Notre Dame versus Miami will finally be a big game again.
The Miami Hurricanes football team will be back in South Bend to take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish for the first time since 1990, and it has a really good chance at being a top 15 matchup- if not a top 10 showdown.
This, of course, won’t be the first meeting between these two teams since that 1990 game when Notre Dame destroyed Miami’s hopes of a national championship by beating the Canes 29-20. Notre Dame and Miami met in the 2010 Sun Bowl that saw a 33-17 Irish victory, and then again in the 2012 Shamrock Series games in Chicago that saw yet another Notre Dame win 41-3.
Obviously, those two games weren’t in the same league as the games from 1988-1990 that saw this rivalry be one of the premier games of the college football season. This year, we have a shot to get that nostalgia back.
Miami could be the hot team to talk about by the time the Irish host the Canes on October 29. It will surely be more paper than substance, but the Canes have a decent shot at 7-0 or 6-1. Their first three games of the season are against Florida A&M, Florida Atlantic, and Appalachian State. They get a week off before they start ACC play with a four game run of Georgia Tech, Florida State, North Carolina, and Virginia Tech. Those 4 ACC games aren’t the bottom of the barrell, but I fully expect Miami to go at least 3-1 through that stretch would should place them in that top 15 ranking.
Why do I think Miami will have such a strong record? Miami isn’t lacking talent as they have still recruited well throughout the years, and with a new head coach in Mark Richt, I think he is the missing ingredient for the Canes to get closer to what they used to be in the past.
Notre Dame has a little tougher road to be ranked in the top 15, but their two toughest games in Michigan State and Stanford are both at home. Call me crazy but I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility that Notre Dame and Miami not only are ranked in the top 15 for this game, but it could be closer to a top 5 game if both teams are undefeated.
Even if the best case scenario happens and both teams show up to this game at Notre Dame Stadium without a loss, it still won’t be anywhere close to those games in 1988-1990, but the hype will still exist and could eventually be one of the gems of the 2016 season.