The 2013 BCS National Championship Game is just hours away. We're sure you have so many questions. We're here to help. (For an X's and O's breakdown, click through to our BCS preview hub.)
• What's all this, then? Ready for a seventh consecutive national title for an SEC team? What about Notre Dame's return to glory finally materializing in full? What about the possibility of Alabama holding a legitimate and pretty irrefutable dynasty claim? You're not ready for any of these? That's TOO DANG BAD, Lulabelle. The sidewalk ends here.
• Where will this game be played? The national title game rotates into the Orange Bowl location this year, which means Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, home field of the Miami Dolphins and Miami Hurricanes, and beloved by us because it was once Land Shark Stadium, named for a Jimmy Buffett-branded beer.
• Didn't Nick Saban coach here that one time? We don't recall. We don't know what you're talking about. Don't look us in the eyes when you ask us that. Just in case.
• When is it on television? 8 p.m. ET on ESPN, brought to you live by Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit, Heather Cox and Tom Rinaldi. The game will also air on ESPN Deportes and be streamed on WatchESPN.
• Whom does it feature? BCS No. 1 Notre Dame (12-0) versus BCS No. 2 Alabama (12-1).
• Once and for all: How many titles do these teams actually have? Andy Staples digs into the dusty past of the Tide and Irish (with a very special guest) to answer this very question. (Spoiler alert: Still quite a few, actually.)
• Does the bowl have a social media presence? The greatest. Orange Bowl organizers took the brilliant step of enlisting the services of the social media operator behind the Capital One and Russell Athletic Bowl Twitter feeds for game week, with predictably delightful results:
"And on the left is a 75% cacao petit fors with a reduction made of- what's that? *sigh* Yes, it's the chocolate one." twitter.com/OrangeBowl/sta…
— Orange Bowl (@OrangeBowl) January 4, 2013
• What wacky activities will the teams be subjected to this week? You can take in all the splendor of bowl week on the Orange Bowl's official YouTube channel, from the team parties on famous Miami pool decks to dinners at Brazilian steakhouses featuring frankly alarming amounts of meat. And then this happened:
Media day was Notre Dame playing beer pong with the BCS national championship trophy as a backboard. #notacircus twitter.com/GeorgeSchroede…
— George Schroeder (@GeorgeSchroeder) January 5, 2013
• What's the pick? Stewart Mandel: "Notre Dame will beat Alabama in Monday night's BCS National Championship Game, at which point everyone who predicted that the Tide would roll -- myself included -- will slap ourselves for our stupidity."
• Please impart any additional knowledge you may have concerning the 2013 title game. If you were wondering whether AJ McCarron brought sufficient footwear to get him through this week, please rest easy:
Bama QB A.J. McCarron says he brought 30 pair of shoes to Florida. "I just like to always change or match something."
— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) January 5, 2013