- Associated Press - Saturday, January 5, 2013

MIAMI (AP) - Whether it’s giving 110 percent or taking it one game at a time, you’ve always got to remember it is what it is.

In other words, the formula for winning the game before the game is simple: bring on the clichés!

Notre Dame and Alabama are already winners in that regard, spending the days leading up to the BCS championship talking about a lot of things, all while trying not to say much of anything.

“If you can stick to a script that’s already written, it makes things a lot easier,” Notre Dame offensive lineman Mike Golic Jr. quipped on Saturday. “I have an arsenal of clichés always ready. It’s really helped me out so far.”

With both teams _ every player and coach _ turning out for media day at Sun Life Stadium, the familiar phrases were flowing freely.

Lingering around the podium of Kapron Lewis-Moore, the Fighting Irish’s personable defensive lineman, it didn’t take long to get a rat-tat-tat-tat of banal buzzwords.

_ “To be the best, you’ve got to beat the best.”

_ “We know it’s going to be a four-quarter battle.”

_ “You can’t take anything for granted.”

For players trying to sound coherent about their subject matter, while avoiding the pitfalls of blurting out something contentious, clichés are like a warm, comforting dish whipped up by your mother. They make everything OK.

Plus, they aren’t going to be the least bit offensive to the other team because, chances are, they are saying most of the same things.

“You don’t want to be that guy who gives out bulletin-board material,” Lewis-Moore said.

Alabama coach Nick Saban _ who, if we’re doling out clichés, would certainly qualify as a control freak _ doesn’t take any chances when it comes to making sure his team puts out what he describes as a “positive” message.

If others want to call it bland, well, so be it.

Saban bars freshmen and assistant coaches from talking to the media during the season, an edict he was forced to lift this week because of the BCS mandates that everyone is available at least once before Monday night’s championship game.

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