Notre Dame is the No. 1 team in the nation, but it's not necessarily the favorite in the BCS National Championship game, writes JJ Stankevitz of CSN Chicago.
The undefeated Fighting Irish will be tested when they play one of the best teams in college football in recent memory:
While some players are drawing motivation from that status -- an "us vs. the world" mentality continues to resonate -- others see the BCS Championship as a chance to see where they stand against a team regarded as the best in the country.
"A team from the SEC, a team like Alabama, coached by Nick Saban, those guys will make you better all around," defensive tackle Louis Nix said. "I'm just happy we get a chance to play these guys in the National Championship."
Alabama (12-1) may not be undefeated, but the Crimson Tide have won two of the last three BCS Championship Games. That includes last year's 21-0 victory over LSU, which was the No. 1 team at the time.
The Crimson Tide lost just one game this year. That came on Nov. 10 against Texas A&M and Heisman-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel. Manziel passed for 253 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing for a team-high 92 yards.
The 2013 BCS Championship Game will take place Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, at Sun Life Stadium in Miami. Kickoff is set for 8:30 p.m. ET.