BCS championship: The Oklahoman's staff picks

The Oklahoman's college football team picks Monday's winner in the BCS National Championship between Notre Dame and Alabama.
by Berry Tramel and Jenni Carlson and Michael Baldwin and John Helsley and Jason Kersey and Gina Mizell and Stephanie Kuzydym Published: January 6, 2013

Even though they are undefeated and ranked No. 1, the Irish are the underdogs. Brian Kelly and Heisman finalist Manti Te'o are going to sneak a few surprises into South Beach with multiple interceptions and defensive line stands that stop the Tide.

John Helsley, OSU beat writer

NOTRE DAME 20, ALABAMA 17

This isn't the 'Bama we're used to seeing recently. Still good, but not all-time good. And it's an Irish team that matches up physically, setting up the kind of close, low-scoring game that the Irish thrive in. Notre Dame makes another stand, the prepares to return No. 1 for 2013.

Jenni Carlson, columnist

NOTRE DAME 23-21

This one will live up to all the pregame hype. A fantastic matchup becomes a fantastic game. Notre Dame has found a way all season to win every time it's been on the field. It does so again, with the defense making one final, last-minute stand.

Berry Tramel, columnist

ALABAMA 14-13

Both teams play great defense, so the game could come down to two or three little plays, not necessarily big plays. But Alabama has the edge at quarterback, with AJ McCarron, and the edge in big-game experience. This is the third national title game for Alabama seniors.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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by Michael Baldwin
Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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by Gina Mizell
OSU Sports Reporter
Gina Mizell joined The Oklahoman in August of 2011 as the Oklahoma State beat writer, where she covered the Cowboys' historic run to the Big 12 championship and Fiesta Bowl in her first season on the job. Before arriving in Stillwater, Gina was...
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by Stephanie Kuzydym
Reporter
Stephanie Kuzydym learned at a young age that life is a game of inches. That's just one reason why she loves football. Kuzydym joined The Oklahoman in July 2012. Before arriving in the state, Kuzydym was an intern for the sports departments at...
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