Dan Wolken | Dec. 27, 2012 | USA TODAY Sports
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — By now, they know what they're up against. They've watched it on television, seen it written in the history books and had it pounded into their heads by a media machine that asks repeatedly whether Notre Dame's biggest test yet is proving itself against the Southeastern Conference.
But as No. 2 Alabama tries to win a seventh consecutive national title for the SEC, it will find something different as well: A team constructed more in the image of the SEC than any championship game opponent during this run.