National experts' predictions for Alabama vs. Notre Dame football in the 2021 Rose Bowl

Erik Hall
The Tuscaloosa News

The Alabama Crimson Tide football team and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish meet Friday, Jan. 1, in the 2021 Rose Bowl, which is a College Football Playoff semifinal. 

Understandably, the game is receiving abundant national attention. 

The Alabama Crimson Tide, ranked No. 1 in the Amway Coaches Poll, enter the game 11-0 overall. No. 4-ranked Notre Dame comes into the matchup 10-1 overall. 

As of Wednesday, the Alabama Crimson Tide are a 20-point favorite against Notre Dame, according to BetMGM.

Rose Bowl: National experts pick Alabama, Notre Dame football

Dec 19, 2020; Charlotte, NC, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish safety Kyle Hamilton (14) is called for a facemark penalty as he tackles Clemson Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) in the first quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

On the "Yahoo Sports College Podcast," the game was picked by Sports Illustrated reporter Pat Forde and Yahoo reporters Pete Thamel and Dan Wetzel. 

Pat Forde picked the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Pete Thamel picked the Alabama Crimson Tide. 

Dan Wetzel picked the Alabama Crimson Tide. 

"I look forward to going to the Whataburger after the Rose Bowl instead of going to In-N-Out. Times change," Thamel said referencing the Rose Bowl being in Arlington, Texas, this season instead of Pasadena, California. "I just don't feel like Notre Dame defensively at corner has answers for how Alabama can stretch the field. They (Notre Dame) have two elite players on defense in (safety) Kyle Hamilton and (linebacker) Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, but I just don't feel like they're going to be able to cover them (Alabama) down the field. I feel like this thing is going to end 42-14."

"Sorry Notre Dame, sorry Brian Kelly, the narrative will continue that you get blown out in big games, because I think this is going to be an Alabama blowout," Forde said. "Not going to be able to contain the receiving corp., not going to be able to deal with Najee Harris, and not going to be able to score enough points and make enough big plays to counter the Alabama machine."

"I take 'Bama to cover," Wetzel said. "Unless there's some long drives — as I said earlier — I don't see how Notre Dame really keeps this close. There's just too much talent at these top schools. Notre Dame gets one five-star a year at best, and Alabama is picking up four, five, six — these are first-round draft picks. There's just too much talent. ... It'd be awesome if Notre Dame could pull the upset."

Here's more Alabama football news: 

Brian Kelly is the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football head coach. Nick Saban is the Alabama Crimson Tide football head coach. 

Erik Hall is the lead digital producer for sports with the USA Today Network. You can find him on Twitter @HallErik

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