Alabama can play younger guys a heckuva lot more than ND can we you play 3 games vs. FCS-level competition like Western Kentucky. THREE GAMES!!
Imagine if ND had 3 games to play guys like Neal, CBrown, Ferguson, Day, Shumate, Baratti, GAIII & McDaniel, Ishaq, Springmann, Councell, Okwara, etc for 2 full quarters!! And not getting garbage reps. Running the full Off and Def for back to back to back series. That is IMMENSE in terms of maturation.
Could you imagine how those youngin's look by the end of the season!
Instead, Kelly has to play it close to the vest 90% of the season so those guys get in for like 1,2 plays and lose a full year. Thats how you build depth. Getting a plethora of 4-5 star guys is not even half of it. Its definitely the start and foundation. Yet, reps are king. You have to get reps. Nothing, absolutely nothing, prepares you more than that. Look how fast EG developed. Heck, look at how many RS Fresh QBs developed this season.
Manziel, Mariotta, Golson, to just name 3 off the dome.
Dumbing down schedule does so much for health, depth, and variety of options that its going to be hard to "win" a NC without doing it some degree.
Playing Ga Southern and the like should be a major ding to BCS ratings but unfortunately its not.