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Notre Dame to face No. 2 Alabama for national title

SOUTH BEND - Two of college football's most storied programs will decide the national champion this season.

As expected, Notre Dame will play Alabama in the BCS championship game Jan. 7 in Miami. The matchup was officially announced tonight during the BCS selection show.

The Irish (12-0) and Crimson Tide (12-1) each have eight national titles between them, but Notre Dame's last championship came in 1988 while Alabama will be going for its second title in a row and third in the last four years.

The championship game will be the seventh meeting between the two programs, and Notre Dame holds the historical edge with a 5-1 advantage.

The championship game will be the third time the two teams have met in bowl game. The Irish defeated the Tide in the 1973 Sugar Bowl, which secured coach Ara Parseghian's last national title with Notre Dame, and the 1974 Orange Bowl.

Alabama's only win in the series came in Birmingham when it defeated Notre Dame 28-10 in coach Lou Holtz's first season with the Irish in 1986. Notre Dame avenged that loss a year later with a 37-6 home win in the last meeting between the programs.