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Experience is not a factor

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Alabama has been here before, preparing for a national championship game.

Notre Dame is playing for its first national title since the last time the Irish went undefeated and were crowned champions in 1988.

But Crimson Tide players said there wasn't too much of an advantage of having championship experience when No. 1 Notre Dame (12-0) and No. 2 Alabama (12-1) play in the BCS championship game Monday.

"I think that is probably a little bit overplayed," Tide center Barrett Jones said Thursday. "If it helps at all, it is probably from a preparation standpoint. I think (coach Nick Saban) and his staff have a very good idea of the best way to prepare with a long layoff.

"But as far as the actual experience, I think, once you get there it is about who plays the better game. Not really who the better team is, who plays the better game."

Alabama running back Eddie Lacy said: "Experience plays a part in it, but at the end of the day, you have to go out and just play football. I don't think experience has too much to do with it."