Rose Bowl Preview: Notre Dame Versus Alabama

Dec 31, 2020

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly leads the team out of the tunnel for an NCAA college football game against Clemson on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in South Bend, Ind.
Credit (MATT CASHORE/POOL PHOTO VIA AP)

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — The College Football Playoff semifinal in Texas will be allowed to call itself the Rose Bowl Game, but Pasadena officials don’t want the New Year’s game relocated in the future. Pasadena officials agreed to allow the Tournament of Roses to move the game to Arlington, Texas, on New Year’s Day. No. 1 Alabama will play fourth-ranked Notre Dame in the first CFP semifinal at AT&T Stadium outside Dallas. The Tournament of Rose will pay the city $2 million to help Pasadena with its expenses and lost revenue as a result of the game being relocated.

There has recently been a focus on college football "superpowers" hoarding talent as the New Year's bowls approach. What often gets categorized as a Notre Dame problem is actually a major college football problem. A tiny group of teams is accumulating far more talent than the competition. The elite high school players cluster at Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and a few other schools. No. 4 Notre Dame heads into its latest referendum game against No. 1 Alabama on Friday as a nearly three-touchdown underdog. In the other semifinal, a more fair fight is expected between No. 2 Clemson and No. 3 Ohio State. Lack of parity in college football is nothing new. The last time a school won its first national championship was Florida in 1996. But the playoff has magnified and maybe even exacerbated the imbalance.