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Moore was on the opposite sideline for the first four of six meetings between Notre Dame and Alabama. The Fighting Irish won by one point in 1973, two in 1975 and three in 1976.

Notre Dame’s 7-0 win in 1980 broke the pattern of one-point increase in scoring margin.

Bear Bryant said after the (1976) game: “I don’t think I’m going to be around for the four-pointer,” Somogyi recalled.

He noted that “Notre Dame fans were groaning” after Alabama missed a field goal in `80 that would have created that four-point margin.

Moore and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbuck had several discussions about trying to set up regular-season meetings, perhaps at some neutral site like New York or Orlando.

“We just never could quite pull it off,” Moore said. After the BCS matchup was set: “I called him and said, `Jack, you and I couldn’t put a game together but now we let the players do it.’”

After ups and downs for both programs, they’re once again vying for national supremacy. And Moore, of course, will have a prime view.

His stop at Notre Dame showed him the similarities both programs share. Notre Dame had Knute Rockne and Ara Parseghian, Alabama Wallace Wade and Saban. Both have had five different coaches claim national titles.

Traditions galore.

“A powerful university. Great history, great tradition,” said Moore, who has talked to several of his former Notre Dame players leading up to the matchup. “That is what’s so similar between the two programs, is the great success that both have enjoyed through the years.

“There’s a lot of people that have had success at both universities. The alumni at both expect greatness. This is what here at Alabama I hope never changes. Once it doesn’t matter then you are in trouble.”