1. Absegami High School Senior Rashad Kinlaw’s future college, Notre Dame, is sending its football team to the BCS Championship Game in Miami tonight. The undefeated and top ranked Fighting Irish will face SEC Champion Alabama (12-1). The Crimson Tide has won two of the last three BCS titles (2009 and 2011). Notre Dame has not won a national title since 1988, although many believe it should have won the 1993 title, having lost just once. Instead, a one-loss Florida State team Notre Dame beat during the regular season won that title. Between them, the programs have won 25 national championships. Alabama was favored to win tonight's game by nine and a half points as of Sunday night, Jan. 6.
2. Notre Dame recruited Kinlaw to play cornerback. The cornerbacks on this year’s squad are Bennett Jackson and KeiVarae Russell. Kinlaw’s other high school position is quarterback, which is currently being played by Everett Golson. Jackson is a junior, Russell is a freshman, and Golson is a redshirt freshman.
3. Kinlaw chose to play at Notre Dame last March. In an interview with Patch last year, Kinlaw said he grew up watching Notre Dame football, and is eager to add to the tradition. Kinlaw missed much of the 2012 high school season with an injury.
4. Notre Dame and Alabama have played six times, with the Fighting Irish taking home five victories. They have played twice in bowl games, with Ara Parseghian-led Notre Dame beating Paul "Bear" Bryant's Alabama, 24-23, in the 1973 Sugar Bowl to claim the national title; and 13-11 over an undefeated Alabama team the following season in the Orange Bowl in Miami. Alabama’s lone victory in the series came on Oct. 4, 1986, a 28-10 triumph. The teams haven't played since 1987.
5. Tonight’s game begins at 8:30 p.m., and will be broadcast on ESPN. It is the final of 35 bowl games played since the middle of December. It is also the next to last title game that will be known as a BCS (Bowl Championship Series) title game; college football will begin using a playoff format following the 2014 season.