Miami and Notre Dame have both seen their seasons fall off the rails, but to different degrees. Notre Dame is a stunning 2-5 and well into one of its worst seasons in years, while Miami has lost three in a row after a 4-0 start. The Irish's season has gone badly from the outset, but Miami looked to truly be onto something.
Now, though, the Canes have three ACC losses and are effectively out of the Coastal divisional race. Notre Dame doesn't have league standings to worry about, but the Irish are in heavy, heavy danger of missing a bowl game altogether. The year has been an unmitigated embarrassment, and every week is merely a chance to prevent a hole from getting deeper.
So, there's not a great deal of shine on this game. Both teams have plenty of talent, and it's not impossible that we turn out to have an entertaining game. But given how the last two months have gone, we shouldn't bank on it.
How to watch, stream, and listen
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, NBC. The broadcasters are Mike Tirico, Doug Flutie, and Kathryn Tappen.
Radio: Miami and Notre Dame
Online streaming: NBC Sports
Spread: The Canes opened as 2.5-point favorites.
Make friends: Get to SB Nation's team blog chats for this game at The State of the U (for Miami fans) and One Foot Down (for Notre Dame fans).
Three big things to know
1. The main attraction is Miami's passing game. Brad Kaaya is quite good, and he could have plenty of success against a bad Notre Dame pass defense. The Irish do poorly in holding down the other team's passing efficiency, and they also do poorly in preventing big plays. Kaaya is reasonably efficient and does a quality job on the explosiveness front. A lot about this game could be kind of a mess, but there's a decent chance Kaaya puts on a good show for the Canes.
2. The series history is pretty enjoyable, at least. Notre Dame dominated Miami in the 1970s, winning 11 in a row from 1967 to 1980. Miami struck back to win four in a row in the middle of the 1980s, and the teams basically skipped each other in the 1990s. Notre Dame won a Sun Bowl meeting in 2010 and a game in Chicago in 2012, and the teams haven't met since. The all-time series is 17-7-1 for the Irish, and to whatever extent you like historic programs playing each other – no matter how down they are – this should be fine.
3. Miami is wearing cool throwbacks that call to mind the height of The U. Notre Dame's uniforms are still classic. The teams' attire might be the prettiest thing about this game.