Notre Dame's schedule stacks up nicely to Alabama's

Matt Cashore-US PRESSWIRE

Notre Dame's strength of schedule was actually rated as slightly tougher than Alabama's, according to Jeff Sagarin's rankings.

Many Alabama Crimson Tide fans will point at the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and claim that they made it to the BCS Championship Game by playing an easy schedule. However, as CSNChicago's JJ Stankevitz points out, Notre Dame's schedule this year is rated as slightly tougher than Alabama's.

Jeff Sagarin's strength of schedule formula has the Irish schedule rated as the 31st toughest in the country and has Alabama at 34th. Alabama played four teams ranked 80th or worse, compared to the two that Notre Dame played, and both teams played four top 20 opponents. However, Notre Dame went 4-0 against those opponents, while Alabama went 3-1.

The biggest difference between the two teams' schedules was probably how they were laid out. Alabama started the season against Michigan and then three low-ranked teams before hitting their SEC schedule. Notre Dame, on the other hand, had the weaker teams mixed in throughout the season, as they didn't have a conference schedule to deal with.

The Tide and the Irish will face off on Jan. 7 in Miami.

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