So now we've got it: Notre Dame vs. Alabama for the BCS championship.
If you're very, very quiet, you can almost hear the sound of TV executives drooling uncontrollably.
As these things go this is going to be as big as big gets, in every conceivable way possible. Two schools with outlandish tradition. Two schools with outlandishly rabid fan bases. The runaway No. 1 brand in college football against arguably the No. 2 brand.
People are going to make money off this. Lots and lots and lots of money.
The game itself, however ...
Well, having seen both Notre Dame and Alabama, I've got a vague unease that we're a lot closer to seeing a replay of the 9-6 Battle of the Field Goals between LSU and Alabama last year than, say, a 52-45 shootout.
Both offenses love the ground-and-pound, playing the run to set up the pass. And they're going up against the two best defenses against the run in the country. So I see a lot of field-position football and not a lot of visits to the end zone.
And who gets the edge?
You have to say 'Bama based on the resume, but this one likely will be no blowout. For one thing, Everett Golson is a more versatile quarterback than AJ McCarron, and more capable of making something out of nothing. And whoever wins this game is going to have to make something out of nothing once in awhile.
On the other hand ... a month-plus off gives the banged-up Tide a chance to heal. And 'Bama has the clear advantage in knowing how to maintain its sharpness across that month-plus layoff.
So, I'm not going to call this yet. But stay tuned.