Officially, Miami and Notre Dame will clash in the Sun Bowl.
That's a renewal of the old "Catholics vs. Convicts" rivalry that pitted two of the nation's best teams in the late '80s and early '90s, and a matchup of two teams that seemed to be on different trajectories at season's end.
Both teams are 7-5, but while Notre Dame finished its regular season on a good note, with three straight wins — including victories over Utah and USC — the Hurricanes slumped to end the year, with starting quarterback Jacory Harris' injury helping condemn the 'Canes to a 2-3 finish that included losses to Virginia and South Florida and the firing of coach Randy Shannon.
It's not clear whether Miami will have a new coach in place by the Sun Bowl, which takes place on New Year's Eve in El Paso. But there's probably no small segment of Miami fans that will case covetous glances at the Notre Dame sideline and coach Brian Kelly.
It's also worth noting that Notre Dame is ending up in the Sun Bowl in part because of the Pac-10's inability to field enough bowl-eligible teams to fulfill all of its bowl obligations.