Notre Dame Will Face Miami in Sun Bowl

Notre Dame found out its bowl fate on Sunday.  After West Virginia and UConn both won Saturday night, all signs pointed to a Sun Bowl match-up with Miami.  Sunday night the Sun Bowl made it official by matching the two teams up for the first time in 20 years.

Brian Kelly will try to cap off his first season as the head coach at Notre Dame with a win over Miami in the Sun Bowl on December 31.

The Sun Bowl had openly discussed their desire for a Notre Dame-Miami pairing throughout last week.   When the Champs Sports Bowl passed on the Irish in favor of West Virginia, they got their wish and they are clearly very excited.

“After waiting 77 years, the stars have finally lined up for us. I have spent 40 years as a volunteer and I would have never thought I would see the day that Notre Dame and Miami would play in the Sun Bowl.”
John Folmer, Sun Bowl Selection Chairman

By heading to the Sun Bowl instead of the Champs Bowl, Notre Dame loses out on an opportunity to play in Orlando, but at the same time, the Irish will be playing on New Year’s Eve instead of December 28.  For Notre Dame fans not making the trip, a Friday afternoon game on a day in which many people will already have off of work certainly is more attractive than a Tuesday night game.

Notre Dame also ends up with a much more intriguing match-up in El Paso.  While it would have been interesting to see what Notre Dame could have done against NC State and their linebackers coach Jon Tenuta, playing Miami will allow for a lot of nostalgia for Irish fans.

The Irish nearly ended up in San Diego in the Holiday Bowl against Nebraska, but Washington pulled off a last minute win in the Apple Cup over Washington State to secure the Pac 10’s 3rd bowl spot.

It will be interesting to see if Miami hires a new head coach before the bowl game and if that coach will coach the Hurricanes when the two teams meet.  Randy Shannon was fired shortly after Miami’s regular season finale, a loss to South Florida, and after what appeared to be a strong push to hire Jon Gruden, Miami still sits without a head coach.

The last time Notre Dame and Miami met was back in 1990 when the Irish knocked off the Hurricanes in South Bend.  The two schools announced over the summer, however, that they had agreed to a 3-game series with a game in Solider Field in Chicago in 2012 and then a home and home series in 2016-2017.

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  1. He should have brought a guitar and he could have sang kumbaya, this is priceless, can you imagine being He’s gone now to bad I just hope Harbaugh doesn’t go there.

    1. People had to be so uncomfortable that they were sweating bullets. I would have been looking around at every single person’s expression and wondering if they thought he was as batshit crazy as I did…

      1. I know right? It’s fantastic! Can’t imagine what Ohio State blogs are doing with this info too! I mean can you imagine?! “I’d like everybody to hold hands…..and listen to this song with me….”

  2. Right now I am buying into the RKG thing. I would feel a little comforted if looking at the recruiting sites they would show up a little higher on the lists but…

    The last 5 years we have lost to plenty of teams chock full of 3 star players who somehow were transformed into monsters of the gridiron (at least against us).

    1. People look at recruiting lists like it is everything.There are countless examples of kids who are regarded as lower prospects turn into all-americans.I look at athletic ability, production, and charecter.If a kid was very productive against high caliber talent who cares if he is a 6-0 215 lbs running back, or a corner who runs a 4.3 40, if that corner plays tough at the line and never lets that WR off the line then he will be successfull(Al Harris of the packers a few years ago).To me especially in college size is the most over rated thing people look at.40 times are also way overrated, if you run a 4.3 and can’t catch what good are you.Some kids can’t run a 40, but on the field you arn’t going to catch him.GO IRISH keep bringing those RKGs

  3. At the beginning of the year, a lot of people were talking about ND’s cupcake schedule. When they started losing, everyone said that Kelly wasn’t the answer. While I wish they had won more games, I found this information interesting:

    Notre Dame in 2010 played more bowl-eligible football teams (.500 record or better) at 11 than anyone else in the country (only Purdue among the dozen Irish opponents finished below the .500 mark at 4-8).

    Notre Dame’s #1 ranking in the NCAA strength-of-schedule standings is its highest since a #1 ranking in 1995. The current .650 winning percentage of Irish opponents makes for its strongest schedule faced in 21 years – since a .655 percentage when Notre Dame finished #1 in the toughest-schedule derby in 1989.

    Reading that makes me appreciate what Kelly was able to do even more. This team was so close to 10 wins and most of the starters are coming back. The recruiting class, which looked like it was going to implode, is back up to #7 and there are still some big-time names looking at the Irish.

    We are going to see some amazing things at ND and I believe it will be sooner than later.

    Look forward to New Years Eve.

    1. It really is something. I complete roller coaster of a season.

      There were plenty of times I began to wonder if Kelly and his system was the right choice. Hindsight shows a much different story of the 2010 season.

      These kids have come a long way against a great schedule.

    1. Another recruit joined ND Bennett Okotcha decommitted from Wisconsin and committed to ND. Here is what superprep says “Okotcha is a blue collar defender that does all of the little things out on the field that college coaches love. He is the ultimate competitor. He will come and lay a lick in run support and works hard to get off of blocks to break up underneath routes. In coverage he is physical on the jam and plays bigger than his height. He can man up the bigger receivers.” I said earlier this week he might decommitt ho goes to the same highschool as Cam Mcdaniel and was ecstatic when ND offered.He adds another CB to this class.I think Kelly wants a pipe line to Texas and is starting to build one eventually the top prospects from Texas will committ.Bennett sounds like an RKG and the kind of CB Diaco wants a tough in your face CB who also plays the run.I like it.GO IRISH!!!

  4. Backtobcs
    I also fell in love with Nd when I was a young kid sitting on my grandpas lap watching ND vs.USC every year.I would agree that winning will help, but to a piont you have to make a more fan friendly atmosphere and the field needs to be replaced the players slip all over, I keep saying that semi synthetic grass the Packers have would be perfect it last longer and better grip and looks like real grass.As a former D1 player the crowd means a lot and I have been to games where we were winning and it was like the crowd wasn’t there.I love ND stadium, I love what it stands for, but over time some changes need to be made, at least the field when chunks are flying out when players make cuts it’s not good for players saftey.

    1. I completely agree that some updates need to be made. I like an interlocking ND at midfield, but I prefer the striped endzones. An update of the turf would be nice..a lot more efficient. But the most needed update to the stadium? Crowd noise. I’ve been to many games during the times we were winning since 2002 and have been told to wither sit down or quiet down. Notre Dame Stadium used to be rated as a Top 5 intimidating place to play, but I don’t think it’s in the Top 15 anymore.

  5. Sorry I’m a young guy (28) and I fell in love with notre dame football when I was 5yrs old and never looked back… I didnt need to see jumbo trons, big stupid advertisements for Harrys septic service, or giant painted letters, none of that crap… We say we want to be different, better, win with our own style, well guess what copying every other schools sell out style of football doesnt get us anywhere closer to a national championship…That stadium Is as much a cathedral as any church on campus I for one would be disgusted to see all of that conercialism and “o look at us” bantering going on there…. The field is fine, the stadium is fine, it was a great place to play and win championships for the last 50+ yrs and will b again in the future…. WIN GAMES! That’s the bottom line.
    Do that and the crowd gets back to the deafening mob we used to have, the fear in playin in rocks house comes back too… Quit looking to gimmicks…. And as far as recruits are concerned,
    Goes something like this, there’s a great steakhouse right in town here, doesn’t look like much inside or out, wouldn’t sit on the toilet for too long either, but the rich sit elbow to elbow with the rest of us becaus the food is good!!! The have a product everyone wants…. Point is… win again, put out a good product and the recruits will line up to play in our “quaint” little stadium.

  6. We should all be very careful about the”convicts” rhetoric. In very recent memory we have seen our fair share of off the field issues. When residing in a glass house, don’t throw stones.

    With that being said, I look forward to this game. Miami is loaded with talent, whether they decide to play hard is a different story (my bet is they want this game bad).

    1. With respect, give me a break on the “when residing in a glass house, don’t throw stones” rhetoric. The “Catholics vs. Convicts” tag fondly reminds many of the great rivalry that Miami and ND had in the 80’s. I think Randy Shannon was a quality coach, and it’s a shame they fired him because he brought credibility back to that program.

      Something tells me it’s going to be a great game…ND by 4. Go Irish!

    2. Well… We have had some kind of year as far as trouble goes.

      TE’s getting pulled over with Pot in the car, player being investigated in a rape, Sullivans death….

      None of us would be surprised if the headline of these stories read “Another Hurricane…”!

      1. While ND may have had a few arrests lets be realistic. The rap sheets of ND’s players is NOTHING compared to what you will find at Miami. They have a history of legit FELONS involved in VIOLENT CRIME that you could find just exiting the 290 on the West Side of Chicago. Heres just a short taste (and look how many occurred on Randy Shannons watch)

        CB Sam Shields: possession (weed) 2009 (also a father of a 4 and 1 year old by his senior year)

        LB Willie Williams: burglary ($18K in cash and valuables) 2009

        QB Kenny Kelly: 3 counts of felony drug possession with intent to distribute 2008

        QB Robert Marve: Criminal Mischief and Resisting arrest 2007

        LB Nate Webster: battery & false imprisonment of ex-girlfriend 2000

        S Tremain Mack: 6 arrests in 4 years (including DUI) 1992-1996

        WR Kevin Williams: possession of a stolen handgun 1992

        And if that wasn’t enough here’s an article from Sports Illustrated in 1995 detailing exactly why they are “CONVICTS.” Some of the highlights: suiting up players who scored 200 on their verbal SAT, 57 players indicted in a financial aid scandal, a May 18, 1995 Miami Herald expose listing 1 of every 7 players were arrested…..

    3. ND’s current “troubles”, or anything they’ve ever dealt with in the past, PALE in comparison to the U of the 80’s and 90’s. To say it’s apples and oranges is not correct. More like whales and wrenches.

      That being said, Miami no longer deserves the “convicts” moniker.

  7. I’m not sure what my wife has planned for me on New Year’s, but I did state one non-negotiable item to her. At 2 pm I will be on the couch with a cold beer and will be ready to root on our Irish as we lay witness to “Catholics vs. Convicts 2010”. Go Irish!

  8. I think the Irish will be just fine against Miami. the Irish have finally found their identity. Took a while but the last three games are a testiment. They actually reminded of teams/games years ago. Return to glory a long a way to go but a good start. Perhaps Irish nation should forget about this return to glory tradition and focus on a new chapter or book for that matter.

    I still think we should join a conference – it’s time bottom line. Focus on just winning games and not this return to glory. Clean out our house – the stadium. More, more, students = passion, enthusiasm, and NOISE! New turf for Kelly’s offense and spruce up the field. It’s dated and yeah that will offend the return to glory nation. But how about a nice turf with a big gold ND at the 50 yd line, blue end zones lettered in green and gold “FIGHTING IRISH” with the leprechaun as bookends.

    Let teams know who’s house this is because visitors are so not intimidated by that stadium anymore. May even help recruiting a bit.

    1. They should also make the turf green, kind of like boise’s ‘smurf turf’but in green, the green turf at ND stadium will there ‘own’…..

      of course i’m kidding. and I like the ND at the 50 idea.

    2. I agree about the field, the stadium is great exept it needs a jumbo-tron and more of a student section like you said.I would like the leprechaun at mid field that would look cool.I think they need to make modern upgrades but keep the history and tradtion alive in the stadium.I’m excited about the match against Miami it should be fun to watch.I think almost everybody exept the old timers agrees the field needs to be changed I just hope Kelly gets his say in things, I think he wants to change the atmoshpere and make the stadium rock again, that’s hard when you have one of the smallest student sections in the country.

    3. All students go to the game (~10,000 including grad students). It is impossible to have a bigger student section unless we increase the size of the school. The reason other schools have bigger student section is because they have much more students.

      1. Yeah you are right I sometimes forget this I just remember the 80’s and early 90’s it just looked like a lot more, I think it was just more die hard fans by the student section.I apoligize.

  9. I think this is a good match up. Yes, I know Miami is without a coach and will have an interim staff for the bowl game. Advantage Notre Dame. But I would say Miami is FAR faster than any team ND has played this year. And I’d also argue they are as talented as USC from top to bottom. Advantage Miami.

    So what I think we’ll see is a team on the rise (ND), stellar defense and methodical offense vs a faster, more talented overall team (Miami).

    I’d expect Notre Dame to come out and play physical, as they did all of November, and wear down the speed. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Miami leading in a tight game at half-time. Then, in the second half, the ND conditioning and physical pace wears down the speed of Miami. At that point, I see ND winning in a close game.

    My prediction?

    ND 27
    Miami 21

  10. Win or lose this team is better than they have been in years, the team believes in itself, which kelly said they needed to do. A lot of games last year we were in because our offense could keep us in the game, now we are solid on both sides of the ball. I’m not going to say this is our saving grace and our return to glory but realistically we are moving in the right direction. In truth I’m glad we didn’t got 9-3 or 10-2, it wouldh ave put too much pressure on coach kelly. We are were we need to be for this program to be successful. Bring on Miami, GO IRISH!!

  11. Would be a terrible loss if the irish lose to a team without a real head coach. Only bad thing about this matchup, besides the amount of speed they have.

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