems to be an early start to the season, things will get tough for the Trojans starting on Sept. 28, when a three-game stretch att Arizona State, home for Arizona and at Notre Dame kicks off.
Alabama has won two national titles in a row and three in four seasons, excelling where many others have failed in college football history. What are the odds that Bama's run will continue, though?
First-year offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier didn't want to reinvent the Alabama offense, just fine tune it. Now he gets to take it for a spin against Notre Dame's highly regarded defense.
Kevin Norwood has his breakout game in last season's BCS title game. A year later, the Alabama junior receiver has become the Tide's steady hand on offense.
Alabama AD Mal Moore marvels at Nick Saban's ability to evaluate and coach players, and Moore has made Saban the highest-paid college coach in the nation.
Despite ranking No. 5 in passing yards allowed, Alabama's defense proved susceptible to the pass late in the season, and Notre Dame is sure to take notice.
As the Crimson Tide coach and a Catholic, Nick Saban is well-versed when it comes to the tradition of success at Alabama and Notre Dame.
Alabama will get some much-needed workouts for reserve players like Gene Smith as the Crimson Tide prepare for the NCS national title game.
Alabama will be facing the best defense in the nation in Notre Dame, and it starts with dealing with the Fighting Irish's defensive front.
Alabama's veterans knew about them in the spring and preseason. After some amazing performance, culminating in the SEC championship, the football world know about the Tide's super freshmen
Alabama used its offensive line to plow its way through Georgia on the road to the BCS title game. Now, the Tide know they face another battle with the Irish.
For the first time since last season, the USC Trojans are without the weight of expectations. Rather, all the pressure Saturday is on No. 1 Notre Dame.
Steve Bisheff thinks that USC's best shot at upsetting No. 1 Notre Dame is to let strongarmed redshirt freshman quarterback Max Wittek loose.
While this year's version of the USC-Notre Dame rivalry has huge implications for the Irish, the Trojans are reduced to playing spoiler.
Newly minted No. 1 Notre Dame comes to the Coliseum feeling good, while the Trojans are licking their wounds. But USC's offense might be too much for the Irish.
For the second time this year, toughness prevailed over finesse in a big game in Norman. And for the second time, it was the Sooners who came out on the losing end of that battle.